Next summer, about the time of the grain’s coming into ear, ten Syracusan and as many Locrian vessels sailed to Messana, in Sicily, and occupied the city upon the invitation of the inhabitants; and Messana revolted from the Athenians.  The Syracusans contrived this chiefly because they saw that the place afforded an approach to Sicily, and feared that the Athenians might hereafter use it as a base for attacking them with a larger force; the Locrians because they wished to carry on hostilities from both sides of the Strait and to reduce their enemies, the people of Rhegium.  Meanwhile, the Locrians had invaded the Rhegian territory with all their forces, to prevent their assisting Messana, and also at the request of some exiles from Rhegium who were with them. Moreover, the long-standing factions by which that city had been torn rendered it for the moment incapable of resistance, and thus furnished an additional temptation to the invaders.  After devastating the country the Locrian land forces retired, their ships remaining to guard Messana, while others were being manned for the same destination to carry on the war from there.
Messana invites occupation by Syracuse and Locris, and revolts from Athens.
About the same time in the spring, before the corn was ripe, the Peloponnesians and their allies invaded Attica under Agis son of Archidamus, king of the Spartans, and established themselves there and laid waste the country.  Meanwhile the Athenians sent off to Sicily the forty ships which they had been preparing, with the remaining generals Eurymedon and Sophocles;  their colleague Pythodorus having already preceded them there. These had also instructions as they sailed by to assist the Corcyraeans in the city, who were being plundered by the exiles in the mountain. To support these exiles sixty Peloponnesian vessels had recently sailed, it being thought that the famine raging in the city would make it easy for them to reduce it.  Demosthenes also, who had remained without employment since his return from Acarnania, applied for and obtained permission to use the fleet, if he wished, upon the coast of the Peloponnesus.
The Peloponnesians invade Attica again. An Athenian fleet leaves the Piraeus for Sicily.
Off Laconia they heard that the Peloponnesian ships were already at Corcyra, upon which Eurymedon and Sophocles wished to hasten to the island, but Demosthenes required them first to touch at Pylos and do what was wanted there, before continuing their voyage. While they were making objections, a squall chanced to come on and carried the fleet into Pylos.  Demosthenes at once urged them to fortify the place, as this was the reason why he had come on the voyage. He made them observe that there was plenty of stone and timber on the spot and that the place was strong by nature, and together with much of the country round unoccupied; Pylos, or Coryphasium, as the Spartans call it, lies about forty-five miles distant from Sparta in the former country of the Messenians.  The commanders told him that there was no lack of desert headlands in the Peloponnesus if he wished to put the city to expense by occupying them. He, however, thought that this place was distinguished from others of the kind by having a harbor close by; while the Messenians, the old natives of the country, speaking the same dialect as the Spartans, could do them the greatest harm by their incursions from it, and would at the same time be a trusty garrison.
A storm forces the Athenian fleet to put into Pylos. Demosthenes wants to fortify the place but the generals refuse.
After speaking to the captains or companies on the subject, and tailing to persuade either the generals or the soldiers, he remained inactive with the rest from stress of weather; until the soldiers themselves wanting occupation were seized with a sudden impulse to go round and fortify the place.  Accordingly they set to work in earnest, and having no iron tools, picked up stones, and put them together as they happened to fit, and where mortar was needed, carried it on their backs for want of hods, stooping down to make it stay on, and clasping their hands together behind to prevent it falling off;  sparing no effort to complete the most vulnerable points before the arrival of the Spartans, most of the place being sufficiently strong by nature without further fortification.
The bored Athenian soldiers suddenly and impulsively decide to build a fort.
Meanwhile the Spartans were celebrating a festival, and also at first made light of the news, thinking that whenever they chose to take the field the place would be immediately evacuated by the enemy or easily taken by force. The absence of their army before Athens also had something to do with their delay.  The Athenians fortified the place on the land side and where it most required it in six days, and leaving Demosthenes with five ships to garrison it, hastened with the main body of the fleet on their voyage to Corcyra and Sicily.
The Spartans make light of the news about Pylos and permit the Athenians to complete their fort.
MAP 4.5 THE OPENING OF THE PYLOS CAMPAIGN
As soon as the Peloponnesians in Attica1a heard of the occupation of Pylos, they hurried back home, the Spartans and their king Agis thinking that the matter touched them nearly. Besides having made their invasion early in the season while the grain was still green, most of their troops were short of provisions: the weather also was unusually bad for the time of year, and greatly distressed their army.  Many reasons thus combined to hasten their departure and to make this invasion a very short one; indeed they stayed only fifteen days in Attica.
But when Agis learns of the fort, he marches his army back to Sparta.
About the same time the Athenian general Simonides getting together a few Athenians from the garrisons, and a number of the allies in those parts, took by treachery the Mendaean colony of Eion1c in Thrace, which was hostile to Athens, but he had no sooner done so than the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans came up and beat him out of it, with the loss of many of his soldiers.
The Athenians take but then fail to hold Mendaean Eion.
On the return of the Peloponnesians from Attica the Spartans themselves and the nearest of the perioikoi at once set out for Pylos, the other Spartans following more slowly as they had just come in from another campaign.  Word was also sent round the Peloponnesus to come as quickly as possible to Pylos; while the sixty Peloponnesian ships were sent for from Corcyra, and being dragged by their crews across the isthmus of Leucas, passed unperceived by the Athenian squadron at Zacynthus, and reached Pylos, where the land forces had arrived before them.  Before the Peloponnesian fleet sailed in, Demosthenes found time to send out unobserved two ships to inform Eurymedon and the Athenians on board the fleet at Zacynthus of the danger to Pylos and to summon them to his assistance.  While the ships hastened on their voyage in obedience to the orders of Demosthenes, the Spartans prepared to assault the fort by land and sea, hoping to capture with ease a work constructed in haste, and held by a feeble garrison.  Meanwhile, as they expected the Athenian ships to arrive from Zacynthus, they intended, if they failed to take the place before, to block the entrances of the harbor to prevent their being able to anchor inside it.  For the island of Sphacteria stretches along in a line close in front of the harbor and at once makes it safe and narrows its entrances, leaving a passage for two ships on the side nearest Pylos and the Athenian fortifications, and for eight or nine ships on that next the mainland on the other side: for the rest, the island was entirely covered with wood, and without paths through not being inhabited, and about fifteen stades in length.  The Spartans meant to close the entrances with a line of ships placed close together with their prows turned toward the sea and, meanwhile, fearing that the enemy might make use of the island to operate against them, carried over some hoplites to it, stationing others along the coast.  By this means both the island and the continent would be hostile to the Athenians, as they would be unable to land on either; and since the shore of Pylos itself outside the inlet toward the open sea had no harbor, there would be no point that the Athenians could use as a base from which to relieve their countrymen. Thus the Spartans would in all probability become masters of the place without a sea fight or risk, as there had been little preparation for the occupation and there was no food there.  This being decided, they carried the hoplites over to the island, drafting them by lot from all the companies. Some others had crossed over before in relief parties, but these last who were left there were four hundred and twenty in number, with their Helot attendants, and were commanded by Epitadas son of Molobrus.
The Spartans concentrate land and sea forces to attack Pylos. Demosthenes sends for help from the Athenian fleet at Zacynthus. The Spartans plan to blockade Pylos and take it by siege. They occupy the island of Sphacteria.
MAP 4.8 POSSIBLE LOCATIONS FOR THE “HARBOR” AT PYLOS
Meanwhile Demosthenes, seeing that the Spartans were about to attack him by sea and land simultaneously, was himself not idle. He drew up under the fortification the triremes remaining to him of those which had been left him and enclosed them in a stockade, arming the sailors taken out of them with poor shields, most of them made of osier, it being impossible to procure arms in such a desert place. Indeed, even these were obtained from a thirty-oared Messenian privateer and a boat belonging to some Messenians who happened to have come to them. Among these Messenians were forty hoplites, whom he made use of with the rest.  Posting most of his men, unarmed and armed, upon the best fortified and strong points of the place facing the interior, with orders to repel any attack of the land forces, he picked sixty hoplites and a few archers from his whole force, and with these went outside the wall down to the sea, where he thought that the enemy would most likely attempt to land. Although the ground was difficult and rocky, looking toward the open sea, the fact that this was the weakest part of the wall would, he thought, encourage their ardor,  as the Athenians, confident in their naval superiority, had here paid little attention to their defenses, and the enemy, if he could force a landing, might feel sure of taking the place.  At this point, accordingly, going down to the water’s edge, he posted his hoplites to prevent, if possible, a landing, and encouraged them in the following terms:
Demosthenes, joined by some Messenians, prepares to defend Pylos and personally leads the defense against an anticipated Spartan amphibious attack.
“Soldiers and comrades in this adventure, I hope that none of you in our present strait will think to show his wit by exactly calculating all the perils that encompass us, but that you will rather hasten to close with the enemy, without staying to weigh the odds, seeing in this your best chance of safety. In emergencies like ours calculation is out of place; the sooner the danger is faced the better.  To my mind also most of the chances are for us, if we will only stand fast and not throw away our advantages, overawed by the numbers of the enemy.  One of the points in our favor is the awkwardness of the landing. This, however, only helps us if we stand our ground. If we give way it will, without a defender, prove practicable enough, in spite of its natural difficulty, without a defender; and the enemy will instantly become more formidable from the difficulty he will have in retreating, supposing that we succeed in repulsing him. Surely we shall find it easier to repel him while he is on board his ships, than after he has landed and meets us on equal terms.  As to his numbers, these need not too much alarm you. Large as they may be he can only engage in small detachments, from the difficulty of landing. Besides, the numerical superiority that we have to meet is not that of an army on land with everything else equal, but of troops on board ship, upon an element where many favorable accidents are required to act effectively.  I therefore consider that his difficulties may be fairly set against our numerical deficiencies, and at the same time I charge you as Athenians who know by experience what landing from ships on a hostile territory means, and how impossible it is to drive back an enemy determined enough to stand his ground and not to be frightened away by the surf and the terrors of the ships sailing in, to stand fast in the present emergency, beat back the enemy at the water’s edge, and save yourselves and the place.”
Demosthenes addresses his troops, advising them to offer firm resistance at the water’s edge to repulse the enemy’s amphibious assault.
Thus encouraged by Demosthenes, the Athenians felt more confident, and went down to meet the enemy, posting themselves along the edge of the sea.  The Spartans now put themselves in motion and simultaneously assaulted the fortification with their land forces and with their ships, forty-three in number, under their admiral, Thrasymelidas son of Cratesicles, a Spartiate, who made his attack just where Demosthenes expected.  The Athenians had thus to defend themselves on both sides, from the land and from the sea; the enemy rowing up in small detachments, the one relieving the other—it being impossible for many to engage at once—and showing great ardor and cheering each other on, in the endeavor to force a landing and to take the fortification.  He who most distinguished himself was Brasidas, captain of a trireme. Seeing that the captains and steersmen, impressed by the difficulty of the position, hung back even where a landing might have seemed possible, for fear of wrecking their vessels, he shouted out to them that they must never allow the enemy to fortify himself in their country for the sake of saving timber, but must shiver their vessels and force a landing. He bade the allies, instead of hesitating in such a moment, to sacrifice their ships for Sparta in return for her many benefits, to run them boldly aground, land in one way or another, and make themselves masters of the place and its garrison.
The Spartans attack both by land and sea. Brasidas displays unusual zeal and bravery.
Not content with this exhortation, he forced his own steersman to run his ship ashore, and stepping onto the gangway, was endeavoring to land when he was beaten back by the Athenians and after receiving many wounds fainted away. Falling into the bow, his shield slipped off his arm into the sea, and being thrown ashore was picked up by the Athenians and afterwards used for the trophy which they set up for this attack.  The rest also did their best, but were not able to land, owing to the difficulty of the ground and the unflinching tenacity of the Athenians.  It was a strange reversal of the order of things for Athenians to be fighting from the land and from Laconian land too, against Spartans coming from the sea; while Spartans were trying to land from shipboard in their own country, now become hostile, to attack Athenians, although the former were chiefly famous at the time as an inland people and superior by land, the latter as a maritime people with a navy that had no equal.
Brasidas is wounded and faints. The Athenians recover his shield and use it for their victory trophy. Thucydides notes the irony of Athenians defending Spartan land against Spartans attacking from the sea.
After continuing their attacks during that day and most of the next, the Peloponnesians desisted, and the day after sent some of their ships to Asine for timber to make siege engines with which they hoped to take, in spite of its height, the wall opposite the harbor where the landing was easiest.  At this moment the Athenian fleet from Zacynthus arrived, now numbering fifty sail, having been reinforced by some of the ships on guard at Naupactus and by four Chian vessels.  Seeing both the coast and the island crowded with hoplites, and the hostile ships in the harbor showing no signs of sailing out, and at a loss where to anchor, they sailed for the moment to the desert island of Prote, not far off, where they passed the night. The next day they got under weigh in readiness to engage in the open sea if the enemy chose to put out to meet them, being determined in the event of his not doing so to sail in and attack him.  The Spartans did not put out to sea, and having omitted to close the entrances as they had intended, remained quiet on shore, engaged in manning their ships and getting ready, in the case of any one sailing in, to fight in the harbor, which is a fairly large one.
The Spartans attack Pylos for two days without success. The Athenian fleet from Zacynthus arrives and, unable to land at Pylos, camps for the night at Prote. The next morning it attacks the Spartans, who are taken by surprise.
Perceiving this, the Athenians advanced against them through both entrances and falling on the enemy’s fleet, most of which was by this time afloat and in line, they at once put it to flight, and giving chase as far as the short distance allowed, disabled a good many vessels and took five, one with its crew on board. Then, dashing in at the rest that had taken refuge on shore, they rammed some that were still being manned before they could put out, and lashed on to their own ships and towed off empty others whose crews had fled.  At this sight the Spartans, maddened by a disaster which cut off their men on the island, rushed to the rescue, and going into the sea with their heavy armor, laid hold of the ships and tried to drag them back, each man thinking that success depended on his individual exertions.  Great was the mêlée, and quite in contradiction to the naval tactics usual to the two combatants; the Spartans in their excitement and dismay being actually engaged in a sea fight on land, while the victorious Athenians, in their eagerness to push their success as far as possible, were carrying on a land fight from their ships.  After great exertions and numerous wounds on both sides they separated, the Spartans saving their empty ships, except those first taken;  and both parties returning to their camp, the Athenians set up a trophy, gave back the dead, secured the wrecks, and at once began to cruise round and carefully watch the island, with its intercepted garrison, while the Peloponnesians on the mainland, whose contingents had now all come up, stayed where they were before Pylos.
The Peloponnesian fleet is routed, but Spartan troops prevent the Athenians from dragging off their beached triremes. The Athenians cruise around Sphacteria to cut off the island’s garrison.
When the news of what had happened at Pylos reached Sparta, the disaster was thought so serious that the Spartans resolved that the authorities should go down to the camp and decide on the spot what was best to be done.  There, seeing that it was impossible to help their men and not wishing to risk their being reduced by hunger or overpowered by numbers, they determined, with the consent of the Athenian generals, to conclude an armistice at Pylos, to send envoys to Athens to obtain a convention, and to endeavor to get back their men as quickly as possible.
Worried Spartan authorities arrive at Pylos and quickly conclude an armistice.
The generals accepting their offers, an armistice was concluded upon the following terms:
That the Spartans should bring to Pylos and deliver to the Athenians the ships that had fought in the late engagement, and all in Laconia1a that were vessels of war, and should make no attack on the fortification either by land or by sea. That the Athenians should allow the Spartans on the mainland to send to the men in the island a certain fixed quantity of already kneaded grain, that is to say, two quarts of barley meal, one pint of wine, and a piece of meat for each man, and half the same quantity for a servant. That this allowance should be sent in under the eyes of the Athenians, and that no boat should sail to the island except openly. That the Athenians should continue to guard the island the same as before, without however landing upon it, and should refrain from attacking the Peloponnesian troops either by land or by sea.  That if either party should infringe any of these terms in the slightest particular, the armistice should be at once void. That the armistice should hold good until the return of the Spartan envoys from Athens—the Athenians sending them thither in a trireme and bringing them back again—and upon the arrival of the envoys should be at an end, and the ships be restored by the Athenians in the same state as they received them.  Such were the terms of the armistice, and the ships were delivered over to the number of sixty, and the envoys sent off accordingly. When they arrived at Athens they spoke as follows:
Thucydides lists the terms of the armistice.
Addressing the Athenian Assembly, Spartan envoys convey their wish to settle the war in a manner consistent with Athenian interests and Spartan dignity in its time of misfortune.
The Spartan envoys blame Sparta’s current troubles on errors of judgment, not loss of power, and urge the Athenians to use their success wisely and moderately.
“Athenians, the Spartans sent us to try to find some way of settling the affair of our men on the island, that shall be at once satisfactory to your interests, and as consistent with our dignity in our misfortune as circumstances permit.  We can venture to speak at some length without any departure from the habit of our country. Men of few words where many are not wanted, we can be less brief when there is a matter of importance to be discussed and an end to be served by its illustration.  Meanwhile we beg you to take what we may say, not in a hostile spirit, nor as if we thought you ignorant and wished to lecture you, but rather as a suggestion on the best course to be taken, addressed to intelligent judges.  You can now, if you choose, employ your present success to advantage, so as to keep what you have got and gain honor and reputation besides, and you can avoid the mistake of those who meet with an extraordinary piece of good fortune, and are led on by hope to grasp continually at something further, through having already succeeded without expecting it.  While those who have known most vicissitudes of good and bad, have also and rightly, least confidence in their prosperity; and experience has not been wanting to teach your city and ours this lesson.”
“To be convinced of this you have only to look at our present misfortune. What power in Hellas stood higher than we did? And yet we have come to you, although we formerly thought ourselves more able to grant what we are now here to ask.  Nevertheless, we have not been brought to this by any decay in our power, or through having our heads turned by aggrandizement; no, our resources are what they have always been, and our error has been an error of judgment, to which all are equally liable.  Accordingly the prosperity which your city now enjoys, and the accessions that it has lately received, must not make you suppose that fortune will be always with you.  Indeed sensible men are prudent enough to treat their gains as precarious, just as they would also keep a clear head in adversity, and think that war, so far from staying within the limit to which a combatant may wish to confine it, will run the course that its chances prescribe; and thus, not being puffed up by confidence in military success, they are less likely to come to grief and most ready to make peace, if they can, while their fortune lasts.  This, Athenians, you have a good opportunity to do now with us, and thus to escape the possible disasters which may follow upon your refusal, and the consequent imputation of having owed to accident even your present advantages when you might have left behind you a reputation for power and wisdom which nothing could endanger.”
“The Spartans accordingly invite you to make a treaty and to end the war, and offer peace and alliance and the most friendly and intimate relations in every way and on every occasion between us; and in return ask for the men on the island, thinking it better for both parties not to hold out to the end, hoping that some favorable accident will enable the men to force their way out, or of their being compelled to succumb under the pressure of blockade.  Indeed if great enmities are ever to be really settled, we think it will be, not by the system of revenge and military success, and by forcing an opponent to swear to a treaty to his disadvantage; but when the more fortunate combatant waives his privileges and, guided by gentler feelings, conquers his rival in generosity and accords peace on more moderate conditions than expected.  From that moment, instead of the debt of revenge which violence must entail, his adversary owes a debt of generosity to be paid in kind, and is inclined by honor to stand by his agreement.  And men more often act in this manner toward their greatest enemies than where the quarrel is of less importance; they are also by nature as glad to give way to those who first yield to them, as they are apt to be provoked by arrogance to risks condemned by their own judgment.”
“To apply this to ourselves: if peace was ever desirable for both parties, it is surely so at the present moment, before anything irremediable befall us and force us to hate you eternally, personally as well as politically, and you to miss the advantages that we now offer you.  While the issue is still in doubt, and you have reputation and our friendship in prospect, and we the compromise of our misfortune before anything fatal occur, let us be reconciled, and for ourselves choose peace instead of war, and grant to the rest of the Hellenes a remission from their sufferings, for which be sure they will think they have chiefly you to thank. They know not who began this war, but their gratitude for concluding it, as it depends on your decision, will surely be laid at your door.  By such a decision you can become firm friends with the Spartans at their own invitation, which you do not force from them, but oblige them by accepting.  And from this friendship consider the advantages that are likely to follow: when Attica and Sparta are in concord, the rest of Hellas, you may be sure, will remain in respectful inferiority before its heads.”
The Spartan envoys offer Athens a treaty of peace and alliance, pointing out that real peace must arise through generosity, not through military success that spawns a desire for revenge.
The Spartan envoys conclude by saying that Athens will receive credit for the ensuing peace, which will endure, since no one in Hellas could challenge the combined hegemony of Athens and Sparta.
Such were the words of the Spartans, their idea being that the Athenians, already desirous of a truce and only kept back by their opposition, would joyfully accept a peace freely offered, and give back the men.  The Athenians, however, having the men on the island, thought that the treaty would be ready for them whenever they chose to make it, and grasped at something further.  Foremost to encourage them in this policy was Cleon son of Cleaenetus, a popular leader of the time and very powerful with the multitude, who persuaded them to answer as follows: First, the men in the island must surrender themselves and their arms and be brought to Athens. Next, the Spartans must restore Nisaea, Pegae, Troezen, and Achaea, all places acquired not by arms, but by the previous convention, under which they had been ceded by Athens herself at a moment of disaster, when a truce was more necessary to her than at present. This done they might take back their men, and make a truce for as long as both parties might agree.
The Athenians, swayed by the demagogic Cleon, refuse Sparta’s offer of peace and alliance, and instead “grasp for something more.”
To this answer the envoys made no reply, but asked that commissioners might be chosen with whom they might confer on each point, and quietly talk the matter over and try to come to some agreement.  Hereupon Cleon violently assailed them, saying that he knew from the first that they had no right intentions, and that it was clear enough now by their refusing to speak before the people, and wanting to confer in secret with a committee of two or three. No! if they meant anything honest let them say it out before all.  The Spartans, however, seeing that whatever concessions they might be prepared to make in their misfortune, it was impossible to express them before the multitude and lose credit with their allies for a negotiation which might after all miscarry, and on the other hand, that the Athenians would never grant what they asked upon moderate terms, returned from Athens without having effected anything.
When Cleon attacks a Spartan proposal to confer in private with Athenian commissioners, the Spartan envoys recognize that Athens will not negotiate moderately, and return to Sparta.
Their arrival at once put an end to the armistice at Pylos, and the Spartans asked for the return of their ships according to the truce. The Athenians, however, alleged an attack on the fort in violation of the truce, and other grievances seemingly not worth mentioning, and refused to give them back, insisting upon the clause by which the slightest infringement made the armistice void. The Spartans, after denying the violation and protesting against their bad faith in the matter of the ships, went away and earnestly addressed themselves to the war.  Hostilities were now carried on at Pylos by both sides with vigor. The Athenians cruised round the island all day with two ships going different ways; and by night, except on the seaward side in windy weather, anchored round it with their whole fleet, which having been reinforced by twenty ships from Athens come to aid in the blockade, now numbered seventy sail; while the Peloponnesians remained encamped on the mainland, making attacks on the fort, and on the lookout for any opportunity which might offer itself for the deliverance of their men.
War resumes at Pylos; the Athenians refuse to return the Peloponnesian ships, and they reinforce the blockade of Sphacteria.
MAP 4.21 LOCATIONS IN ATHENIAN PEACE DEMANDS
Meanwhile the Syracusans and their allies in Sicily had brought up to the squadron guarding Messana the reinforcement which they had been preparing, and carried on the war from there,  incited chiefly by the Locrians from their hatred of the Rhegians, whose territory they had invaded with all their forces.  The Syracusans also wished to try their fortune at sea, seeing that the Athenians had only a few ships actually at Rhegium, and hearing that the main fleet destined to join them was engaged in blockading the island.  A naval victory, they thought, would enable them to blockade Rhegium by sea and land, and to reduce it easily; a success which would at once place their affairs upon a solid basis, as the promontory of Rhegium in Italy and Messana in Sicily are so near each other that it would be impossible for the Athenians to cruise against them and command the strait.  The strait in question consists of the sea between Rhegium and Messana, at the point where Sicily approaches nearest to the continent, and is the Charybdis through which the story makes Odysseus sail; and the narrowness of the passage, and the strength of the current that pours in from the vast Tyrrhenian and Sicilian mains, have rightly given it a bad reputation.
The Syracusans reinforce their fleet at Messana and prepare to attack the Athenians at Rhegium to take control of the strait between the two cities.
In this strait the Syracusans and their allies were compelled to engage, late in the day, about a merchant ship sailing through, putting out with rather more than thirty ships against sixteen Athenian and eight Rhegian vessels.  Defeated by the Athenians they hastily set off, each for himself, to their own stations at Messana and Rhegium, with the loss of one ship; night coming on before the battle was finished.  After this the Locrians retired from the Rhegian territory, and the ships of the Syracusans and their allies united and came to anchor at Cape Pelorus, in the territory of Messana, where their land forces joined them.  Here the Athenians and Rhegians sailed up, and seeing the ships unmanned made an attack, in which they in their turn lost one vessel, which was caught by a grappling iron, the crew saving themselves by swimming.  After this the Syracusans got on board their ships, and while they were being towed along shore to Messana, were again attacked by the Athenians, but suddenly headed out to sea and became the assailants, and caused the Athenians to lose another vessel.  After thus holding their own in the voyage along shore and in the engagement as above described, the Syracusans sailed on into the harbor of Messana.
Fighting on land and sea between Athenians, Naxians, Rhegians, Sicels, and Leontines, on one side, and Syracusans, Locrians, and Messanians, on the other, is inconclusive.
 Meanwhile the Athenians, having received warning that Camarina7a was about to be betrayed to the Syracusans by Archias and his party, sailed to that place; and the Messanians took this opportunity to attack their Chalcidian neighbor, Naxos by sea and land with all their forces.  The first day they forced the Naxians to stay within their walls, and laid waste their country; the next they sailed round with their ships, and laid waste their land on the river Akesines, while their land forces menaced the city.  Meanwhile the Sicels came down from the high country in great numbers to aid against the Messanians; and the Naxians, elated at the sight, and animated by a belief that the Leontines and their other Hellenic allies were coming to their support, suddenly sallied out from the city, and attacked and routed the Messanians killing more than a thousand of them; while the remainder suffered severely in their retreat home, being attacked by the barbarians on the road, and most of them cut down.  The ships put in to Messana, and afterwards dispersed to their different homes. The Leontines and their allies, with the Athenians, upon this at once turned their arms against the now weakened Messana, and attacked, the Athenians with their ships on the side of the harbor, and the land forces on that of the city.  The Messanians, however, sallying out with Demoteles and some Locrians who had been left to garrison the city after the disaster, suddenly attacked and routed most of the Leontine army, killing a great number; upon seeing which the Athenians landed from their ships, and falling on the disordered Messanians, chased them back into the city, and setting up a trophy retired to Rhegium.  After this the Hellenes in Sicily continued to make war on each other by land, without the Athenians.
MAP 4.25 EVENTS IN SICILY AND ITALY, 425
Meanwhile the Athenians at Pylos were still besieging the Spartans in the island, the Peloponnesian forces on the continent remaining where they were.  The blockade was very laborious for the Athenians from want of food and water; there was no spring except one in the citadel of Pylos itself, and that not a large one, and most of them were obliged to scrape away the gravel on the sea beach and drink such water as they could find.  They also suffered from want of room, being encamped in a narrow space; and as there was no anchorage for the ships, some took their meals on shore in their turn, while the others were anchored out at sea.  But their greatest discouragement arose from the unexpectedly long time which it took to reduce a body of men shut up in a desert island, with only brackish water to drink, a matter which they had imagined would take them only a few days.  The fact was, that the Spartans had made advertisement for volunteers to carry into the island flour, wine, cheese, and any other food useful in a siege; high prices being offered, and freedom promised to any of the Helots who should succeed in doing so.  The Helots accordingly were most forward to engage in this risky traffic, putting off from this or that part of the Peloponnesus, and running in by night on the seaward side of the island.  They were best pleased, however, when they could catch a wind to carry them in. It was more easy to elude the triremes on guard, when it blew from the seaward, as it then became impossible for them to anchor round the island; while the Helots had their boats valued at their worth in money, and ran them ashore without caring how they landed, being sure to find the soldiers waiting for them at the landing places. But all who risked it in fair weather were taken.  Divers also swam in under water from the harbor, dragging by a cord in skins poppyseed mixed with honey, and bruised linseed; these at first escaped notice, but afterwards a lookout was kept for them.  In short, both sides tried every possible contrivance, the one to throw in provisions, and the other to prevent their introduction.
The hardships of the blockading Athenians are described. Spartan Helots risk their lives to bring food to the Sphacteria garrison, and thus win their freedom.
At Athens, meanwhile, the news that the army was in great distress and that grain found its way in to the men in the island caused no small perplexity; and the Athenians began to fear that winter might come on and find them still engaged in the blockade. They saw that the convoying of provisions round the Peloponnesus would be then impossible. The country offered no resources in itself, and even in summer they could not send round enough. The blockade of a place without harbors could then no longer be kept up; and the men would either escape by the siege being abandoned, or would watch for bad weather and sail out in the boats that brought in their grain.  What caused still more alarm was the attitude of the Spartans, who must, it was thought by the Athenians, feel themselves on strong ground not to send them any more envoys; and they began to repent having rejected the treaty.  Cleon, perceiving the disfavor with which he was regarded for having stood in the way of the convention, now said that their informants did not speak the truth; and upon the messengers recommending that, if they did not believe them, they send some commissioners to see, Cleon himself and Theagenes were chosen by the Athenians as commissioners.  Aware that he would now be obliged either to say what had been already said by the men whom he was slandering, or be proved a liar if he said the contrary, he told the Athenians, whom he saw to be not altogether disinclined for a fresh expedition, that instead of sending commissioners and wasting their time and opportunities, if they believed what was told them, they ought to sail against the men.  And pointing at Nicias son of Niceratus, then general, whom he hated, he tauntingly said that it would be easy, if they had men for generals, to sail with a force and take those in the island, and that if he had himself been in command, he would have done it.
The Athenians begin to regret not making peace with the Spartans and blame Cleon, who in turn blames the general Nicias for not attacking and capturing the Spartans on Sphacteria.
Nicias, seeing the Athenians murmuring against Cleon for not sailing now if it seemed to him so easy, and further seeing himself the object of attack, told him that for all that the generals cared, he might take what force he chose and make the attempt.  At first Cleon fancied that this resignation was merely a figure of speech, and was ready to go, but finding that it was seriously meant, he drew back, and said that Nicias, not he, was general, being now frightened, and having never supposed that Nicias would go so far as to retire in his favor.  Nicias, however, repeated his offer and resigned the command against Pylos, calling upon the Athenians to witness that he did so. And as the multitude is wont to do, the more Cleon shrank from the expedition and tried to back out of what he had said, the more they encouraged Nicias to hand over his command, and clamored at Cleon to go.  At last, not knowing how to get out of his words, he undertook the expedition, and came forward and said that he was not afraid of the Spartans, but would sail without taking anyone from the city with him except the Lemnians and Imbrians that were at Athens, with some peltasts that had come up from Aenus, and four hundred archers from elsewhere. With these and the soldiers at Pylos, he would within twenty days either bring the Spartans alive, or kill them on the spot.  The Athenians could not help laughing at his empty words, while sensible men comforted themselves with the reflection that they must gain in either circumstance; either they would be rid of Cleon, which they rather hoped, or if disappointed in this expectation, would reduce the Spartans.
Nicias withdraws from the command. The Athenian People now insist that Cleon take it and he does so, asking only for peltasts and archers, and promising to return victorious in twenty days.
After he had settled everything in the assembly, and the Athenians had voted him the command of the expedition, he chose as his colleague Demosthenes, one of the generals at Pylos, and pushed forward the preparations for his voyage.  His choice fell upon Demosthenes because he heard that he was contemplating a descent on the island and because the soldiers, distressed by the difficulties of the position and feeling more like besieged than besiegers, were eager to fight it out. Moreover, the firing of the island had increased the confidence of the general.  At first he had been afraid that the uninhabited island’s pathless woods would favor the enemy, as he might land a large force and yet suffer losses from an attack from an unseen position. He thought the woods would in great measure conceal from him the mistakes and forces of the enemy, while the blunders of his own troops would be quickly detected by the enemy who, retaining always the ability to attack, would fall upon his troops unexpectedly wherever they pleased.  If, on the other hand, he should force them to engage in the thicket, the smaller number who knew the country would, he thought, have the advantage over the larger who were ignorant of it, and thus his own army might be imperceptibly destroyed in spite of its numbers, as his men would not be able to see where to support each other.
Cleon chooses Demosthenes as his partner in command and prepares to depart. Thucydides lists the reasons why Demosthenes feared the Spartans on the island, although his forces far outnumbered them.
The Aetolian disaster, which had been mainly caused by the wood, had not a little to do with these reflections.  Meanwhile, one of the soldiers who were compelled by want of room to land on the extremities of the island and take their dinners, with outposts fixed to prevent a surprise, set fire to a little of the wood without meaning to do so; and as it came on to blow soon afterwards, almost the whole was consumed before they were aware of it.  Demosthenes was now able for the first time to see how numerous the Spartans really were, having up to this moment been under the impression that they took in provisions for a smaller number; he also saw that the Athenians thought success important and were anxious about it, and that it was now easier to land on the island, and accordingly got ready for the attempt, sending for troops from the allies in the neighborhood, and pushing forward his other preparations.  At this moment Cleon arrived at Pylos with the troops which he had asked for, having sent on word to say that he was coming. The first step taken by the two generals after their meeting was to send a herald to the camp on the mainland, to ask if they were disposed to avoid all risk and to order the men on the island to surrender themselves and their arms, to be kept in gentle custody until some general settlement should be concluded.
A fire burns off the brush cover on the island, permitting Demosthenes to see the enemy and better plan his attack. Cleon arrives with his force. A herald is sent to demand the Spartans’ surrender.
On the rejection of this proposition the generals let one day pass, and the next embarking all their hoplites on board a few ships, put out by night, and a little before dawn landed on both sides of the island from the open sea and from the harbor, being about eight hundred strong, and advanced with a run against the first post in the island.  The enemy had distributed his force as follows: In this first post there were about thirty hoplites; the center and most level part, where the water was, was held by the main body, and by Epitadas their commander; while a small party guarded the very end of the island, toward Pylos, which was precipitous on the sea side and very difficult to attack from the land, and where there was also a sort of old fort of stones rudely put together, which they thought might be useful to them, in case they should be forced to retreat. Such was their disposition.
The Athenians embark at night and land on Sphacteria just before dawn. Spartan troops are divided into three unequal forces.
The advanced post thus attacked by the Athenians was at once put to the sword, the men being scarcely out of bed and still arming, the landing having taken them by surprise, as they fancied the ships were only sailing as usual to their stations for the night.  As soon as day broke, the rest of the army landed, that is to say, all the crews of rather more than seventy ships, except the lowest rank of oars, with the arms they carried, eight hundred archers, and as many peltasts, the Messenian reinforcements, and all the other troops on duty round Pylos, except the garrison in the fort.  The tactics of Demosthenes had divided them into companies of two hundred, more or less, and made them occupy the highest points in order to paralyze the enemy by surrounding him on every side. By refusing to engage closely, the Athenians would leave him without any tangible adversary and expose him to the cross-fire of their host; plied by those in his rear if he attacked in front, and by those on one flank if he moved against those on the other.  In short, wherever he went he would have assailants behind him, and these light-armed attackers would prove the most difficult to deal with; their arrows, darts, stones, and slings making them formidable at a distance, and there being no means of getting at them at close quarters, as they could flee if pursued, and the moment their pursuer turned they would be upon him. Such was the idea that Demosthenes had in the first place when he was planning the landing and so he arranged its execution.
The Spartan advance post is taken by surprise, and the rest of the Athenians land. Demosthenes’ plan to refuse close combat and to attack the Spartans from all sides with missiles is described.
Meanwhile the main body of the troops in the island (that under Epitadas), seeing their outpost cut off and an army advancing against them, serried their ranks and pressed forward to close with the Athenian hoplites in front of them, the light troops being upon their flanks and rear.  However, they were not able to engage or to profit by their superior skill, the light troops keeping them in check on either side with their missiles, and the hoplites remaining stationary instead of advancing to meet them; and although they routed the light troops wherever they ran up and approached too closely, yet they retreated fighting, being lightly equipped, and easily getting away in their flight, from the difficult and rugged nature of the ground, in an island hitherto uninhabited, over which the Spartans could not pursue them in their heavy armor.
The main Spartan force advances but is thwarted by Demosthenes’ tactics.
After this skirmishing had lasted some little while, the Spartans became unable to dash out with the same rapidity as before upon the points attacked, and the light troops, finding that they now fought with less vigor, became more confident. They could see with their own eyes that they were many times more numerous than the enemy; they were now more familiar with his aspect and found him less terrible, the event not having justified the apprehensions which they had suffered when they first landed in slavish dismay at the idea of attacking Spartans; and accordingly their fear changing to disdain, they now rushed upon them all together with loud shouts, and pelted them with stones, darts, and arrows, whichever came first to hand.  The shouting accompanying their onset confounded the Spartans, unaccustomed to this mode of fighting; dust rose from the newly burnt wood, and it was impossible to see in front of one with the arrows and stones flying through clouds of dust from the hands of numerous assailants.  The Spartans had now to sustain a difficult conflict; their caps would not keep out the arrows, and darts had broken off in the bodies of the wounded. They themselves were unable to retaliate, being prevented from using their eyes to see what was before them, and unable to hear the words of command for the hubbub raised by the enemy; danger encompassed them on every side, and there was no hope of any means of defense or safety.
As the Spartans tire, the Athenians grow more confident. Blinded by dust and deafened by the noise of battle, the Spartans find it impossible either to attack or to defend themselves effectively.
At last, after many had been already wounded in the confined space in which they were fighting, they formed in close order and retired to the fort at the end of the island, which was not far off, and to their friends who held it.  The moment they gave way, the light troops became bolder and pressed upon them, shouting louder than ever, and killed as many as they caught up with in their retreat, but most of the Spartans made good their escape to the fort, and with the garrison in it ranged themselves all along its whole extent to repulse the enemy wherever it was assailable.  The Athenians pursuing, unable to surround and hem them in, owing to the strength of the ground, attacked them in front and tried to storm the position.  For a long time, indeed for most of the day, both sides held out against all the torments of the battle, thirst, and sun, the one endeavoring to drive the enemy from the high ground, the other to maintain himself upon it, it being now more easy for the Spartans to defend themselves than before, as they could not be surrounded upon the flanks.
After many Spartans are wounded, they retire to an old fort at the end of the island, and the Athenians pursue them. There the ground favors defense and prevents encirclement. Both sides endure the torments of sun and thirst.
The struggle began to seem endless, when the commander of the Messenians came to Cleon and Demosthenes, and told them that they were wasting their efforts but that if they would give him some archers and light troops to go round on the enemy’s rear by a way he would undertake to find, he thought he could force the approach.  Upon receiving what he asked for, he started from a point out of sight in order not to be seen by the enemy, and creeping on wherever the precipices of the island permitted, and where the Spartans, trusting to the strength of the ground, kept no guard, succeeded after the greatest difficulty in getting round without their seeing him, and suddenly appeared on the high ground in their rear, to the dismay of the surprised enemy and the still greater joy of his expectant friends.  The Spartans thus placed between two fires, and in the same dilemma, to compare small things with great, as at Thermopylae, where the defenders were cut off through the Persians getting round by the path, being now attacked in front and behind, began to give way, and overcome by the odds against them and exhausted from want of food, retreated.
The Messenian commander leads a force by a hidden route to a position above and behind the Spartans, surprising them and forcing them to give way.
MAP 4.35 THE ATHENIAN ASSAULT ON SPHACTERIA
The Athenians were already masters of the approaches [4.37.1] when Cleon and Demosthenes, perceiving that the enemy, should he give way a single step further, would be destroyed by their soldiery, put a stop to the battle and held their men back. They wished to take the Spartans alive to Athens and hoped that their stubbornness might relax on hearing the offer of terms, and that they might surrender and yield to the present overwhelming danger.  Proclamation was accordingly made, to determine whether they would surrender themselves and their arms to the Athenians to be dealt with at their discretion.
Demosthenes and Cleon halt the advance and ask the Spartans if they will now surrender.
When the Spartans heard this offer, most of them lowered their shields and waved their hands to show that they accepted it. Hostilities now ceased, and a parley was held between Cleon and Demosthenes, and Styphon son of Pharax, for the other side; since Epitadas, the first of the previous commanders, had been killed, and Hippagretas, the next in command, left for dead among the slain, though still alive; and thus the command had devolved upon Styphon according to the law in case of anything happening to his superiors.  Styphon and his companions said they wished to send a herald to the Spartans on the mainland, to know what they were to do.  The Athenians would not let any of them go, but themselves called for heralds from the mainland, and after questions had been carried backwards and forwards two or three times, the last man that passed over from the Spartans on the continent brought this message: “The Spartans bid you to decide for yourselves so long as you do nothing dishonorable”; upon which after consulting together they surrendered themselves and their arms.  The Athenians, after guarding them that day and night, the next morning set up a trophy in the island, and got ready to sail, giving their prisoners in batches to be guarded by the captains of the triremes; and the Spartans sent a herald and took up their dead.  The number of the killed and prisoners taken in the island was as follows: of the four hundred and twenty hoplites who had passed over originally, two hundred and ninety-two were taken alive to Athens; the rest were killed. About a hundred and twenty of the prisoners were Spartiates. The Athenian loss was small, the battle not having been fought at close quarters.
The Spartans surrender after consulting their forces on the mainland. The Spartans have lost about 130 men. Athenian losses are small, as there was no fighting at close quarters.
The blockade lasted seventy-two days in all, counting from the naval fight to the battle on the island.  For twenty of these, during the absence of the envoys sent to negotiate for peace, the men had provisions given them; for the rest they were fed by the smugglers. Grain and other victuals were found in the island, the commander Epitadas having kept the men upon half rations.  The Athenians and Peloponnesians now each withdrew their forces from Pylos, and went home, and mad as Cleon’s promise was, he fulfilled it, by bringing the men to Athens within the twenty days as he had pledged himself to do.
The blockade lasted seventy-two days. Cleon returns to Athens with the prisoners, his promise fulfilled
Nothing that happened in the war surprised the Hellenes so much as this. It was the general opinion that no force or famine could make the Spartans give up their arms, but that they would fight on as they could, and die with them in their hands:  indeed people could scarcely believe that those who had surrendered were of the same stuff as the fallen; and an Athenian ally, who some time after insultingly asked one of the prisoners from the island if those that had fallen were noble and good men, received for answer that theatraktos—that is, the arrow—would be worth a great deal if it could pick out noble and good men from the rest; in allusion to the fact that the killed were those whom the stones and the arrow happened to hit.
All Greece is amazed that the Spartans at Sphacteria surrendered. Thucydides’ recounts the anecdote of the clever arrows.
Upon the arrival of the men the Athenians determined to keep them in prison until the peace, and if the Peloponnesians invaded their country in the interval, to bring them out and put them to death.  Meanwhile the defense of Pylos was not forgotten; the Messenians from Naupactus sent to their old country, to which Pylos formerly belonged, some of the most suitable of their number, and began a series of incursions into Laconia, which their common dialect rendered most destructive.  The Spartans, hitherto without experience of incursions or a warfare of the kind, finding the Helots deserting, and fearing the march of revolution in their country, began to be seriously uneasy, and in spite of their unwillingness to betray this to the Athenians began to send envoys to Athens, and tried to recover Pylos and the prisoners.  The Athenians, however, kept grasping at more, and dismissed envoy after envoy without their having effected anything. Such was the history of the affair of Pylos.
The captured Spartans are imprisoned at Athens. The Messenians launch effective raids on Laconia. The Spartans send envoys to Athens to negotiate a peace, but the Athenians reject their proposals, “always grasping for more.”
ILLUSTRATION 4.41 SHIELD FOUND AT ATHENS: THE INSCRIPTION READS THAT IT WAS TAKEN BY THE ATHENIANS FROM THE SPARTANS (LACEDAIMONIANS) AT PYLOS
The same summer, directly after these events, the Athenians made an expedition against the territory of Corinth with eighty ships and two thousand Athenian hoplites and two hundred cavalry on board horse transports, accompanied by the Milesians, Andrians, and Carystians from the allies; under the command of Nicias son of Niceratus, with two colleagues.  Putting out to sea they made land at daybreak between Chersonese and Rheitus, at the beach of the country underneath the Solygian hill, upon which the Dorians in old times established themselves and carried on war against the Aeolian inhabitants of Corinth, and where a village now stands called Solygia. The beach where the fleet put in is about a mile and a half from the village, seven miles from Corinth, and two and a quarter from the Isthmus.  The Corinthians had heard from Argos3a of the coming of the Athenian armament, and had all come up to the Isthmus long before, with the exception of those who lived beyond it, and also of five hundred who were away in garrison in Ambracia and Leucas; and they were there in full force watching for the Athenians to land.  These last, however, gave them the slip by coming in the dark; and being informed by signals of the fact, the Corinthians left half their number at Cenchreae, in case the Athenians should go against Crommyon, and marched in all haste to the rescue.
An Athenian expedition under Nicias attacks Corinthian territory near the Isthmus. Warned from Argos, Corinth prepares to meet the invaders.
Battus, one of the two generals present at the action, went with a company to defend the village of Solygia, which was unfortified; Lycophron remaining to give battle with the rest.  The Corinthians first attacked the right wing of the Athenians, which had just landed in front of Chersonese, and afterwards the rest of the army. The battle was an obstinate one, and fought throughout hand to hand.  The right wing of the Athenians and Carystians, who had been placed at the end of the line, received and with some difficulty repulsed the Corinthians, who thereupon retreated to a wall upon the rising ground behind, and throwing down the stones upon them, came on again singing the paean and being received by the Athenians, were again engaged at close quarters.  At this moment a Corinthian company having come to the relief of the left wing, routed and pursued the Athenian right to the sea, whence they were in their turn driven back by the Athenians and Carystians from the ships.  Meanwhile the rest of the army on either side fought on tenaciously, especially the right wing of the Corinthians, where Lycophron sustained the attack of the Athenian left, which it was feared might attempt the village of Solygia.
CORINTH The Corinthians attack the Athenians just after they land and a hard-fought battle at close quarters takes place.
MAP 4.44 ATHENIAN ATTACKS ON CORINTH AND THE ARGOLID
After holding on for a long while without either giving way, the Athenians aided by their horse, of which the enemy had none, at length routed the Corinthians, who retired to the hill and halting remained quiet there, without coming down again.  It was in this rout of the right wing that they had the most killed, Lycophron their general being among the number. The rest of the army, broken and put to flight in this way without being seriously pursued or hurried, retired to the high ground and there took up its position.  The Athenians, finding that the enemy no longer offered to engage them, stripped his dead and took up their own and immediately set up a trophy.  Meanwhile, the half of the Corinthians left at Cenchreae to guard against the Athenians sailing on Crommyon, although unable to see the battle for Mount Oneion,4a found out what was going on by the dust, and hurried up to the rescue; as did also the older Corinthians from the city, upon discovering what had occurred.  The Athenians seeing them all coming against them, and thinking that they were reinforcements from the neighboring Peloponnesians, withdrew in haste to their ships with their spoils and their own dead, except two that they left behind, not being able to find them,  and going on board crossed over to the islands opposite and from thence sent a herald, and took up under truce the bodies which they had left behind. Two hundred and twelve Corinthians fell in the battle, and rather less than fifty Athenians.
The Corinthians are finally routed, but the Athenians, seeing other enemy forces approaching, withdraw by ship to nearby islands.
Weighing from the islands, the Athenians sailed the same day to Crommyon in the Corinthian territory, about thirteen miles from the city, and coming to anchor laid waste the country, and passed the night there.  The next day, after first coasting along to the territory of Epidaurus and making a descent there, they came to Methana between Epidaurus and Troezen, and drew a wall across and fortified the isthmus of the peninsula, and left a post there from which incursions were henceforth made upon the country of Troezen, Halieis, and Epidaurus. After walling off this spot the fleet sailed off home.
The Athenians ravage Crommyon and fortify Methana as a base for future raids
While these events were going on, Eurymedon and Sophocles had put to sea with the Athenian fleet from Pylos on their way to Sicily, and arriving at Corcyra, joined the townsmen in an expedition against the party established on Mount Istone who, as I have mentioned, had crossed over after the revolution, and become masters of the country, to the great hurt of the inhabitants.  Their stronghold having been taken by an attack, the garrison took refuge in a body upon some high ground and there capitulated, agreeing to give up their mercenary auxiliaries, lay down their arms, and commit themselves to the discretion of the Athenian people.  The generals carried them across under truce to the island of Ptychia, to be kept in custody until they could be sent to Athens, upon the understanding that if any were caught running away, all would lose the benefit of the treaty.  Meanwhile the leaders of the Corcyraean commons, afraid that the Athenians might spare the lives of the prisoners, had recourse to the following stratagem.  They gained over some few men on the island by secretly sending friends with instructions to provide them with a boat, and to tell them, as if for their own sakes, that they had best escape as quickly as possible, as the Athenian generals were going to give them up to the Corcyraean people.
The Athenian fleet from Pylos sails to Corcyra; attacks and secures the surrender of the Corcyraeans from Mount Istone; and imprisons them on the island of Ptychia. The Corcyraean People plot to kill the prisoners.
MAP 4.47 ATHENIANS IN CORCYRA
These representations succeeding, it was so arranged that the men were caught sailing out in the boat that was provided, and the treaty became void accordingly, and the whole were given up to the Corcyraeans.  For this result the Athenian generals were in a great measure responsible; their evident disinclination to sail for Sicily, and thus to leave to others the honor of conducting the men to Athens, encouraged the intriguers in their design and seemed to affirm the truth of their representations.  The prisoners thus handed over were shut up by the Corcyraeans in a large building, and afterwards taken out by twenties and led past two lines of hoplites, one on each side, being bound together, and beaten and stabbed by the men in the lines whenever any saw pass a personal enemy; while men carrying whips went by their side and hastened on the road those that walked too slowly.
Caught trying to escape, the prisoners are executed by the Corcyraean People. The Athenian generals bear much responsibility for this massacre.
As many as sixty men were taken out and killed in this way without the knowledge of their friends in the building, who fancied they were merely being moved from one prison to another. At last, however, someone opened their eyes to the truth, upon which they called upon the Athenians to kill them themselves, if such was their pleasure, and refused any longer to go out of the building, and said they would do all they could to prevent anyone coming in.  The Corcyraeans, not wishing themselves to force a passage through the doors, got up on the top of the building, and breaking through the roof, threw down the tiles and let fly arrows at them, from which the prisoners sheltered themselves as well as they could.  Most of their number, meanwhile, were engaged in killing themselves by thrusting into their throats the arrows shot by the enemy, and hanging themselves with the cords taken from some beds that happened to be there, and with strips made from their clothing; adopting, in short, every possible means of self-destruction, and also falling victims to the missiles of their enemies on the roof. Night came on while these horrors were taking place, and most of it had passed before they were concluded.  When it was day the Corcyraeans threw them in layers upon wagons and carried them out of the city. All the women taken in the stronghold were sold as slaves.  In this way the Corcyraeans from the mountain were destroyed by the People; and so after terrible excesses the party strife came to an end, at least as far as the period of this war is concerned, for of one party there was practically nothing left. Meanwhile the Athenians sailed off to Sicily, their primary destination, and carried on the war with their allies there.
Civil strife now ends in Corcyra because the oligarchic faction has been annihilated.
At the close of the summer, the Athenians at Naupactus and the Acarnanians made an expedition against Anactorium, the Corinthian city lying at the mouth of the Ambracian gulf, and took it by treachery; and the Acarnanians themselves sending settlers from all parts of Acarnania occupied the place.
The Athenians take Anactorium by treachery.
Summer was now over. [4.50.1] During the following winter Aristides son of Archippus, one of the commanders of the Athenian ships sent to collect money from the allies, arrested at Eion on the Strymon Artaphernes, a Persian, on his way from the King to Sparta.  He was conducted to Athens, where the Athenians had his dispatches translated from the Assyrian characters and read them. With numerous references to other subjects, they in substance told the Spartans that the King did not know what they wanted, as of the many ambassadors they had sent him no two ever told the same story; if however they were prepared to speak plainly they might send him some envoys with this Persian.  The Athenians afterwards sent back Artaphernes in a trireme to Ephesus, and ambassadors with him, who heard there of the death of King Artaxerxes son of Xerxes, which took place about that time, and so returned home.
The Athenians capture a Persian ambassador to Sparta and return him, with their own envoys, to Ephesus. There they learn that King Artaxerxes has died.
The same winter the Chians pulled down their new wall at the command of the Athenians, who suspected them of meditating an insurrection, after first however obtaining pledges from the Athenians, and security as far as this was possible for their continuing to treat them as before. Thus the winter ended, and with it ended the seventh year of this war of which Thucydides is the historian.
The Chians dismantle their new wall.
In the first days of the next summer there was an eclipse of the sun at the time of the new moon, and in the early part of the same month an earthquake.  Meanwhile, the Mytilenian and other Lesbian exiles set out, for the most part from the continent, with mercenaries hired in the Peloponnesus, and others levied on the spot, and took Rhoeteum,2b but restored it without injury on the receipt of two thousand Phocaean staters.  After this they marched against Antandrus and took the city by treachery, their plan being to free Antandrus and the rest of the Actaean cities, formerly owned by Mytilene but now held by the Athenians. Once fortified there, they would have every facility for shipbuilding from the vicinity of Mount Ida and the consequent abundance of timber, and plenty of other supplies, and might from this base easily ravage Lesbos, which was not far off, and make themselves masters of the Aeolian cities on the continent.
Thucydides notes an eclipse of the sun, and describes the maneuvers and plans of the Mytilenian exiles.
MAP 4.52 EVENTS IN LESBOS AND CHIOS; NICIAS’ CYTHERAN CAMPAIGN
While these were the schemes of the exiles, [4.53.1] the Athenians in the same summer made an expedition with sixty ships, two thousand hoplites, a few cavalry, and some allied troops from Miletus and other parts, against Cythera, under the command of Nicias son of Niceratus, Nicostratus son of Diotrephes, and Autocles son of Tolmaeus.  Cythera is an island lying off Laconia, opposite Malea; the inhabitants are Spartans of the class of the perioikoi and an officer called the Judge of Cythera went over to the place annually from Sparta. A garrison of hoplites was also regularly sent there, and great attention paid to the island,  as it was the landing place for the merchant ships from Egypt and Libya, and at the same time secured Laconia from the attacks of privateers from the sea, at the only point where it is assailable, as the whole coast rises abruptly toward the Sicilian and Cretan seas.
Athens sends an expedition against Cythera. Thucydides describes the island, its inhabitants, and its importance to Sparta.
Corning to land here with their armament, the Athenians with ten ships and two thousand Milesian hoplites took the city of Scandea, on the sea; and with the rest of their forces landing on the side of the island looking toward Malea, went against the lower city of Cythera, where they found all the inhabitants encamped.  A battle ensuing, the Cytherans held their ground for some little while, and then turned and fled into the upper city, where they soon afterwards capitulated to Nicias and his colleagues, agreeing to leave their fate to the decision of the Athenians, their lives only being safe.  A correspondence had previously been going on between Nicias and certain of the inhabitants, which caused the surrender to be effected more speedily, and upon terms more advantageous, present and future, for the Cytherans; who would otherwise have been expelled by the Athenians on account of their being Spartans and their island being so near to Laconia.  After the capitulation, the Athenians occupied the city of Scandea near the harbor, and appointing a garrison for Cythera, sailed to Asine, Helus, and most of the places on the sea, and making descents and passing the night on shore at such spots as were convenient, continued ravaging the country for about seven days.
The Athenians under Nicias defeat the Cytherans who surrender on terms.
The Spartans seeing the Athenians masters of Cythera, and expecting descents of the kind upon their coasts, nowhere opposed them in force, but sent garrisons here and there through the country, consisting of as many hoplites as the points menaced seemed to require, and generally stood very much upon the defensive. After the severe and unexpected blow that had befallen them in the island, the occupation of Pylos and Cythera, and the apparition on every side of a war whose rapidity defied precaution, they lived in constant fear of internal revolution,  and now took the unusual step of raising four hundred horse and a force of archers, and became more timid than ever in military matters, finding themselves involved in a maritime struggle, which their organization had never contemplated, and that against Athenians, with whom an enterprise unattempted was always looked upon as a success sacrificed.  Besides this, their late numerous reverses of fortune, coming close one upon another without any reason, had thoroughly unnerved them, and they were always afraid of a second disaster like that on the island,  and thus scarsely dared to take the field, but fancied that they could not stir without a blunder, for being new to the experience of adversity they had lost all confidence in themselves.
Unnerved by its losses at Pylos and Cythera, Sparta organizes cavalry and archers and disperses hoplites to provide a mobile coast defense.
Accordingly they now allowed the Athenians to ravage their seaboard, without making any movement, the garrisons in whose neighborhood the descents were made always thinking their numbers insufficient, and sharing the general feeling. A single garrison which ventured to resist, near Cotyrta and Aphrodisia, struck terror by its charge into the scattered mob of light troops, but retreated, upon being received by the hoplites, with the loss of a few men and some arms, for which the Athenians set up a trophy, and then sailed off to Cythera.  From thence they sailed round to Epidaurus Limera, ravaged part of the country, and so came to Thyrea in the Cynurian territory, upon the Argive and Laconian border. This district had been given by its Spartan owners to the expelled Aeginetans to inhabit, in return for their good offices at the time of the earthquake and the rising of the Helots; and also because, although subjects of Athens, they had always sided with Sparta.
Sparta cannot defend its coasts from naval raids like the one against Thyrea, a district occupied by Aeginetan exiles.
While the Athenians were still at sea, the Aeginetans evacuated a fort which they were building upon the coast, and retreated into the upper city where they lived, rather more than a mile from the sea.  One of the Spartan district garrisons which was helping them in the work refused to enter here with them at their entreaty, thinking it dangerous to shut themselves up within the wall, and retiring to the high ground remained quiet, not considering themselves a match for the enemy.  Meanwhile the Athenians landed, and instantly advanced with all their forces and took Thyrea. The city they burnt, pillaging what was in it; the Aeginetans who were not slain in action they took with them to Athens, with Tantalus son of Patrocles, their Spartan commander, who had been wounded and taken prisoner.  They also took with them a few men from Cythera whom they thought it safest to remove. These the Athenians decided to lodge in the islands: the rest of the Cytherans were to retain their lands and pay four talents as tribute; the Aeginetans captured were all to be put to death on account of the old and inveterate feud between Athens and Aegina; and Tantalus was to share the imprisonment of the Spartans taken on the island.
LACONIA The Athenians capture Thyrea. Aeginetan prisoners are executed. A few Cytherans are sent to Athens as hostages.
The same summer, the inhabitants of Camarina and Gela in Sicily first made an armistice with each other, after which embassies from all the other Sicilian cities assembled at Gela to try to bring about a pacification. After many expressions of opinion on one side and the other, according to the griefs and pretensions of the different parties complaining, Hermocrates son of Hermon, a Syracusan, the most influential man among them, addressed the following words to the assembly:
SICILY Hermocrates addresses the Sicilians at Gela.
“If I now address you, Sicilians, it is not because my city is the least in Sicily or the greatest sufferer by the war, but in order to state publicly what appears to me to be the best policy for the whole island.  That war is an evil is a proposition so familiar to everyone that it would be tedious to develop it. No one is forced to engage in it by ignorance, or kept out of it by fear, if he fancies there is anything to be gained by it. To the former the gain appears greater than the danger, while the latter would rather stand the risk than put up with any immediate sacrifice.  But if both should happen to have chosen the wrong moment for acting in this way, advice to make peace would be useful; and this, if we did but see it, is just what we stand most in need of at the present juncture.”
SICILY Hermocrates begins his speech by declaring Sicily’s need for peace.
“I suppose that no one will dispute that we went to war at first in order to serve our own individual interests, and that we are now, in view of these same interests, debating how we can make peace; and that if we separate without having reached a fair agreement, we shall go to war again.”
“And yet, as men of sense, we ought to see that our separate interests are not alone at stake in the present congress: there is also the question whether we have still time to save Sicily, the whole of which in my opinion is menaced by Athenian ambition; and we ought to find in the name of that people more imperious arguments for peace than any which I can advance, when we see the first power in Hellas watching our mistakes with the few ships1a that she has at present in our waters, and under the fair name of alliance speciously seeking to exploit the natural hostility that exists between us.  If we go to war, and call in to help us a people that are ready enough to carry their arms even where they are not invited; and if we injure ourselves at our own expense, and at the same time serve as the pioneers of their dominion, we may expect when they see us worn out, that they will one day come with a larger armament, and seek to bring all of us into subjection.”
424 8th Year/Summer
SICILY Hermocrates argues that war among Sicilians will only weaken them all and render them vulnerable to subjugation by Athens.
“And yet as sensible men, if we call in allies and court danger, it should be in order to enrich our different countries with new acquisitions, and not to ruin what they possess already; and we should understand that the internal discords which are so fatal to communities generally will be equally so to Sicily if we, its inhabitants, absorbed in our local quarrels, neglect the common enemy.  These considerations should reconcile individual with individual, and city with city, and unite us in a common effort to save the whole of Sicily. Nor should anyone imagine that the Dorians only are enemies of Athens, while the Chalcidian race is secured by its Ionian blood;  the attack in question is not inspired by hatred of one of two nationalities, but by a desire for the good things in Sicily, the common property of us all.  This is proved by the Athenian reception of the Chalcidian invitation: an ally who has never given them any assistance whatever, at once receives from them almost more than the treaty entitles him to.  That the Athenians should cherish this ambition and practice this policy is very excusable; and I do not blame those who wish to rule, but those who are too ready to serve. It is just as much in men’s nature to rule those who submit to them, as it is to resist those who molest them.  Meanwhile all who see these dangers and refuse to provide for them properly, or who have come here without having made up their minds that our first duty is to unite to get rid of the common peril, are mistaken.  The quickest way to be rid of it is to make peace with each other; since the Athenians menace us not from their own country, but from that of those who invited them here. In this way instead of war resulting in war, peace quietly ends our quarrels; and the guests who come hither under fair pretenses for bad ends, will have good reason for going away without having attained them.”
SICILY Hermocrates claims that Athens is the common enemy of all Sicilians.
“So far as regards the Athenians such are the great advantages proved inherent in a wise policy.  Independently of this, in the face of the universal consent that peace is the first of blessings, how can we refuse to make it amongst ourselves; or do you not think that the good which you have, and the ills that you complain of, would be better preserved and cured by quiet than by war; that peace has its honors and splendors of a less perilous kind, not to mention the numerous other blessings that one might expand on, with the not less numerous miseries of war? These considerations should teach you not to disregard my words, but rather for everyone to look into them for his own safety.  If there be any here who feels certain either by right or might to effect his object, let not this surprise be too severe a disappointment to him. Let him remember that many before now have tried to chastise a wrongdoer, and failing to punish their enemy have not even saved themselves; while many who have trusted in force to gain an advantage, instead of gaining anything more, have been doomed to lose what they had.  Vengeance is not necessarily successful because wrong has been done, or strength sure because it is confident; but the incalculable element in the future exercises the widest influence, and is the most treacherous, and yet in fact the most useful of all things, as it frightens us all equally, and thus makes us consider before attacking each other.”
SICILY Hermocrates argues that regardless of the Athenian menace, peace itself is a blessing well worth seeking.
“Let us therefore now allow the undefined fear of this unknown future, and the immediate terror of the Athenians’ presence to produce their natural impression, and let us consider any failure to carry out the programs that we may each have sketched out for ourselves as sufficiently accounted for by these obstacles, and send away the intruder from the country; and if everlasting peace be impossible between us, let us at all events make a treaty for as long a term as possible, and put off our private differences to another day.  In short, let us recognize that the adoption of my advice will leave us each citizens of a free state, and as such arbiters of our own destiny, able to return good or bad deeds with equal effect; while its rejection will make us dependent on others, and thus not only impotent to repel an insult, but on the most favorable supposition, friends to our direst enemies, and at feud with our natural friends.”
SICILY Hermocrates asserts that peace will leave Sicilians free, while continued war will lead to dependence on others.
“For myself, though, as I said at first, the representative of a great city able to think less of defending myself than of attacking others, I am prepared to concede something in anticipation of these dangers. I am not inclined to ruin myself for the sake of hurting my enemies, or so blinded by animosity as to think myself equally master of my own plans and of fortune which I cannot command; but I am ready to give up anything in reason.  I call upon the rest of you to imitate my conduct of your own free will, without being forced to do so by the enemy.  There is no disgrace in connections giving way to one another, a Dorian to a Dorian, or a Chalcidian to his brethren; above and beyond this we are neighbors, live in the same country, are girt by the same sea, and go by the same name of Sicilians. We shall go to war again, I suppose, when the time comes, and again make peace among ourselves by means of future congresses;  but the foreign invader, if we are wise, will always find us united against him, since the hurt of one is the danger of all; and we should never, in future, invite into the island either allies or mediators.  By so acting we shall at the present moment do for Sicily a double service, ridding her at once of the Athenians, and of civil war, and in future shall live in freedom at home, and be less menaced from abroad.”
SICILY Hermocrates concludes by arguing that Sicilians should always unite against any foreign invader.
Such were the words of Hermocrates. The Sicilians took his advice, and came to an understanding among themselves to end the war, each keeping what they had—the Camarinaeans taking Morgantina at a fixed price to be paid to the Syracusans— and the allies of the Athenians called the officers in command, and told them that they were going to make peace and that they would be included in the treaty. The generals assenting, the peace was concluded, and the Athenian fleet afterwards sailed away from Sicily.  Upon their arrival at Athens, the Athenians banished Pythodorus and Sophocles, and fined Eurymedon for having taken bribes to depart when they might have subdued Sicily.  So thoroughly had the present prosperity persuaded the Athenians that nothing could withstand them, and that they could achieve what was possible and what was impracticable alike, with means ample or inadequate it mattered not. The reason for this was their general extraordinary success, which made them confuse their strength with their hopes.
SICILY-ATHENS The Sicilians make peace among themselves. The Athenians return home, where their generals are prosecuted for bribery.
The same summer the Megarians in the city, pressed by the hostilities of the Athenians, who invaded their country twice every year with all their forces, and harassed by the incursions of their own exiles at Pegae, who had been expelled in a revolution by the popular party, began to ask each other whether it would not be better to receive back their exiles, and free the city from one of its two scourges.  The friends of the exiles perceiving the agitation, now more openly than before demanded the adoption of this proposition;  and the leaders of The People, seeing that the sufferings of the times had worn down the determination of their supporters, entered in their alarm into correspondence with the Athenian generals, Hippocrates son of Ariphron, and Demosthenes son of Alcisthenes, and resolved to betray the city, thinking this less dangerous to themselves than the return of the party which they had banished. It was accordingly arranged that the Athenians should first take the long walls extending for nearly a mile from the city to the port of Nisaea to prevent the Peloponnesians coming to the rescue from that place, where they formed the sole garrison to secure the fidelity of Megara; and that after this the attempt should be made to gain control of the upper city which, it was thought, would then come over with less difficulty.
MEGARA The Megarian popular party plots with Athens to open their gates to a surprise attack against Nisaea and Megara.
The Athenians, after plans had been arranged between themselves and their correspondents both as to words and actions, sailed by night to Minoa the island off Megara, with six hundred hoplites under the command of Hippocrates, and took a position in a ditch not far off, out of which bricks used to be taken for the walls; while  Demosthenes, the other commander, with a detachment of Plataean light troops and another of peripoli, placed himself in ambush in the precinct of Enyalius, which was still nearer. No one knew of it, except those whose business it was to know that night.  A little before daybreak, the traitors in Megara began to act. Every night for a long time back, under pretense of marauding, and in order to have a means of opening the gates, they had been used, with the consent of the officer in command, to carry by night a rowboat upon a cart along the ditch to the sea and to sail out, bringing it back again before day upon the cart and taking it within the wall through the gates in order, as they pretended, to baffle the Athenian blockade from Minoa, there being no boat to be seen in the harbor.  On the present occasion the cart was already at the gates, which had been opened in the usual way for the boat, when the Athenians, with whom this had been arranged, saw it, and ran at top speed from the ambush in order to reach the gates before they were shut again, and while the cart was still there to prevent their being closed. At the same moment their Megarian accomplices killed the guard at the gates.  The first to run in was Demosthenes with his Plataeans and peripoli, just where the trophy now stands; and he was no sooner within the gates than the Plataeans engaged and defeated the nearest party of Peloponnesians who had taken the alarm and come to the rescue, and secured the gates for the approaching Athenian hoplites.
MEGARA The Athenians attack from ambush and gain entrance by a gate that has been opened by a stratagem of their Megarian confederates.
After this, each of the Athenians as fast as they entered went against the wall.  A few of the Peloponnesian garrison stood their ground at first, and tried to repel the assault, and some of them were killed, but the main body took fright and fled; the night attack and the sight of the Megarian traitors in arms against them making them think that all Megara had gone over to the enemy.  It so happened also that the Athenian herald of his own idea called out and invited any of the Megarians to join the Athenian ranks, and this was no sooner heard by the garrison than they gave way and, convinced that they were the victims of a prearranged attack, took refuge in Nisaea.  By daybreak, the walls being now taken and the Megarians in the city in great agitation, the persons who had negotiated with the Athenians, supported by the rest of the popular party which was privy to the plot, said that they ought to open the gates and march out to battle.  It had been agreed between them that the Athenians should rush in the moment that the gates were opened, and that the conspirators were to be distinguished from the rest by being anointed with oil, and so avoid being hurt. They could open the gates with more security, as four thousand Athenian hoplites from Eleusis, and six hundred horse, had marched all night according to plan and were now close at hand.  The conspirators were all anointed and at their posts by the gates when one of their accomplices denounced the plot to the opposite party, who gathered together and came in a body, and roundly said that they must not march out—a thing they had never yet ventured on even when they were in greater force than at present—or wantonly compromise the safety of the city; and that if what they said was not heeded the battle would have to be fought in Megara. For the rest, they gave no sign of their knowledge of the intrigue, but stoutly maintained that their advice was the best, and meanwhile kept close by and watched the gates, making it impossible for the conspirators to effect their purpose.
MEGARA The Athenians capture the long walls but the popular party’s plot to open the city gates is betrayed to their Megarian opponents, who prevent its execution.
The Athenian generals seeing that some obstacle had arisen, and that the capture of the city by force was no longer practicable, at once proceeded to invest Nisaea, thinking that if they could take it before relief arrived, the surrender of Megara would soon follow.  Iron, stonemasons, and everything else required quickly coming up from Athens, the Athenians started from the wall which they occupied, and from this point built a cross wall looking toward Megara down to the sea on either side of Nisaea; the ditch and the walls being divided among the army, stones and bricks taken from the suburb, and the fruit trees and timber cut down to make a palisade wherever this seemed necessary; the houses also in the suburb with the addition of battlements sometimes became part of the fortification. The whole of this day the work continued,  and by the afternoon of the next the wall was all but completed, when the garrison in Nisaea, alarmed by the absolute want of provisions, which they used to take in for the day from the upper city, not anticipating any speedy relief from the Peloponnesians, and supposing Megara to be hostile, capitulated to the Athenians on condition that they should give up their arms, and should each be ransomed for a stipulated sum; their Spartan commander, and any others of his countrymen in the place, being left to the discretion of the Athenians.  On these conditions they surrendered and came out, and the Athenians broke down the long walls at their point of junction with Megara, took possession of Nisaea, and went on with their other preparations.
MEGARA The Athenians invest Nisaea and its garrison surrenders.
MAP 4.69 THE ATHENIAN ATTACK ON MEGARA
Just at this time the Spartan Brasidas son of Tellis happened to be in the neighborhood of Sicyon and Corinth, getting ready an army for Thrace. As soon as he heard of the capture of the walls, fearing for the Peloponnesians in Nisaea and the safety of Megara, he sent to the Boeotians to meet him as quickly as possible at Tripodiscus, a village of the Megarid on the slopes of Mount Geraneia. He then went himself, with two thousand seven hundred Corinthian hoplites, four hundred Phliasians, six hundred Sicyonians, and such troops of his own as he had already levied, expecting to find Nisaea not yet taken.  Hearing of its fall (he had marched out by night to Tripodiscus), he took three hundred picked men from the army, without waiting till his coming should be known, and came up to Megara unobserved by the Athenians, who were down by the sea, ostensibly, and really if possible, to attempt Nisaea, but above all to get into Megara and secure the city. He accordingly invited the townspeople to admit his party, saving that he had hopes of recoverine Nisaea.
MEGARA The Spartan Brasidas, calling for Boeotian help, marches with local allied forces to Megara, hoping to rescue Nisaea and at the least to occupy Megara before it falls.
However, one of the Megarian factions feared that he might expel them and restore the exiles, and the other that the popular party, apprehensive of this very danger, might set upon them, and that the city would be thus destroyed by a battle within its gates under the eyes of the Athenians lying in ambush. He was accordingly refused admittance, both parties electing to remain quiet and await the event;  each expecting a battle between the Athenians and the relieving army, and thinking it safer to see their friends victorious before declaring in their favor.
MEGARA The Megarians decide to see which side will win before admitting anyone into their city.
Unable to get his way, Brasidas went back to the rest of the army. [4.72.1] At daybreak the Boeotians joined him. Having determined to relieve Megara, whose danger they considered their own, even before hearing from Brasidas, they were already in full force at Plataea when his messenger arrived to add spurs to their resolution; and they at once sent on to him two thousand two hundred hoplites, and six hundred horse, returning home with the main body.  The whole army thus assembled numbered six thousand hoplites. The Athenian hoplites were drawn up by Nisaea and the sea; but the light troops being scattered over the plain were attacked by the Boeotian horse and driven to the sea, being taken entirely by surprise, as on previous occasions no relief had ever come to the Megarians from any quarter.  Here the Boeotians were in their turn charged and engaged by the Athenian horse, and a cavalry action ensued which lasted a long time, and in which both parties claimed the victory.  The Athenians killed and stripped the leader of the Boeotian horse and some few of his comrades who had charged right up to Nisaea, and remaining masters of the bodies gave them back under truce, and set up a trophy; but regarding the action as a whole the forces separated without either side having gained a decisive advantage, the Boeotians returning to their army and the Athenians to Nisaea.
MEGARA The Boeotians arrive; their cavalry attacks the Athenian light troops and are countered by the Athenian cavalry.
After this Brasidas and the army came nearer to the sea and to Megara, and taking up a convenient position, remained quiet in order of battle, expecting to be attacked by the Athenians and knowing that the Megarians were waiting to see which would be the victor.  This attitude seemed to present two advantages. Without taking the offensive or willingly provoking the hazards of a battle, they openly showed their readiness to fight, and thus without bearing the burden of the day would fairly reap its honors; while at the same time they effectually served their interests at Megara.  For if they had failed to show themselves, they would not have had a chance, but would have certainly been considered vanquished, and have lost the city. As it was, the Athenians might possibly not be inclined to accept their challenge, and their object would be attained without fighting.  And so it turned out. The Athenians formed outside the long walls, and the enemy not attacking, there remained motionless; their generals having decided that the risk was too unequal. In fact most of their objects had been already attained; and they would have to begin a battle against superior numbers, and if victorious could only gain Megara, while a defeat would destroy the flower of their hoplite forces. For the enemy it was different; as even the states actually represented in his army risked each only a part of its entire force, he might well be more audacious. Accordingly after waiting for some time without either side attacking, the Athenians withdrew to Nisaea, and the Peloponnesians after them to the point from which they had set out. The friends of the Megarian exiles now threw aside their hesitation, and opened the gates to Brasidas and the commanders from the different states—looking upon him as the victor and upon the Athenians as having declined the battle—and receiving them into the city proceeded to discuss matters with them; the party in correspondence with the Athenians being paralyzed by the turn things had taken.
8th Year Summer
The Peloponnesians offer battle but do not attack. The Athenians also hold back, unwilling to risk defeat. The Megarians view the failure to fight as a Spartan victory and open their gates to Brasidas.
Afterwards Brasidas let the allies go home, and himself went back to Corinth, to prepare for his expedition to Thrace, his original destination.  The Athenians also returning home, the Megarians in the city most implicated in the Athenian negotiation, knowing that they had been detected, presently disappeared; while the rest conferred with the friends of the exiles, and restored the party at Pegae, after binding them under solemn oaths to take no vengeance for the past, and only to consult the real interests of the city.  However, as soon as they were in office, they held a review of the hoplites, and separating the battalions, picked out about a hundred of their enemies, and of those who were thought to be most involved in the correspondence with the Athenians, brought them before the people, and compelling the vote to be given openly, had them condemned and executed, and established a close oligarchy in the city— a revolution which lasted a very long while, although effected by a very few partisans.
MEGARA Both sides return home, leaving Megara firmly in the hands of the oligarchs, who then execute one hundred of their foes.
The same summer the Mytilenians were about to fortify Antandrus as they had intended, when Demodocus and Aristides, the commanders of the Athenian squadron engaged in collecting tribute, heard on the Hellespont of what was being done to the place (Lamachus their colleague having sailed with ten ships into the Pontus) and conceived fears of its becoming a second Anaia, the place in which the Samian exiles had established themselves to annoy Samos, helping the Peloponnesians by sending pilots to their navy, and keeping the city in agitation and receiving all its outlaws. They accordingly got together a force from the allies and set sail, defeated in battle the troops that met them from Antandrus, and retook the place.  Not long after, Lamachus, who had sailed into the Pontus, lost his ships at anchor in the river Calex, in the territory of Heraclea, rain having fallen in the interior and the flood coming suddenly down upon them; and himself and his troops passed by land through the Bithynian Thracians on the Asiatic side, and arrived at Chalcedon, the Megarian colony at the mouth of the Pontus.
LESBOS-PONTUS Athenians prevent the Mytilenian exiles from fortifying Antandrus. Lamachus loses his ships in Pontus and marches home by land.
MAP 4.75 THE NORTH AEGEAN THEATER, 424
The same summer immediately after his return from the Megarid, the Athenian general Demosthenes arrived at Naupactus with forty ships.  He and Hippocrates had had overtures made to them by certain men in the cities in Boeotia who wished to change the constitution and introduce a democracy as at Athens. Ptoeodorus, a Theban exile, was the chief mover in this intrigue.  The seaport city of Siphae, on the bay of Crisae in the territory of Thespiae, was to be betrayed to them by one party; and Chaeronea (a dependency of what was formerly called the Minyan, but now the Boeotian, Orchomenus) was to be put into their hands by another from that city, whose exiles were very active in the business, hiring men in the Peloponnesus. Some Phocians also were in the plot, Chaeronea being the frontier city of Boeotia and close to Phanotis in Phocis.  At the same time the Athenians were to seize the sanctuary of Apollo at Delium, in the territory of Tanagra looking toward Euboea; and all these events were to take place simultaneously upon an appointed day in order that the Boeotians might be unable to unite to oppose them at Delium, being everywhere detained by disturbances at home.  Should the enterprise succeed, and Delium be fortified, its authors confidently expected that even if no revolution should immediately follow in Boeotia, yet with these places in their hands, and the country being harassed by incursions, and a refuge in each instance nearby for the partisans engaged in them, things would not remain as they were, but that the rebels being supported by the Athenians, and the forces of the oligarchs divided, it would be possible after a while to settle matters according to their wishes.
BOEOTIA Athens plans a series of simultaneous attacks in Boeotia.
MAP 4.77 THE ATHENIAN PLAN TO ATTACK BOEOTIA
Such was the plot in preparation. Hippocrates, with a force raised at home, awaited the proper moment to take the field against the Boeotians, while he sent on Demosthenes with the forty ships above mentioned to Naupactus to raise in those parts an army of Acarnanians and other allies, and sail for Siphae, expecting that it would be betrayed; a day having been agreed on for the simultaneous execution of both these operations.  Demosthenes on his arrival found Oeniadae already compelled by the united Acarnanians to join the Athenian confederacy, and himself raising all the allies in those countries, marched against and subdued Salynthius and the Agraeans; after which he devoted himself to the preparations necessary to enable him to be at Siphae on the appointed day.
ACARNANIA The Acarnanians compel Oeniadae to join the Athenians; Demosthenes enlists allies and conquers Salynthius of Agrae.
About the same time in the summer, Brasidas set out on his march for the Thracian region with seventeen hundred hoplites, and arriving at Heraclea in Trachis, sent on from there a messenger to his friends at Pharsalus to ask them to conduct himself and his army through the country. Accordingly there came to Melitia in Achaea Panaerus, Dorus, Hippolochidas, Torylaus, and Strophacus, the Chalcidian proxenus, under whose escort he resumed his march.  He was also accompanied by other Thessalians, among whom was Niconidas from Larissa,2a a friend of Perdiccas. It was never very easy to traverse Thessaly2b without an escort; and throughout all Hellas for an armed force to pass without leave through a neighbor’s country was a delicate step to take. Besides this the Thessalian people had always sympathized with the Athenians.  Indeed if instead of the customary close oligarchy there had been a constitutional government in Thessaly, he would never have been able to proceed; since even as it was, he was met on his march at the river Enipeus3a by certain of the opposite party who forbade his further progress, and complained of his making the attempt without the consent of the nation.  To this his escort answered that they had no intention of taking him through against their will; they were only friends in attendance on an unexpected visitor. Brasidas himself added that he came as a friend to Thessaly and its inhabitants; his arms not being directed against them but against the Athenians, with whom he was at war, and that although he knew of no quarrel between the Thessalians and Spartans to prevent the two nations having access to each other’s territory, he neither would nor could proceed against their wishes; he could only beg them not to stop him.  With this answer they went away, and he took the advice of his escort, and pushed on without halting, before a greater force might gather to prevent him. Thus in the day that he set out from Melitia he performed the whole distance to Pharsalus, and encamped on the river Apidanus; and so to Phacium, and from there to Perrhaebia.  Here his Thessalian escort went back and the Perrhaebians, who are subjects of Thessaly, brought him to Dium, a Macedonian city on the slopes of Mount Olympus, looking toward Thessaly in the dominions of Perdiccas.
THESSALY Brasidas marches his Peloponnesian army through Thessaly to Macedonia so rapidly that the Thessalians are unable to stop him.
MAP 4.78 BRASIDAS’ MARCH THROUGH THESSALY
In this way Brasidas hurried through Thessaly and reached Perdiccas and Chalcidice before any armed force could be assembled to stop him.  The departure of the army from the Peloponnesus had been obtained by the Thracian cities that were in revolt against Athens and by Perdiccus, who was alarmed at the successes of the Athenians. The Chalcidians thought that they would be the first objects of an Athenian expedition (not that the neighboring cities which had not yet revolted did not also secretly join in the invitation), and Perdiccas, although not openly at war with the Athenians, also had his apprehensions on account of his old quarrels with them, and above all wished to subdue Arrhabaeus king of the Lyncestians.  It had been less difficult for them to get an army to leave the Peloponnesus, because of the ill fortune of the Spartans at the present moment.
THRACE Brasidas had been invited by Perdiccas of Macedonia and by Chalcidian and Thracian cities who had revolted, or wished to revolt, from Athens.
The attacks of the Athenians upon the Peloponnesus, and in particular upon Laconia, might, it was hoped, be diverted most effectively by annoying them in return, and by sending an army to their allies, especially as they were willing to maintain it and asked for it to aid them in revolting.  The Spartans were also glad to have an excuse for sending some of the Helots out of the country, for fear that the present aspect of affairs and the occupation of Pylos might encourage them to revolt.  Indeed fear of their numbers and obstinacy even persuaded the Spartans to the action which I shall now relate, their policy at all times having been governed by the necessity of taking precautions against them. The Helots were invited by a proclamation to pick out those of their number who claimed to have most distinguished themselves in the wars, in order that they might receive their freedom; the object being to test them, as it was thought that the first to claim their freedom would be the most high-spirited and the most apt to rebel.  As many as two thousand were selected accordingly, who crowned themselves and went round the temples, rejoicing in their new freedom.  The Spartans, however, soon afterwards did away with them, and no one ever knew how each of them perished. The Spartans now therefore gladly sent seven hundred Helots as hoplites with Brasidas, who recruited the rest of his force by means of money in the Peloponnesus.
Wishing to retaliate somehow against Athens, Sparta was happy to send warlike Helots out of Laconia. A Spartan atrocity against the Helots is described.
Brasidas himself was sent out by the Spartans mainly at his own desire, although the Chalcidians also were eager to have a man so energetic as he had shown himself whenever there was anything to be done at Sparta, and whose later service abroad proved of the utmost use to his country.  At the present moment his just and moderate conduct toward the cities generally succeeded in persuading many to revolt, besides the places which he managed to take by treachery; and thus when the Spartans desired to negotiate, as they ultimately did, they had places to offer in exchange, and the burden of war meanwhile shifted from the Peloponnesus. Later on in the war, after the events in Sicily, the present valor and conduct of Brasidas, which was known by experience to some, by hearsay to others, was what mainly created an esteem for the Spartans among the allies of Athens.  He was the first who went out and showed himself so good a man at all points as to leave behind him the conviction that the rest were like him.
Brasidas captures some cities and his just and moderate conduct induces others to revolt. The memory of his wise conduct helped Sparta years later.
Meanwhile his arrival in the Thracian region no sooner became known to the Athenians than they declared war against Perdiccas, whom they regarded as the author of the expedition, and kept a closer watch on their allies in that quarter.
Athens declares war on Perdiccas.
Upon the arrival of Brasidas and his army, Perdiccas immediately set out with them and with his own forces against his neighbor Arrhabaeus son of Bromerus, king of the Lyncestian Macedonians, with whom he had a quarrel and whom he wished to subdue.  However, when he arrived with his army and Brasidas at the pass leading into Lyncestis, Brasidas told him that before commencing hostilities he wished to try to persuade Arrhabaeus to become the ally of Sparta,  as Arrhabaeus had already made overtures indicating his willingness to let Brasidas arbitrate between them, and the Chalcidian envoys who accompanied Brasidas had warned him not to remove all the apprehensions of Perdiccas, in order to insure his greater zeal in their cause.  Besides, the envoys of Perdiccas had talked at Sparta about his bringing many of the places round him into alliance with them; and thus Brasidas thought he might take a larger view of the question of Arrhabaeus.  Perdiccas however retorted that he had not brought Brasidas with him to arbitrate in their quarrel but to subdue the enemies whom he might point out to him; and that while he, Perdiccas, was paying for half of his army it was a breach of faith for Brasidas to parley with Arrhabaeus.  Nevertheless, Brasidas disregarded the wishes of Perdiccas and held the parley in spite of him, and allowed himself to be persuaded to lead off the army without invading the country of Arrhabaeus; after which Perdiccas, holding that Brasidas had not kept faith with him, contributed only a third instead of half of the support of the army.
Perdiccas and Brasidas march against Arrhabaeus, king of Lyncestis. Brasidas insists on parleying first, and agrees to withdraw without invading Lyncestis. Perdiccas is furious and thereafter reduces his subsidy to Brasidas.
The same summer, without delay, Brasidas marched with the Chalcidians against Acanthus, a colony of the Andrians, and arrived just before the grape harvest.  The inhabitants were divided into two parties on the question of receiving him; those who had joined the Chalcidians in inviting him, and the popular party. However, fear for their grapes, which were still on the vines, enabled Brasidas to persuade the multitude to admit him alone to hear what he had to say before making a decision; and he was admitted accordingly and appeared before the people and, not being a bad speaker for a Spartan, addressed them as follows:
Brasidas threatens Acanthus just before the grape harvest. He enters the city alone to address the citizens.
“Acanthians, the Spartans have sent me out with an army to make good the reason that we gave for the war when we began it, namely, that we were going to war with the Athenians in order to free Hellas.  Our delay in coming has been caused by mistaken expectations about the war in Greece which led us to hope that by our own unassisted efforts, and without your risking anything, we could effect the speedy downfall of the Athenians; and you must not blame us for this, as we have now come at the first moment we could, prepared with your aid to do our best to defeat them.  I am therefore astonished at finding your gates shut against me, and at not meeting with a better welcome.  We Spartans thought of you as allies eager to have us, to whom we should come in spirit even before we were with you in body; and in this expectation undertook all the risks of a march of many days through a strange country, so far did our zeal carry us.  It will be a terrible thing if after this you have other intentions, and mean to stand in the way of your own and Hellenic freedom.  It is not merely that you oppose me yourselves; but wherever I may go people will be less inclined to join me, on the score that you, to whom I first came—an important city like Acanthus, and prudent men like the Acanthians—refused to admit me. I shall have nothing to prove that the reason which I advance is the true one; it will be said either that there is something unfair in the freedom which I offer, or that I am here in insufficient force and unable to protect you against an attack from Athens.  Yet when I went with the army which I now have to the relief of Nisaea, the Athenians did not venture to engage me although in greater force than I; and it is not likely they will ever send by sea against you an army as numerous as they had at Nisaea.”
Brasidas speaks to the Acanthians, asking them to aid Sparta against Athens.
“And for myself, I have come here not to hurt but to free the Hellenes: witness the solemn oaths by which I have bound my government that the allies that I may bring over shall be independent; and besides my object in coming is not to obtain your alliance by force or fraud, but to offer you mine to help you against your Athenian masters.  I protest, therefore, against any suspicions of my intentions after the guarantees which I offer, and equally so against doubts of my ability to protect you, and I invite you to join me without hesitation.”
Brasidas guarantees that Sparta will respect Acanthus’ independence and will not interfere in her affairs.
 “Some of you may hang back because they have private enemies, and fear that I may put the city into the hands of a party: none need be more tranquil than they.  I am not come here to help this party or that; and I do not consider that I should be bringing you freedom in any real sense, if I should disregard your constitution, and enslave the many to the few or the few to the many.  This would be heavier than a foreign yoke; and we Spartans instead of being thanked for our pains, should get neither honor nor glory but,on the contrary, reproaches. The charges which strengthen our hands in the war against the Athenians would on our own showing be merited by ourselves, and more hateful in us than in those who make no pretensions to honesty;  as it is more disgraceful for persons of character to take what they covet by fair-seeming fraud than by open force; the one aggression having for its justification the might which fortune gives, the other being simply a piece of clever roguery.”
“As this matter concerns us greatly, we attend to it with great care. Above and beyond the oaths that I have mentioned, what stronger assurance can you have that it is indeed in our interests to do what we say here, than when you compare our words with our actual past deeds and find that they are consistent.”
Brasidas concludes by threatening to ravage Acanthian territory if Acanthus refuses to join his “Hellenic liberation.”
“ If to these considerations of mine you put in the plea of inability, and claim that your friendly feeling should save you from being hurt by your refusal; if you say that freedom, in your opinion, is not without its dangers, and that it is right to offer it to those who can accept it, but not to force it on any against their will, then I shall take the gods and heroes of your country to witness that I came for your good and was rejected, and shall do my best to compel you by laying waste your land.  I shall do so without scruple, being justified by the necessity which constrains me; first, to prevent the Spartans from being damaged by you, their friends, in the event of your nonadhesion, through the moneys that you pay to the Athenians; and secondly, to prevent the Hellenes from being hindered by you in shaking off their servitude.  Otherwise indeed we should have no right to act as we propose; except in the name of some public interest, what call should we Spartans have to free those who do not wish it?  Empire we do not aspire to: it is what we are laboring to put down; and we should wrong the greater number if we allowed you to stand in the way of the independence that we offer to all.  Endeavor, therefore, to decide wisely, and strive to begin the work of liberation for the Hellenes, and gain for yourselves endless renown, while you escape private loss, and cover your commonwealth with glory.”
Such were the words of Brasidas. The Acanthians, after much had been said on both sides of the question, gave their votes in secret, and the majority, influenced by the seductive arguments of Brasidas and by fear for their vintage, decided to revolt from Athens; not however admitting the army until they had taken his personal security for the oaths sworn by his government before they sent him out, assuring the independence of the allies whom he might bring over.  Not long after, Stagirus, a colony of the Andrians, followed their example and revolted. Such were the events of this summer.
The Acanthians decide to revolt from Athens.
It was in the first days of the winter following that the places in Boeotia were to be put into the hands of the Athenian generals, Hippocrates and Demosthenes, the latter of whom was to go with his ships to Siphae, the former to Delium. A mistake, however, was made in the days on which they were each to start; and Demosthenes sailing first to Siphae, with the Acarnanians and many of the allies from those parts on board, failed to effect anything because the plot had been betrayed by Nicomachus, a Phocian from Phanotis, who informed the Spartans and they the Boeotians.  Help accordingly flocked in from all parts of Boeotia, and since Hippocrates had not yet entered the country to make his diversion, Siphae and Chaeronea were promptly secured and the conspirators, informed of the mistake, did not cause any trouble in the cities.
Athenian attacks at Delium, Siphae, and Chaeronea fail due to faulty timing and the betrayal of their plan to the Boeotians.
Meanwhile Hippocrates called out the Athenians in full force, citizens and resident aliens, and the foreigners in Athens, and arrived at his destination after the Boeotians had already come back from Siphae, and encamping his army began to fortify the sanctuary of Apollo at Delium, in the following manner.  A trench was dug all round the temple and the consecrated ground, and the earth thrown up from the excavation was made to do duty as a wall, in which stakes were also planted, the vines round the sanctuary being cut down and thrown in, together with stones and bricks pulled down from the houses near, using, in short, every means to build the rampart. Wooden towers were also erected where they were wanted, and where there was no part of the temple buildings left standing, as on the side where the gallery once existing had fallen in.  The work was begun on the third day after leaving home, and continued during the fourth till dinnertime on the fifth,  when most of it being now finished, the army marched about a mile and a quarter from Delium on its way home. From this point, most of the light troops went straight on, while the hoplites halted and remained where they were; Hippocrates stayed behind at Delium to arrange the posts and to give directions for the completion of such part of the outworks as had been left unfinished.
The Athenian army under Hippocrates advances to Delium and fortifies it before marching back to Attica.
During the days thus employed the Boeotians were mustering at Tanagra, and by the time that they had come in from all the cities, they found the Athenians already on their way home. The rest of the eleven boeotarchs were against giving battle, as the enemy was no longer in Boeotia, the Athenians having just crossed over the Oropian border when they halted; but Pagondas son of Aeolidas, one of the boeotarchs of Thebes (Arianthides son of Lysimachidas, being the other), and then commander-in-chief, thought it best to fight a battle. He accordingly called the men to him, company after company, to prevent their all leaving their arms at once, and urged them to attack the Athenians, and face the hazard of a battle, speaking as follows:
The Boeotians advance upon the Athenians. Against the advice of the other boeotarchs, Pagondas urges an immediate attack.
“Boeotians, the idea that we ought not to give battle to the Athenians unless we come upon them in Boeotia is one which should never have entered into the head of any of us, your generals. It was to damage Boeotia that they crossed the frontier and built a fort in our country; and they are therefore, I imagine, our enemies wherever we may come upon them, wherever they may have come to act as enemies do.  And if anyone has taken up with the idea in question for reasons of safety, it is high time for him to change his mind. The party attacked, whose own country is in danger, can scarcely discuss what is prudent with the calmness of men who are in full enjoyment of what they have, and are thinking of attacking a neighbor in order to get more.  It is your national habit to resist a foreign invader, regardless of whether he is in your country or not; and when that invader is Athenian, and lives upon your frontier as well, it is doubly imperative to do so.  As between neighbors generally, freedom means simply a determination to hold one’s own; and with neighbors like these, who are trying to enslave near and far alike, there is nothing for it but to fight it out to the last. Look at the condition of the Euboeans and of most of the rest of Hellas and you will be convinced that while others have to fight with their neighbors for this frontier or that, for us being conquered means one frontier for the whole country, about which there will be no dispute, for they will simply come and take by force what we have.  So much more have we to fear from this neighbor than from another. Besides, people who, like the Athenians in the present instance, are tempted by pride of strength to attack their neighbors, usually march most confidently against those who keep still, and only defend themselves in their own country, but think twice before they grapple with those who meet them outside their frontier and strike the first blow if opportunity offers.  The Athenians have shown us this themselves; the defeat which we inflicted upon them at Coronea, at the time when our quarrels had allowed them to occupy the country, has given great security to Boeotia until the present day.  Remembering this, the old must equal their ancient exploits, and the young, the sons of the heroes of that time, must endeavor not to disgrace their native valor; and trusting in the help of the god whose temple has been sacrilegiously fortified, and in the victims which, when we sacrificed, appeared propitious, we must march against the enemy and teach him that he must go and get what he wants by attacking someone who will not resist him, but that men whose glory it is to be always ready to give battle for the liberty of their own country and never unjustly to enslave that of others, will not let him go without a struggle.”
Pagondas speaks to the Boeotian army to encourage it to attack the Athenians; he calls the fortification of Delium an assault that must be repulsed.
By these arguments Pagondas persuaded the Boeotians to attack the Athenians, and quickly breaking up his camp led his army forward, it being now late in the day. On nearing the enemy, he halted in a position where a hill intervening prevented the two armies from seeing each other, and then formed and prepared for action.  Meanwhile Hippocrates at Delium, informed of the approach of the Boeotians, sent orders to his troops to throw themselves into line, and himself joined them not long afterwards, leaving about three hundred horse behind him at Delium to guard the place in case of attack, and at the same time to watch their opportunity and fall upon the Boeotians during the battle.  The Boeotians placed a detachment to deal with these, and when everything was arranged to their satisfaction appeared over the hill, and halted in the order which they had decided on, to the number of seven thousand hoplites, more than ten thousand light troops, one thousand horse, and five hundred peltasts.  On their right were the Thebans and those of their division, in the center the Haliartians, Coronaeans, Copaeans, and the other people around the lake, and on the left the Thespians, Tanagrans, and Orchomenians, the cavalry and the light troops being at the extremity of each wing. The Thebans formed twenty-five shields deep, the rest as they pleased.  Such was the strength and disposition of the Boeotian army.
Persuaded to attack, the Boeotians advance late in the day; their numbers, types, and disposition are described.
On the side of the Athenians, the hoplites throughout the whole army formed eight deep, being in numbers equal to the enemy, with the cavalry upon the two wings. Light troops regularly armed there were none in the army, nor had there ever been any at Athens. Those who had joined in the invasion, though many times more numerous than those of the enemy, had mostly followed unarmed, as part of the citizens and foreigners at Athens, and having started first on their way home were not present in any number.  The armies being now in line and upon the point of engaging, Hippocrates, the general, passed along the Athenian ranks, and encouraged them as follows:
The Athenians form their battle line.
“Athenians, I shall only say a few words to you, but brave men require no more, and they are addressed more to your understanding than to your courage.  None of you must suppose that we are going out of our way to run this risk in the country of another. Fought in their territory the battle will be for ours: if we conquer, the Peloponnesians will never invade your country without the Boeotian horse, and in one battle you will win Boeotia and in a manner free Attica.  Advance to meet them then like citizens of a country in which you all glory as the first in Hellas, and like sons of the fathers who beat them at Oenophyta with Myronides and thus gained possession of Boeotia.”
Hippocrates encourages the Athenian army.
Hippocrates had got half through the army with his exhortation, when the Boeotians, after a few more hasty words from Pagondas, struck up the paean, and came against them from the hill; the Athenians advancing to meet them, and closing at a run.  The extreme wing of neither army came into action, one like the other being stopped by the water courses in the way; the rest engaged with the utmost obstinacy, shield against shield.  The Boeotian left, as far as the center, was worsted by the Athenians. The Thespians in that part of the field suffered most severely. The troops alongside them having given way, they were surrounded in a narrow space and cut down fighting hand to hand; some of the Athenians also fell into confusion in surrounding the enemy and mistook and so killed each other.  In this part of the field the Boeotians were beaten, and retreated upon the troops still fighting; but the right, where the Thebans were, got the better of the Athenians and shoved them further and further back, though gradually at first.  It so happened also that Pagondas, seeing the distress of his left, had sent two squadrons of horse, where they could not be seen, round the hill, and their sudden appearance struck a panic into the victorious wing of the Athenians, who thought that it was another army coming against them.  At length in both parts of the field, disturbed by this panic, and with their line broken by the advancing Thebans, the whole Athenian army took to flight.  Some made for Delium and the sea, some for Oropus, others for Mount Parnes, or wherever they had hopes of safety,  pursued and cut down by the Boeotians, and in particular by the cavalry, composed partly of Boeotians and partly of Locrians, who had come up just as the rout began. Night however coming on to interrupt the pursuit, the mass of the fugitives escaped more easily than they would otherwise have done.  The next day the troops at Oropus and Delium returned home by sea, after leaving a garrison in the latter place, which they continued to hold notwithstanding the defeat.
After a long struggle, the Athenians give way and retreat, pursued by the Boeotian cavalry. The onset of night limits the pursuit and many Athenians escape.
MAP 4.96 THE DELIUM CAMPAIGN
The Boeotians set up a trophy, took up their own dead, and stripped those of the enemy, and leaving a guard over them retired to Tanagra, there to take measures for attacking Delium.  Meanwhile a herald came from the Athenians to ask for the dead, but was met and turned back by a Boeotian herald, who told him that he would effect nothing until the return of himself (the Boeotian herald), and who then went on to the Athenians and told them on behalf of the Boeotians that they had done wrong in transgressing the law of the Hellenes.  Of what use was the universal custom protecting the temples in an invaded country if the Athenians were to fortify Delium and live there, acting exactly as if they were on unconsecrated ground, and drawing and using for their purposes the water which they, the Boeotians, never touched except for sacred uses?  Accordingly for the god as well as for themselves, in the name of the deities concerned and of Apollo, the Boeotians called on them first to evacuate the temple if they wished to take up the dead that belonged to them.
The Boeotians refuse to return the Athenian dead until Athens evacuates Delium. They call the occupation of this shrine a sacrilegious violation of Hellenic law.
After these words from the herald, the Athenians sent their own herald to the Boeotians to say that they had not done any wrong to the temple, and for the future would do it no more harm than they could help; not having occupied it originally for this purpose, but to defend themselves from it against those who were really wronging them.  The law of the Hellenes was that conquest of a country, whether more or less extensive, carried with it possession of the temples in that country, with the obligation to keep up the usual ceremonies, at least as far as possible.  The Boeotians and most other people who had turned out the owners of a country, and put themselves in their places by force, now held as of right the temples which they originally entered as usurpers.  If the Athenians could have conquered more of Boeotia this would have been the case with them: as things stood, the piece of it which they had got they should treat as their own, and not quit unless obliged.  The water they had disturbed out of a necessity which they had not wantonly incurred, having been forced to use it in defending themselves against the Boeotians who had first invaded Attica.  Besides, anything done under the pressure of war and danger might reasonably claim indulgence even in the eye of the god; or why, pray, were the altars the asylum for involuntary offenses? Transgression also was a term applied to presumptuous offenders, not to the victims of adverse circumstances.  In short, which were most impious—the Boeotians who wished to barter dead bodies for holy places, or the Athenians who refused to give up holy places to obtain what was theirs by right?  The condition of evacuating Boeotia must therefore be withdrawn. They were no longer in Boeotia. They stood where they stood by the right of the sword. All that the Boeotians had to do was to tell them to take up their dead under a truce according to the national custom.
Justifying their occupation of Delium, the Athenians call the Boeotian refusal to return their dead a greater sacrilege.
The Boeotians replied that if they were in Boeotia, they must evacuate that country before taking up their dead; if they were in their own territory, they could do as they pleased: for they knew that, although the territory of Oropus where the bodies as it chanced were lying (the battle having been fought on the borders) was subject to Athens, yet the Athenians could not get them without their leave. Besides, why should they grant a truce for Athenian ground? And what could be fairer than to tell the Athenians to evacuate Boeotia if they wished to get what they asked? The Athenian herald accordingly returned with this answer, without having accomplished his object.
DELIUM The Boeotians again refuse to give up the dead until the Athenians vacate Boeotian territory.
Meanwhile the. Boeotians at once sent for darters and slingers from the Malian gulf, and with two thousand Corinthian hoplites who had joined them after the battle, the Peloponnesian garrison which had evacuated Nisaea, and some Megarians with them, marched against Delium, and attacked the fort, and after divers efforts finally succeeded in taking it by means of a device of the following description.  They sawed in two and scooped out a great beam from end to end, and fitting it nicely together again like a flute, hung by chains a cauldron at one extremity, from which there was free passage to an iron tube projecting from the beam, which was itself in great part plated with iron.  This they brought up from a distance upon carts to the part of the wall principally composed of vines and timber, and when it was near, inserted huge bellows into their end of the beam and blew with them.  The blast passing closely confined into the cauldron, which was filled with lighted coals, sulfur and pitch, made a great blaze, and set fire to the wall, which soon became untenable for its defenders, who left it and fled; and in this way the fort was taken.  Of the garrison some were killed and two hundred made prisoners; most of the rest got on board their ships and returned home.
The Boeotians assault Delium and take it, setting fire to its wooden walls with an ingenious “flamethrower.”
Soon after the fall of Delium, which took place seventeen days after the battle, the Athenian herald, without knowing what had happened, came again for the dead, which were now restored by the Boeotians, who no longer answered as at first.  Not quite five hundred Boeotians fell in the battle, and nearly one thousand Athenians, including Hippocrates the general, besides a great number of light troops and camp followers.
 Soon after this battle Demosthenes, after the failure of his voyage to Siphae and of the plot on the city, availed himself of the Acarnanian and Agraean troops and of the four hundred Athenian hoplites which he had on board, to make a descent on the Sicyonian coast.  Before all his ships had come to shore, however, the Sicyonians came up and routed those that had landed and chased them to their ships, killing some and taking others prisoner; after which they set up a trophy, and gave back the dead under truce.
 About the same time as the affair of Delium, Sitalces king of the Odrysians died, defeated in battle while campaigning against the Triballi; Seuthes son of Sparadocus, his nephew, succeeded to the kingdom of the Odrysians, and of the rest of Thrace ruled by Sitalces.
After the fall of Delium the Boeotians give up the Athenian dead. Thucydides recounts both sides’ casualties.
Demosthenes is repulsed at Sicyon with losses.
Sitalces, king of Odrysiann Thrace, dies.
The same winter Brasidas, with his allies in Thrace, marched against Amphipolis, the Athenian colony on the river Strymon.  Aristagoras the Milesian attempted to establish a settlement upon the spot on which the city now stands when he fled from King Darius, but he was dislodged by the Edonians. Thirty-two years later the Athenians sent ten thousand of their own citizens (and whoever else chose to go) to settle the region, but these were destroyed at Drabescus by the Thracians.  Twenty-nine years later the Athenians returned—Hagnon, son of Nicias, being sent out as a leader of the colony. He drove out the Edonians and founded a city on the spot, which was formerly called Ennea-hodoi, or Nine Ways. The base from which they started was Eion, their commercial seaport at the mouth of the river, not more than three miles from the present city, which Hagnon named Amphipolis, because the Strymon flows round it on two sides, and he built it so as to be conspicuous from the sea and land alike, running a lone; wall across from river to river, to complete the circumference.
Brasidas marches against Amphipolis, whose history and geography is described.
Brasidas now marched against this city, starting from Arne in Chalcidice. Arriving about dusk at Aulon and Bromiscus, where the lake of Bolbe runs into the sea, he took supper there, and went on during the night.  The weather was stormy and it was snowing a little, which encouraged him to hurry on in order, if possible, to take everyone at Amphipolis by surprise (except the party who were to betray it).  The plot involved some natives of Argilus, an Andrian colony, who resided in Amphipolis, where they had also other accomplices won over by Perdiccas or the Chalcidians.  But the most active in the matter were the inhabitants of Argilus itself, which is close by, who had always been suspected by the Athenians, and had designs on the place. These men now saw their opportunity arrive with Brasidas, and having for some time been in correspondence with their countrymen in Amphipolis for the betrayal of the city, at once received him into Argilus, and revolted from the Athenians. That same night they took him on to the bridge over the river,  where he found only a small guard to oppose him, the city being at some distance from the passage and the walls not reaching down to it as at present. He easily forced his way through this guard, partly through there being treason in their ranks, partly from the stormy state of the weather and the suddenness of his attack; and so got across the bridge and immediately became master of all the property outside—the Amphipolitans having houses all over the quarter.
Brasidas, aided by Argilians and conspirators inside Amphipolis, marches quickly on a stormy night to the Strymon bridge and occupies it easily.
The passage of Brasidas was a complete surprise to the people in the city; and the capture of many of those outside, as well as the flight of the rest within the wall, combined to produce great confusion among the citizens; especially as they did not trust one another.  It is even said that if Brasidas, instead of stopping to pillage, had advanced straight against the city, he would probably have taken it.  Instead, however, he established himself where he was, overran the country outside, and for the present remained inactive, vainly awaiting a demonstration on the part of his friends within.  Meanwhile the party opposed to the traitors proved numerous enough to prevent the gates being immediately thrown open, and in concert with Bucles, the general, who had come from Athens to defend the place, sent to the other commander in Thrace, Thucydides son of Olorus, the author of this history, who was at the isle of Thasos, a Parian colony, half a day’s sail from Amphipolis, to tell him to come to their relief.  On receipt of this message he at once set sail with seven ships which he had with him, in order, if possible, to reach Amphipolis in time to prevent its capitulation, or in any case to save Eion.
Despite surprise and confusion, the gates of Amphipolis are secured and a message sent to Thucydides, general and author of this history, who after receiving it leaves immediately from Thasos with seven triremes.
Meanwhile Brasidas, afraid that help would arrive by sea from Thasos, and learning that Thucydides possessed the right of working the gold mines in that part of Thrace, and had thus great influence with the inhabitants of the mainland, hastened to gain the city, if possible, before the people of Amphipolis should be encouraged by his arrival to hope that he could save them by getting together a force of allies from the sea and from Thrace, and so refuse to surrender.  He accordingly offered moderate terms, proclaiming that any of the Amphipolitans and Athenians who so chose, might continue to enjoy their property with full rights of citizenship; while those who did not wish to stay had five days to depart, taking their property with them.
Brasidas, anxious to capture the place before Thucydides arrives, offers generous terms to the citizens.
Upon hearing this, the bulk of the inhabitants began to change their minds, especially as only a small number of the citizens were Athenians, the majority having come from various places, and also because many of the prisoners Brasidas had taken outside had relatives within the walls. They found the proclamation a fair one in comparison to what their fears had suggested. The Athenians were glad to get out, as they thought they ran more risk than the rest, and did not expect any speedy relief. The multitude were generally content at being left in possession of their civic rights, and at such an unexpected reprieve from danger.  The partisans of Brasidas now openly advocated this course, seeing that the feeling of the people had changed, and that they no longer gave ear to the Athenian general present; and thus the surrender was made and Brasidas was admitted by them on the terms of his proclamation.  In this way they gave up the city, and late in the same day, Thucydides and his ships entered the harbor of Eion,  Brasidas having just got hold of Amphipolis, and having been within a night of taking Eion; had the ships been less prompt in relieving it, in the morning it would have been his.
The Amphipolitans decide to capitulate. Thucydides arrives too late to save Amphipolis, but he does save Eion.
MAP 4.106 OPERATIONS OF BRASIDAS AGAINST AMPHIPOLIS, ACTE, AND TORONE
After this Thucydides put all in order at Eion to secure it against any present or future attack of Brasidas, and received such as had elected to come there from the interior according to the agreed-upon terms.  Meanwhile Brasidas suddenly sailed with a number of boats down the river to Eion to see if he could not seize the point running out from the wall, and so command the entrance; and at the same time he attacked the city by land, but was beaten off on both sides and had to content himself with arranging matters at Amphipolis and in the neighborhood.  Myrcinus, an Edonian city, also came over to him (the Edonian king Pittacus having been killed by the sons of Goaxis and his own wife Brauro); and Galepsus and Oesime, which are Thasian colonies, followed its example not long afterward. Perdiccas too came up immediately after the capture and joined in these arrangements.
Brasidas attacks Eion but is beaten off. Other nearby cities now revolt against Athens.
The news that Amphipolis was in the hands of the enemy caused great alarm at Athens. Not only was the city valuable for the timber it afforded for shipbuilding and the tribute money that it brought in; but it also was a barrier to movement across Thrace. The escort of the Thessalians had brought the Spartans within reach of the allies of Athens as far as the river Strymon, yet as long as they were not masters of the bridge and were blocked toward the sea by the Athenian triremes at Eion, and impeded on the inland side by a large and extensive lake formed by the waters of the river, they could not advance further. Now, however, their way forward seemed open. The Athenians also feared that more allies would revolt,  particularly because Brasidas displayed such moderation in all his conduct, and declared everywhere that he had been sent out to free Hellas.  The cities subject to the Athenians, hearing of the capture of Amphipolis and of the terms accorded to it, and of the gentleness of Brasidas, felt most strongly encouraged to change their condition, and sent secret messages to him, begging him to come to them; each wishing to be the first to revolt.  Indeed, there seemed to be no danger in so doing; their mistake in their estimate of the Athenian power was as great as that power afterwards turned out to be, and their judgment was based more upon blind wishing than upon any sound prediction; for it is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire.  Besides the late severe blow which the Athenians had met with in Boeotia, joined to the seductive, though untrue, statements of Brasidas, about the Athenians not having ventured to engage his single army at Nisaea, made the allies confident, and caused them to believe that no Athenian force would be sent against them.  Above all the wish to do what was agreeable at the moment, and the likelihood that they would find the Spartans full of zeal from the outset, made them eager to run the risk. Observing this, the Athenians sent garrisons to the different cities, as far as was possible at such short notice and in winter; while Brasidas sent dispatches to Sparta asking for reinforcements, and made preparations for building triremes in the Strymon.  The Spartans however did not support him, partly out of envy on the part of their chief men, partly because they were more bent on recovering the prisoners from the island and ending the war.
Athens is alarmed by the fall of Amphipolis because all Thrace is now threatened and more revolts are feared. Indeed, many cities go over to Brasidas, for they believe revolt would be painless and underestimate Athens’ power.
The same winter the Megarians took and razed to the foundations the long walls which had been occupied by the Athenians; and Brasidas, after the capture of Amphipolis, marched with his allies against Acte,  a promontory running out from the King’s canal with an inward curve and ending in Athos, a lofty mountain looking toward the Aegean sea.  In it are various cities: Sane is an Andrian colony lying close to the canal, and facing the sea in the direction of Euboea; the others are Thyssus, Cleone, Acrothoi, Olophyxus,  and Dium. They are inhabited by mixed barbarian peoples speaking the two languages. There is also a small Chalcidian element; but the greater number are Tyrrheno-Pelasgians (formerly settled in Lemnos and Athens), and Bisaltians, Crestonians, and Edonians. The cities are all small ones  and most of these came over to Brasidas; but Sane and Dium held out and saw their land ravaged by him and his army.
The Megarians raze their long walls.
Brasidas secures most of the small non-Greek-speaking cities in Acte.
Upon their not submitting, he at once marched against Torone in Chalcidice, which was held by an Athenian garrison, having been invited by a few persons who were prepared to hand over the city. Arriving in the dark a little before daybreak, he halted with his army near the temple of the Dioscuri, rather more than a quarter of a mile from the city.  The rest of the city of Torone and the Athenian garrison did not perceive his approach; but his partisans knowing that he was coming (a few of them had secretly gone out to meet him) were on the watch for his arrival, and were no sooner aware of it than they let in to them seven light armed men with daggers (who alone of twenty men ordered on this service dared to enter), commanded by Lysistratus an Olynthian. These passed through the sea wall and without being seen went up and put to the sword the garrison of the highest post in the city, which stands on a hill, and broke open the postern gate on the side of Canastraeum.
Brasidas sends a small party inside Torone with the help of conspirators. They occupy a high point in the city and open a gate.
Brasidas meanwhile came a little nearer and then halted with his main body, sending on one hundred peltasts to be ready to rush in first, the moment that a gate should be thrown open and the beacon lighted as agreed.  After some time passed in waiting and wondering at the delay, the peltasts by degrees got up close to the city. The Toronaeans inside who were working with the party that had entered, had by this time broken down the postern and opened the gates leading to the marketplace by cutting through the bar. They first brought some men round and let them in by the postern in order to strike panic into the surprised townsmen by suddenly attacking them from behind and on both sides at once; after which they raised the fire-signal as had been agreed, and took in by the market gates the rest of the peltasts.
Brasidas sends in peltasts and, the gates finally being opened, ignites a fire-signal to start the main assault.
Brasidas seeing the signal told the troops to rise, and dashed forward amid the loud hurrahs of his men, which caused dismay among the astonished townspeople.  Some burst in straight by the gate, others over some square pieces of timber placed against the wall (which had fallen down and was being rebuilt) to draw up stones;  Brasidas and the greater number making straight uphill for the higher part of the city, in order to take it from top to bottom, once and for all, while the rest of the multitude spread in all directions.
Brasidas’ main force enters the city.
The capture of the city was effected before the great body of the Toronaeans had recovered from their surprise and confusion;  but the conspirators and the citizens of their party at once joined the invaders. About fifty of the Athenian hoplites happened to be sleeping in the marketplace when the alarm reached them. A few of these were killed fighting; the rest escaped, some by land, others to the two ships on the station, and took refuge in Lecythus, a fort garrisoned by their own men in the corner of the city running out into the sea at the end of a narrow isthmus.  There they were joined by the Toronaeans of their party.
The Athenian garrison and its local supporters escape to their ships and to Lecythus.
Day now arrived, and the city being secured, Brasidas made a proclamation to the Toronaeans who had taken refuge with the Athenians, to come out as many as chose, to their homes, without fearing for their rights or persons, and he sent a herald to invite the Athenians to accept a truce, and to evacuate Lecythus with their property, as being Chalcidian ground.  The Athenians refused this offer, but asked for a truce for a day to take up their dead. Brasidas granted it for two days, which he employed in fortifying the houses near the fort and the Athenians in doing the same to their positions.  Meanwhile he called a meeting of the Toronaeans, and said very much what he had said at Acanthus, namely, that they must not look upon those who had negotiated with him for the capture of the city as bad men or as traitors, as they had not acted as they had done from corrupt motives or in order to enslave the city, but for the good and freedom of Torone; nor again must those who had not shared in the enterprise suppose that they would not equally reap its fruits, as he had not come to destroy either the city or any individual in it.  This was the reason for his proclamation to those that had fled for refuge to the Athenians: he thought none the worse of them for their friendship for the Athenians; he believed that they had only to make trial of the Spartans to like them as well, or even much better, as acting much more justly: it was for want of such a trial that they were now afraid of them.  Meanwhile he warned all of them to prepare to be staunch allies and as such to be held responsible for all faults in future: for the past, they had not wronged the Spartans but had been wronged by others who were too strong for them, and any opposition that they might have offered him could be excused.
The Athenians refuse to leave and are granted a truce. Both sides fortify their positions. Brasidas calms the Toronaeans and gains their support.
Having encouraged them with this address, he made his attack upon Lecythus as soon as the truce expired, and the Athenians defended themselves from a poor wall and from some houses with parapets.  For one day they beat him off. On the next the enemy were preparing to bring up a siege engine against them from which they meant to throw fire upon the wooden defenses; and as the troops were already coming up to the point where they supposed they could best bring up the engine, and where the place was most assailable; meanwhile the Athenians put a wooden tower upon a house opposite and carried up a quantity of jars and casks of water and big stones, and a large number of men also climbed up.  The house thus laden too heavily suddenly broke down with a loud crash; at which the men who were near and saw it were more vexed than frightened; but those not so near, and still more those furthest off, thought that the place was already taken at that point, and fled in haste to the sea and the ships.
Athenian efforts to thwart an enemy fire-throwing machine cause one of their own fortified posts to collapse; their men thereafter panic and flee.
Brasidas, perceiving that they were deserting the parapet, and seeing what was going on, dashed forward with his troops, and immediately took the fort, and put to the sword all whom he found in it.  In this way the place was evacuated by the Athenians, who went across in their boats and ships to Pallene. Now there is a temple of Athena in Lecythus, and Brasidas had proclaimed in the moment of making the assault that he would give thirty silver minae to the man first on the wall. Being now of the opinion that the capture was scarcely due to human agency, he gave the thirty minae to the goddess for her temple, and razed and cleared Lecythus, and made the whole of it consecrated ground.  The rest of the winter he spent in settling the places in his hands, and in making designs upon the rest; and with the expiration of the winter the eighth year of this war ended.
Brasidas dashes forward to take the fort, and the Athenians escape to their ships.
In the spring of the summer following, the Spartans and Athenians made an armistice for a year. The Athenians thought that they would thus gain time to take precautions before Brasidas could procure the revolt of any more of their cities, and that they might also, if it suited them, conclude a general peace; the Spartans suspecting the actual fears of the Athenians, and thinking that once they had enjoyed a respite from trouble and misery, they would be more disposed to consent to a reconciliation, to give back the prisoners, and to make a treaty for the longer period.  The more important thing for the Spartans was to get back their men while Brasidas’ good fortune lasted; further successes might make the struggle a less unequal one in Chalcidice, but would leave them still deprived of their men, and even in Chalcidice not more than a match for the Athenians and by no means certain of victory.  An armistice was accordingly concluded by Sparta and her allies upon the terms following:
Thucydides explains why the Athenians and Spartans entered into a one-year armistice.
The terms of the armistice are described.
• As to the temple and oracle of the Pythian Apollo, we are agreed that whoever so wishes shall have access to it, without fraud or fear, according to the usages of his forefathers.  The Spartans and the allies present agree to this, and promise to send heralds to the Boeotians and Phocians, and to do their best to persuade them to aeree likewise.
•  As to the treasure of the god, we agree to exert ourselves to detect all wrongdoers, truly and honestly following the customs of our forefathers, we and you and all others willing to do so, all following the customs of our forefathers.  As to these points the Spartans and the other allies are agreed as has been said.
• As to what follows, the Spartans and the other allies agree, if the Athenians conclude a treaty, to remain, each of us in our own territory, retaining our respective acquisitions; the garrison in Coryphasium keeping within Buphras and Tomeus; that in Cythera attempting no communication with the Peloponnesian confederacy, neither we with them, or they with us; that in Nisaea and Minoa not crossing the road leading from the gates of the temple of Nisus to that of Poseidon and from thence straight to the bridge at Minoa; the Megarians and the allies being equally bound not to cross this road, and the Athenians retaining the island they have taken, without any communication on either side; as to Troezen, each side retaining what it has, and as was arranged with the Athenians.
•  As to the use of the sea, so far as refers to their own coast and to that of their confederacy, that the Spartans and their allies may voyage upon it in any vessel rowed by oars and of not more than five hundred talents’ tonnage, not a vessel of war.
•  That all heralds and embassies, with as many attendants as they please, for concluding the war and adjusting claims, shall have free passage, going and coming, to the Peloponnesus or Athens by land and by sea.
MAP 4.118 LOCATIONS IN THE ARMISTICE TERMS
•  That during the truce, deserters whether slave or free shall be received neither by you, nor by us.
•  Further, that satisfaction shall be given by you to us and by us to you according to the public law of our several countries,  all disputes being settled by law without recourse to hostilities.
The Spartans and allies agree to these articles: but if you have anything more fair or just to suggest, come to Sparta and let us know; whatever shall be just will meet with no objection either from the Spartans or from the allies.
•  Only let those who come come with full powers, as you bid us to come. The truce shall be for one year.
Approved by the people
•  The tribe of Acamantis had the prytany, Phoenippus was secretary, Niciades chairman. Laches moved that in the name of the good fortune of the Athenians, they should conclude the armistice upon the terms agreed upon by the Spartans and the allies.
•  It was agreed accordingly in the popular assembly, that the armistice should be for one year, beginning that very day, the fourteenth of the month of Elaphebolion;  during which time ambassadors and heralds should go and come between the two countries to discuss the bases of a peace.  That the generals and prytanes should call an assembly of the people, in which the Athenians should first consult on the peace, and on the mode in which the embassy for putting an end to the war should be admitted. And that the embassy now present should at once pledge on oath before the people to keep well and truly this truce for one year.
On these terms the Spartans concluded a truce with the Athenians and their allies on the twelfth day of the Spartan month Cerastius;  the allies also taking the oaths. Those who concluded and poured the libation were Taurus son of Echetimides, Athenaeus son of Pericleidas, and Philocharidas son of Eryxilaidas, Spartans; Aeneas son of Aeneas, and Euphamidas son of Aristonymus, Corinthians; Damotimus son of Naucrates, and Onasimus son of Megacles, Sicyonians; Nicasus son of Cecalus, and Menecrates son of Amphidorus, Megarians; and Amphias son of Eupaidas, an Epidaurian; and the Athenian generals Nicostratus son of Diitrephes, Nicias son of Niceratus, and Autocles son of Tolmaeus.  Such was the armistice, and during the whole of it conferences were held on the subject of a full peace.
Thucydides lists the signers of the armistice. Discussions on a general peace take place.
In the days in which they were going backwards and forwards to these conferences, Scione, a city in Pallene, revolted from Athens, and went over to Brasidas. The Scionaeans say that they are Pallenians from the Peloponnesus, and that their first founders settled the place when they were carried to it by the storm which caught the Achaeans on their return voyage from Troy.  The Scionaeans had no sooner revolted than Brasidas crossed over by night to Scione, with a friendly trireme ahead and himself in a small boat some way behind; his idea being that if he fell in with a vessel larger than the boat he would have the trireme to defend him, while a ship that was a match for the trireme would probably neglect the small vessel to attack the large one, and thus leave him time to escape.  When he had completed the crossing, he called a meeting of the Scionaeans and spoke to the same effect as at Acanthus and Torone, adding that they merited the utmost commendation in that, in spite of their insular position, located as they were on Pallene, an isthmus cut off from the mainland by the Athenian occupation of Potidaea, they had of their own free will gone forward to gain their liberty instead of timorously waiting until they had been by force compelled to accept their own manifest good. This was a sign that they would valiantly undergo any trial, however great; and if he were to order affairs as he intended, he would count them among the truest and sincerest friends of the Spartans, and would in every other way honor them.
Scione, although isolated like an island, revolts from Athens after the armistice negotiations are concluded, but before that is known in Chalcidice. Brasidas sails there, welcomes the Scionaeans as allies, and praises their courage.
MAP 4.122 BRASIDAS’ OPERATIONS IN CHALCIDICE
The Scionaeans were elated by his language, and when even those who had at first disapproved of what was being done caught the general confidence, they decided on a vigorous conduct of the war. They welcomed Brasidas with all possible honors, publicly crowning him with a wreath of gold as the liberator of Hellas; private persons crowded round him and decked him with garlands as though he had been an athlete.  Meanwhile Brasidas left them a small garrison for the present and crossed back again, and not long afterwards sent over a larger force, intending with the help of the Scionaeans to attempt Mende and Potidaea before the Athenians should arrive. Scione, he felt, was too like an island for them not to attempt to relieve it. Indeed, with regard to these cities, he was actively seeking their betrayal.
Brasidas hopes to contrive the revolt of Mende and Potidaea to end Scione’s isolation.
In the midst of his designs upon the cities in question, a trireme arrived with the commissioners carrying round the news of the armistice, Aristonymus for the Athenians and Athenaeus for the Spartans.  The troops now crossed back to Torone, and the commissioners gave Brasidas notice of the truce. All the Spartan allies in Thrace accepted what had been done;  and Aristonymus made no difficulty about the rest, but finding, on counting the days, that the Scionaeans had revolted after the date of the convention, refused to include them in it. To this Brasidas earnestly objected, asserting that the revolt took place before, and would not give up the city.  When Aristonymus reported the case to Athens, the people at once prepared to send an expedition to Scione. Upon this, envoys arrived from Sparta, alleging that this would be a breach of the truce, and laid claim to the city, trusting the word of Brasidas, and at the same time offering to submit the question to arbitration.  Arbitration, however, was what the Athenians did not choose to risk; they were determined to send troops at once to the place, and furious at the idea of even the islanders now daring to revolt, in a vain reliance upon the power of the Spartans by land.  Besides the facts of the revolt were rather as the Athenians contended, the Scionaeans having revolted two days after the convention. Cleon accordingly succeeded in carrying a decree to reduce and put to death the Scionaeans and the Athenians employed the leisure which they now enjoyed in preparing for the expedition.
Commissioners arrive with news of the armistice. Brasidas falsely claims that Scione had revolted before the armistice. Athens prepares to attack Scione.
Meanwhile the city of Mende in Pallene, a colony of the Eretrians, revolted and was received without scruple by Brasidas, in spite of its having evidently come over during the armistice, on account of certain infringements of the truce alleged by him against the Athenians.  This audacity of Mende was partly caused by seeing Brasidas so active in the matter and by the conclusions they drew from his refusal to betray Scione. Besides, the conspirators in Mende were few, and had carried on their practices too long not to fear detection for themselves, and had forced the multitude to go against their own inclination.  This news made the Athenians more furious than ever, and they at once prepared an expedition against both cities.  Expecting their arrival, Brasidas conveyed the women and children of the Scionaeans and Mendaeans away to Olynthus in Chalcidice, and sent over to them five hundred Peloponnesian hoplites and three hundred Chalcidian peltasts, all under the command of Polydamidas.
Mende revolts after the armistice, but Brasidas sends troops and prepares both it and Scione for an anticipated Athenian attack.
Leaving these two cities to prepare together against the speedy arrival of the Athenians, [4.124.1] Brasidas and Perdiccas started on a second joint expedition into Lyncestis against Arrhabaeus; the latter with the forces of his Macedonian subjects, and a corps of hoplites composed of Hellenes dwelling in his country; the former with the Peloponnesians whom he still had with him and the Chalcidians, Acanthians, and the rest in such force as they could muster. In all there were about three thousand Hellenic hoplites accompanied by all the Macedonian cavalry together with the Chalcidians, almost one thousand strong, besides an immense crowd of barbarians.  On entering the country of Arrhabaeus, they found the Lyncestians encamped and waiting for them, and themselves took up a position opposite.  The infantry on either side were upon a hill, with a plain between them, into which the horse of both armies first galloped down, and engaged in a cavalry action. After this the Lyncestian hoplites advanced from their hill to join their cavalry and offered battle; upon which Brasidas and Perdiccas also came down to meet them, and engaged and routed them with heavy loss; the survivors taking refuge upon the heights and there remaining inactive.  The victors now set up a trophy and waited two or three days for the Illyrian mercenaries who were to join Perdiccas. Perdiccas then wished to go on and attack the villages of Arrhabaeus, and to sit still no longer; but Brasidas, far from seconding this wish, refused it; he was anxious to return, seeing that the Illyrians did not appear, and feared that the Athenians might sail up during his absence and attack Mende.
Brasidas and Perdiccas lead a second expedition against Arrhabaeus and rout the Lyncestians in battle. Perdiccas wants to advance but Brasidas needs to return to Chalcidice.
While they were thus disputing, the news arrived that the Illyrians had actually betrayed Perdiccas and had joined Arrhabaeus; and the fear inspired by their warlike character made both parties now think it best to withdraw. However, owing to the dispute, nothing had been settled as to when they should start; and when night came on, the Macedonians and the barbarian crowd suddenly took fright in one of those mysterious panics to which great armies are liable, and persuaded that an army many times more numerous than that which had really arrived was advancing and all but upon them, suddenly broke and fled in the direction of home. This compelled Perdiccas, who at first did not perceive what had occurred, to depart without seeing Brasidas, the two armies being encamped at a considerable distance from each other.  At daybreak, Brasidas, seeing that the Macedonians had gone on, and that the Illyrians and Arrhabaeus were on the point of attacking him, formed his hoplites into a square with the light troops in the center, and prepared to retreat.  Posting his youngest soldiers to dash out wherever the enemy should attack them, he himself with three hundred picked men in the rear intended to face about during the retreat and beat off the most forward of their assailants.  Meanwhile, before the enemy approached, he sought to sustain the courage of his soldiers with the following hasty exhortation:
The defection of Illyrian allies to Arrhabaeus forces Perdiccas and Brasidas to retreat. During the night the Macedonians panic and flee; Brasidas arranges his force to repel attacks while retreating.
Brasidas encourages his troops as the Lyncestians prepare to attack; he says that the barbarians, however numerous, cannot defeat a determined defense.
“Peloponnesians, if I did not suspect you of being dismayed at being left alone to sustain the attack of a numerous and barbarian enemy, I should just have said a few words to you as usual without further explanation. As it is, in the face of the desertion of our friends and the numbers of the enemy, I have some advice and information to offer, which, brief as it must be, will, I hope, suffice for the more important points.  The bravery that you habitually display in war does not depend on your having allies at your side in this or that encounter, but on your native courage; nor have numbers any terrors for citizens of states like yours, in which the many do not rule the few, but rather the few the many, owing their position to nothing else than to superiority in the field.  Inexperience now makes you afraid of barbarians; and yet the trial of strength which you had with the Macedonians among them, and my own judgment (confirmed by what I hear from others), should be enough to satisfy you that they will not prove formidable.  Where an enemy seems strong but is really weak, a true knowledge of the facts makes his adversary the bolder, just as a serious antagonist is encountered most confidently by those who do not know him.  Thus the present enemy might terrify an inexperienced imagination; they are formidable in outward bulk; their loud yelling is unbearable; and the brandishing of their weapons in the air has a threatening appearance. But when it comes to real fighting with an opponent who stands his ground, they are not what they seemed; they have no regular order that they should be ashamed of deserting their positions when hard pressed; flight and attack are equally honorable with them, and afford no test of courage; their independent mode of fighting never leaving anyone who wants to run away without a fair excuse for doing so. In short, they think frightening you at a secure distance a surer game than meeting you hand to hand; otherwise they would have done the one and not the other.  You can thus plainly see that the terrors with which they were at first invested are in fact trifling enough, though to the eye and ear very prominent. Stand your ground therefore when they advance, and wait your opportunity to retire in good order, and you will reach a place of safety all the sooner. Thus you will know forever afterwards that rabble such as these, to those who sustain their first attack, do but show off their courage by threats of the terrible things that they are going to do at a distance, but with those who give way to them are quick enough to display their heroism in pursuit when they can do so without danger.”
With this brief address Brasidas began to lead off his army. Seeing this, the barbarians came on with much shouting and hubbub, thinking that he was flying and that they would overtake him and cut him off.  But wherever they charged they found the young men ready to dash out against them, while Brasidas with his picked company sustained their onset. Thus the Peloponnesians withstood the first attack, to the surprise of the enemy, and afterwards received and repulsed them as fast as they came on, retiring as soon as their opponents became quiet. The main body of the barbarians ceased therefore to molest the Hellenes with Brasidas in the open country, and leaving behind a certain number to harass their march, the rest went on after the flying Macedonians, slaying those with whom they came up, and so arrived in time to occupy the narrow pass between two hills that leads into the country of Arrhabaeus. They knew that this was the only way by which Brasidas could retreat, and now proceeded to surround him just as he entered the most difficult part of the road, in order to cut him off.
After their attack is resolutely repulsed, the Lyncestian barbarians pursue the Macedonians and block Brasidas’ route at a pass.
MAP 4.128 OPERATIONS DURING THE WINTER OF 423
Brasidas, perceiving their intention, told his three hundred to run on without order, each as quickly as he could, to the hill which seemed easiest to take, and to try to dislodge the barbarians already there, before they should be joined by the main body closing round him.  These attacked and overpowered the party upon the hill, and the main army of the Hellenes now advanced with less difficulty toward it; the barbarians being terrified at seeing their men on that side driven from the height, and no longer following the main body who they considered had gained the frontier and made good their escape.  The heights once gained, Brasidas now proceeded more securely, and the same day arrived at Arnisa, the first city in the dominions of Perdiccas.  The soldiers, enraged at the desertion of the Macedonians, vented their rage on all their yokes of oxen which they found on the road, and on any baggage which had tumbled off (as might easily happen in the panic of a night retreat), by unyoking and cutting down the cattle and taking the baggage for themselves. From this moment  Perdiccas began to regard Brasidas as an enemy and to feel against the Peloponnesians a hatred which could not suit well the adversary of the Athenians. Indeed, he now departed from his natural interests and made it his endeavor to come to terms with the latter and to get rid of the former.
Brasidas drives the barbarians away. His enraged soldiers pillage the Macedonian baggage train and kill the oxen. From this moment, Perdiccas and Brasidas drift apart.
On his return from Macedonia to Torone, Brasidas found that the Athenians were already masters of Mende, and remained quiet where he was, thinking it now out of his power to cross over into Pallene and assist the Mendaeans, but he kept good watch over Torone.  For about the same time as the campaign in Lyncestis, the Athenians sailed upon the expedition which we left them preparing against Mende and Scione, with fifty ships (ten of which were Chians), one thousand Athenian hoplites and six hundred archers, one hundred Thracian mercenaries and some peltasts drawn from their allies in the neighborhood, under the command of Nicias son of Niceratus, and Nicostratus son of Diitrephes.  Departing from Potidaea, the fleet came to land opposite the temple of Poseidon, and proceeded against Mende; there they found the men of this city, reinforced by three hundred Scionaeans, with their Peloponnesian auxiliaries, seven hundred hoplites in all, under Polydamidas, encamped upon a strong hill outside the city.  These Nicias, with one hundred and twenty light-armed Methonaeans, sixty picked men from the Athenian hoplites, and all the archers, tried to reach by a path running up the hill, but he received a wound and found himself unable to force the position. Nicostratus, meanwhile, with all the rest of the army, advanced upon the hill, which was naturally difficult, by a different approach further off. His troops were thrown into utter disorder and the whole Athenian army narrowly escaped being defeated.  For that day, as the Mendaeans and their allies showed no signs of yielding, the Athenians retreated and encamped, and the Mendaeans at nightfall returned into the city.
An Athenian attack on Mende is initially repulsed.
The next day the Athenians sailed round to the Scione side and took the suburb there, and all day plundered the country, without anyone coming out against them, partly because of intestine disturbances in the city; and the following night the three hundred Scionaeans returned home.  On the morrow Nicias advanced with half the army to the frontier of Scione and laid waste the country; while Nicostratus with the remainder stationed themselves before the city near the upper gate on the road to Potidaea.  The arms of the Mendaeans and of their Peloponnesian auxiliaries within the wall happened to be piled in that quarter, where Polydamidas accordingly began to draw them up for battle, encouraging the Mendaeans to make a sortie.  At this moment one of the popular party answered him rebelliously that they would not go out and did not want a war, and for thus answering was dragged by the arm and knocked about by Polydamidas. Hereupon the popular party at once seized their arms and rushed at the Peloponnesians and at their allies of the opposite faction.  The troops thus assaulted were at once routed, partly from the suddenness of the conflict and partly through fear of the gates being opened to the Athenians, with whom they imagined that the attack had been planned.  As many as were not killed on the spot took refuge in the citadel, which they had held from the first; and the whole Athenian army, Nicias having by this time returned and being close to the city, now burst into Mende, which had opened its gates without any agreed terms, and sacked it just as if they had taken it by storm, the generals even finding some difficulty in restraining them from also massacring the inhabitants.  After this the Athenians told the Mendaeans that they might retain their civil rights, and themselves judge the supposed authors of the revolt; and cut off the party in the citadel by a wall built down to the sea on either side, appointing troops to maintain the blockade. Having thus secured Mende, they proceeded against Scione.
The gates of Mende are opened after disputes between Mendaean and Peloponnesian troops; the Athenians take and sack the city.
The Scionaeans and Peloponnesians marched out against them, occupying a strong hill in front of the city, which had to be captured by the enemy before they could invest the place.  The Athenians stormed the hill, defeated and dislodged its occupants, and having encamped and set up a trophy, prepared for the work of circumvallation.  Not long after they had begun their operations, the auxiliaries besieged in the citadel of Mende forced the guard by the sea side and arrived by night at Scione, into which most of them succeeded in entering, passing through the besieging army.
The Athenians win a victory outside Scione and then besiege the city.
While the investment of Scione was in progress, Perdiccas sent a herald to the Athenian generals and made peace with the Athenians, through spite against Brasidas for the retreat from Lyncestis, from which moment indeed he had begun to negotiate.  The Spartan Ischagoras was just then upon the point of starting with an army overland to join Brasidas; and Perdiccas, being now required by Nicias to give some proof of the sincerity of his reconciliation to the Athenians, and being himself no longer disposed to let the Peloponnesians into his country, put in motion his friends in Thessaly, with whose chief men he always took care to have relations, and so effectually stopped the army and its preparation that they did not even try the Thessalians.  Ischagoras himself, however, with Amaeinias and Aristeus, succeeded in reaching Brasidas; they had been commissioned by the Spartans to inspect the state of affairs, and in breach of the law brought out from Sparta some of their young men to put in command of the cities, to prevent their being entrusted to the persons upon the spot. Brasidas accordingly placed Clearidas son of Cleonymus in Amphipolis, and Pasitelidas son of Hegesander in Torone.
After making peace with Athens, Perdiccas prevents reinforcements from reaching Brasidas. Spartan commissioners do arrive, and bring young Spartans to take charge of the allied cities.
The same summer the Thebans dismantled the wall of the Thespians on the charge of Atticism, having always wished to do so, and now finding it an easy matter, as the flower of the Thespian youth had perished in the battle with the Athenians.  The same summer also the temple of Hera at Argos was burnt down, through Chrysis, the priestess, placing a lighted torch near the garlands and then falling asleep, so that they all caught fire and were in a blaze before she observed it.  Chrysis that very night fled to Phlius for fear of the Argives, who, following the law in such a case, appointed another priestess named Phaeinis. Chrysis at the time of her flight had been priestess for eight years of the present war and half the ninth.  At the close of the summer the siege works around Scione were completed and the Athenians, leaving a detachment to maintain the blockade, returned with the rest of their army.
Thebes dismantles the wall of Thespiae.
The temple of Hera at Argos burns down.
Scione is completely invested by the Athenians.
During the following winter the Athenians and Spartans were kept quiet by the armistice; but the Mantineans and Tegeans, and their respective allies, fought a battle at Laodicium, in the territory of Oresthis. The victory remained doubtful, as each side routed one of the wings opposed to them, and both set up trophies and sent spoils to Delphi.  After heavy loss on both sides the battle was undecided, and night interrupted the action; yet the Tegeans passed the night on the field and set up a trophy at once, while the Mantineans withdrew to Bucolion and set up theirs afterwards.
Mantinea and Tegea fight an indecisive battle at Laodicium.
At the close of the same winter, in fact almost in spring, Brasidas made an attempt upon Potidaea. He arrived by night, and succeeded in placing a ladder against the wall without being discovered, the ladder being planted just in the interval between the passing round of the bell and the return of the man who brought it back. Upon the garrison, however, taking the alarm immediately afterwards, before his men came up, he quickly led off his troops, without waiting until it was day. So ended the winter and the ninth year of this war of which Thucydides is the historian.
Brasidas’ attempt to take Potidaea fails.
Syracuse: Map 3.115.
Locri (Epizephyrian), in Italy: Map 3.115.
Messana: Map 3.115.
The “Strait” referred to here is the Strait of Messana, between Rhegium on the toe of Italy and the island of Sicily near the Sicilian city of Messana; see Map 3.115.
Rhegium: Map 3.115.
The narrative of Sicilian events will be continued in 4.24.
These preparations were mentioned in 3.115.
Corcyra: Map 4.5, AX.
Mount Istone: Map 4.5, AX. These oligarchic partisans were last mentioned in 3.85.
Acarnania: Map 4.5, BX.
Pylos: Map 4.5, BX.
Originally Messenians, but now settled in Naupactus. For the Spartan (Dorian) dialect, see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©7-9.
Literally, having no masonry tools (lithourga) for cutting and shaping stone.
Attica: Map 4.5, BY.
This chapter deals with events in Thrace, which was last mentioned in 2.101.
Mende, on the Chalcidian peninsula of Pallene: Map 4.5, AX.
This Eion in Thrace, whose location is unknown, cannot be the more familiar Eion on the Strymon River (Map 4.5, AY), which had for some time now been subject to the Athenians.
Chalcidice: Map 4.5, AX.
Bottiaeans, living at that time in Bottica: Map 4.5, AX.
The narrative of events in Thrace is picked up again in 4.78.
Pylos: Map 4.5, BX. For information about the Spartan class of perioikoi, see the Glossary and Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©9.
Corcyra: Map 4.5, AX.
Isthmus of Leucas: Map 4.5, AX.
Zacynthus: Map 4.5, BX.
Island of Sphacteria: Map 4.8.
Thucydides erroneously writes that Sphacteria’s length is about 15 stades (1.6 miles), but its true length is closer to 24 or 25 stades (3 miles); the Attic stade was 607 feet, the Olympic stade 630.8 feet. All of Thucydides’ distance measurements are given in stades and were rounded off to miles or furlongs by Crawley and to just miles in this edition.
Hoplite is the Greek word for a heavily armed infantryman. See Glossary and Appendix F, ©2.
Thucydides’ description of the Pylos campaign continues to be the subject of much debate; indeed, scholars have not yet reached a consensus even on such basic elements as the location of the harbor at the site. Most have identified Thucydides’ harbor as the entire Bay of Navarino (Map 4.8), despite general recognition that it is much too large for an ancient “harbor,” and that its wide and deep southern entrance could not have been blocked by Peloponnesian triremes. The Bay Harbor does, however, accord with important parts of the text, and would explain why the Spartans seem not to have carried out their blockade. I have argued that the harbor may best be located in a cove at the south end of Pylos itself, near the east end of the Sikia Channel (Map 4.8). The main virtue of the Cove Harbor is that it has narrow entrances that could be blocked (Thucydides says three times that this was the Spartan plan), and that the feasibility of this Spartan plan may provide an explanation for why the Spartans exposed their fleet at all here after avoiding naval battle for four years, why they placed troops on Sphacteria, and why the Athenian fleet went to Prote (Map 4.5, BX) and not to Pylos on the night before the naval battle (4.13.3). But while the Cove Harbor fits some parts of Thucydides’ description of the site, and explains some parts of his story, it conflicts with others, and seems to be too small, in the opinion of many, for the action described to have taken place there. See A.W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, iii (Oxford, 1956), 438-63, 466-89. See also R. B. Strassler, “The Harbor at Pylos: 425 B.C.,” Note,Journal of Hellenic Studies, cviii (1988), 198.
For information on Helots, see Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©3-4.
Triremes were the standard warship of the period; see Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©4-7.
A Spartiate is a full citizen of Sparta and a member of the highest Spartan military caste.
This is Brasidas son of Tellis, now a ship captain, whom we have met previously as a local commander at Methone (2.25.2), as a fleet commissioner (2.85.1), and then as adviser to the admiral (3.69.1).
After a battle in ancient Greece, the victorious side raised a trophy, usually a set of captured armor on a pole at or near the battlefield, in thanks to the god who had defeated the enemy. Brasidas reappears next in 4.70.
This text must have been written a good deal after the battle, as no readers in 425 B.C. would need to be reminded of Athenian supremacy on the sea or Spartan superiority on the land.
Asine: Map 4.5, BX.
Zacynthus: Map 4.5, BX.
Naupactus: Map 4.5, BX.
Chios: Map 4.5, BY.
Prote, an island about eight miles north of Pylos up the coast: Map 4.5, BX.
The setting up of a trophy and the return of the bodies of the dead were in accord with post-battle ritual of hoplite warfare. See Appendix F, Land Warfare, ©6.
Laconia: Map 4.5, BX.
The narrative of events at Pylos will be taken up again in 4.23.
The Spartans here acknowledge their reputation for speaking “laconically”—that is, bluntly, ungraciously, and with as few words as possible. See Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©2, and Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©8.
Spartan confidence that Athens would welcome peace derived probably from the fact that Athens had sent ambassadors to Sparta to obtain peace in 430 (2.59.2).
Nisaea: Map 4.21.
Pegae: Map 4.21.
Troezen: Map 4.21.
Achaea: Map 4.21.
Thucydides refers here to the Thirty Years’ Peace Treaty of 446, mentioned in 1.115.
This continues the narrative of events at Pylos from 4.16.
The narration of events at Pylos is resumed at 4.26.
Syracuse: Map 4.25. This continues the narrative of events in Sicily from 4.1.
Messana: Map 4.25.
For these preparations, see 4.1.4.
Locri (Epizephyrian): Map 4.25.
Rhegium: Map 4.25.
Thucydides refers to the monster whirlpool Charybdis of Homer’s Odyssey, Book 12.
Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicilian Sea: Map 4.25.
Cape Pelorus: Map 4.25.
Grappling irons were large metal hooks with attached lines that were designed to be thrown so as to catch at the bulwarks (railings) of enemy ships; the lines were then used to pull the hostile ships alongside one another so that crews could engage in hand-to-hand combat. See 7.62.3a and Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©11.
Camarina: Map 4.25.
Naxos: Map 4.25.
Akesines river: Map 4.25.
Leontini: Map 4.25.
The narrative of events in Sicily is continued in 4.58.
This chapter continues the narrative of events at Pylos from 4.23.
Since a trireme had no space for the preparation of food, the crew had to be fed ashore; see Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©7.
Spartan Helots; see Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©3-4.
The narrative of events at Pylos is resumed in 4.30.
Lemnos, Imbros: Map 4.5, AY.
Peltasts were troops armed only with a small, light shield, a javelin, and a short sword. Unhindered by body armor, they could move much more quickly than the fully armed hoplite. Aenus: Map 4.5, AY.
For the Aetolian disaster, see 3.94-98.
Heralds, already a venerable Greek institution in Thucydides’ day, operated under the protection of the god Hermes, and were easily identified by the staff they carried. They alone could travel unmolested between states or armies during wartime in order to deliver messages, take back replies, and make perfunctory arrangements.
Sphacteria and its features are described in Map 4.35.
Probable landing sites on Sphacteria: Map 4.35, BX.
For the “lowest rank of oars,” see Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©5, 12.
Fort at the north end of Sphacteria. Map 4.35.
Thermopylae (Map 4.52, AX) was the site of a heroic battle in 480 B.C. A small Spartan-led force of Greeks occupied a narrow pass and held off a huge Persian army for several days until they were outflanked and surrounded. Even then the Greeks fought to the last man. See Appendix E, The Persians, ©4.
Naupactus: Map 4.44, locator.
For the Dorian dialect see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©9.
Corinth: Map 4.44, AX.
Miletus: Map 4.44, locator.
Andros: Map 4.44, locator.
Carystus, Map 4.44, locator.
Chersonese, Rheitus in Corinthian territory, possible locations: Map 4.44, AX.
Solygia, possible location: Map 4.44, AX. For the Dorians and Aeolians, see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©6-8.
Isthmus of Corinth: Map 4.44, AX.
Argos: Map 4.44, BX.
Three hundred of these Corinthians are mentioned in 3.114 as being sent to Ambracia. For the locations of Ambracia and Lencas, see Map 4.52, AX.
Cenchreae: Map 4.44, AX.
Crommyon: Map 4.44, AX.
The paean was a ritual chant that the men of classical Greek armies sang as they advanced into battle, rallied, or celebrated victory.
Mount Oneion, possible location: Map 4.44, AX.
Epidaurus: Map 4.44, BX.
Methana: Map 4.44, BY.
Troezen: Map 4.44, BY.
Halieis: Map 4.44, BX.
These partisans were mentioned in 3.85 and 4.2. Mount Istone: Map 4.47.
Ptychia: Map 4.47.
Naupactus: Map 4.52, AX.
The enmity between Anactorium and Acarnania was mentioned in 3.114. Acarnania: Map 4.52, AX.
Anactorium: Map 4.52, AX. 4.5O. 1a For Athenian collections of tribute, see note 4.75.1b; also Appendix B, The Athenian Empire, ©2, 10.
Eion, on the Strymon River in Thrace: Map 4.52, AX. Thucydides describes an Athenian siege of the Persians in this city in 1.98.
Persian envoy Atarphernes: see Appendix E, The Persians, ©6.
Assyrian characters: possibly the message was written in Old Persian cuneiform, but more likely it was in Aramaic.
Ephesus: Map 4.52, BY.
This chapter has played a large part in discussions of Athenian relations with Persia: was there a treaty between the two powers in the fifth century? See Appendix E, The Persians, ©5-6. The dating of the reigns of Persian kings depends largely on the exact dates to be found on Babylonian cuneiform tablets. With one curious exception (which is perhaps an error), all the Babylonian evidence shows that Darius, who succeeded Artaxerxes, did not become king until 424/3, at least fourteen months after the date Thucydides gives (or appears to give by his mention of a precisely datable eclipse in 4.52.1) for the capture of Artaphernes. Can Thucydides have erred and assigned the incident to the wrong winter? Or does his use of the word “afterwards” cover quite a long delay before Artaphernes was escorted to Ephesus? Both alternatives have caused scholars discomfort.
Chios: Map 4.52, AY.
This eclipse took place on March 21, 424 B.C.; see A. W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, iii (Oxford, 1956), 505.
This picks up the story of Mytilene from 3.50. Mytilene, Lesbos: Map 4.52, AY.
Rhoeteum:Map 4.52, AY.
Phocaean staters were a unit of currency thought to be worth twenty-four Attic drachmas, which would make the above sum equal to eight talents. See Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©4.
Antandrus: Map 4.52, AY.
Mount Ida: Map 4.52, AY.
We next hear of these Mytilenian exiles in 4.75.1.
Miletus: Map 4.52, BY.
Island of Cythera, in relation to Laconia and Cape Malea: Map 4.52, BX.
Perioikoi: See Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©9.
Egypt and Libya, in relation to Cythera: Map 4.52, locator.
Privateers were privately owned boats licensed by the belligerents to attack enemy shipping.
For the location of the Sicilian and Cretan Seas in relation to Cythera, see Map 4.52, BX.
Scandea, on the island of Cythera: Map 4.52, BX.
City of Cythera, on the island of Cythera: Map 4.52, BX.
The terms of this agreement are described in 4.57.4.
Asine in Messenia: Map 4.52, BX. This Asine seems too far away from Cythera to be raided from there, so Thucydides may have been referring here to another Asine located near Gythion: Map 4.52, BX.
Helus: Map 4.52, BX.
Cotyrta, Aphrodisia: locations unknown.
Epidaurus Limera: Map 4.52, BX.
Thyrea: Map 4.52, BX.
Aegina: Map 4.52, BX. Thucydides mentions the expulsion of the Aeginetans from their island by the Athenians in 2.27.
The earthquake and the Helot revolt that followed it are described in 1.101-3.
A talent is a unit of weight and/or money; see Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©5.
This picks up the narrative of events in Sicily from 4.25.
Camarina: Map 4.25.
Gela: Map 4.25.
Syracuse: Map 4.25.
“Few ships”? At that time Athens had sixty triremes in Sicilian waters, no mean fleet. Was this written after the Sicilian expedition of 415?
Morgantina: Map 4.25.
The story of Athenian activity in Sicily is continued in 5.5.
It was not all that unusual for Athenians to punish statesmen or generals with whom they were angry or disappointed by fines or exile. Note also the fining of Pericles (2.65.3), as well as the banishment of Thucydides himself (5.26.5).
Megara: Map 4.69.
Pegae: Map 4.69.
Nisaea: Map 4.69.
Minoa: Map 4.69. For this island’s capture by Nicias in 427, see 3.51, and Map 3.51.
Mud bricks, commonly used for buildings and city walls.
Little is known about the peripoli. They may have been a special mobile force of young recruits serving as a frontier guard; see A.W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides,iii (Oxford, 1956), 529.
The location of this sanctuary or shrine of Enyalius has not been identified.
Eleusis: Map 4.69.
Presumably “looking toward Megara” from Nisaea. See the scheme of the Athenian siege walls of Nisaea in Map 4.69.
Sicyon, Corinth: Map 4.69. Brasidas last appeared in 4.12.1, dropping his shield and falling wounded into his ship at Pylos.
Thucydides describes the march of Brasidas and his army to Thrace (Map 4.78, AY) in 4.78.
Tripodiscus: Map 4.69.
Mount Geraneia: Map 4.69.
Phlius: Map 4.69.
Thebes and Plataea, in relation to Megara: Map 4.69. The occupation of Megara by the Athenians would have cut Boeotian land communications with the Peloponnesus.
Brasidas had six thousand hoplites and six hundred Boeotian horse (4.72). The Athenians had four thousand hoplites who had marched in from Eleusis (4.68), six hundred hoplites who had arrived with Hippocrates, and Demosthenes’ detachments of light troops (4.67).
These were the Mytilenian exiles hostile to Athens (see 4.52.2-3). Mytilene, Antandrus: Map 4.75.
Thucydides mentions specific missions of Athenian generals to collect tribute in 2.69 (Winter 430/29), 3.19 (Winter 428/7), 4.50 (Winter 425/4), and here in Summer 424. For various reasons these notices have been thought to signify reassessments of tribute in 430, 428, and 425, for which last a large inscription survives indicating great increases all around and including cities in the Pontus (Map 4.75), to which Lamachus had now gone, as described in 4.75.2. See Appendix B, The Athenian Empire, ©2, 10.
Hellespont: Map 4.75.
Pontus (the Euxine or Black Sea): Map 4.75.
Anaia: Map 4.75.
Samos: Map 4.75.
Heraclea, Bithynia, Chalcedon: Map 4.75.
Naupactus: Map 4.77, AX.
Boeotia: Map 4.77, BY.
For the Boeotian constitution, see 5.38 and note 5.38.2a.
Siphae: Map 4.77, BY.
Bay of Crisae: Map 4.77, BY.
Thespiae: Map 4.77, BY.
Chaeronea: Map 4.77, AY.
Orchomenus: Map 4.77, AY.
Phanotis (Panopeus) in Phocis: Map 4.77, AY.
Delium, Tanagra: Map 4.77, BY.
Euboea: Map 4.77, AY.
Oeniadae: Map 4.77, AX.
Agraea, a pro-Peloponnesian state in 425 (see 3.106.2): Map 4.77. AX.
The narrative of this planned attack on Boeotia is continued in 4.89.
Heraclea in Trachis: Map 4.78, BX. This city was last mentioned in 3.100 and appears again in 5.12.
Pharsalus: Map 4.78, BX.
Melitia in Achaea: Map 4.78, BX.
A proxenus, though a citizen and resident of his own state, served as a “friend or representative” (much like a modern honorary consul) of a foreign state.
Larissa: Map 4.78, BX.
Thessaly: Map 4.78, BX.
The Enipeus river runs near to Melitia: Map 4.78, BX.
The Apidanus river runs by Pharsalus: Map 4.78, BX.
Phacium: Map 4.78, BX.
Perrhaebia: Map 4.78, BX.
Dium: Map 4.78, AX.
Mount Olympus: Map 4.78, AX.
Chalcidice: Map 4.78, AY.
Two campaigns against Arrhabaeus in Lyncestis (Map 4.78, AX) are described in 4.83 and 4.124-28.
Helots of Sparta: See Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©3-4.
This famous comment by Thucydides has also been taken in a more restricted sense, to wit, “their policy with regard to the Helots has been governed by the necessity of taking precautions.”
The return, emancipation, and settlement of these Helots is described in 5.34; see Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©9.
This remark sheds light on the date of the composition of this section of the history; see the Introduction (sect. II.ii).
Lyncestis: Map 4.78, AX.
Acanthus: Map 4.78, AY; Andres, Map 4.75, or Map 4.128.
Spartans were notorious for speaking “laconically,” that is, bluntly, ungraciously, and with few words. See Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©8, which mentions Greek stereotypes connected with regional dialects.
As Thucydides comments in 4.108.5, Brasidas is lying, or at best stretching the truth, here. His forces at Nisaea, combined with the Boeotians present (4.70-72), were certainly more numerous than the Athenians on that occasion, at least according to Thucydides’ account (4.67-68); see note 4.73.3a.
See the Introduction (sect. II.ii) for a discussion of speeches in Thucydides.
Stagirus: Map 4.78, AY.
Thucydides’ narrative returns to Thrace in 4.101.5.
Thucydides returns here to the Athenian plan to attack Boeotia described in 4.77. Siphae: Map 4.96, BY; Delium: Map 4.96, AY.
Phanotis (Panopeus) in Phocis: Map 4.96, AX.
Chaeronea: Map 4.96, AX.
Athens, in relation to Delium: Map 4.96, BY. For resident aliens (metics), see Appendix A, The Athenian Government, ©2,4.
Delium: Map 4.96, AY.
Tanagra: Map 4.96, AY.
Boeotarchs were chief magistrates of the Boeotian federal government; see note 5.38.2a.
Oropus (Map 4.96, AY) lay on the border between Boeotia and Attica.
Thebes: Map 4.96, AY. For the Boeotian Federal Constitution, see note 5.38.2a
Euboea (Map 4.96, AY) is very near to Boeotia.
Pagondas refers to the battle at Coronea (Map 4.96, AX), in 447; see 1.113.
Peltasts were troops armed only with a small, light shield, a javelin, and a short sword. Unhindered by body armor, they could move much more quickly than the fully armed hoplite. Aenus: Map 4.5, AY.
See note 5.38.2a for the “divisions” of the Boeotian Confederacy.
Haliartus: Map 4.96, AX; Coronea: Map 4.96, AX; Lake Copais: Map 4.96, AY.
Thespiae, Tanagra: Map 4.96, AY; Orchomenus: Map 4.96, AX.
This deep formation was peculiarly Theban; see Appendix F, Ancient Greek Land Warfare, ©3.
The departure of the light troops was mentioned in 4.90.4, but Thucydides does say that many Athenian light troops were among the battle casualties in 4.102.2. See note 4.101.2a. Most poor Athenians, who might have made up a corps of light troops in another state’s armed forces, probably served Athens in her navy.
The battle at Oenophyta (Map 4.96, BY) in the year 457 is mentioned in 1.108.
Boeotia: Map 4.96, AX.
The paean was a ritual chant that the men of classical Greek armies sang as they advanced into battle, rallied, or celebrated victory.
See Appendix F, Ancient Greek Land Warfare, for a discussion of such implications of this chapter as that these combatants wore no uniforms or national identifying emblems; that once the phalanx formation was broken, heavy casualties were inflicted; and that the depth of the Theban formation probably permitted them to “shove” the thinner Athenian lines backward.
Delium Oropus: Map 4.96, AY; Mount Parnes: Map 4.96, BY.
The horsemen came from Opuntian Locris (Map 4.96, AX), which borders Boeotia on the northwest.
Malian Gulf: Map 4.96, AX.
Nisaea, Megara: Map 4.96, BY.
For the development of siege warfare, see Appendix F, Ancient Greek Land Warfare, ©10.
Since few Athenian light troops were at the battle (4.94.1), we can only assume that such casualties were caused later by pursuing Boeotian cavalry, which caught up with these retreating Athenians.
Sicyon: Map 4.96, BX.
Sitalces and his nephew Seuthes were last mentioned in the Thracian campaign of 428, recounted in 2.95-101. Events in Thrace are resumed here from 4.88.
Thucydides records the attempt to found Amphipolis in 1.100.3. Amphipolis, Strymon River: Map 4.106, AY.
For the story of Aristagoras and the attempt to found a city there, see Herodotus, Book 5, 124-26. See also Appendix E, The Persians, ©2-3.
Edonia: Map 4.106, AY.
Drabescus: Map 4.106, AY; also see 1.100.3.
Eion: Map 4.106, AY.
Arne in Chalcidice: location unknown. For the location of Chalcidice, see Map 4.106, AX.
Aulon: location unknown. Bromiscus: Map 4.106, AY; Lake Bolbe: Map 4.106, AX.
Argilus: Map 4.106, AY.
Andros: Map 4.128, BY.
This statement, and that in 4.105.1 just below it, are two of Thucydides’ rare and restrained remarks about himself. See the Introduction (sect. I) for what is known of the life of Thucydides.
Thasos: Map 4.106, AY.
Paros: Map 4.128, BY.
Eion:Map 4.106, AY.
Myrcinus: Map 4.106, AY.
Galepsus: Map 4.106, AY.
Oesime: Map 4.106, AY.
Eion: Map 4.106, AY.
Thucydides refers here to Lake Cercinitis; see Map 4.106, AX.
Boeotia: Map 4.118.
As Brasidas told the Acanthians in 4.85.7. Nisaea: Map 4.118.
These were the prisoners taken on the island of Sphacteria at Pylos; see 4.31-39.
These walls were taken by the Athenians in the fighting at Megara described in 4.66-74. Megara: Map 4.118.
Acte Peninsula: Map 4.106, BY.
This canal was dug by the Persians at Xerxes’ command in preparation for his invasion of Greece in 490. Its construction is described by Herodotus, Book 7, 22ff. See Appendix E, The Persians, ©4.
Mount Athos: Map 4.106, BY.
Sane: Map 4.106, AY; Andros: Map 4.128, BY.
Euboea: Map 4.128, BY; in relation to Chalcidice, Map 4.128, AY.
Thyssus, Cleone, Acrothoi, Olophyxus, and Dium, all on the Acte Peninsula: Map 4.106, BY.
Lemnos: Map 4.128, AY.
Bisaltia, Crestonia: Map 4.106, AX; Edonia: Map 4.106, AY.
Torone: Map 4.106, BY.
The postern faced west, toward Point Canastraeum, the easternmost cape of the Pallene Peninsula: Map 4.106, BY
Peltasts: see note 4.93.3a.
Cut through the bar of the gate: see note 2.4.4a.
Pallene Peninsula: Map 4.106, BX.
Mina (plural minae): a unit of currency equal to one sixtieth of a talent, or one hundred drachmas; see Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©5.
For the temple and oracle of Pythian Apollo at Delphi, see Map 4.118.
“Coryphasium” is the Spartan name for Pylos (Map 4.118); the locations of Buphras and Tomeus are unknown.
Cythera: Map 4.118.
Nisaea, Minoa: Map 4.118.
The locations of the temple of Nisus and Poseidon are not known, but a possible site for the bridge to Minoa, if that is the island meant here, is shown on Map 3.51, BX.
Troezen: Map 4.118. We do not know the reason why Troezen is included here. It probably concerns territory on Methana which Athens captured in 4.45.2, and presumably still held, or about which she had made some arrangement with Troezen.
The talent is a unit of weight, whose value varied over time and place between sixty and eighty pounds. Hence these vessels would be limited to something between fifteen and twenty tons—quite small even then. The boat in 7.25.5 is twenty times larger.
Prytany, prytanes (plural); see Appendix A, The Athenian Government, ©5.
By the Athenian calendar: see Appendix K, Classical Greek Calendars and Dating Systems, ©1-3.
By the Spartan calendar: see Appendix K, Classical Greek Calendars and Dating Systems, ©1-3.
The pouring of the libations was ritually necessary to complete the agreement.
Scione, Pallene Peninsula: Map 4.122.
Acanthus: Map 4.122; see 4.84-87.
Torone: Map 4.122; see 4.114.3.
Potidaea: Map 4.122.
A victorious athlete; see Appendix I, Classical Greek Religious Festivals, ©5.
Mende: Map 4.122.
Eretria, a city on the island of Euboea: Map 4.128, BY.
Olynthus (Map 4.122), where Perdiccas had already (in 433) induced many of the Chalcidians to settle inland, abandoning and demolishing their cities on the seaboard, to make that one city a strong place; see 1.58.2.
Peltasts: see note 4.93.3a.
Lyncestis: Map 4.128, AX. Their previous attack against Lyncestis was described in 4.83.
Chalcidice: Map 4.128, AY.
Acanthus: Map 4.128, AY.
Illyria: Map 4.128, AX.
See Thucydides’ account of the Athenians in retreat in Sicily in 7.80.3.
The location of this pass, also mentioned above in 4.83.2, is not precisely determined.
Arnisa: location unknown.
Torone: Map 4.128, AY.
Mende: Map 4.128, AY.
These Athenian preparations were mentioned in 4.122.6. Scione: Map 4.128, AY.
Island of Chios: Map 4.75, and Map 5.3.
Potidaea: Map 4.128, AY.
Methone in Macedonia: Map 4.128, AX.
The south side of Mende: Map 4.128, AY.
Circumvallation: the building of a wall to surround or isolate a city by land; see Appendix F, Ancient Greek Land Warfare, ©10.
Thessaly: Map 4.128, AX.
Amphipolis, Torone: Map 4.128, AY. Thucydides’ meaning is not clear here, but a breach of the law could be found on two possible counts: (1) that it was not Spartan custom to send out young men of military age as governors of allied cities; and (2) that this move violated Brasidas’ promise to the Chalcidian cities that the Spartans would not interfere in their governments but would leave them free.
Thebes: Map 4.128, BY.
Thespiae: Map 4.128, BY.
For the losses suffered by the Thespians in the battle of Delium, see 4.96.3.
Argos: Map 4.128, BY.
Phlius: Map 4.128, BY.
Chrysis must have been very old, for she had already served as priestess at the temple of Hera for forty-eight years some eight and one half years earlier when the war began; see 2. 2.1.
Scione: Map 4.128, AY.
For the end of the siege of Scione, see 5.32.1.
Mantinea, Tegea: Map 4.128, BX.
Laodicium: location unknown.
Potidaea: Map 4.128, AY.
The story of the campaign in Thrace continues in 5.2.