History of the Peloponnesian War/Book 8

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History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, translated by Richard Crawley
Book 8

Nineteenth and Twentieth Years of the War - Revolt of Ionia - Intervention of Persia - The War in Ionia[edit]

1When the news was brought to Athens, for a long while they disbelieved even the most respectable of the soldiers who had themselves escaped from the scene of action and clearly reported the matter, a destruction so complete not being thought credible. When the conviction was forced upon them, they were angry with the orators who had joined in promoting the expedition, just as if they had not themselves voted it, and were enraged also with the reciters of oracles and soothsayers, and all other omen-mongers of the time who had encouraged them to hope that they should conquer Sicily. Already distressed at all points and in all quarters, after what had now happened, they were seized by a fear and consternation quite without example. It was grievous enough for the state and for every man in his proper person to lose so many heavy infantry, cavalry, and able-bodied troops, and to see none left to replace them; but when they saw, also, that they had not sufficient ships in their docks, or money in the treasury, or crews for the ships, they began to despair of salvation. They thought that their enemies in Sicily would immediately sail with their fleet against Piraeus, inflamed by so signal a victory; while their adversaries at home, redoubling all their preparations, would vigorously attack them by sea and land at once, aided by their own revolted confederates. Nevertheless, with such means as they had, it was determined to resist to the last, and to provide timber and money, and to equip a fleet as they best could, to take steps to secure their confederates and above all Euboea, to reform things in the city upon a more economical footing, and to elect a board of elders to advise upon the state of affairs as occasion should arise. In short, as is the way of a democracy, in the panic of the moment they were ready to be as prudent as possible.

These resolves were at once carried into effect. Summer was now over. 2The winter ensuing saw all Hellas stirring under the impression of the great Athenian disaster in Sicily. Neutrals now felt that even if uninvited they ought no longer to stand aloof from the war, but should volunteer to march against the Athenians, who, as they severally reflected, would probably have come against them if the Sicilian campaign had succeeded. Besides, they considered that the war would now be short, and that it would be creditable for them to take part in it. Meanwhile the allies of the Lacedaemonians felt all more anxious than ever to see a speedy end to their heavy labours. But above all, the subjects of the Athenians showed a readiness to revolt even beyond their ability, judging the circumstances with passion, and refusing even to hear of the Athenians being able to last out the coming summer. Beyond all this, Lacedaemon was encouraged by the near prospect of being joined in great force in the spring by her allies in Sicily, lately forced by events to acquire their navy. With these reasons for confidence in every quarter, the Lacedaemonians now resolved to throw themselves without reserve into the war, considering that, once it was happily terminated, they would be finally delivered from such dangers as that which would have threatened them from Athens, if she had become mistress of Sicily, and that the overthrow of the Athenians would leave them in quiet enjoyment of the supremacy over all Hellas.

3Their king, Agis, accordingly set out at once during this winter with some troops from Decelea, and levied from the allies contributions for the fleet, and turning towards the Malian Gulf exacted a sum of money from the Oetaeans by carrying off most of their cattle in reprisal for their old hostility, and, in spite of the protests and opposition of the Thessalians, forced the Achaeans of Phthiotis and the other subjects of the Thessalians in those parts to give him money and hostages, and deposited the hostages at Corinth, and tried to bring their countrymen into the confederacy. The Lacedaemonians now issued a requisition to the cities for building a hundred ships, fixing their own quota and that of the Boeotians at twenty-five each; that of the Phocians and Locrians together at fifteen; that of the Corinthians at fifteen; that of the Arcadians, Pellenians, and Sicyonians together at ten; and that of the Megarians, Troezenians, Epidaurians, and Hermionians together at ten also; and meanwhile made every other preparation for commencing hostilities by the spring.

4In the meantime the Athenians were not idle. During this same winter, as they had determined, they contributed timber and pushed on their ship-building, and fortified Sunium to enable their corn-ships to round it in safety, and evacuated the fort in Laconia which they had built on their way to Sicily; while they also, for economy, cut down any other expenses that seemed unnecessary, and above all kept a careful look-out against the revolt of their confederates.

5While both parties were thus engaged, and were as intent upon preparing for the war as they had been at the outset, the Euboeans first of all sent envoys during this winter to Agis to treat of their revolting from Athens. Agis accepted their proposals, and sent for Alcamenes, son of Sthenelaidas, and Melanthus from Lacedaemon, to take the command in Euboea. These accordingly arrived with some three hundred Neodamodes, and Agis began to arrange for their crossing over. But in the meanwhile arrived some Lesbians, who also wished to revolt; and these being supported by the Boeotians, Agis was persuaded to defer acting in the matter of Euboea, and made arrangements for the revolt of the Lesbians, giving them Alcamenes, who was to have sailed to Euboea, as governor, and himself promising them ten ships, and the Boeotians the same number. All this was done without instructions from home, as Agis while at Decelea with the army that he commanded had power to send troops to whatever quarter he pleased, and to levy men and money. During this period, one might say, the allies obeyed him much more than they did the Lacedaemonians in the city, as the force he had with him made him feared at once wherever he went. While Agis was engaged with the Lesbians, the Chians and Erythraeans, who were also ready to revolt, applied, not to him but at Lacedaemon; where they arrived accompanied by an ambassador from Tissaphernes, the commander of King Darius, son of Artaxerxes, in the maritime districts, who invited the Peloponnesians to come over, and promised to maintain their army. The King had lately called upon him for the tribute from his government, for which he was in arrears, being unable to raise it from the Hellenic towns by reason of the Athenians; and he therefore calculated that by weakening the Athenians he should get the tribute better paid, and should also draw the Lacedaemonians into alliance with the King; and by this means, as the King had commanded him, take alive or dead Amorges, the bastard son of Pissuthnes, who was in rebellion on the coast of Caria.

6While the Chians and Tissaphernes thus joined to effect the same object, about the same time Calligeitus, son of Laophon, a Megarian, and Timagoras, son of Athenagoras, a Cyzicene, both of them exiles from their country and living at the court of Pharnabazus, son of Pharnaces, arrived at Lacedaemon upon a mission from Pharnabazus, to procure a fleet for the Hellespont; by means of which, if possible, he might himself effect the object of Tissaphernes' ambition and cause the cities in his government to revolt from the Athenians, and so get the tribute, and by his own agency obtain for the King the alliance of the Lacedaemonians.

The emissaries of Pharnabazus and Tissaphernes treating apart, a keen competition now ensued at Lacedaemon as to whether a fleet and army should be sent first to Ionia and Chios, or to the Hellespont. The Lacedaemonians, however, decidedly favoured the Chians and Tissaphernes, who were seconded by Alcibiades, the family friend of Endius, one of the ephors for that year. Indeed, this is how their house got its Laconic name, Alcibiades being the family name of Endius. Nevertheless the Lacedaemonians first sent to Chios Phrynis, one of the Perioeci, to see whether they had as many ships as they said, and whether their city generally was as great as was reported; and upon his bringing word that they had been told the truth, immediately entered into alliance with the Chians and Erythraeans, and voted to send them forty ships, there being already, according to the statement of the Chians, not less than sixty in the island. At first the Lacedaemonians meant to send ten of these forty themselves, with Melanchridas their admiral; but afterwards, an earthquake having occurred, they sent Chalcideus instead of Melanchridas, and instead of the ten ships equipped only five in Laconia. And the winter ended, and with it ended also the nineteenth year of this war of which Thucydides is the historian.

7At the beginning of the next summer the Chians were urging that the fleet should be sent off, being afraid that the Athenians, from whom all these embassies were kept a secret, might find out what was going on, and the Lacedaemonians at once sent three Spartans to Corinth to haul the ships as quickly as possible across the Isthmus from the other sea to that on the side of Athens, and to order them all to sail to Chios, those which Agis was equipping for Lesbos not excepted. The number of ships from the allied states was thirty-nine in all.

8Meanwhile Calligeitus and Timagoras did not join on behalf of Pharnabazus in the expedition to Chios or give the money--twenty-five talents--which they had brought with them to help in dispatching a force, but determined to sail afterwards with another force by themselves. Agis, on the other hand, seeing the Lacedaemonians bent upon going to Chios first, himself came in to their views; and the allies assembled at Corinth and held a council, in which they decided to sail first to Chios under the command of Chalcideus, who was equipping the five vessels in Laconia, then to Lesbos, under the command of Alcamenes, the same whom Agis had fixed upon, and lastly to go to the Hellespont, where the command was given to Clearchus, son of Ramphias. Meanwhile they would take only half the ships across the Isthmus first, and let those sail off at once, in order that the Athenians might attend less to the departing squadron than to those to be taken across afterwards, as no care had been taken to keep this voyage secret through contempt of the impotence of the Athenians, who had as yet no fleet of any account upon the sea. Agreeably to this determination, twenty-one vessels were at once conveyed across the Isthmus.

9They were now impatient to set sail, but the Corinthians were not willing to accompany them until they had celebrated the Isthmian festival, which fell at that time. Upon this Agis proposed to them to save their scruples about breaking the Isthmian truce by taking the expedition upon himself. The Corinthians not consenting to this, a delay ensued, during which the Athenians conceived suspicions of what was preparing at Chios, and sent Aristocrates, one of their generals, and charged them with the fact, and, upon the denial of the Chians, ordered them to send with them a contingent of ships, as faithful confederates. Seven were sent accordingly. The reason of the dispatch of the ships lay in the fact that the mass of the Chians were not privy to the negotiations, while the few who were in the secret did not wish to break with the multitude until they had something positive to lean upon, and no longer expected the Peloponnesians to arrive by reason of their delay.

10In the meantime the Isthmian games took place, and the Athenians, who had been also invited, went to attend them, and now seeing more clearly into the designs of the Chians, as soon as they returned to Athens took measures to prevent the fleet putting out from Cenchreae without their knowledge. After the festival the Peloponnesians set sail with twenty-one ships for Chios, under the command of Alcamenes. The Athenians first sailed against them with an equal number, drawing off towards the open sea. The enemy, however, turning back before he had followed them far, the Athenians returned also, not trusting the seven Chian ships which formed part of their number, and afterwards manned thirty-seven vessels in all and chased him on his passage alongshore into Spiraeum, a desert Corinthian port on the edge of the Epidaurian frontier. After losing one ship out at sea, the Peloponnesians got the rest together and brought them to anchor. The Athenians now attacked not only from the sea with their fleet, but also disembarked upon the coast; and a melee ensued of the most confused and violent kind, in which the Athenians disabled most of the enemy's vessels and killed Alcamenes their commander, losing also a few of their own men.

11After this they separated, and the Athenians, detaching a sufficient number of ships to blockade those of the enemy, anchored with the rest at the islet adjacent, upon which they proceeded to encamp, and sent to Athens for reinforcements; the Peloponnesians having been joined on the day after the battle by the Corinthians, who came to help the ships, and by the other inhabitants in the vicinity not long afterwards. These saw the difficulty of keeping guard in a desert place, and in their perplexity at first thought of burning the ships, but finally resolved to haul them up on shore and sit down and guard them with their land forces until a convenient opportunity for escaping should present itself. Agis also, on being informed of the disaster, sent them a Spartan of the name of Thermon. The Lacedaemonians first received the news of the fleet having put out from the Isthmus, Alcamenes having been ordered by the ephors to send off a horseman when this took place, and immediately resolved to dispatch their own five vessels under Chalcideus, and Alcibiades with him. But while they were full of this resolution came the second news of the fleet having taken refuge in Spiraeum; and disheartened at their first step in the Ionian war proving a failure, they laid aside the idea of sending the ships from their own country, and even wished to recall some that had already sailed.

12Perceiving this, Alcibiades again persuaded Endius and the other ephors to persevere in the expedition, saying that the voyage would be made before the Chians heard of the fleet's misfortune, and that as soon as he set foot in Ionia, he should, by assuring them of the weakness of the Athenians and the zeal of Lacedaemon, have no difficulty in persuading the cities to revolt, as they would readily believe his testimony. He also represented to Endius himself in private that it would be glorious for him to be the means of making Ionia revolt and the King become the ally of Lacedaemon, instead of that honour being left to Agis (Agis, it must be remembered, was the enemy of Alcibiades); and Endius and his colleagues thus persuaded, he put to sea with the five ships and the Lacedaemonian Chalcideus, and made all haste upon the voyage.

13About this time the sixteen Peloponnesian ships from Sicily, which had served through the war with Gylippus, were caught on their return off Leucadia and roughly handled by the twenty-seven Athenian vessels under Hippocles, son of Menippus, on the lookout for the ships from Sicily. After losing one of their number, the rest escaped from the Athenians and sailed into Corinth.

14Meanwhile Chalcideus and Alcibiades seized all they met with on their voyage, to prevent news of their coming, and let them go at Corycus, the first point which they touched at in the continent. Here they were visited by some of their Chian correspondents and, being urged by them to sail up to the town without announcing their coming, arrived suddenly before Chios. The many were amazed and confounded, while the few had so arranged that the council should be sitting at the time; and after speeches from Chalcideus and Alcibiades stating that many more ships were sailing up, but saying nothing of the fleet being blockaded in Spiraeum, the Chians revolted from the Athenians, and the Erythraeans immediately afterwards. After this three vessels sailed over to Clazomenae, and made that city revolt also; and the Clazomenians immediately crossed over to the mainland and began to fortify Polichna, in order to retreat there, in case of necessity, from the island where they dwelt.

15While the revolted places were all engaged in fortifying and preparing for the war, news of Chios speedily reached Athens. The Athenians thought the danger by which they were now menaced great and unmistakable, and that the rest of their allies would not consent to keep quiet after the secession of the greatest of their number. In the consternation of the moment they at once took off the penalty attaching to whoever proposed or put to the vote a proposal for using the thousand talents which they had jealously avoided touching throughout the whole war, and voted to employ them to man a large number of ships, and to send off at once under Strombichides, son of Diotimus, the eight vessels, forming part of the blockading fleet at Spiraeum, which had left the blockade and had returned after pursuing and failing to overtake the vessels with Chalcideus. These were to be followed shortly afterwards by twelve more under Thrasycles, also taken from the blockade. They also recalled the seven Chian vessels, forming part of their squadron blockading the fleet in Spiraeum, and giving the slaves on board their liberty, put the freemen in confinement, and speedily manned and sent out ten fresh ships to blockade the Peloponnesians in the place of all those that had departed, and decided to man thirty more. Zeal was not wanting, and no effort was spared to send relief to Chios.

16In the meantime Strombichides with his eight ships arrived at Samos, and, taking one Samian vessel, sailed to Teos and required them to remain quiet. Chalcideus also set sail with twenty-three ships for Teos from Chios, the land forces of the Clazomenians and Erythraeans moving alongshore to support him. Informed of this in time, Strombichides put out from Teos before their arrival, and while out at sea, seeing the number of the ships from Chios, fled towards Samos, chased by the enemy. The Teians at first would not receive the land forces, but upon the flight of the Athenians took them into the town. There they waited for some time for Chalcideus to return from the pursuit, and as time went on without his appearing, began themselves to demolish the wall which the Athenians had built on the land side of the city of the Teians, being assisted by a few of the barbarians who had come up under the command of Stages, the lieutenant of Tissaphernes.

17Meanwhile Chalcideus and Alcibiades, after chasing Strombichides into Samos, armed the crews of the ships from Peloponnese and left them at Chios, and filling their places with substitutes from Chios and manning twenty others, sailed off to effect the revolt of Miletus. The wish of Alcibiades, who had friends among the leading men of the Milesians, was to bring over the town before the arrival of the ships from Peloponnese, and thus, by causing the revolt of as many cities as possible with the help of the Chian power and of Chalcideus, to secure the honour for the Chians and himself and Chalcideus, and, as he had promised, for Endius who had sent them out. Not discovered until their voyage was nearly completed, they arrived a little before Strombichides and Thrasycles (who had just come with twelve ships from Athens, and had joined Strombichides in pursuing them), and occasioned the revolt of Miletus. The Athenians sailing up close on their heels with nineteen ships found Miletus closed against them, and took up their station at the adjacent island of Lade. The first alliance between the King and the Lacedaemonians was now concluded immediately upon the revolt of the Milesians, by Tissaphernes and Chalcideus, and was as follows:

18The Lacedaemonians and their allies made a treaty with the King and Tissaphernes upon the terms following:

1. Whatever country or cities the King has, or the King's ancestors had, shall be the king's: and whatever came in to the Athenians from these cities, either money or any other thing, the King and the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall jointly hinder the Athenians from receiving either money or any other thing.

2. The war with the Athenians shall be carried on jointly by the King and by the Lacedaemonians and their allies: and it shall not be lawful to make peace with the Athenians except both agree, the King on his side and the Lacedaemonians and their allies on theirs.

3. If any revolt from the King, they shall be the enemies of the Lacedaemonians and their allies. And if any revolt from the Lacedaemonians and their allies, they shall be the enemies of the King in like manner.

19This was the alliance. After this the Chians immediately manned ten more vessels and sailed for Anaia, in order to gain intelligence of those in Miletus, and also to make the cities revolt. A message, however, reaching them from Chalcideus to tell them to go back again, and that Amorges was at hand with an army by land, they sailed to the temple of Zeus, and there sighting ten more ships sailing up with which Diomedon had started from Athens after Thrasycles, fled, one ship to Ephesus, the rest to Teos. The Athenians took four of their ships empty, the men finding time to escape ashore; the rest took refuge in the city of the Teians; after which the Athenians sailed off to Samos, while the Chians put to sea with their remaining vessels, accompanied by the land forces, and caused Lebedos to revolt, and after it Erae. After this they both returned home, the fleet and the army.

20About the same time the twenty ships of the Peloponnesians in Spiraeum, which we left chased to land and blockaded by an equal number of Athenians, suddenly sallied out and defeated the blockading squadron, took four of their ships, and, sailing back to Cenchreae, prepared again for the voyage to Chios and Ionia. Here they were joined by Astyochus as high admiral from Lacedaemon, henceforth invested with the supreme command at sea. The land forces now withdrawing from Teos, Tissaphernes repaired thither in person with an army and completed the demolition of anything that was left of the wall, and so departed. Not long after his departure Diomedon arrived with ten Athenian ships, and, having made a convention by which the Teians admitted him as they had the enemy, coasted along to Erae, and, failing in an attempt upon the town, sailed back again.

21About this time took place the rising of the commons at Samos against the upper classes, in concert with some Athenians, who were there in three vessels. The Samian commons put to death some two hundred in all of the upper classes, and banished four hundred more, and themselves took their land and houses; after which the Athenians decreed their independence, being now sure of their fidelity, and the commons henceforth governed the city, excluding the landholders from all share in affairs, and forbidding any of the commons to give his daughter in marriage to them or to take a wife from them in future.

22After this, during the same summer, the Chians, whose zeal continued as active as ever, and who even without the Peloponnesians found themselves in sufficient force to effect the revolt of the cities and also wished to have as many companions in peril as possible, made an expedition with thirteen ships of their own to Lesbos; the instructions from Lacedaemon being to go to that island next, and from thence to the Hellespont. Meanwhile the land forces of the Peloponnesians who were with the Chians and of the allies on the spot, moved alongshore for Clazomenae and Cuma, under the command of Eualas, a Spartan; while the fleet under Diniadas, one of the Perioeci, first sailed up to Methymna and caused it to revolt, and, leaving four ships there, with the rest procured the revolt of Mitylene.

23In the meantime Astyochus, the Lacedaemonian admiral, set sail from Cenchreae with four ships, as he had intended, and arrived at Chios. On the third day after his arrival, the Athenian ships, twenty-five in number, sailed to Lesbos under Diomedon and Leon, who had lately arrived with a reinforcement of ten ships from Athens. Late in the same day Astyochus put to sea, and taking one Chian vessel with him sailed to Lesbos to render what assistance he could. Arrived at Pyrrha, and from thence the next day at Eresus, he there learned that Mitylene had been taken, almost without a blow, by the Athenians, who had sailed up and unexpectedly put into the harbour, had beaten the Chian ships, and landing and defeating the troops opposed to them had become masters of the city. Informed of this by the Eresians and the Chian ships, which had been left with Eubulus at Methymna, and had fled upon the capture of Mitylene, and three of which he now fell in with, one having been taken by the Athenians, Astyochus did not go on to Mitylene, but raised and armed Eresus, and, sending the heavy infantry from his own ships by land under Eteonicus to Antissa and Methymna, himself proceeded alongshore thither with the ships which he had with him and with the three Chians, in the hope that the Methymnians upon seeing them would be encouraged to persevere in their revolt. As, however, everything went against him in Lesbos, he took up his own force and sailed back to Chios; the land forces on board, which were to have gone to the Hellespont, being also conveyed back to their different cities. After this six of the allied Peloponnesian ships at Cenchreae joined the forces at Chios. The Athenians, after restoring matters to their old state in Lesbos, set sail from thence and took Polichna, the place that the Clazomenians were fortifying on the continent, and carried the inhabitants back to their town upon the island, except the authors of the revolt, who withdrew to Daphnus; and thus Clazomenae became once more Athenian.

24The same summer the Athenians in the twenty ships at Lade, blockading Miletus, made a descent at Panormus in the Milesian territory, and killed Chalcideus the Lacedaemonian commander, who had come with a few men against them, and the third day after sailed over and set up a trophy, which, as they were not masters of the country, was however pulled down by the Milesians. Meanwhile Leon and Diomedon with the Athenian fleet from Lesbos issuing from the Oenussae, the isles off Chios, and from their forts of Sidussa and Pteleum in the Erythraeid, and from Lesbos, carried on the war against the Chians from the ships, having on board heavy infantry from the rolls pressed to serve as marines. Landing in Cardamyle and in Bolissus they defeated with heavy loss the Chians that took the field against them and, laying desolate the places in that neighbourhood, defeated the Chians again in another battle at Phanae, and in a third at Leuconium. After this the Chians ceased to meet them in the field, while the Athenians devastated the country, which was beautifully stocked and had remained uninjured ever since the Median wars. Indeed, after the Lacedaemonians, the Chians are the only people that I have known who knew how to be wise in prosperity, and who ordered their city the more securely the greater it grew. Nor was this revolt, in which they might seem to have erred on the side of rashness, ventured upon until they had numerous and gallant allies to share the danger with them, and until they perceived the Athenians after the Sicilian disaster themselves no longer denying the thoroughly desperate state of their affairs. And if they were thrown out by one of the surprises which upset human calculations, they found out their mistake in company with many others who believed, like them, in the speedy collapse of the Athenian power. While they were thus blockaded from the sea and plundered by land, some of the citizens undertook to bring the city over to the Athenians. Apprised of this the authorities took no action themselves, but brought Astyochus, the admiral, from Erythrae, with four ships that he had with him, and considered how they could most quietly, either by taking hostages or by some other means, put an end to the conspiracy.

25While the Chians were thus engaged, a thousand Athenian heavy infantry and fifteen hundred Argives (five hundred of whom were light troops furnished with armour by the Athenians), and one thousand of the allies, towards the close of the same summer sailed from Athens in forty-eight ships, some of which were transports, under the command of Phrynichus, Onomacles, and Scironides, and putting into Samos crossed over and encamped at Miletus. Upon this the Milesians came out to the number of eight hundred heavy infantry, with the Peloponnesians who had come with Chalcideus, and some foreign mercenaries of Tissaphernes, Tissaphernes himself and his cavalry, and engaged the Athenians and their allies. While the Argives rushed forward on their own wing with the careless disdain of men advancing against Ionians who would never stand their charge, and were defeated by the Milesians with a loss little short of three hundred men, the Athenians first defeated the Peloponnesians, and driving before them the barbarians and the ruck of the army, without engaging the Milesians, who after the rout of the Argives retreated into the town upon seeing their comrades worsted, crowned their victory by grounding their arms under the very walls of Miletus. Thus, in this battle, the Ionians on both sides overcame the Dorians, the Athenians defeating the Peloponnesians opposed to them, and the Milesians the Argives. After setting up a trophy, the Athenians prepared to draw a wall round the place, which stood upon an isthmus; thinking that, if they could gain Miletus, the other towns also would easily come over to them.

26Meanwhile about dusk tidings reached them that the fifty-five ships from Peloponnese and Sicily might be instantly expected. Of these the Siceliots, urged principally by the Syracusan Hermocrates to join in giving the finishing blow to the power of Athens, furnished twenty-two--twenty from Syracuse, and two from Silenus; and the ships that we left preparing in Peloponnese being now ready, both squadrons had been entrusted to Therimenes, a Lacedaemonian, to take to Astyochus, the admiral. They now put in first at Leros the island off Miletus, and from thence, discovering that the Athenians were before the town, sailed into the Iasic Gulf, in order to learn how matters stood at Miletus. Meanwhile Alcibiades came on horseback to Teichiussa in the Milesian territory, the point of the gulf at which they had put in for the night, and told them of the battle in which he had fought in person by the side of the Milesians and Tissaphernes, and advised them, if they did not wish to sacrifice Ionia and their cause, to fly to the relief of Miletus and hinder its investment.

27Accordingly they resolved to relieve it the next morning. Meanwhile Phrynichus, the Athenian commander, had received precise intelligence of the fleet from Leros, and when his colleagues expressed a wish to keep the sea and fight it out, flatly refused either to stay himself or to let them or any one else do so if he could help it. Where they could hereafter contend, after full and undisturbed preparation, with an exact knowledge of the number of the enemy's fleet and of the force which they could oppose to him, he would never allow the reproach of disgrace to drive him into a risk that was unreasonable. It was no disgrace for an Athenian fleet to retreat when it suited them: put it as they would, it would be more disgraceful to be beaten, and to expose the city not only to disgrace, but to the most serious danger. After its late misfortunes it could hardly be justified in voluntarily taking the offensive even with the strongest force, except in a case of absolute necessity: much less then without compulsion could it rush upon peril of its own seeking. He told them to take up their wounded as quickly as they could and the troops and stores which they had brought with them, and leaving behind what they had taken from the enemy's country, in order to lighten the ships, to sail off to Samos, and there concentrating all their ships to attack as opportunity served. As he spoke so he acted; and thus not now more than afterwards, nor in this alone but in all that he had to do with, did Phrynichus show himself a man of sense. In this way that very evening the Athenians broke up from before Miletus, leaving their victory unfinished, and the Argives, mortified at their disaster, promptly sailed off home from Samos.

28As soon as it was morning the Peloponnesians weighed from Teichiussa and put into Miletus after the departure of the Athenians; they stayed one day, and on the next took with them the Chian vessels originally chased into port with Chalcideus, and resolved to sail back for the tackle which they had put on shore at Teichiussa. Upon their arrival Tissaphernes came to them with his land forces and induced them to sail to Iasus, which was held by his enemy Amorges. Accordingly they suddenly attacked and took Iasus, whose inhabitants never imagined that the ships could be other than Athenian. The Syracusans distinguished themselves most in the action. Amorges, a bastard of Pissuthnes and a rebel from the King, was taken alive and handed over to Tissaphernes, to carry to the King, if he chose, according to his orders: Iasus was sacked by the army, who found a very great booty there, the place being wealthy from ancient date. The mercenaries serving with Amorges the Peloponnesians received and enrolled in their army without doing them any harm, since most of them came from Peloponnese, and handed over the town to Tissaphernes with all the captives, bond or free, at the stipulated price of one Doric stater a head; after which they returned to Miletus. Pedaritus, son of Leon, who had been sent by the Lacedaemonians to take the command at Chios, they dispatched by land as far as Erythrae with the mercenaries taken from Amorges; appointing Philip to remain as governor of Miletus.

Summer was now over. 29The winter following, Tissaphernes put Iasus in a state of defence, and passing on to Miletus distributed a month's pay to all the ships as he had promised at Lacedaemon, at the rate of an Attic drachma a day for each man. In future, however, he was resolved not to give more than three obols, until he had consulted the King; when if the King should so order he would give, he said, the full drachma. However, upon the protest of the Syracusan general Hermocrates (for as Therimenes was not admiral, but only accompanied them in order to hand over the ships to Astyochus, he made little difficulty about the pay), it was agreed that the amount of five ships' pay should be given over and above the three obols a day for each man; Tissaphernes paying thirty talents a month for fifty-five ships, and to the rest, for as many ships as they had beyond that number, at the same rate.

30The same winter the Athenians in Samos, having been joined by thirty-five more vessels from home under Charminus, Strombichides, and Euctemon, called in their squadron at Chios and all the rest, intending to blockade Miletus with their navy, and to send a fleet and an army against Chios; drawing lots for the respective services. This intention they carried into effect; Strombichides, Onamacles, and Euctemon sailing against Chios, which fell to their lot, with thirty ships and a part of the thousand heavy infantry, who had been to Miletus, in transports; while the rest remained masters of the sea with seventy-four ships at Samos, and advanced upon Miletus.

31Meanwhile Astyochus, whom we left at Chios collecting the hostages required in consequence of the conspiracy, stopped upon learning that the fleet with Therimenes had arrived, and that the affairs of the league were in a more flourishing condition, and putting out to sea with ten Peloponnesian and as many Chian vessels, after a futile attack upon Pteleum, coasted on to Clazomenae, and ordered the Athenian party to remove inland to Daphnus, and to join the Peloponnesians, an order in which also joined Tamos the king's lieutenant in Ionia. This order being disregarded, Astyochus made an attack upon the town, which was unwalled, and having failed to take it was himself carried off by a strong gale to Phocaea and Cuma, while the rest of the ships put in at the islands adjacent to Clazomenae--Marathussa, Pele, and Drymussa. Here they were detained eight days by the winds, and, plundering and consuming all the property of the Clazomenians there deposited, put the rest on shipboard and sailed off to Phocaea and Cuma to join Astyochus.

32While he was there, envoys arrived from the Lesbians who wished to revolt again. With Astyochus they were successful; but the Corinthians and the other allies being averse to it by reason of their former failure, he weighed anchor and set sail for Chios, where they eventually arrived from different quarters, the fleet having been scattered by a storm. After this Pedaritus, whom we left marching along the coast from Miletus, arrived at Erythrae, and thence crossed over with his army to Chios, where he found also about five hundred soldiers who had been left there by Chalcideus from the five ships with their arms. Meanwhile some Lesbians making offers to revolt, Astyochus urged upon Pedaritus and the Chians that they ought to go with their ships and effect the revolt of Lesbos, and so increase the number of their allies, or, if not successful, at all events harm the Athenians. The Chians, however, turned a deaf ear to this, and Pedaritus flatly refused to give up to him the Chian vessels.

33Upon this Astyochus took five Corinthian and one Megarian vessel, with another from Hermione, and the ships which had come with him from Laconia, and set sail for Miletus to assume his command as admiral; after telling the Chians with many threats that he would certainly not come and help them if they should be in need. At Corycus in the Erythraeid he brought to for the night; the Athenian armament sailing from Samos against Chios being only separated from him by a hill, upon the other side of which it brought to; so that neither perceived the other. But a letter arriving in the night from Pedaritus to say that some liberated Erythraean prisoners had come from Samos to betray Erythrae, Astyochus at once put back to Erythrae, and so just escaped falling in with the Athenians. Here Pedaritus sailed over to join him; and after inquiry into the pretended treachery, finding that the whole story had been made up to procure the escape of the men from Samos, they acquitted them of the charge, and sailed away, Pedaritus to Chios and Astyochus to Miletus as he had intended.

34Meanwhile the Athenian armament sailing round Corycus fell in with three Chian men-of-war off Arginus, and gave immediate chase. A great storm coming on, the Chians with difficulty took refuge in the harbour; the three Athenian vessels most forward in the pursuit being wrecked and thrown up near the city of Chios, and the crews slain or taken prisoners. The rest of the Athenian fleet took refuge in the harbour called Phoenicus, under Mount Mimas, and from thence afterwards put into Lesbos and prepared for the work of fortification.

35The same winter the Lacedaemonian Hippocrates sailed out from Peloponnese with ten Thurian ships under the command of Dorieus, son of Diagoras, and two colleagues, one Laconian and one Syracusan vessel, and arrived at Cnidus, which had already revolted at the instigation of Tissaphernes. When their arrival was known at Miletus, orders came to them to leave half their squadron to guard Cnidus, and with the rest to cruise round Triopium and seize all the merchantmen arriving from Egypt. Triopium is a promontory of Cnidus and sacred to Apollo. This coming to the knowledge of the Athenians, they sailed from Samos and captured the six ships on the watch at Triopium, the crews escaping out of them. After this the Athenians sailed into Cnidus and made an assault upon the town, which was unfortified, and all but took it; and the next day assaulted it again, but with less effect, as the inhabitants had improved their defences during the night, and had been reinforced by the crews escaped from the ships at Triopium. The Athenians now withdrew, and after plundering the Cnidian territory sailed back to Samos.

36About the same time Astyochus came to the fleet at Miletus. The Peloponnesian camp was still plentifully supplied, being in receipt of sufficient pay, and the soldiers having still in hand the large booty taken at Iasus. The Milesians also showed great ardour for the war. Nevertheless the Peloponnesians thought the first convention with Tissaphernes, made with Chalcideus, defective, and more advantageous to him than to them, and consequently while Therimenes was still there concluded another, which was as follows:

37The convention of the Lacedaemonians and the allies with King Darius and the sons of the King, and with Tissaphernes for a treaty and friendship, as follows:

1. Neither the Lacedaemonians nor the allies of the Lacedaemonians shall make war against or otherwise injure any country or cities that belong to King Darius or did belong to his father or to his ancestors; neither shall the Lacedaemonians nor the allies of the Lacedaemonians exact tribute from such cities. Neither shall King Darius nor any of the subjects of the King make war against or otherwise injure the Lacedaemonians or their allies.

2. If the Lacedaemonians or their allies should require any assistance from the King, or the King from the Lacedaemonians or their allies, whatever they both agree upon they shall be right in doing.

3. Both shall carry on jointly the war against the Athenians and their allies: and if they make peace, both shall do so jointly.

4. The expense of all troops in the King's country, sent for by the King, shall be borne by the King.

5. If any of the states comprised in this convention with the King attack the King's country, the rest shall stop them and aid the King to the best of their power. And if any in the King's country or in the countries under the King's rule attack the country of the Lacedaemonians or their allies, the King shall stop it and help them to the best of his power.

38After this convention Therimenes handed over the fleet to Astyochus, sailed off in a small boat, and was lost. The Athenian armament had now crossed over from Lesbos to Chios, and being master by sea and land began to fortify Delphinium, a place naturally strong on the land side, provided with more than one harbour, and also not far from the city of Chios. Meanwhile the Chians remained inactive. Already defeated in so many battles, they were now also at discord among themselves; the execution of the party of Tydeus, son of Ion, by Pedaritus upon the charge of Atticism, followed by the forcible imposition of an oligarchy upon the rest of the city, having made them suspicious of one another; and they therefore thought neither themselves not the mercenaries under Pedaritus a match for the enemy. They sent, however, to Miletus to beg Astyochus to assist them, which he refused to do, and was accordingly denounced at Lacedaemon by Pedaritus as a traitor. 39Such was the state of the Athenian affairs at Chios; while their fleet at Samos kept sailing out against the enemy in Miletus, until they found that he would not accept their challenge, and then retired again to Samos and remained quiet.

In the same winter the twenty-seven ships equipped by the Lacedaemonians for Pharnabazus through the agency of the Megarian Calligeitus, and the Cyzicene Timagoras, put out from Peloponnese and sailed for Ionia about the time of the solstice, under the command of Antisthenes, a Spartan. With them the Lacedaemonians also sent eleven Spartans as advisers to Astyochus; Lichas, son of Arcesilaus, being among the number. Arrived at Miletus, their orders were to aid in generally superintending the good conduct of the war; to send off the above ships or a greater or less number to the Hellespont to Pharnabazus, if they thought proper, appointing Clearchus, son of Ramphias, who sailed with them, to the command; and further, if they thought proper, to make Antisthenes admiral, dismissing Astyochus, whom the letters of Pedaritus had caused to be regarded with suspicion. Sailing accordingly from Malea across the open sea, the squadron touched at Melos and there fell in with ten Athenian ships, three of which they took empty and burned. After this, being afraid that the Athenian vessels escaped from Melos might, as they in fact did, give information of their approach to the Athenians at Samos, they sailed to Crete, and having lengthened their voyage by way of precaution made land at Caunus in Asia, from whence considering themselves in safety they sent a message to the fleet at Miletus for a convoy along the coast.

40Meanwhile the Chians and Pedaritus, undeterred by the backwardness of Astyochus, went on sending messengers pressing him to come with all the fleet to assist them against their besiegers, and not to leave the greatest of the allied states in Ionia to be shut up by sea and overrun and pillaged by land. There were more slaves at Chios than in any one other city except Lacedaemon, and being also by reason of their numbers punished more rigorously when they offended, most of them, when they saw the Athenian armament firmly established in the island with a fortified position, immediately deserted to the enemy, and through their knowledge of the country did the greatest mischief. The Chians therefore urged upon Astyochus that it was his duty to assist them, while there was still a hope and a possibility of stopping the enemy's progress, while Delphinium was still in process of fortification and unfinished, and before the completion of a higher rampart which was being added to protect the camp and fleet of their besiegers. Astyochus now saw that the allies also wished it and prepared to go, in spite of his intention to the contrary owing to the threat already referred to.

41In the meantime news came from Caunus of the arrival of the twenty-seven ships with the Lacedaemonian commissioners; and Astyochus, postponing everything to the duty of convoying a fleet of that importance, in order to be more able to command the sea, and to the safe conduct of the Lacedaemonians sent as spies over his behaviour, at once gave up going to Chios and set sail for Caunus. As he coasted along he landed at the Meropid Cos and sacked the city, which was unfortified and had been lately laid in ruins by an earthquake, by far the greatest in living memory, and, as the inhabitants had fled to the mountains, overran the country and made booty of all it contained, letting go, however, the free men. From Cos arriving in the night at Cnidus he was constrained by the representations of the Cnidians not to disembark the sailors, but to sail as he was straight against the twenty Athenian vessels, which with Charminus, one of the commanders at Samos, were on the watch for the very twenty-seven ships from Peloponnese which Astyochus was himself sailing to join; the Athenians in Samos having heard from Melos of their approach, and Charminus being on the look-out off Syme, Chalce, Rhodes, and Lycia, as he now heard that they were at Caunus.

42Astyochus accordingly sailed as he was to Syme, before he was heard of, in the hope of catching the enemy somewhere out at sea. Rain, however, and foggy weather encountered him, and caused his ships to straggle and get into disorder in the dark. In the morning his fleet had parted company and was most of it still straggling round the island, and the left wing only in sight of Charminus and the Athenians, who took it for the squadron which they were watching for from Caunus, and hastily put out against it with part only of their twenty vessels, and attacking immediately sank three ships and disabled others, and had the advantage in the action until the main body of the fleet unexpectedly hove in sight, when they were surrounded on every side. Upon this they took to flight, and after losing six ships with the rest escaped to Teutlussa or Beet Island, and from thence to Halicarnassus. After this the Peloponnesians put into Cnidus and, being joined by the twenty-seven ships from Caunus, sailed all together and set up a trophy in Syme, and then returned to anchor at Cnidus.

43As soon as the Athenians knew of the sea-fight, they sailed with all the ships at Samos to Syme, and, without attacking or being attacked by the fleet at Cnidus, took the ships' tackle left at Syme, and touching at Lorymi on the mainland sailed back to Samos. Meanwhile the Peloponnesian ships, being now all at Cnidus, underwent such repairs as were needed; while the eleven Lacedaemonian commissioners conferred with Tissaphernes, who had come to meet them, upon the points which did not satisfy them in the past transactions, and upon the best and mutually most advantageous manner of conducting the war in future. The severest critic of the present proceedings was Lichas, who said that neither of the treaties could stand, neither that of Chalcideus, nor that of Therimenes; it being monstrous that the King should at this date pretend to the possession of all the country formerly ruled by himself or by his ancestors--a pretension which implicitly put back under the yoke all the islands--Thessaly, Locris, and everything as far as Boeotia--and made the Lacedaemonians give to the Hellenes instead of liberty a Median master. He therefore invited Tissaphernes to conclude another and a better treaty, as they certainly would not recognize those existing and did not want any of his pay upon such conditions. This offended Tissaphernes so much that he went away in a rage without settling anything.

Twentieth and Twenty-first Years of the War - Intrigues of Alcibiades - Withdrawal of the Persian Subsidies - Oligarchical Coup d'Etat at Athens - Patriotism of the Army at Samos[edit]

44The Peloponnesians now determined to sail to Rhodes, upon the invitation of some of the principal men there, hoping to gain an island powerful by the number of its seamen and by its land forces, and also thinking that they would be able to maintain their fleet from their own confederacy, without having to ask for money from Tissaphernes. They accordingly at once set sail that same winter from Cnidus, and first put in with ninety-four ships at Camirus in the Rhodian country, to the great alarm of the mass of the inhabitants, who were not privy to the intrigue, and who consequently fled, especially as the town was unfortified. They were afterwards, however, assembled by the Lacedaemonians together with the inhabitants of the two other towns of Lindus and Ialysus; and the Rhodians were persuaded to revolt from the Athenians and the island went over to the Peloponnesians. Meanwhile the Athenians had received the alarm and set sail with the fleet from Samos to forestall them, and came within sight of the island, but being a little too late sailed off for the moment to Chalce, and from thence to Samos, and subsequently waged war against Rhodes, issuing from Chalce, Cos, and Samos.

The Peloponnesians now levied a contribution of thirty-two talents from the Rhodians, after which they hauled their ships ashore and for eighty days remained inactive. 45During this time, and even earlier, before they removed to Rhodes, the following intrigues took place. After the death of Chalcideus and the battle at Miletus, Alcibiades began to be suspected by the Peloponnesians; and Astyochus received from Lacedaemon an order from them to put him to death, he being the personal enemy of Agis, and in other respects thought unworthy of confidence. Alcibiades in his alarm first withdrew to Tissaphernes, and immediately began to do all he could with him to injure the Peloponnesian cause. Henceforth becoming his adviser in everything, he cut down the pay from an Attic drachma to three obols a day, and even this not paid too regularly; and told Tissaphernes to say to the Peloponnesians that the Athenians, whose maritime experience was of an older date than their own, only gave their men three obols, not so much from poverty as to prevent their seamen being corrupted by being too well off, and injuring their condition by spending money upon enervating indulgences, and also paid their crews irregularly in order to have a security against their deserting in the arrears which they would leave behind them. He also told Tissaphernes to bribe the captains and generals of the cities, and so to obtain their connivance--an expedient which succeeded with all except the Syracusans, Hermocrates alone opposing him on behalf of the whole confederacy. Meanwhile the cities asking for money Alcibiades sent off, by roundly telling them in the name of Tissaphernes that it was great impudence in the Chians, the richest people in Hellas, not content with being defended by a foreign force, to expect others to risk not only their lives but their money as well in behalf of their freedom; while the other cities, he said, had had to pay largely to Athens before their rebellion, and could not justly refuse to contribute as much or even more now for their own selves. He also pointed out that Tissaphernes was at present carrying on the war at his own charges, and had good cause for economy, but that as soon as he received remittances from the king he would give them their pay in full and do what was reasonable for the cities.

46Alcibiades further advised Tissaphernes not to be in too great a hurry to end the war, or to let himself be persuaded to bring up the Phoenician fleet which he was equipping, or to provide pay for more Hellenes, and thus put the power by land and sea into the same hands; but to leave each of the contending parties in possession of one element, thus enabling the king when he found one troublesome to call in the other. For if the command of the sea and land were united in one hand, he would not know where to turn for help to overthrow the dominant power; unless he at last chose to stand up himself, and go through with the struggle at great expense and hazard. The cheapest plan was to let the Hellenes wear each other out, at a small share of the expense and without risk to himself. Besides, he would find the Athenians the most convenient partners in empire as they did not aim at conquests on shore, and carried on the war upon principles and with a practice most advantageous to the King; being prepared to combine to conquer the sea for Athens, and for the King all the Hellenes inhabiting his country, whom the Peloponnesians, on the contrary, had come to liberate. Now it was not likely that the Lacedaemonians would free the Hellenes from the Hellenic Athenians, without freeing them also from the barbarian Mede, unless overthrown by him in the meanwhile. Alcibiades therefore urged him to wear them both out at first, and, after docking the Athenian power as much as he could, forthwith to rid the country of the Peloponnesians. In the main Tissaphernes approved of this policy, so far at least as could be conjectured from his behaviour; since he now gave his confidence to Alcibiades in recognition of his good advice, and kept the Peloponnesians short of money, and would not let them fight at sea, but ruined their cause by pretending that the Phoenician fleet would arrive, and that they would thus be enabled to contend with the odds in their favour, and so made their navy lose its efficiency, which had been very remarkable, and generally betrayed a coolness in the war that was too plain to be mistaken.

47Alcibiades gave this advice to Tissaphernes and the King, with whom he then was, not merely because he thought it really the best, but because he was studying means to effect his restoration to his country, well knowing that if he did not destroy it he might one day hope to persuade the Athenians to recall him, and thinking that his best chance of persuading them lay in letting them see that he possessed the favour of Tissaphernes. The event proved him to be right. When the Athenians at Samos found that he had influence with Tissaphernes, principally of their own motion (though partly also through Alcibiades himself sending word to their chief men to tell the best men in the army that, if there were only an oligarchy in the place of the rascally democracy that had banished him, he would be glad to return to his country and to make Tissaphernes their friend), the captains and chief men in the armament at once embraced the idea of subverting the democracy.

48The design was first mooted in the camp, and afterwards from thence reached the city. Some persons crossed over from Samos and had an interview with Alcibiades, who immediately offered to make first Tissaphernes, and afterwards the King, their friend, if they would give up the democracy and make it possible for the King to trust them. The higher class, who also suffered most severely from the war, now conceived great hopes of getting the government into their own hands, and of triumphing over the enemy. Upon their return to Samos the emissaries formed their partisans into a club, and openly told the mass of the armament that the King would be their friend, and would provide them with money, if Alcibiades were restored and the democracy abolished. The multitude, if at first irritated by these intrigues, were nevertheless kept quiet by the advantageous prospect of the pay from the King; and the oligarchical conspirators, after making this communication to the people, now re-examined the proposals of Alcibiades among themselves, with most of their associates. Unlike the rest, who thought them advantageous and trustworthy, Phrynichus, who was still general, by no means approved of the proposals. Alcibiades, he rightly thought, cared no more for an oligarchy than for a democracy, and only sought to change the institutions of his country in order to get himself recalled by his associates; while for themselves their one object should be to avoid civil discord. It was not the King's interest, when the Peloponnesians were now their equals at sea, and in possession of some of the chief cities in his empire, to go out of his way to side with the Athenians whom he did not trust, when he might make friends of the Peloponnesians who had never injured him. And as for the allied states to whom oligarchy was now offered, because the democracy was to be put down at Athens, he well knew that this would not make the rebels come in any the sooner, or confirm the loyal in their allegiance; as the allies would never prefer servitude with an oligarchy or democracy to freedom with the constitution which they actually enjoyed, to whichever type it belonged. Besides, the cities thought that the so-called better classes would prove just as oppressive as the commons, as being those who originated, proposed, and for the most part benefited from the acts of the commons injurious to the confederates. Indeed, if it depended on the better classes, the confederates would be put to death without trial and with violence; while the commons were their refuge and the chastiser of these men. This he positively knew that the cities had learned by experience, and that such was their opinion. The propositions of Alcibiades, and the intrigues now in progress, could therefore never meet with his approval.

49However, the members of the club assembled, agreeably to their original determination, accepted what was proposed, and prepared to send Pisander and others on an embassy to Athens to treat for the restoration of Alcibiades and the abolition of the democracy in the city, and thus to make Tissaphernes the friend of the Athenians.

50Phrynichus now saw that there would be a proposal to restore Alcibiades, and that the Athenians would consent to it; and fearing after what he had said against it that Alcibiades, if restored, would revenge himself upon him for his opposition, had recourse to the following expedient. He sent a secret letter to the Lacedaemonian admiral Astyochus, who was still in the neighbourhood of Miletus, to tell him that Alcibiades was ruining their cause by making Tissaphernes the friend of the Athenians, and containing an express revelation of the rest of the intrigue, desiring to be excused if he sought to harm his enemy even at the expense of the interests of his country. However, Astyochus, instead of thinking of punishing Alcibiades, who, besides, no longer ventured within his reach as formerly, went up to him and Tissaphernes at Magnesia, communicated to them the letter from Samos, and turned informer, and, if report may be trusted, became the paid creature of Tissaphernes, undertaking to inform him as to this and all other matters; which was also the reason why he did not remonstrate more strongly against the pay not being given in full. Upon this Alcibiades instantly sent to the authorities at Samos a letter against Phrynichus, stating what he had done, and requiring that he should be put to death. Phrynichus distracted, and placed in the utmost peril by the denunciation, sent again to Astyochus, reproaching him with having so ill kept the secret of his previous letter, and saying that he was now prepared to give them an opportunity of destroying the whole Athenian armament at Samos; giving a detailed account of the means which he should employ, Samos being unfortified, and pleading that, being in danger of his life on their account, he could not now be blamed for doing this or anything else to escape being destroyed by his mortal enemies. This also Astyochus revealed to Alcibiades.

51Meanwhile Phrynichus having had timely notice that he was playing him false, and that a letter on the subject was on the point of arriving from Alcibiades, himself anticipated the news, and told the army that the enemy, seeing that Samos was unfortified and the fleet not all stationed within the harbour, meant to attack the camp, that he could be certain of this intelligence, and that they must fortify Samos as quickly as possible, and generally look to their defences. It will be remembered that he was general, and had himself authority to carry out these measures. Accordingly they addressed themselves to the work of fortification, and Samos was thus fortified sooner than it would otherwise have been. Not long afterwards came the letter from Alcibiades, saying that the army was betrayed by Phrynichus, and the enemy about to attack it. Alcibiades, however, gained no credit, it being thought that he was in the secret of the enemy's designs, and had tried to fasten them upon Phrynichus, and to make out that he was their accomplice, out of hatred; and consequently far from hurting him he rather bore witness to what he had said by this intelligence.

52After this Alcibiades set to work to persuade Tissaphernes to become the friend of the Athenians. Tissaphernes, although afraid of the Peloponnesians because they had more ships in Asia than the Athenians, was yet disposed to be persuaded if he could, especially after his quarrel with the Peloponnesians at Cnidus about the treaty of Therimenes. The quarrel had already taken place, as the Peloponnesians were by this time actually at Rhodes; and in it the original argument of Alcibiades touching the liberation of all the towns by the Lacedaemonians had been verified by the declaration of Lichas that it was impossible to submit to a convention which made the King master of all the states at any former time ruled by himself or by his fathers.

While Alcibiades was besieging the favour of Tissaphernes with an earnestness proportioned to the greatness of the issue, 53the Athenian envoys who had been dispatched from Samos with Pisander arrived at Athens, and made a speech before the people, giving a brief summary of their views, and particularly insisting that, if Alcibiades were recalled and the democratic constitution changed, they could have the King as their ally, and would be able to overcome the Peloponnesians. A number of speakers opposed them on the question of the democracy, the enemies of Alcibiades cried out against the scandal of a restoration to be effected by a violation of the constitution, and the Eumolpidae and Ceryces protested in behalf of the mysteries, the cause of his banishment, and called upon the gods to avert his recall; when Pisander, in the midst of much opposition and abuse, came forward, and taking each of his opponents aside asked him the following question: In the face of the fact that the Peloponnesians had as many ships as their own confronting them at sea, more cities in alliance with them, and the King and Tissaphernes to supply them with money, of which the Athenians had none left, had he any hope of saving the state, unless someone could induce the King to come over to their side? Upon their replying that they had not, he then plainly said to them: "This we cannot have unless we have a more moderate form of government, and put the offices into fewer hands, and so gain the King's confidence, and forthwith restore Alcibiades, who is the only man living that can bring this about. The safety of the state, not the form of its government, is for the moment the most pressing question, as we can always change afterwards whatever we do not like."

54The people were at first highly irritated at the mention of an oligarchy, but upon understanding clearly from Pisander that this was the only resource left, they took counsel of their fears, and promised themselves some day to change the government again, and gave way. They accordingly voted that Pisander should sail with ten others and make the best arrangement that they could with Tissaphernes and Alcibiades. At the same time the people, upon a false accusation of Pisander, dismissed Phrynichus from his post together with his colleague Scironides, sending Diomedon and Leon to replace them in the command of the fleet. The accusation was that Phrynichus had betrayed Iasus and Amorges; and Pisander brought it because he thought him a man unfit for the business now in hand with Alcibiades. Pisander also went the round of all the clubs already existing in the city for help in lawsuits and elections, and urged them to draw together and to unite their efforts for the overthrow of the democracy; and after taking all other measures required by the circumstances, so that no time might be lost, set off with his ten companions on his voyage to Tissaphernes.

55In the same winter Leon and Diomedon, who had by this time joined the fleet, made an attack upon Rhodes. The ships of the Peloponnesians they found hauled up on shore, and, after making a descent upon the coast and defeating the Rhodians who appeared in the field against them, withdrew to Chalce and made that place their base of operations instead of Cos, as they could better observe from thence if the Peloponnesian fleet put out to sea. Meanwhile Xenophantes, a Laconian, came to Rhodes from Pedaritus at Chios, with the news that the fortification of the Athenians was now finished, and that, unless the whole Peloponnesian fleet came to the rescue, the cause in Chios must be lost. Upon this they resolved to go to his relief. In the meantime Pedaritus, with the mercenaries that he had with him and the whole force of the Chians, made an assault upon the work round the Athenian ships and took a portion of it, and got possession of some vessels that were hauled up on shore, when the Athenians sallied out to the rescue, and first routing the Chians, next defeated the remainder of the force round Pedaritus, who was himself killed, with many of the Chians, a great number of arms being also taken.

56After this the Chians were besieged even more straitly than before by land and sea, and the famine in the place was great. Meanwhile the Athenian envoys with Pisander arrived at the court of Tissaphernes, and conferred with him about the proposed agreement. However, Alcibiades, not being altogether sure of Tissaphernes (who feared the Peloponnesians more than the Athenians, and besides wished to wear out both parties, as Alcibiades himself had recommended), had recourse to the following stratagem to make the treaty between the Athenians and Tissaphernes miscarry by reason of the magnitude of his demands. In my opinion Tissaphernes desired this result, fear being his motive; while Alcibiades, who now saw that Tissaphernes was determined not to treat on any terms, wished the Athenians to think, not that he was unable to persuade Tissaphernes, but that after the latter had been persuaded and was willing to join them, they had not conceded enough to him. For the demands of Alcibiades, speaking for Tissaphernes, who was present, were so extravagant that the Athenians, although for a long while they agreed to whatever he asked, yet had to bear the blame of failure: he required the cession of the whole of Ionia, next of the islands adjacent, besides other concessions, and these passed without opposition; at last, in the third interview, Alcibiades, who now feared a complete discovery of his inability, required them to allow the King to build ships and sail along his own coast wherever and with as many as he pleased. Upon this the Athenians would yield no further, and concluding that there was nothing to be done, but that they had been deceived by Alcibiades, went away in a passion and proceeded to Samos.

57Tissaphernes immediately after this, in the same winter, proceeded along shore to Caunus, desiring to bring the Peloponnesian fleet back to Miletus, and to supply them with pay, making a fresh convention upon such terms as he could get, in order not to bring matters to an absolute breach between them. He was afraid that if many of their ships were left without pay they would be compelled to engage and be defeated, or that their vessels being left without hands the Athenians would attain their objects without his assistance. Still more he feared that the Peloponnesians might ravage the continent in search of supplies. Having calculated and considered all this, agreeably to his plan of keeping the two sides equal, he now sent for the Peloponnesians and gave them pay, and concluded with them a third treaty in words following:

58In the thirteenth year of the reign of Darius, while Alexippidas was ephor at Lacedaemon, a convention was concluded in the plain of the Maeander by the Lacedaemonians and their allies with Tissaphernes, Hieramenes, and the sons of Pharnaces, concerning the affairs of the King and of the Lacedaemonians and their allies.

1. The country of the King in Asia shall be the King's, and the King shall treat his own country as he pleases.

2. The Lacedaemonians and their allies shall not invade or injure the King's country: neither shall the King invade or injure that of the Lacedaemonians or of their allies. If any of the Lacedaemonians or of their allies invade or injure the King's country, the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall prevent it: and if any from the King's country invade or injure the country of the Lacedaemonians or of their allies, the King shall prevent it.

3. Tissaphernes shall provide pay for the ships now present, according to the agreement, until the arrival of the King's vessels: but after the arrival of the King's vessels the Lacedaemonians and their allies may pay their own ships if they wish it. If, however, they choose to receive the pay from Tissaphernes, Tissaphernes shall furnish it: and the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall repay him at the end of the war such moneys as they shall have received.

4. After the vessels have arrived, the ships of the Lacedaemonians and of their allies and those of the King shall carry on the war jointly, according as Tissaphernes and the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall think best. If they wish to make peace with the Athenians, they shall make peace also jointly.

59This was the treaty. After this Tissaphernes prepared to bring up the Phoenician fleet according to agreement, and to make good his other promises, or at all events wished to make it appear that he was so preparing.

60Winter was now drawing towards its close, when the Boeotians took Oropus by treachery, though held by an Athenian garrison. Their accomplices in this were some of the Eretrians and of the Oropians themselves, who were plotting the revolt of Euboea, as the place was exactly opposite Eretria, and while in Athenian hands was necessarily a source of great annoyance to Eretria and the rest of Euboea. Oropus being in their hands, the Eretrians now came to Rhodes to invite the Peloponnesians into Euboea. The latter, however, were rather bent on the relief of the distressed Chians, and accordingly put out to sea and sailed with all their ships from Rhodes. Off Triopium they sighted the Athenian fleet out at sea sailing from Chalce, and, neither attacking the other, arrived, the latter at Samos, the Peloponnesians at Miletus, seeing that it was no longer possible to relieve Chios without a battle. And this winter ended, and with it ended the twentieth year of this war of which Thucydides is the historian.

Earl61y in the spring of the summer following, Dercyllidas, a Spartan, was sent with a small force by land to the Hellespont to effect the revolt of Abydos, which is a Milesian colony; and the Chians, while Astyochus was at a loss how to help them, were compelled to fight at sea by the pressure of the siege. While Astyochus was still at Rhodes they had received from Miletus, as their commander after the death of Pedaritus, a Spartan named Leon, who had come out with Antisthenes, and twelve vessels which had been on guard at Miletus, five of which were Thurian, four Syracusans, one from Anaia, one Milesian, and one Leon's own. Accordingly the Chians marched out in mass and took up a strong position, while thirty-six of their ships put out and engaged thirty-two of the Athenians; and after a tough fight, in which the Chians and their allies had rather the best of it, as it was now late, retired to their city.

62Immediately after this Dercyllidas arrived by land from Miletus; and Abydos in the Hellespont revolted to him and Pharnabazus, and Lampsacus two days later. Upon receipt of this news Strombichides hastily sailed from Chios with twenty-four Athenian ships, some transports carrying heavy infantry being of the number, and defeating the Lampsacenes who came out against him, took Lampsacus, which was unfortified, at the first assault, and making prize of the slaves and goods restored the freemen to their homes, and went on to Abydos. The inhabitants, however, refusing to capitulate, and his assaults failing to take the place, he sailed over to the coast opposite, and appointed Sestos, the town in the Chersonese held by the Medes at a former period in this history, as the centre for the defence of the whole Hellespont.

63In the meantime the Chians commanded the sea more than before; and the Peloponnesians at Miletus and Astyochus, hearing of the sea-fight and of the departure of the squadron with Strombichides, took fresh courage. Coasting along with two vessels to Chios, Astyochus took the ships from that place, and now moved with the whole fleet upon Samos, from whence, however, he sailed back to Miletus, as the Athenians did not put out against him, owing to their suspicions of one another. For it was about this time, or even before, that the democracy was put down at Athens. When Pisander and the envoys returned from Tissaphernes to Samos they at once strengthened still further their interest in the army itself, and instigated the upper class in Samos to join them in establishing an oligarchy, the very form of government which a party of them had lately risen to avoid. At the same time the Athenians at Samos, after a consultation among themselves, determined to let Alcibiades alone, since he refused to join them, and besides was not the man for an oligarchy; and now that they were once embarked, to see for themselves how they could best prevent the ruin of their cause, and meanwhile to sustain the war, and to contribute without stint money and all else that might be required from their own private estates, as they would henceforth labour for themselves alone.

64After encouraging each other in these resolutions, they now at once sent off half the envoys and Pisander to do what was necessary at Athens (with instructions to establish oligarchies on their way in all the subject cities which they might touch at), and dispatched the other half in different directions to the other dependencies. Diitrephes also, who was in the neighbourhood of Chios, and had been elected to the command of the Thracian towns, was sent off to his government, and arriving at Thasos abolished the democracy there. Two months, however, had not elapsed after his departure before the Thasians began to fortify their town, being already tired of an aristocracy with Athens, and in daily expectation of freedom from Lacedaemon. Indeed there was a party of them (whom the Athenians had banished), with the Peloponnesians, who with their friends in the town were already making every exertion to bring a squadron, and to effect the revolt of Thasos; and this party thus saw exactly what they most wanted done, that is to say, the reformation of the government without risk, and the abolition of the democracy which would have opposed them. Things at Thasos thus turned out just the contrary to what the oligarchical conspirators at Athens expected; and the same in my opinion was the case in many of the other dependencies; as the cities no sooner got a moderate government and liberty of action, than they went on to absolute freedom without being at all seduced by the show of reform offered by the Athenians.

65Pisander and his colleagues on their voyage alongshore abolished, as had been determined, the democracies in the cities, and also took some heavy infantry from certain places as their allies, and so came to Athens. Here they found most of the work already done by their associates. Some of the younger men had banded together, and secretly assassinated one Androcles, the chief leader of the commons, and mainly responsible for the banishment of Alcibiades; Androcles being singled out both because he was a popular leader and because they sought by his death to recommend themselves to Alcibiades, who was, as they supposed, to be recalled, and to make Tissaphernes their friend. There were also some other obnoxious persons whom they secretly did away with in the same manner. Meanwhile their cry in public was that no pay should be given except to persons serving in the war, and that not more than five thousand should share in the government, and those such as were most able to serve the state in person and in purse.

66But this was a mere catchword for the multitude, as the authors of the revolution were really to govern. However, the Assembly and the Council of the Bean still met notwithstanding, although they discussed nothing that was not approved of by the conspirators, who both supplied the speakers and reviewed in advance what they were to say. Fear, and the sight of the numbers of the conspirators, closed the mouths of the rest; or if any ventured to rise in opposition, he was presently put to death in some convenient way, and there was neither search for the murderers nor justice to be had against them if suspected; but the people remained motionless, being so thoroughly cowed that men thought themselves lucky to escape violence, even when they held their tongues. An exaggerated belief in the numbers of the conspirators also demoralized the people, rendered helpless by the magnitude of the city, and by their want of intelligence with each other, and being without means of finding out what those numbers really were. For the same reason it was impossible for any one to open his grief to a neighbour and to concert measures to defend himself, as he would have had to speak either to one whom he did not know, or whom he knew but did not trust. Indeed all the popular party approached each other with suspicion, each thinking his neighbour concerned in what was going on, the conspirators having in their ranks persons whom no one could ever have believed capable of joining an oligarchy; and these it was who made the many so suspicious, and so helped to procure impunity for the few, by confirming the commons in their mistrust of one another.

67At this juncture arrived Pisander and his colleagues, who lost no time in doing the rest. First they assembled the people, and moved to elect ten commissioners with full powers to frame a constitution, and that when this was done they should on an appointed day lay before the people their opinion as to the best mode of governing the city. Afterwards, when the day arrived, the conspirators enclosed the assembly in Colonus, a temple of Poseidon, a little more than a mile outside the city; when the commissioners simply brought forward this single motion, that any Athenian might propose with impunity whatever measure he pleased, heavy penalties being imposed upon any who should indict for illegality, or otherwise molest him for so doing. The way thus cleared, it was now plainly declared that all tenure of office and receipt of pay under the existing institutions were at an end, and that five men must be elected as presidents, who should in their turn elect one hundred, and each of the hundred three apiece; and that this body thus made up to four hundred should enter the council chamber with full powers and govern as they judged best, and should convene the five thousand whenever they pleased.

68The man who moved this resolution was Pisander, who was throughout the chief ostensible agent in putting down the democracy. But he who concerted the whole affair, and prepared the way for the catastrophe, and who had given the greatest thought to the matter, was Antiphon, one of the best men of his day in Athens; who, with a head to contrive measures and a tongue to recommend them, did not willingly come forward in the assembly or upon any public scene, being ill looked upon by the multitude owing to his reputation for talent; and who yet was the one man best able to aid in the courts, or before the assembly, the suitors who required his opinion. Indeed, when he was afterwards himself tried for his life on the charge of having been concerned in setting up this very government, when the Four Hundred were overthrown and hardly dealt with by the commons, he made what would seem to be the best defence of any known up to my time. Phrynichus also went beyond all others in his zeal for the oligarchy. Afraid of Alcibiades, and assured that he was no stranger to his intrigues with Astyochus at Samos, he held that no oligarchy was ever likely to restore him, and once embarked in the enterprise, proved, where danger was to be faced, by far the staunchest of them all. Theramenes, son of Hagnon, was also one of the foremost of the subverters of the democracy--a man as able in council as in debate. Conducted by so many and by such sagacious heads, the enterprise, great as it was, not unnaturally went forward; although it was no light matter to deprive the Athenian people of its freedom, almost a hundred years after the deposition of the tyrants, when it had been not only not subject to any during the whole of that period, but accustomed during more than half of it to rule over subjects of its own.

69The assembly ratified the proposed constitution, without a single opposing voice, and was then dissolved; after which the Four Hundred were brought into the council chamber in the following way. On account of the enemy at Decelea, all the Athenians were constantly on the wall or in the ranks at the various military posts. On that day the persons not in the secret were allowed to go home as usual, while orders were given to the accomplices of the conspirators to hang about, without making any demonstration, at some little distance from the posts, and in case of any opposition to what was being done, to seize the arms and put it down. There were also some Andrians and Tenians, three hundred Carystians, and some of the settlers in Aegina come with their own arms for this very purpose, who had received similar instructions. These dispositions completed, the Four Hundred went, each with a dagger concealed about his person, accompanied by one hundred and twenty Hellenic youths, whom they employed wherever violence was needed, and appeared before the Councillors of the Bean in the council chamber, and told them to take their pay and be gone; themselves bringing it for the whole of the residue of their term of office, and giving it to them as they went out.

70Upon the Council withdrawing in this way without venturing any objection, and the rest of the citizens making no movement, the Four Hundred entered the council chamber, and for the present contented themselves with drawing lots for their Prytanes, and making their prayers and sacrifices to the gods upon entering office, but afterwards departed widely from the democratic system of government, and except that on account of Alcibiades they did not recall the exiles, ruled the city by force; putting to death some men, though not many, whom they thought it convenient to remove, and imprisoning and banishing others. They also sent to Agis, the Lacedaemonian king, at Decelea, to say that they desired to make peace, and that he might reasonably be more disposed to treat now that he had them to deal with instead of the inconstant commons.

71Agis, however, did not believe in the tranquillity of the city, or that the commons would thus in a moment give up their ancient liberty, but thought that the sight of a large Lacedaemonian force would be sufficient to excite them if they were not already in commotion, of which he was by no means certain. He accordingly gave to the envoys of the Four Hundred an answer which held out no hopes of an accommodation, and sending for large reinforcements from Peloponnese, not long afterwards, with these and his garrison from Decelea, descended to the very walls of Athens; hoping either that civil disturbances might help to subdue them to his terms, or that, in the confusion to be expected within and without the city, they might even surrender without a blow being struck; at all events he thought he would succeed in seizing the Long Walls, bared of their defenders. However, the Athenians saw him come close up, without making the least disturbance within the city; and sending out their cavalry, and a number of their heavy infantry, light troops, and archers, shot down some of his soldiers who approached too near, and got possession of some arms and dead. Upon this Agis, at last convinced, led his army back again and, remaining with his own troops in the old position at Decelea, sent the reinforcement back home, after a few days' stay in Attica. After this the Four Hundred persevering sent another embassy to Agis, and now meeting with a better reception, at his suggestion dispatched envoys to Lacedaemon to negotiate a treaty, being desirous of making peace.

72They also sent ten men to Samos to reassure the army, and to explain that the oligarchy was not established for the hurt of the city or the citizens, but for the salvation of the country at large; and that there were five thousand, not four hundred only, concerned; although, what with their expeditions and employments abroad, the Athenians had never yet assembled to discuss a question important enough to bring five thousand of them together. The emissaries were also told what to say upon all other points, and were so sent off immediately after the establishment of the new government, which feared, as it turned out justly, that the mass of seamen would not be willing to remain under the oligarchical constitution, and, the evil beginning there, might be the means of their overthrow.

73Indeed at Samos the question of the oligarchy had already entered upon a new phase, the following events having taken place just at the time that the Four Hundred were conspiring. That part of the Samian population which has been mentioned as rising against the upper class, and as being the democratic party, had now turned round, and yielding to the solicitations of Pisander during his visit, and of the Athenians in the conspiracy at Samos, had bound themselves by oaths to the number of three hundred, and were about to fall upon the rest of their fellow citizens, whom they now in their turn regarded as the democratic party. Meanwhile they put to death one Hyperbolus, an Athenian, a pestilent fellow that had been ostracized, not from fear of his influence or position, but because he was a rascal and a disgrace to the city; being aided in this by Charminus, one of the generals, and by some of the Athenians with them, to whom they had sworn friendship, and with whom they perpetrated other acts of the kind, and now determined to attack the people. The latter got wind of what was coming, and told two of the generals, Leon and Diomedon, who, on account of the credit which they enjoyed with the commons, were unwilling supporters of the oligarchy; and also Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus, the former a captain of a galley, the latter serving with the heavy infantry, besides certain others who had ever been thought most opposed to the conspirators, entreating them not to look on and see them destroyed, and Samos, the sole remaining stay of their empire, lost to the Athenians. Upon hearing this, the persons whom they addressed now went round the soldiers one by one, and urged them to resist, especially the crew of the Paralus, which was made up entirely of Athenians and freemen, and had from time out of mind been enemies of oligarchy, even when there was no such thing existing; and Leon and Diomedon left behind some ships for their protection in case of their sailing away anywhere themselves. Accordingly, when the Three Hundred attacked the people, all these came to the rescue, and foremost of all the crew of the Paralus; and the Samian commons gained the victory, and putting to death some thirty of the Three Hundred, and banishing three others of the ringleaders, accorded an amnesty to the rest, and lived together under a democratic government for the future.

74The ship Paralus, with Chaereas, son of Archestratus, on board, an Athenian who had taken an active part in the revolution, was now without loss of time sent off by the Samians and the army to Athens to report what had occurred; the fact that the Four Hundred were in power not being yet known. When they sailed into harbour the Four Hundred immediately arrested two or three of the Parali and, taking the vessel from the rest, shifted them into a troopship and set them to keep guard round Euboea. Chaereas, however, managed to secrete himself as soon as he saw how things stood, and returning to Samos, drew a picture to the soldiers of the horrors enacting at Athens, in which everything was exaggerated; saying that all were punished with stripes, that no one could say a word against the holders of power, that the soldiers' wives and children were outraged, and that it was intended to seize and shut up the relatives of all in the army at Samos who were not of the government's way of thinking, to be put to death in case of their disobedience; besides a host of other injurious inventions.

75On hearing this the first thought of the army was to fall upon the chief authors of the oligarchy and upon all the rest concerned. Eventually, however, they desisted from this idea upon the men of moderate views opposing it and warning them against ruining their cause, with the enemy close at hand and ready for battle. After this, Thrasybulus, son of Lycus, and Thrasyllus, the chief leaders in the revolution, now wishing in the most public manner to change the government at Samos to a democracy, bound all the soldiers by the most tremendous oaths, and those of the oligarchical party more than any, to accept a democratic government, to be united, to prosecute actively the war with the Peloponnesians, and to be enemies of the Four Hundred, and to hold no communication with them. The same oath was also taken by all the Samians of full age; and the soldiers associated the Samians in all their affairs and in the fruits of their dangers, having the conviction that there was no way of escape for themselves or for them, but that the success of the Four Hundred or of the enemy at Miletus must be their ruin.

76The struggle now was between the army trying to force a democracy upon the city, and the Four Hundred an oligarchy upon the camp. Meanwhile the soldiers forthwith held an assembly, in which they deposed the former generals and any of the captains whom they suspected, and chose new captains and generals to replace them, besides Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus, whom they had already. They also stood up and encouraged one another, and among other things urged that they ought not to lose heart because the city had revolted from them, as the party seceding was smaller and in every way poorer in resources than themselves. They had the whole fleet with which to compel the other cities in their empire to give them money just as if they had their base in the capital, having a city in Samos which, so far from wanting strength, had when at war been within an ace of depriving the Athenians of the command of the sea, while as far as the enemy was concerned they had the same base of operations as before. Indeed, with the fleet in their hands, they were better able to provide themselves with supplies than the government at home. It was their advanced position at Samos which had throughout enabled the home authorities to command the entrance into Piraeus; and if they refused to give them back the constitution, they would now find that the army was more in a position to exclude them from the sea than they were to exclude the army. Besides, the city was of little or no use towards enabling them to overcome the enemy; and they had lost nothing in losing those who had no longer either money to send them (the soldiers having to find this for themselves), or good counsel, which entitles cities to direct armies. On the contrary, even in this the home government had done wrong in abolishing the institutions of their ancestors, while the army maintained the said institutions, and would try to force the home government to do so likewise. So that even in point of good counsel the camp had as good counsellors as the city. Moreover, they had but to grant him security for his person and his recall, and Alcibiades would be only too glad to procure them the alliance of the King. And above all if they failed altogether, with the navy which they possessed, they had numbers of places to retire to in which they would find cities and lands.

77Debating together and comforting themselves after this manner, they pushed on their war measures as actively as ever; and the ten envoys sent to Samos by the Four Hundred, learning how matters stood while they were still at Delos, stayed quiet there. 78About this time a cry arose among the soldiers in the Peloponnesian fleet at Miletus that Astyochus and Tissaphernes were ruining their cause. Astyochus had not been willing to fight at sea--either before, while they were still in full vigour and the fleet of the Athenians small, or now, when the enemy was, as they were informed, in a state of sedition and his ships not yet united--but kept them waiting for the Phoenician fleet from Tissaphernes, which had only a nominal existence, at the risk of wasting away in inactivity. While Tissaphernes not only did not bring up the fleet in question, but was ruining their navy by payments made irregularly, and even then not made in full. They must therefore, they insisted, delay no longer, but fight a decisive naval engagement. The Syracusans were the most urgent of any.

79The confederates and Astyochus, aware of these murmurs, had already decided in council to fight a decisive battle; and when the news reached them of the disturbance at Samos, they put to sea with all their ships, one hundred and ten in number, and, ordering the Milesians to move by land upon Mycale, set sail thither. The Athenians with the eighty-two ships from Samos were at the moment lying at Glauce in Mycale, a point where Samos approaches near to the continent; and, seeing the Peloponnesian fleet sailing against them, retired into Samos, not thinking themselves numerically strong enough to stake their all upon a battle. Besides, they had notice from Miletus of the wish of the enemy to engage, and were expecting to be joined from the Hellespont by Strombichides, to whom a messenger had been already dispatched, with the ships that had gone from Chios to Abydos. The Athenians accordingly withdrew to Samos, and the Peloponnesians put in at Mycale, and encamped with the land forces of the Milesians and the people of the neighbourhood. The next day they were about to sail against Samos, when tidings reached them of the arrival of Strombichides with the squadron from the Hellespont, upon which they immediately sailed back to Miletus. The Athenians, thus reinforced, now in their turn sailed against Miletus with a hundred and eight ships, wishing to fight a decisive battle, but, as no one put out to meet them, sailed back to Samos.

Twenty-first Year of the War - Recall of Alcibiades to Samos - Revolt of Euboea and Downfall of the Four Hundred - Battle of Cynossema[edit]

80In the same summer, immediately after this, the Peloponnesians having refused to fight with their fleet united, through not thinking themselves a match for the enemy, and being at a loss where to look for money for such a number of ships, especially as Tissaphernes proved so bad a paymaster, sent off Clearchus, son of Ramphias, with forty ships to Pharnabazus, agreeably to the original instructions from Peloponnese; Pharnabazus inviting them and being prepared to furnish pay, and Byzantium besides sending offers to revolt to them. These Peloponnesian ships accordingly put out into the open sea, in order to escape the observation of the Athenians, and being overtaken by a storm, the majority with Clearchus got into Delos, and afterwards returned to Miletus, whence Clearchus proceeded by land to the Hellespont to take the command: ten, however, of their number, under the Megarian Helixus, made good their passage to the Hellespont, and effected the revolt of Byzantium. After this, the commanders at Samos were informed of it, and sent a squadron against them to guard the Hellespont; and an encounter took place before Byzantium between eight vessels on either side.

81Meanwhile the chiefs at Samos, and especially Thrasybulus, who from the moment that he had changed the government had remained firmly resolved to recall Alcibiades, at last in an assembly brought over the mass of the soldiery, and upon their voting for his recall and amnesty, sailed over to Tissaphernes and brought Alcibiades to Samos, being convinced that their only chance of salvation lay in his bringing over Tissaphernes from the Peloponnesians to themselves. An assembly was then held in which Alcibiades complained of and deplored his private misfortune in having been banished, and speaking at great length upon public affairs, highly incited their hopes for the future, and extravagantly magnified his own influence with Tissaphernes. His object in this was to make the oligarchical government at Athens afraid of him, to hasten the dissolution of the clubs, to increase his credit with the army at Samos and heighten their own confidence, and lastly to prejudice the enemy as strongly as possible against Tissaphernes, and blast the hopes which they entertained. Alcibiades accordingly held out to the army such extravagant promises as the following: that Tissaphernes had solemnly assured him that if he could only trust the Athenians they should never want for supplies while he had anything left, no, not even if he should have to coin his own silver couch, and that he would bring the Phoenician fleet now at Aspendus to the Athenians instead of to the Peloponnesians; but that he could only trust the Athenians if Alcibiades were recalled to be his security for them.

82Upon hearing this and much more besides, the Athenians at once elected him general together with the former ones, and put all their affairs into his hands. There was now not a man in the army who would have exchanged his present hopes of safety and vengeance upon the Four Hundred for any consideration whatever; and after what they had been told they were now inclined to disdain the enemy before them, and to sail at once for Piraeus. To the plan of sailing for Piraeus, leaving their more immediate enemies behind them, Alcibiades opposed the most positive refusal, in spite of the numbers that insisted upon it, saying that now that he had been elected general he would first sail to Tissaphernes and concert with him measures for carrying on the war. Accordingly, upon leaving this assembly, he immediately took his departure in order to have it thought that there was an entire confidence between them, and also wishing to increase his consideration with Tissaphernes, and to show that he had now been elected general and was in a position to do him good or evil as he chose; thus managing to frighten the Athenians with Tissaphernes and Tissaphernes with the Athenians.

83Meanwhile the Peloponnesians at Miletus heard of the recall of Alcibiades and, already distrustful of Tissaphernes, now became far more disgusted with him than ever. Indeed after their refusal to go out and give battle to the Athenians when they appeared before Miletus, Tissaphernes had grown slacker than ever in his payments; and even before this, on account of Alcibiades, his unpopularity had been on the increase. Gathering together, just as before, the soldiers and some persons of consideration besides the soldiery began to reckon up how they had never yet received their pay in full; that what they did receive was small in quantity, and even that paid irregularly, and that unless they fought a decisive battle or removed to some station where they could get supplies, the ships' crews would desert; and that it was all the fault of Astyochus, who humoured Tissaphernes for his own private advantage.

84The army was engaged in these reflections, when the following disturbance took place about the person of Astyochus. Most of the Syracusan and Thurian sailors were freemen, and these the freest crews in the armament were likewise the boldest in setting upon Astyochus and demanding their pay. The latter answered somewhat stiffly and threatened them, and when Dorieus spoke up for his own sailors even went so far as to lift his baton against him; upon seeing which the mass of men, in sailor fashion, rushed in a fury to strike Astyochus. He, however, saw them in time and fled for refuge to an altar; and they were thus parted without his being struck. Meanwhile the fort built by Tissaphernes in Miletus was surprised and taken by the Milesians, and the garrison in it turned out--an act which met with the approval of the rest of the allies, and in particular of the Syracusans, but which found no favour with Lichas, who said moreover that the Milesians and the rest in the King's country ought to show a reasonable submission to Tissaphernes and to pay him court, until the war should be happily settled. The Milesians were angry with him for this and for other things of the kind, and upon his afterwards dying of sickness, would not allow him to be buried where the Lacedaemonians with the army desired.

85The discontent of the army with Astyochus and Tissaphernes had reached this pitch, when Mindarus arrived from Lacedaemon to succeed Astyochus as admiral, and assumed the command. Astyochus now set sail for home; and Tissaphernes sent with him one of his confidants, Gaulites, a Carian, who spoke the two languages, to complain of the Milesians for the affair of the fort, and at the same time to defend himself against the Milesians, who were, as he was aware, on their way to Sparta chiefly to denounce his conduct, and had with them Hermocrates, who was to accuse Tissaphernes of joining with Alcibiades to ruin the Peloponnesian cause and of playing a double game. Indeed Hermocrates had always been at enmity with him about the pay not being restored in full; and eventually when he was banished from Syracuse, and new commanders--Potamis, Myscon, and Demarchus--had come out to Miletus to the ships of the Syracusans, Tissaphernes, pressed harder than ever upon him in his exile, and among other charges against him accused him of having once asked him for money, and then given himself out as his enemy because he failed to obtain it.

While Astyochus and the Milesians and Hermocrates made sail for Lacedaemon, Alcibiades had now crossed back from Tissaphernes to Samos. 86After his return the envoys of the Four Hundred sent, as has been mentioned above, to pacify and explain matters to the forces at Samos, arrived from Delos; and an assembly was held in which they attempted to speak. The soldiers at first would not hear them, and cried out to put to death the subverters of the democracy, but at last, after some difficulty, calmed down and gave them a hearing. Upon this the envoys proceeded to inform them that the recent change had been made to save the city, and not to ruin it or to deliver it over to the enemy, for they had already had an opportunity of doing this when he invaded the country during their government; that all the Five Thousand would have their proper share in the government; and that their hearers' relatives had neither outrage, as Chaereas had slanderously reported, nor other ill treatment to complain of, but were all in undisturbed enjoyment of their property just as they had left them. Besides these they made a number of other statements which had no better success with their angry auditors; and amid a host of different opinions the one which found most favour was that of sailing to Piraeus. Now it was that Alcibiades for the first time did the state a service, and one of the most signal kind. For when the Athenians at Samos were bent upon sailing against their countrymen, in which case Ionia and the Hellespont would most certainly at once have passed into possession of the enemy, Alcibiades it was who prevented them. At that moment, when no other man would have been able to hold back the multitude, he put a stop to the intended expedition, and rebuked and turned aside the resentment felt, on personal grounds, against the envoys; he dismissed them with an answer from himself, to the effect that he did not object to the government of the Five Thousand, but insisted that the Four Hundred should be deposed and the Council of Five Hundred reinstated in power: meanwhile any retrenchments for economy, by which pay might be better found for the armament, met with his entire approval. Generally, he bade them hold out and show a bold face to the enemy, since if the city were saved there was good hope that the two parties might some day be reconciled, whereas if either were once destroyed, that at Samos, or that at Athens, there would no longer be any one to be reconciled to. Meanwhile arrived envoys from the Argives, with offers of support to the Athenian commons at Samos: these were thanked by Alcibiades, and dismissed with a request to come when called upon. The Argives were accompanied by the crew of the Paralus, whom we left placed in a troopship by the Four Hundred with orders to cruise round Euboea, and who being employed to carry to Lacedaemon some Athenian envoys sent by the Four Hundred--Laespodias, Aristophon, and Melesias--as they sailed by Argos laid hands upon the envoys, and delivering them over to the Argives as the chief subverters of the democracy, themselves, instead of returning to Athens, took the Argive envoys on board, and came to Samos in the galley which had been confided to them.

87The same summer at the time that the return of Alcibiades coupled with the general conduct of Tissaphernes had carried to its height the discontent of the Peloponnesians, who no longer entertained any doubt of his having joined the Athenians, Tissaphernes wishing, it would seem, to clear himself to them of these charges, prepared to go after the Phoenician fleet to Aspendus, and invited Lichas to go with him; saying that he would appoint Tamos as his lieutenant to provide pay for the armament during his own absence. Accounts differ, and it is not easy to ascertain with what intention he went to Aspendus, and did not bring the fleet after all. That one hundred and forty-seven Phoenician ships came as far as Aspendus is certain; but why they did not come on has been variously accounted for. Some think that he went away in pursuance of his plan of wasting the Peloponnesian resources, since at any rate Tamos, his lieutenant, far from being any better, proved a worse paymaster than himself: others that he brought the Phoenicians to Aspendus to exact money from them for their discharge, having never intended to employ them: others again that it was in view of the outcry against him at Lacedaemon, in order that it might be said that he was not in fault, but that the ships were really manned and that he had certainly gone to fetch them. To myself it seems only too evident that he did not bring up the fleet because he wished to wear out and paralyse the Hellenic forces, that is, to waste their strength by the time lost during his journey to Aspendus, and to keep them evenly balanced by not throwing his weight into either scale. Had he wished to finish the war, he could have done so, assuming of course that he made his appearance in a way which left no room for doubt; as by bringing up the fleet he would in all probability have given the victory to the Lacedaemonians, whose navy, even as it was, faced the Athenian more as an equal than as an inferior. But what convicts him most clearly, is the excuse which he put forward for not bringing the ships. He said that the number assembled was less than the King had ordered; but surely it would only have enhanced his credit if he spent little of the King's money and effected the same end at less cost. In any case, whatever was his intention, Tissaphernes went to Aspendus and saw the Phoenicians; and the Peloponnesians at his desire sent a Lacedaemonian called Philip with two galleys to fetch the fleet.

88Alcibiades finding that Tissaphernes had gone to Aspendus, himself sailed thither with thirteen ships, promising to do a great and certain service to the Athenians at Samos, as he would either bring the Phoenician fleet to the Athenians, or at all events prevent its joining the Peloponnesians. In all probability he had long known that Tissaphernes never meant to bring the fleet at all, and wished to compromise him as much as possible in the eyes of the Peloponnesians through his apparent friendship for himself and the Athenians, and thus in a manner to oblige him to join their side.

89While Alcibiades weighed anchor and sailed eastward straight for Phaselis and Caunus, the envoys sent by the Four Hundred to Samos arrived at Athens. Upon their delivering the message from Alcibiades, telling them to hold out and to show a firm front to the enemy, and saying that he had great hopes of reconciling them with the army and of overcoming the Peloponnesians, the majority of the members of the oligarchy, who were already discontented and only too much inclined to be quit of the business in any safe way that they could, were at once greatly strengthened in their resolve. These now banded together and strongly criticized the administration, their leaders being some of the principal generals and men in office under the oligarchy, such as Theramenes, son of Hagnon, Aristocrates, son of Scellias, and others; who, although among the most prominent members of the government (being afraid, as they said, of the army at Samos, and most especially of Alcibiades, and also lest the envoys whom they had sent to Lacedaemon might do the state some harm without the authority of the people), without insisting on objections to the excessive concentration of power in a few hands, yet urged that the Five Thousand must be shown to exist not merely in name but in reality, and the constitution placed upon a fairer basis. But this was merely their political cry; most of them being driven by private ambition into the line of conduct so surely fatal to oligarchies that arise out of democracies. For all at once pretend to be not only equals but each the chief and master of his fellows; while under a democracy a disappointed candidate accepts his defeat more easily, because he has not the humiliation of being beaten by his equals. But what most clearly encouraged the malcontents was the power of Alcibiades at Samos, and their own disbelief in the stability of the oligarchy; and it was now a race between them as to which should first become the leader of the commons.

90Meanwhile the leaders and members of the Four Hundred most opposed to a democratic form of government--Phrynichus who had had the quarrel with Alcibiades during his command at Samos, Aristarchus the bitter and inveterate enemy of the commons, and Pisander and Antiphon and others of the chiefs who already as soon as they entered upon power, and again when the army at Samos seceded from them and declared for a democracy, had sent envoys from their own body to Lacedaemon and made every effort for peace, and had built the wall in Eetionia--now redoubled their exertions when their envoys returned from Samos, and they saw not only the people but their own most trusted associates turning against them. Alarmed at the state of things at Athens as at Samos, they now sent off in haste Antiphon and Phrynichus and ten others with injunctions to make peace with Lacedaemon upon any terms, no matter what, that should be at all tolerable. Meanwhile they pushed on more actively than ever with the wall in Eetionia. Now the meaning of this wall, according to Theramenes and his supporters, was not so much to keep out the army of Samos, in case of its trying to force its way into Piraeus, as to be able to let in, at pleasure, the fleet and army of the enemy. For Eetionia is a mole of Piraeus, close alongside of the entrance of the harbour, and was now fortified in connection with the wall already existing on the land side, so that a few men placed in it might be able to command the entrance; the old wall on the land side and the new one now being built within on the side of the sea, both ending in one of the two towers standing at the narrow mouth of the harbour. They also walled off the largest porch in Piraeus which was in immediate connection with this wall, and kept it in their own hands, compelling all to unload there the corn that came into the harbour, and what they had in stock, and to take it out from thence when they sold it.

91These measures had long provoked the murmurs of Theramenes, and when the envoys returned from Lacedaemon without having effected any general pacification, he affirmed that this wall was like to prove the ruin of the state. At this moment forty-two ships from Peloponnese, including some Siceliot and Italiot vessels from Locri and Tarentum, had been invited over by the Euboeans and were already riding off Las in Laconia preparing for the voyage to Euboea, under the command of Agesandridas, son of Agesander, a Spartan. Theramenes now affirmed that this squadron was destined not so much to aid Euboea as the party fortifying Eetionia, and that unless precautions were speedily taken the city would be surprised and lost. This was no mere calumny, there being really some such plan entertained by the accused. Their first wish was to have the oligarchy without giving up the empire; failing this to keep their ships and walls and be independent; while, if this also were denied them, sooner than be the first victims of the restored democracy, they were resolved to call in the enemy and make peace, give up their walls and ships, and at all costs retain possession of the government, if their lives were only assured to them.

92For this reason they pushed forward the construction of their work with posterns and entrances and means of introducing the enemy, being eager to have it finished in time. Meanwhile the murmurs against them were at first confined to a few persons and went on in secret, until Phrynichus, after his return from the embassy to Lacedaemon, was laid wait for and stabbed in full market by one of the Peripoli, falling down dead before he had gone far from the council chamber. The assassin escaped; but his accomplice, an Argive, was taken and put to the torture by the Four Hundred, without their being able to extract from him the name of his employer, or anything further than that he knew of many men who used to assemble at the house of the commander of the Peripoli and at other houses. Here the matter was allowed to drop. This so emboldened Theramenes and Aristocrates and the rest of their partisans in the Four Hundred and out of doors, that they now resolved to act. For by this time the ships had sailed round from Las, and anchoring at Epidaurus had overrun Aegina; and Theramenes asserted that, being bound for Euboea, they would never have sailed in to Aegina and come back to anchor at Epidaurus, unless they had been invited to come to aid in the designs of which he had always accused the government. Further inaction had therefore now become impossible. In the end, after a great many seditious harangues and suspicions, they set to work in real earnest. The heavy infantry in Piraeus building the wall in Eetionia, among whom was Aristocrates, a colonel, with his own tribe, laid hands upon Alexicles, a general under the oligarchy and the devoted adherent of the cabal, and took him into a house and confined him there. In this they were assisted by one Hermon, commander of the Peripoli in Munychia, and others, and above all had with them the great bulk of the heavy infantry. As soon as the news reached the Four Hundred, who happened to be sitting in the council chamber, all except the disaffected wished at once to go to the posts where the arms were, and menaced Theramenes and his party. Theramenes defended himself, and said that he was ready immediately to go and help to rescue Alexicles; and taking with him one of the generals belonging to his party, went down to Piraeus, followed by Aristarchus and some young men of the cavalry. All was now panic and confusion. Those in the city imagined that Piraeus was already taken and the prisoner put to death, while those in Piraeus expected every moment to be attacked by the party in the city. The older men, however, stopped the persons running up and down the town and making for the stands of arms; and Thucydides the Pharsalian, proxenus of the city, came forward and threw himself in the way of the rival factions, and appealed to them not to ruin the state, while the enemy was still at hand waiting for his opportunity, and so at length succeeded in quieting them and in keeping their hands off each other. Meanwhile Theramenes came down to Piraeus, being himself one of the generals, and raged and stormed against the heavy infantry, while Aristarchus and the adversaries of the people were angry in right earnest. Most of the heavy infantry, however, went on with the business without faltering, and asked Theramenes if he thought the wall had been constructed for any good purpose, and whether it would not be better that it should be pulled down. To this he answered that if they thought it best to pull it down, he for his part agreed with them. Upon this the heavy infantry and a number of the people in Piraeus immediately got up on the fortification and began to demolish it. Now their cry to the multitude was that all should join in the work who wished the Five Thousand to govern instead of the Four Hundred. For instead of saying in so many words "all who wished the commons to govern," they still disguised themselves under the name of the Five Thousand; being afraid that these might really exist, and that they might be speaking to one of their number and get into trouble through ignorance. Indeed this was why the Four Hundred neither wished the Five Thousand to exist, nor to have it known that they did not exist; being of opinion that to give themselves so many partners in empire would be downright democracy, while the mystery in question would make the people afraid of one another.

93The next day the Four Hundred, although alarmed, nevertheless assembled in the council chamber, while the heavy infantry in Piraeus, after having released their prisoner Alexicles and pulled down the fortification, went with their arms to the theatre of Dionysus, close to Munychia, and there held an assembly in which they decided to march into the city, and setting forth accordingly halted in the Anaceum. Here they were joined by some delegates from the Four Hundred, who reasoned with them one by one, and persuaded those whom they saw to be the most moderate to remain quiet themselves, and to keep in the rest; saying that they would make known the Five Thousand, and have the Four Hundred chosen from them in rotation, as should be decided by the Five Thousand, and meanwhile entreated them not to ruin the state or drive it into the arms of the enemy. After a great many had spoken and had been spoken to, the whole body of heavy infantry became calmer than before, absorbed by their fears for the country at large, and now agreed to hold upon an appointed day an assembly in the theatre of Dionysus for the restoration of concord.

94When the day came for the assembly in the theatre, and they were upon the point of assembling, news arrived that the forty-two ships under Agesandridas were sailing from Megara along the coast of Salamis. The people to a man now thought that it was just what Theramenes and his party had so often said, that the ships were sailing to the fortification, and concluded that they had done well to demolish it. But though it may possibly have been by appointment that Agesandridas hovered about Epidaurus and the neighbourhood, he would also naturally be kept there by the hope of an opportunity arising out of the troubles in the town. In any case the Athenians, on receipt of the news immediately ran down in mass to Piraeus, seeing themselves threatened by the enemy with a worse war than their war among themselves, not at a distance, but close to the harbour of Athens. Some went on board the ships already afloat, while others launched fresh vessels, or ran to defend the walls and the mouth of the harbour.

95Meanwhile the Peloponnesian vessels sailed by, and rounding Sunium anchored between Thoricus and Prasiae, and afterwards arrived at Oropus. The Athenians, with revolution in the city, and unwilling to lose a moment in going to the relief of their most important possession (for Euboea was everything to them now that they were shut out from Attica), were compelled to put to sea in haste and with untrained crews, and sent Thymochares with some vessels to Eretria. These upon their arrival, with the ships already in Euboea, made up a total of thirty-six vessels, and were immediately forced to engage. For Agesandridas, after his crews had dined, put out from Oropus, which is about seven miles from Eretria by sea; and the Athenians, seeing him sailing up, immediately began to man their vessels. The sailors, however, instead of being by their ships, as they supposed, were gone away to purchase provisions for their dinner in the houses in the outskirts of the town; the Eretrians having so arranged that there should be nothing on sale in the marketplace, in order that the Athenians might be a long time in manning their ships, and, the enemy's attack taking them by surprise, might be compelled to put to sea just as they were. A signal also was raised in Eretria to give them notice in Oropus when to put to sea. The Athenians, forced to put out so poorly prepared, engaged off the harbour of Eretria, and after holding their own for some little while notwithstanding, were at length put to flight and chased to the shore. Such of their number as took refuge in Eretria, which they presumed to be friendly to them, found their fate in that city, being butchered by the inhabitants; while those who fled to the Athenian fort in the Eretrian territory, and the vessels which got to Chalcis, were saved. The Peloponnesians, after taking twenty-two Athenian ships, and killing or making prisoners of the crews, set up a trophy, and not long afterwards effected the revolt of the whole of Euboea (except Oreus, which was held by the Athenians themselves), and made a general settlement of the affairs of the island.

96When the news of what had happened in Euboea reached Athens, a panic ensued such as they had never before known. Neither the disaster in Sicily, great as it seemed at the time, nor any other had ever so much alarmed them. The camp at Samos was in revolt; they had no more ships or men to man them; they were at discord among themselves and might at any moment come to blows; and a disaster of this magnitude coming on the top of all, by which they lost their fleet, and worst of all Euboea, which was of more value to them than Attica, could not occur without throwing them into the deepest despondency. Meanwhile their greatest and most immediate trouble was the possibility that the enemy, emboldened by his victory, might make straight for them and sail against Piraeus, which they had no longer ships to defend; and every moment they expected him to arrive. This, with a little more courage, he might easily have done, in which case he would either have increased the dissensions of the city by his presence, or, if he had stayed to besiege it, have compelled the fleet from Ionia, although the enemy of the oligarchy, to come to the rescue of their country and of their relatives, and in the meantime would have become master of the Hellespont, Ionia, the islands, and of everything as far as Euboea, or, to speak roundly, of the whole Athenian empire. But here, as on so many other occasions, the Lacedaemonians proved the most convenient people in the world for the Athenians to be at war with. The wide difference between the two characters, the slowness and want of energy of the Lacedaemonians as contrasted with the dash and enterprise of their opponents, proved of the greatest service, especially to a maritime empire like Athens. Indeed this was shown by the Syracusans, who were most like the Athenians in character, and also most successful in combating them.

97Nevertheless, upon receipt of the news, the Athenians manned twenty ships and called immediately a first assembly in the Pnyx, where they had been used to meet formerly, and deposed the Four Hundred and voted to hand over the government to the Five Thousand, of which body all who furnished a suit of armour were to be members, decreeing also that no one should receive pay for the discharge of any office, or if he did should be held accursed. Many other assemblies were held afterwards, in which law-makers were elected and all other measures taken to form a constitution. It was during the first period of this constitution that the Athenians appear to have enjoyed the best government that they ever did, at least in my time. For the fusion of the high and the low was effected with judgment, and this was what first enabled the state to raise up her head after her manifold disasters. They also voted for the recall of Alcibiades and of other exiles, and sent to him and to the camp at Samos, and urged them to devote themselves vigorously to the war.

98Upon this revolution taking place, the party of Pisander and Alexicles and the chiefs of the oligarchs immediately withdrew to Decelea, with the single exception of Aristarchus, one of the generals, who hastily took some of the most barbarian of the archers and marched to Oenoe. This was a fort of the Athenians upon the Boeotian border, at that moment besieged by the Corinthians, irritated by the loss of a party returning from Decelea, who had been cut off by the garrison. The Corinthians had volunteered for this service, and had called upon the Boeotians to assist them. After communicating with them, Aristarchus deceived the garrison in Oenoe by telling them that their countrymen in the city had compounded with the Lacedaemonians, and that one of the terms of the capitulation was that they must surrender the place to the Boeotians. The garrison believed him as he was general, and besides knew nothing of what had occurred owing to the siege, and so evacuated the fort under truce. In this way the Boeotians gained possession of Oenoe, and the oligarchy and the troubles at Athens ended.

99To return to the Peloponnesians in Miletus. No pay was forthcoming from any of the agents deputed by Tissaphernes for that purpose upon his departure for Aspendus; neither the Phoenician fleet nor Tissaphernes showed any signs of appearing, and Philip, who had been sent with him, and another Spartan, Hippocrates, who was at Phaselis, wrote word to Mindarus, the admiral, that the ships were not coming at all, and that they were being grossly abused by Tissaphernes. Meanwhile Pharnabazus was inviting them to come, and making every effort to get the fleet and, like Tissaphernes, to cause the revolt of the cities in his government still subject to Athens, founding great hopes on his success; until at length, at about the period of the summer which we have now reached, Mindarus yielded to his importunities, and, with great order and at a moment's notice, in order to elude the enemy at Samos, weighed anchor with seventy-three ships from Miletus and set sail for the Hellespont. Thither sixteen vessels had already preceded him in the same summer, and had overrun part of the Chersonese. Being caught in a storm, Mindarus was compelled to run in to Icarus and, after being detained five or six days there by stress of weather, arrived at Chios.

100Meanwhile Thrasyllus had heard of his having put out from Miletus, and immediately set sail with fifty-five ships from Samos, in haste to arrive before him in the Hellespont. But learning that he was at Chios, and expecting that he would stay there, he posted scouts in Lesbos and on the continent opposite to prevent the fleet moving without his knowing it, and himself coasted along to Methymna, and gave orders to prepare meal and other necessaries, in order to attack them from Lesbos in the event of their remaining for any length of time at Chios. Meanwhile he resolved to sail against Eresus, a town in Lesbos which had revolted, and, if he could, to take it. For some of the principal Methymnian exiles had carried over about fifty heavy infantry, their sworn associates, from Cuma, and hiring others from the continent, so as to make up three hundred in all, chose Anaxander, a Theban, to command them, on account of the community of blood existing between the Thebans and the Lesbians, and first attacked Methymna. Balked in this attempt by the advance of the Athenian guards from Mitylene, and repulsed a second time in a battle outside the city, they then crossed the mountain and effected the revolt of Eresus. Thrasyllus accordingly determined to go there with all his ships and to attack the place. Meanwhile Thrasybulus had preceded him thither with five ships from Samos, as soon as he heard that the exiles had crossed over, and coming too late to save Eresus, went on and anchored before the town. Here they were joined also by two vessels on their way home from the Hellespont, and by the ships of the Methymnians, making a grand total of sixty-seven vessels; and the forces on board now made ready with engines and every other means available to do their utmost to storm Eresus.

101In the meantime Mindarus and the Peloponnesian fleet at Chios, after taking provisions for two days and receiving three Chian pieces of money for each man from the Chians, on the third day put out in haste from the island; in order to avoid falling in with the ships at Eresus, they did not make for the open sea, but keeping Lesbos on their left, sailed for the continent. After touching at the port of Carteria, in the Phocaeid, and dining, they went on along the Cumaean coast and supped at Arginusae, on the continent over against Mitylene. From thence they continued their voyage along the coast, although it was late in the night, and arriving at Harmatus on the continent opposite Methymna, dined there; and swiftly passing Lectum, Larisa, Hamaxitus, and the neighbouring towns, arrived a little before midnight at Rhoeteum. Here they were now in the Hellespont. Some of the ships also put in at Sigeum and at other places in the neighbourhood.

102Meanwhile the warnings of the fire signals and the sudden increase in the number of fires on the enemy's shore informed the eighteen Athenian ships at Sestos of the approach of the Peloponnesian fleet. That very night they set sail in haste just as they were, and, hugging the shore of the Chersonese, coasted along to Elaeus, in order to sail out into the open sea away from the fleet of the enemy.

After passing unobserved the sixteen ships at Abydos, which had nevertheless been warned by their approaching friends to be on the alert to prevent their sailing out, at dawn they sighted the fleet of Mindarus, which immediately gave chase. All had not time to get away; the greater number however escaped to Imbros and Lemnos, while four of the hindmost were overtaken off Elaeus. One of these was stranded opposite to the temple of Protesilaus and taken with its crew, two others without their crews; the fourth was abandoned on the shore of Imbros and burned by the enemy.

103After this the Peloponnesians were joined by the squadron from Abydos, which made up their fleet to a grand total of eighty-six vessels; they spent the day in unsuccessfully besieging Elaeus, and then sailed back to Abydos. Meanwhile the Athenians, deceived by their scouts, and never dreaming of the enemy's fleet getting by undetected, were tranquilly besieging Eresus. As soon as they heard the news they instantly abandoned Eresus, and made with all speed for the Hellespont, and after taking two of the Peloponnesian ships which had been carried out too far into the open sea in the ardour of the pursuit and now fell in their way, the next day dropped anchor at Elaeus, and, bringing back the ships that had taken refuge at Imbros, during five days prepared for the coming engagement.

104After this they engaged in the following way. The Athenians formed in column and sailed close alongshore to Sestos; upon perceiving which the Peloponnesians put out from Abydos to meet them. Realizing that a battle was now imminent, both combatants extended their flank; the Athenians along the Chersonese from Idacus to Arrhiani with seventy-six ships; the Peloponnesians from Abydos to Dardanus with eighty-six. The Peloponnesian right wing was occupied by the Syracusans, their left by Mindarus in person with the best sailers in the navy; the Athenian left by Thrasyllus, their right by Thrasybulus, the other commanders being in different parts of the fleet. The Peloponnesians hastened to engage first, and outflanking with their left the Athenian right sought to cut them off, if possible, from sailing out of the straits, and to drive their centre upon the shore, which was not far off. The Athenians perceiving their intention extended their own wing and outsailed them, while their left had by this time passed the point of Cynossema. This, however, obliged them to thin and weaken their centre, especially as they had fewer ships than the enemy, and as the coast round Point Cynossema formed a sharp angle which prevented their seeing what was going on on the other side of it.

105The Peloponnesians now attacked their centre and drove ashore the ships of the Athenians, and disembarked to follow up their victory. No help could be given to the centre either by the squadron of Thrasybulus on the right, on account of the number of ships attacking him, or by that of Thrasyllus on the left, from whom the point of Cynossema hid what was going on, and who was also hindered by his Syracusan and other opponents, whose numbers were fully equal to his own. At length, however, the Peloponnesians in the confidence of victory began to scatter in pursuit of the ships of the enemy, and allowed a considerable part of their fleet to get into disorder. On seeing this the squadron of Thrasybulus discontinued their lateral movement and, facing about, attacked and routed the ships opposed to them, and next fell roughly upon the scattered vessels of the victorious Peloponnesian division, and put most of them to flight without a blow. The Syracusans also had by this time given way before the squadron of Thrasyllus, and now openly took to flight upon seeing the flight of their comrades.

106The rout was now complete. Most of the Peloponnesians fled for refuge first to the river Midius, and afterwards to Abydos. Only a few ships were taken by the Athenians; as owing to the narrowness of the Hellespont the enemy had not far to go to be in safety. Nevertheless nothing could have been more opportune for them than this victory. Up to this time they had feared the Peloponnesian fleet, owing to a number of petty losses and to the disaster in Sicily; but they now ceased to mistrust themselves or any longer to think their enemies good for anything at sea. Meanwhile they took from the enemy eight Chian vessels, five Corinthian, two Ambraciot, two Boeotian, one Leucadian, Lacedaemonian, Syracusan, and Pellenian, losing fifteen of their own. After setting up a trophy upon Point Cynossema, securing the wrecks, and restoring to the enemy his dead under truce, they sent off a galley to Athens with the news of their victory. The arrival of this vessel with its unhoped-for good news, after the recent disasters of Euboea, and in the revolution at Athens, gave fresh courage to the Athenians, and caused them to believe that if they put their shoulders to the wheel their cause might yet prevail.

107On the fourth day after the sea-fight the Athenians in Sestos having hastily refitted their ships sailed against Cyzicus, which had revolted. Off Harpagium and Priapus they sighted at anchor the eight vessels from Byzantium, and, sailing up and routing the troops on shore, took the ships, and then went on and recovered the town of Cyzicus, which was unfortified, and levied money from the citizens. In the meantime the Peloponnesians sailed from Abydos to Elaeus, and recovered such of their captured galleys as were still uninjured, the rest having been burned by the Elaeusians, and sent Hippocrates and Epicles to Euboea to fetch the squadron from that island.

108About the same time Alcibiades returned with his thirteen ships from Caunus and Phaselis to Samos, bringing word that he had prevented the Phoenician fleet from joining the Peloponnesians, and had made Tissaphernes more friendly to the Athenians than before. Alcibiades now manned nine more ships, and levied large sums of money from the Halicarnassians, and fortified Cos. After doing this and placing a governor in Cos, he sailed back to Samos, autumn being now at hand. Meanwhile Tissaphernes, upon hearing that the Peloponnesian fleet had sailed from Miletus to the Hellespont, set off again back from Aspendus, and made all sail for Ionia. While the Peloponnesians were in the Hellespont, the Antandrians, a people of Aeolic extraction, conveyed by land across Mount Ida some heavy infantry from Abydos, and introduced them into the town; having been ill-treated by Arsaces, the Persian lieutenant of Tissaphernes. This same Arsaces had, upon pretence of a secret quarrel, invited the chief men of the Delians to undertake military service (these were Delians who had settled at Atramyttium after having been driven from their homes by the Athenians for the sake of purifying Delos); and after drawing them out from their town as his friends and allies, had laid wait for them at dinner, and surrounded them and caused them to be shot down by his soldiers. This deed made the Antandrians fear that he might some day do them some mischief; and as he also laid upon them burdens too heavy for them to bear, they expelled his garrison from their citadel.

109Tissaphernes, upon hearing of this act of the Peloponnesians in addition to what had occurred at Miletus and Cnidus, where his garrisons had been also expelled, now saw that the breach between them was serious; and fearing further injury from them, and being also vexed to think that Pharnabazus should receive them, and in less time and at less cost perhaps succeed better against Athens than he had done, determined to rejoin them in the Hellespont, in order to complain of the events at Antandros and excuse himself as best he could in the matter of the Phoenician fleet and of the other charges against him. Accordingly he went first to Ephesus and offered sacrifice to Artemis. . . .

[When the winter after this summer is over the twenty-first year of this war will be completed. ]