Ancient History & Civilisation

BOOK SIX

The same winter the Athenians resolved to sail again to Sicily, with a greater armament than that under Laches and Eurymedon, and, if possible, to conquer the island; most of them being ignorant of its size and of the number of its inhabitants, Hellenic and barbarian, and of the fact that they were undertaking a war not much inferior to that against the Peloponnesians. [2] For the voyage round Sicily in a merchant vessel is not far short of eight days; and yet, large as the island is, there are only two miles of sea to prevent its being mainland.


6.1
416/5
16th Year/Winter
ATHENS
The Athenians vote to attack Sicily, though most are ignorant of the island’s size.

6.2
SICILY
Thucydides describes the history of the settlement of barbarian peoples—Sicanians, Trojans, Sicels, and Phoenicians—in Sicily.


It was settled originally as follows, and the peoples that occupied it are these. The earliest inhabitants spoken of in any part of the country are the Cyclopes and Laestrygones; but I cannot tell of what race they were, or from where they came or to where they went, and must leave my readers to what the poets have said of them and to what may be generally known concerning them. [2] The Sicanians appear to have been the next settlers, although they pretend to have been the first of all and aborigines; but the facts show that they were Iberians, driven by the Ligurians from the river Sicanus in Iberia. It was from them that the island, before called Trinacria, took its name of Sicania, and to the present day they inhabit the west of Sicily. [3] On the fall of Ilium, some of the Trojans escaped from the Achaeans, came in ships to Sicily, and settled next to the Sicanians under the general name of Elymi; their cities being called Eryx and Egesta. With them settled some of the Phocians carried on their way from Troy by a storm, first to Libya, and afterwards from there to Sicily. [4] The Sicels crossed over to Sicily from their first home Italy, fleeing from the Opicans, as tradition says and as seems not unlikely, upon rafts, having watched till the wind steadied down the strait to make the passage; although perhaps they may have sailed over in some other way. Even at the present day there are still Sicels in Italy; and the country got its name of Italy from a king of the Sicels called Italus. [5] These went with a great host to Sicily, defeated the Sicanians in battle and forced them to withdraw to the south and west of the island, which thus came to be called Sicily instead of Sicania. After they crossed over, they continued to enjoy the richest parts of the country for nearly three hundred years before any Hellenes came to Sicily; indeed they still hold the center and north of the island. [6] There were also Phoenicians who had occupied promontories upon the sea coasts and nearby islands for the purpose of trading with the Sicels. But when the Hellenes began to arrive in considerable numbers by sea, the Phoenicians abandoned most of their stations, and drawing together took up their abode in Motya, Soloeis, and Panormus, near the Elymi, partly because they trusted in their alliance with them, and also because these are the nearest points for the voyage between Carthage and Sicily. These were the barbarians in Sicily, settled as I have said.


6.3
SICILY
The first Hellenes to settle in Sicily were Euboeans, who founded Naxos, Leontini, and Catana. The Dorians of Corinth settled Syracuse.


Of the Hellenes, the first to arrive were Chalcidians from Euboea with Thoucles, their founder. They founded Naxos and built the altar to Apollo Archegetes, which now stands outside the city, and upon which the deputies for the games sacrifice before sailing from Sicily. [2] Syracuse was founded the year afterwards by Archias, one of the Heraclids from Corinth, who began by driving out the Sicels from the island upon which the inner city now stands, though it is no longer surrounded by water: over time, the outer city also was enclosed within the walls and became populous. [3] Meanwhile Thoucles and the Chalcidians set out from Naxos in the fifth year after the foundation of Syracuse, and drove out the Sicels by arms and founded Leontini and afterwards Catana; the Catanians themselves choosing Evarchus as their founder.


6.4
SICILY
Thucydides reports the settlement of other principal Hellenic cities in Sicily: Thapsus, Hyblaean Megara, Selinus, Gela, Agrigentum, and Zancle which became Messana.


About the same time Lamis arrived in Sicily with a colony from Megara. He founded a place called Trotilus beyond the river Pantacyas, and afterwards left it and for a short while joined the Chalcidians at Leontini, but was driven out by them and founded Thapsus. After his death his companions were driven out of Thapsus, and founded a place called the Hyblaean Megara; Hyblon, a Sicel king, having given up the place and inviting them there. [2] Here they lived two hundred and forty-five years; after which they were expelled from the city and the country by the Syracusan tyrant Gelon. Before their expulsion, however, a hundred years after they had settled there, they sent out Pamillus and established Selinus; he having come from their mother country Megara to join them in its foundation. [3] Gela was founded by Antiphemus from Rhodes and Entimus from Crete, who joined in leading a colony there, in the forty-fifth year after the foundation of Syracuse. The city took its name from the river Gelas, and the place which was first fortified, where the citadel now stands, was called Lindii. The institutions which they adopted were Dorian. [4] Nearly one hundred and eight years after the foundation of Gela, the Geloans founded Acragas (Agrigentum), so called from the river of that name, and made Aristonous and Pystilus their founders; giving their own institutions to the colony. [5] Zancle was originally founded by pirates from Cumae, the Chalcidian city in the country of the Opicans: afterwards, however, large numbers came from Chalcis and the rest of Euboea, and helped to people the place; the founders being Perieres and Crataemenes from Cumae and Chalcis respectively. It first had the name of Zancle given it by the Sicels, because the place is shaped like a sickle, which the Sicels call zanclon; but when the original settlers were later expelled by some Samians and other Ionians who landed in Sicily fleeing from the Persians, [6] and the Samians driven out in their turn not long afterwards by Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium, the city was by him colonized with a mixed population, and its name changed to Messana, after his old country.

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MAP 6.4 THE SETTLEMENTS OF SICILY, ACCORDING TO THUCYDIDES


6.5
SICILY
Thucydides recounts the founding of other Sicilian Greek cities: Himera, Acrae, Casmenae, and Camarina.


Himera was founded from Zancle by Euclides, Simus, and Sacon. Most of those who went to the colony were Chalcidians; though they were joined by some exiles from Syracuse who had been defeated in a civil war, called the Myletidae. The language was a mixture of Chalcidian and Doric, but the institutions which prevailed were the Chalcidian. [2] Acrae and Casmenae were founded by the Syracusans; Acrae seventy years after Syracuse, Casmenae nearly twenty after Acrae. [3] Camarina was first founded by the Syracusans, close upon a hundred and thirty-five years after the building of Syracuse; its founders being Dascon and Menecolus. But after the Camarinaeans were expelled by arms by the Syracusans for having revolted, Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela, who some time later received their land in ransom for some Syracusan prisoners, resettled Camarina, himself acting as its founder. Lastly, it was again depopulated by Gelon and settled once more for the third time by the people of Gela.


6.6
416/5
16th Year/Winter
ATHENS
Egestan envoys seek help at Athens for their war with Selinus. They warn of potential Syracusan domination of Sicily and aid to Sparta, and promise to pay Athens’ war expenses in Sicily. The Athenians send envoys to Egesta.


Such is the list of the peoples, Hellenic and barbarian, inhabiting Sicily, and such the magnitude of the island which the Athenians were now bent upon invading; being ambitious in real truth of conquering the whole, although they had also the specious design of aiding their kindred and other allies in the island. [2] But they were especially incited by envoys from Egesta, who had come to Athens and invoked their aid more urgently than ever. The Egestaeans had gone to war with their neighbors the Selinuntines over questions of marriage and disputed territory, and the Selinuntines had procured the alliance of the Syracusans, and pressed Egesta hard by land and sea. The Egestaeans now reminded the Athenians of the alliance made in the time of Laches, during the former Leontine war, and begged them to send a fleet to their aid. Their main argument, among a number of other considerations urged, was that if the Syracusans were allowed to go unpunished for their depopulation of Leontini, to ruin the allies still left to Athens in Sicily, and to get the whole power of the island into their hands, there would be a danger of their one day coming with a large force as Dorians to the aid of their Dorian brethren, and as colonists, to the aid of the Peloponnesians who had sent them out, and joining these in pulling down the Athenian empire. The Athenians would, therefore, do well to unite with the allies still left to them, and to make a stand against the Syracusans; especially as they, the Egestaeans, were prepared to furnish money sufficient for the war. [3] The Athenians, hearing these arguments constantly repeated in their assemblies by the Egestaeans and their supporters, voted first to send envoys to Egesta, to see if there was really the money that they talked of in the treasury and temples, and at the same time to ascertain the truth about the war with the Selinuntines.


6.7
416/5
16th Year/Winter
ARGOS
The Spartans plunder Argos and settle exiles in Orneae. Reinforced by Athens, Argos demolishes Orneae.

MACEDONIA
The Athenians, joined by Macedonian exiles, ravage Macedonia. Sparta fails to persuade the Chalcidians to join Perdiccas against Athens.


The envoys of the Athenians were accordingly dispatched to Sicily. That same winter the Spartans and their allies (except for the Corinthians), marched into the Argive territory, ravaged a small part of the land, took some yokes of oxen, and carried off some grain. They also settled the Argive exiles at Orneae and left them a few soldiers taken from the rest of the army, and after making a truce for a certain period, according to which neither Orneatae nor Argives were to injure each other’s territory, returned home with the army. [2] Not long afterwards the Athenians came with thirty ships and six hundred hoplites, and the Argives joining them with all their forces, marched out and besieged the men in Orneae for one day; but the garrison escaped by night, the besiegers having camped some way off. The next day the Argives, discovering this, razed Orneae to the ground, and went back again; after which the Athenians went home in their ships. [3] Meanwhile the Athenians took some cavalry of their own and the Macedonian exiles that were at Athens by sea to Methone on the Macedonian border and plundered the country of Perdiccas. [4] Upon this the Spartans sent to the Thracian Chalcidians, who had a truce with Athens from one ten days to another, urging them to join Perdiccas in the war, which they refused to do. And the winter ended, and with it ended the sixteenth year of this war of which Thucydides is the historian.


6.8
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Athenian envoys return from Egesta with favorable (but untrue) reports. Athens votes to send a fleet to Sicily to assist Egesta, restore Leontini, and order Sicilian affairs to suit Athens’ interests.


Early in the spring of the following summer the Athenian envoys arrived from Sicily, and the Egestaeans with them, bringing the sixty talents of uncoined silver, as a month’s pay for sixty ships, which they were to ask to have sent to them. [2] The Athenians held an assembly, and after hearing from the Egestaeans and their own envoys a report, as attractive as it was untrue, upon the state of affairs generally, and in particular as to the money, of which, it was said, there was abundance in the temples and the treasury, voted to send sixty ships to Sicily, under the command of Alcibiades son of Clinias, Nicias son of Niceratus, and Lamachus son of Xenophanes, who were appointed with full powers; they were to help the Egestaeans against the Selinuntines, to restore Leontini upon gaining any advantage in the war, and to order all other matters in Sicily as they should deem best for the interests of Athens. [3] Five days after this a second assembly was held, to consider the speediest means of equipping the ships, and to vote whatever else might be required by the generals for the expedition. [4] Nicias, who had been chosen to the command against his will, and who thought that the state was not well advised, but upon a slight and specious pretext was aspiring to the conquest of the whole of Sicily, a great matter to achieve, came forward in the hope of diverting the Athenians from the enterprise, and gave them the following counsel:


6.9
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias speaks to Athens’ assembly to dissuade the Athenians from the Sicilian expedition.


“Although this assembly was convened to consider the preparations to be made for sailing to Sicily, I think, notwithstanding, that we should still examine whether it be better to send out the ships at all; that we ought not to give so little consideration to a matter of such import, or let ourselves be persuaded by foreigners into undertaking a war with which we have nothing to do. [2] And yet, individually, I gain in honor by such a course, and fear as little as other men for my person—not that I think a man need be any the worse citizen for taking some thought for his person and estate; on the contrary, such a man would for his own sake desire the prosperity of his country more than others—nevertheless, as I have never spoken against my convictions to gain honor, I shall not begin to do so now, but shall say what I think best. [3] Against your character any words of mine would be weak enough; particularly if I were to advise you to keep what you have and not risk it for advantages which are dubious in themselves, and which you may or may not attain. I will, therefore, content myself with showing that your ardor is untimely, and your ambition not easily accomplished.”


6.10
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias argues that it is imprudent to attack Sicily while affairs nearer home are still precarious. He emphasizes the fragility of the current peace, since many enemies await an opportune moment to attack Athens again, and points out that rebels in Chalcidice have not yet been subdued.


“I affirm, then, that you leave many enemies behind you here to go there far away and bring more back with you. [2] You imagine, perhaps, that the treaty which you have made can be trusted; a treaty that will continue to exist nominally, as long as you keep quiet—for nominal it has become, owing to the practices of certain men here and at Sparta—but which in the event of a serious reverse in any quarter would not delay our enemies a moment in attacking us; first, because the convention was forced upon them by disaster and was less honorable to them than to us; and secondly, because in this very convention there are many points that are still disputed. [3] Again, some of the most powerful states have never yet accepted the arrangement at all. Some of these are at open war with us; others (as the Spartans do not yet move) are restrained by truces renewed every ten days, [4] and it is only too probable that if they found our power divided, as we are hurrying to divide it, they would attack us vigorously with the Siceliots, whose alliance they would have in the past valued as they would that of few others. [5] A man ought, therefore, to consider these points, and not to think of running risks with a country placed so critically, or of grasping at another empire before we have secured the one we have already; for in fact the Thracian Chalcidians have been all these years in revolt from us without being yet subdued, and others on the mainland yield us but a doubtful obedience. Meanwhile the Egestaeans, our allies, have been wronged, and we run to help them, while the rebels who have so long wronged us still wait for punishment.”


6.11
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias says that Sicily is too far away to be permanently subdued, and that the Sicilians, even if united under Syracuse, are most unlikely to attack the Athenian empire. He argues that Athens’ reputation is higher in Sicily because it is untested, and will decline immediately after the first reverse. He points out that Sparta is still the main threat to Athens.


“And yet the latter, if brought under might be kept under; while the Sicilians, even if conquered, are too far off and too numerous to be ruled without difficulty. Now it is folly to go against men who could not be kept under even if conquered, while failure would leave us in a very different position from that which we occupied before the enterprise. [2] The Sicilians, again, to take them as they are at present, in the event of a Syracusan conquest (which the Egestaeans most use to frighten us), would to my thinking be even less dangerous to us than before. [3] At present they might possibly come here as separate states for love of Sparta; in the other case one empire would scarcely attack another; for after joining the Peloponnesians to overthrow ours, they could only expect to see the same hands overthrow their own in the same way. [4] The Hellenes in Sicily would fear us most if we never went there at all, and next to this, if after displaying our power we went away again as soon as possible. We all know that which is farthest off and the reputation of which can least be tested, is the object of admiration; at the least reverse to us they would at once begin to look down upon us, and would join our enemies here against us. [5] You have yourselves experienced this with regard to the Spartans and their allies, whom your unexpected success, as compared with what you feared at first, has made you suddenly despise, tempting you further to aspire to the conquest of Sicily. [6] Instead, however, of being puffed up by the misfortunes of your adversaries, you ought to think of breaking their spirit before giving yourselves up to confidence, and to understand that the one thought awakened in the Spartans by their disgrace is how they may even now, if possible, overthrow us and repair their dishonor; inasmuch as they have for a very long time devoted themselves to the cultivation of military renown above all. [7] Our struggle therefore, if we are wise, will not be for the barbarian Egestaeans in Sicily, but to defend ourselves most effectively against the oligarchic machinations of Sparta.”


6.12
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias reminds the Athenians that having only recently suffered plague and war, they should use the respite properly and not be swayed by young hotbloods whose leader may be eager for command and desperate to cover the expenses of his private life.


“We should also remember that we are only now enjoying some respite from a great pestilence and from war, to the no small benefit of our estates and persons, and that it is right to employ these at home on our own behalf, instead of using them on behalf of these exiles whose interest it is to lie as well as they can, who do nothing but talk themselves and leave the danger to others, and who if they succeed will show no proper gratitude, and if they fail will drag down their friends with them. [2] And if there be any man here, overjoyed at being chosen to command, who urges you to make the expedition, merely for ends of his own—especially if he is still too young to command—who seeks to be admired for his stud of horses, but on account of heavy expenses hopes for some profit from his appointment, do not allow such a one to maintain his private splendor at his country’s risk, but remember that such persons injure the public fortune while they squander their own, and that this is a matter of importance, and not for a young man to decide or hastily to take in hand.”


6.13
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias calls on the older men to curb the enthusiasm of the young, asserting that Athens should not help allies who could not help Athens in turn, and who did not consult Athens when they went to war with their neighbors.


“When I see such persons now sitting here at the side of that same individual and summoned by him, alarm seizes me; and I, in my turn, summon any of the older men that may have such a person sitting next him, not to let himself be checked by shame, for fear of being thought a coward if he does not vote for war, but, remembering how rarely success is gained by wishing and how often by forecast, to leave to them the mad dream of conquest, and as a true lover of his country, now threatened by the greatest danger in its history, to hold up his hand on the other side to vote that the Sicilians be left in the limits now existing between us—limits of which no one can complain (the Ionian sea for the coasting voyage and the Sicilian across the open main)—to enjoy their own possessions and to settle their own quarrels. [2] Let the Egestaeans, for their part, be told to end by themselves the war with the Selinuntines which they began without consulting the Athenians; and that for the future we do not enter into alliance, as we have been used to do, with people whom we must help in their need, and who can never help us in ours.”


6.14
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias concludes by asking for a second vote on the Sicilian expedition.


“And you, Prytanis, if you think it your duty to care for the commonwealth, and if you wish to show yourself a good citizen, put the question to the vote, and take a second time the opinions of the Athenians. If you are afraid to move the question again, consider that a violation of the law cannot with so many abettors, incur any charge, that you will be the physician of your misguided city, and that the virtue of men in office is briefly this, to do their country as much good as they can, or in any case no harm that they can avoid.”


6.15
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
How the character and habits of Alcibiades, who now comes forward to speak in favor of the expedition, caused Athens to distrust him as a potential tyrant and contributed to Athens’ eventual ruin.


Such were the words of Nicias. Most of the Athenians who came forward spoke in favor of the expedition and of not annulling what had been voted, although some spoke on the other side. [2] By far the warmest advocate of the expedition was, however, Alcibiades son of Clinias, who wished to thwart Nicias both as his political opponent and also because of the attack he had made upon him in his speech, and who was, besides, exceedingly ambitious of a command by which he hoped to reduce Sicily and Carthage, and personally to gain in wealth and reputation by means of his successes. [3] For the position he held among the citizens led him to indulge his tastes beyond what his real means would bear, both in keeping horses and in the rest of his expenditure; and this later on had not a little to do with the ruin of the Athenian state. [4] Alarmed at the greatness of the license in his own life and habits, and at the ambition which he showed in all things whatsoever that he undertook, the mass of the people marked him as an aspirant to the tyranny and became his enemies; and although in his public life his conduct of the war was as good as could be desired, in his private life his habits gave offense to everyone, and caused them to commit affairs to other hands, and thus before long to ruin the city. [5] Meanwhile he now came forward and gave the following advice to the Athenians:


6.16
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Alcibiades speaks to the assembly, asserting his right to command the Sicilian expedition. He argues that the magnificence of his private life has added to Athens’ prestige abroad, that his arrogance should be accepted as properly based on excellence, and that he deserves credit for having formed the recent coalition against Sparta.


“Athenians, I have a better right to command than others—I must begin with this as Nicias has attacked me—and at the same time I believe myself to be worthy of it. The things for which I am abused bring fame to my ancestors and to myself, and also profit to my country. [2] The Hellenes, after expecting to see our city ruined by the war, concluded it to be even greater than it really is, by reason of the magnificence with which I represented it at the Olympic games, when I sent into the lists seven chariots, a number never before entered by any private person, and won the first prize, and was second and fourth, and took care to have everything else in a style worthy of my victory. Custom regards such displays as honorable, and they cannot be made without leaving behind them an impression of power. [3] Again, any splendor that I may have exhibited at home in providing choruses or otherwise, is naturally envied by my fellow citizens, but in the eyes of foreigners has an air of strength as in the other instance. And this is no useless folly, when a man at his own private cost benefits not himself only, but his city: [4] nor is it unfair that he who prides himself on his position should refuse to be upon an equality with the rest. He who is badly off has his misfortunes all to himself, and as we do not see men courted in adversity, on the like principle a man ought to accept the insolence of prosperity; or else, let him first mete out equal measure to all, and then demand to have it meted out to him. [5] What I know is that persons of this kind and all others that have attained to any distinction, although they may be unpopular in their lifetime in their relations with their fellow men and especially with their equals, leave to posterity the desire of claiming connection with them even without any ground, and are vaunted by the country to which they belonged, not as strangers or evildoers, but as fellow countrymen and heroes. [6] Such are my aspirations, and however I am abused for them in my private life, the question is whether anyone manages public affairs better than I do. Having united the most powerful states of the Peloponnesus, without great danger or expense to you, I compelled the Spartans to stake their all upon the issue of a single day at Mantinea; and although victorious in the battle, they have never since fully recovered confidence.”


6.17
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Alcibiades bids the Athenians to make use of his youthful energy and Nicias’ good fortune together in command. He argues that the Sicilians are politically weak and will be easily divided; that barbarians will help the Athenians, and that the Spartans, whose navy will remain inferior to the Athenian fleet left at home, will be unable to injure Athens during the Sicilian expedition.


“Thus did my youth and so-called monstrous folly find fitting arguments to deal with the power of the Peloponnesians, and by its ardor win their confidence and prevail. And do not be afraid of my youth now, but while I am still in its flower, and Nicias appears fortunate, avail yourselves to the utmost of the services of us both. [2] Nor should you rescind your resolution to sail to Sicily, on the ground that you would be going to attack a great power. The cities in Sicily are peopled by motley rabbles, and easily change their institutions and adopt new ones in their stead; [3] and consequently the inhabitants, being without any feeling of patriotism, are not provided with arms for their persons, and have not regularly established themselves on the land; every man thinks that either by fair words or by party strife he can obtain something at the public expense, and then in the event of a catastrophe settle in some other country, and makes his preparations accordingly. [4] From a mob like this you need not look for either unanimity in counsel or unity in action; but they will probably one by one come in as they get a fair offer, especially if they are torn by civil strife as we are told. [5] Moreover, the Sicilians have not so many hoplites as they boast; just as the Hellenes generally did not prove so numerous as each state reckoned itself, but Hellas greatly overestimated their numbers, and has hardly had an adequate force of hoplites throughout this war. [6] The states in Sicily, therefore, from all that I can hear, will be found as I say, and I have not pointed out all our advantages, for we shall have the help of many barbarians, who from their hatred of the Syracusans will join us in attacking them; nor will the powers at home prove any hindrance, if you judge rightly. [7] Our fathers with these same adversaries, which it is said we shall now leave behind us when we sail, and the Mede as their enemy as well, were able to win the empire, depending solely on their superiority at sea. [8] The Peloponnesians have never had so little hope against us as at present; and let them be ever so optimistic, although strong enough to invade our country even if we stay at home, they can never hurt us with their navy, as we leave one of our own behind us that is a match for them.”


6.18
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Alcibiades argues that Athens must help its allies—if only to extend its empire further. He claims that to sit and enjoy what it has, as Nicias advises, will risk atrophy and the loss of her present empire. He concludes by urging the Athenians to unite in support of the Sicilian expedition which, if it should fail to achieve a permanent conquest, will certainly injure Syracuse, increase Athens’ prestige, and incur little risk of loss due to Athens’ naval superiority.


“In this state of affairs what reason can we give to ourselves for holding back, or what excuse can we offer to our allies in Sicily for not helping them? They are our confederates, and we are bound to assist them, without objecting that they have not assisted us. We did not take them into alliance to have them help us in Hellas, but that they might so annoy our enemies in Sicily as to prevent them from coming over here and attacking us. [2] It is thus that empire has been won, both by us and by all others that have held it, by a constant readiness to support all, whether barbarians or Hellenes, that invite assistance; since if all were to keep quiet or to pick and choose whom they ought to assist, we should make but few new conquests, and should imperil those we have already won. Men do not rest content with parrying the attacks of a superior, but often strike the first blow to prevent the attack being made. [3] Moreover, we cannot fix the exact point at which our empire shall stop; we have reached a position in which we must not be content with retaining what we have but must scheme to extend it for, if we cease to rule others, we shall be in danger of being ruled ourselves. Nor can you look at inaction from the same point of view as others, unless you are prepared to change your habits and make them resemble theirs.”

[4] “Be convinced then that we shall augment our power at home by this adventure abroad, and let us make the expedition, and so humble the pride of the Peloponnesians by sailing off to Sicily, and letting them see how little we care for the peace that we are now enjoying. At the same time we shall either become masters, as we very easily may, of the whole of Hellas through the accession of the Sicilian Hellenes, or in any case ruin the Syracusans, to the no small advantage of ourselves and our allies. [5] Our ability to stay if successful, or to return if not, will be secured to us by our navy, as we shall be superior at sea to all the Sicilians put together. [6] And do not let the passive policy which Nicias advocates, or his setting of the young against the old, turn you from your purpose, but in the good old fashion by which our fathers, old and young together, by their united counsels brought our affairs to their present height, do you endeavor still to advance them; understanding that neither youth nor old age can do anything the one without the other, but that levity, sobriety, and deliberate judgment are strongest when united, and that, by sinking into inaction, the city, like everything else, will wear itself out, and its skill in everything decay; while each fresh struggle will give it fresh experience, and make it more used to defend itself not in word but in deed. [7] In short, my conviction is that a city not inactive by nature could not choose a quicker way to ruin itself than by suddenly adopting such a policy, and that the safest rule of life is to take one’s character and institutions for better and for worse, and to live up to them as closely as one can.”


6.19
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias tries again to deter the Athenians from the Sicilian expedition.


Such were the words of Alcibiades. After hearing him and the Egestaeans and some Leontine exiles, who came forward reminding them of their oaths and imploring their assistance, the Athenians became more eager for the expedition than before. [2] Nicias, perceiving that it would now be useless to try to deter them by the old line of argument, but thinking that he might perhaps alter their resolution by the extravagance of his estimates, came forward a second time and spoke as follows:


6.20
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias describes the Hellenic cities of Sicily as independent, politically stable, formidable powers that will resist Athenian forces.


“I see, Athenians, that you are thoroughly bent upon the expedition, and therefore hope that all will turn out as we wish, and I proceed to give you my opinion at the present juncture. [2] From all that I hear we are going against cities that are great and not subject to one another, or in need of change, so as to wish to pass from enforced servitude to an easier condition, or be in the least likely to accept our rule in exchange for freedom; and, to take only the Hellenic cities, they are very numerous for one island. [3] Besides Naxos and Catana, which I expect to join us from their connection with Leontini, there are seven others armed in every way just like our own power, particularly Selinus and Syracuse, the main objectives of our expedition. [4] These are full of hoplites, archers, and dart throwers, have triremes in abundance and multitudes to man them; they also have money, partly in the hands of private persons, partly in the temples at Selinus, and at Syracuse tribute of first-fruits from some of the barbarians as well. But their chief advantage over us lies in the number of their horses, and in the fact that they grow their grain at home instead of importing it.”

Image

MAP 6.20 KEY SICILIAN CITIES


6.21
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias argues that because of Sicily’s strength and its great distance from Athens, the Athenian expedition must be very powerful in order to obviate the need to send more forces later or to avoid a disgraceful withdrawal.


“Against a power of this kind it will not do to have merely a weak naval armament, but we shall want also a large land army to sail with us, if we are to do anything worthy of our ambition and are not to be shut out from the country by a numerous cavalry; especially if the cities should take alarm and combine, and we should be left without friends (except the Egestaeans) to furnish us with cavalry with which to defend ourselves. [2] It would be disgraceful to have to retire under compulsion, or to send back for reinforcements, owing to want of reflection at first. We must therefore start from home with a competent force, seeing that we are going to sail far from our country, and upon an expedition not like any which you may have undertaken in the quality of allies. Among your subject states here in Hellas, any additional supplies needed are easily drawn from the friendly territory; but we are cutting ourselves off, and going to a land entirely strange, from which during four months in winter it is not even easy for a messenger to get to Athens.”


6.22
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias says the expedition should be strong in all arms, recruited from Athens as well as the empire, and include mercenary troops too. He demands that it be well provisioned and financed.


“I think, therefore, that we ought to take great numbers of hoplites, both from Athens and from our allies, and not merely from our subjects, but also any we may be able to get for love or for money in the Peloponnesus, and great numbers also of archers and slingers, to oppose the Sicilian horse. Meanwhile we must have an overwhelming superiority at sea to enable us the more easily to carry in what we want; and we must take our own grain in merchant vessels, that is to say, wheat and roasted barley, and bakers from the mills compelled to serve for pay in the proper proportion; so that if we become weather-bound the armament may not lack provisions, as it is not every city that will be able to sustain numbers like ours. We must also provide ourselves with everything else as far as we can, so as not to be dependent upon others; and above all we must take with us from home as much money as possible, as the sums talked of as ready at Egesta are readier, you may be sure, in talk than in any other way.”


6.23
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias reiterates how difficult and dangerous the expedition’s mission will be and concludes that it must have overwhelming power in order to succeed.


“Indeed, even if we leave Athens with a force not only equal to that of the enemy except in the number of hoplites in the field, but even at all points superior to him, we shall still find it difficult to conquer Sicily or save ourselves. [2] We must not disguise from ourselves that we go to found a city among strangers and enemies, and that he who undertakes such an enterprise should be prepared to become master of the country the first day he lands, or failing in this to find everything hostile to him. [3] Fearing this, and knowing that we shall have need of much good counsel and more good fortune—a hard matter for mortal men to aspire to—I wish as much as possible to make myself independent of fortune before sailing, and when I do sail, to be as safe as a strong force can make me. This I believe to be surest for the country at large, and safest for us who are to go on the expedition. If any one thinks differently I resign to him my command.”


6.24
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Although Nicias intended to deter the Athenians from such a huge undertaking, his speech actually fuels enthusiasm for the expedition.


With this Nicias concluded, thinking that he should either put the Athenians off by the magnitude of the undertaking or, if obliged to sail on the expedition, would thus do so in the safest way possible. [2] The Athenians, however, far from having their enthusiasm for the voyage destroyed by the burdensomeness of the preparations, became more eager for it than ever; and just the contrary took place of what Nicias had thought, as it was held that he had given good advice, and that the expedition would be the safest in the world. [3] Everyone fell in love with the enterprise. The older men thought that they would either subdue the places against which they were to sail, or at all events, with so large a force, meet with no disaster; those in the prime of life felt a longing for foreign sights and spectacles, and had no doubt that they should come safe home again; while the idea of the common people and the soldiery was to earn wages at the moment, and make conquests that would supply a never-ending fund of pay for the future. [4] With this enthusiasm of the majority, the few that did not like it feared to appear unpatriotic by holding; up their hands against it, and so kept quiet.


6.25
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Nicias says Athens must send one hundred triremes, transports, five thousand hoplites, and other arms in proportion.


At last one of the Athenians came forward and called upon Nicias and told him that he ought not to make excuses or put them off, but say at once before them all what forces the Athenians should vote him. [2] Upon this he said, not without reluctance, that he would advise upon that matter more at leisure with his colleagues; as far however as he could see at present, they must sail with at least one hundred triremes—the Athenians providing as many transports as they might determine, and sending for others from the allies—not less than five thousand hoplites in all, Athenian and allied, and if possible more; and the rest of the armament in proportion; archers from home and from Crete, and slingers, and whatever else might seem desirable, being made ready by the generals and taken with them.


6.26
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Athens votes the generals full powers to recruit the force they deem necessary.


Upon hearing this the Athenians at once voted that the generals should have full powers in the matter of the numbers of the army and of the expedition generally, to do as they judged best for the interests of Athens. [2] After this the preparations began; messages being sent to the allies and the enlistment rolls drawn up at home. And as the city had just recovered from the plague and the long war, and a number of young men had grown up and capital had accumulated by reason of the peace, everything was the more easily provided.


6.27
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
The city’s Hermae are all mysteriously mutilated; this event is deemed ominous for the expedition to Sicily.


In the midst of these preparations all the stone Hermae in the city of Athens, that is to say the customary square figures so common in the doorways of private houses and temples, had in one night most of them their faces mutilated. [2] No one knew who had done it, but large public rewards were offered to find those responsible; and it was further voted that anyone who knew of any other act of impiety having been committed should come and give information without fear of consequences, whether he were citizen, alien, or slave. [3] The matter was taken up the more seriously, as it was thought to be ominous for the expedition, and part of a conspiracy to bring about a revolution and to upset the democracy.


6.28
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
An inquiry into the blasphemy implicates Alcibiades. His enemies magnify his role, claiming that he is scheming to overthrow the democracy.


Information was accordingly given by some resident aliens and body servants, not about the Hermae but of some previous mutilations of other images perpetrated by young men in a drunken frolic, and of mock celebrations of the Mysteries, alleged to have taken place in private houses. [2] When Alcibiades was implicated in this charge, it was taken up by those who could least endure him, because he stood in the way of their obtaining the undisturbed leadership of The People, and who thought that if he were once removed the first place would be theirs. These accordingly magnified the matter and loudly proclaimed that the affair of the Mysteries and the mutilation of the Hermae were part and parcel of a scheme to overthrow the democracy, and that nothing of all this had been done without Alcibiades; the proofs alleged being the general and undemocratic license of his life and habits.


6.29
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Alcibiades demands a trial on all charges to clear his name before the expedition sails. His foes, fearing the army’s support for him, succeed in postponing a trial though they plot to recall him later.


Alcibiades immediately denied the charges in question, and also offered to stand his trial before going on the expedition (for which the preparations were now complete), so that it might be determined whether he was guilty of the acts imputed to him; as he was willing to be punished if found guilty, but ready, if acquitted, to take the command. [2] Meanwhile he protested against their receiving slanders against him in his absence, and begged them rather to put him to death at once if he were guilty, and pointed out the imprudence of sending him out at the head of so large an army, with so serious a charge still undecided. [3] But his enemies feared that he would have the army’s support if he were tried immediately, and that the people might relent in favor of the man and protect him as the cause of the Argives and some of the Mantineans joining in the expedition, and did their utmost to have this proposition rejected, putting forward other orators who said that he ought at present to sail and not delay the departure of the army, and be tried on his return within a fixed number of days; their plan being to have him sent for and brought home for trial upon some graver charge, which they would the more easily trump up in his absence. Accordingly it was decreed that he should sail.


6.30
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Their preparations now complete, the Athenian forces go to the Piraeus to man the ships. The citizenry bid farewell to the fleet. Many allies muster at Corcyra.

6.31
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
The Athenians now become aware of the danger and magnitude of their expedition, but they are comforted by the unprecedented wealth and magnificence of the fleet.


After this the departure for Sicily took place, it being now about mid-summer. Most of the allies, with the grain transports and the smaller craft and the rest of the expedition, had already received orders to assemble at Corcyra, to cross the Ionian sea from there in a body to the Iapygian promontory. But the Athenians themselves, and such of their allies as happened to be with them, went down to the Piraeus upon a day appointed at daybreak, and began to man the ships for putting out to sea. [2] With them also went the whole population, one may say, of the city, both citizens and foreigners; the inhabitants of the country each escorting those that belonged to them, their friends, their relatives, or their sons, with hope and lamentation upon their way, as they thought of the conquests which they hoped to make, or of the friends whom they might never see again, considering the long voyage which they were going to make for their country. [6.31.1] Indeed, at this moment, when they were now upon the point of parting from one another, the danger came home to them more than when they had voted for the expedition; although the strength of the armament, and the profuse provision which they observed in every department, was a sight that could not but comfort them. As for the foreigners and the rest of the crowd, they simply went to see a sight worth looking at and passing all belief. [2] Indeed this armament that first sailed out was by far the most costly and splendid Hellenic force that had ever been sent out by a single city up to that time. In mere number of ships and hoplites that against Epidaurus under Pericles, and the same fleet when it was going against Potidaea under Hagnon, was not inferior; containing as it did four thousand Athenian hoplites, three hundred horse, and one hundred triremes accompanied by fifty Lesbian and Chian vessels and many allies besides. [3] But these were sent upon a short voyage and with scanty equipment. The present expedition was formed in contemplation of a long term of service by land and sea alike, and was furnished with ships and troops so as to be ready for either as required. The fleet had been elaborately equipped at great cost to the captains and the state; the treasury giving a drachma a day to each seaman, and providing empty ships, sixty warships and forty transports, and manning these with the best crews obtainable; while the captains gave a bounty in addition to the pay from the treasury to the thranitae and crews generally, besides spending lavishly upon figureheads and equipments, and one and all making the utmost exertions to enable their own ships to excel in beauty and fast sailing. Meanwhile the land forces had been picked from the best enlistment rolls, and vied with each other in attention to their arms and personal accouterments. [4] From this resulted not only a rivalry among themselves in their different departments, but an idea among the rest of the Hellenes that it was more a display of power and resources than an armament against an enemy. [5] For if anyone had counted up the public expenditure of the state, and the private outlay of individuals—that is to say, the sums which the state had already spent upon the expedition and was sending out in the hands of the generals, and those sums which individuals had expended upon their personal outfit, or as captains of triremes had laid out and were still to lay out upon their vessels; and if he had added to this the journey money which each was likely to have provided himself with, independently of the pay from the treasury, for a voyage of such length, and what the soldiers or traders took with them for the purpose of exchange—it would have been found that many talents in all were being taken out of the city. [6] Indeed the expedition became not less famous for its wonderful boldness and for the splendor of its appearance, than for its overwhelming strength as compared with the peoples against whom it was directed, and for the fact that this was the longest passage from home hitherto attempted, and the most ambitious in its objectives considering the resources of those who undertook it.


6.32
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
The fleet departs with proper ceremony.
SYRACUSE
At Syracuse, many doubt the Athenian threat. Hermocrates rises to speak to the assembly.


The ships being now manned, and everything put on board with which they meant to sail, the trumpet commanded silence, and the prayers customary before putting out to sea were offered, not in each ship by itself, but by all together to the voice of a herald; and bowls of wine were mixed through all the armament, and libations made by the soldiers and their officers in gold and silver goblets. [2] They were joined in their prayers by the crowds on shore, by the citizens and all others who wished them well. The hymn sung and the libations finished, they put out to sea, and first sailing out in column then raced each other as far as Aegina, and so hastened to reach Corcyra where the rest of the allied forces were also assembling.

[3] Meanwhile at Syracuse news of the expedition came in from many quarters, but for a long while met with no credence whatsoever. Indeed, an assembly was held in which speeches, as will be seen, were delivered by different orators, believing or contradicting the report of the Athenian expedition; among whom Hermocrates son of Hermon came forward, being persuaded that he knew the truth of the matter, and gave the following counsel:


6.33
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Hermocrates warns that Athens is about to attack Syracuse, but stresses the difficulties they face and the favorable position Syracuse holds. The great size of their expedition, for example, will frighten other Sicilians and induce them to unite with Syracuse. Logistical difficulties alone may defeat them, without Syracusan effort, but to her ultimate renown.


“Although I shall perhaps be no better believed than others have been when I speak about the reality of the expedition, and although I know that those who either make or repeat statements thought not worthy of belief not only gain no converts, but are thought fools for their pains, I shall certainly not be frightened into holding my tongue when the state is in danger, and when I am persuaded that I can speak with more authority on the matter than other persons. [2] Much as you wonder at it, the Athenians nevertheless have set out against us with a large force, naval and military, professedly to help the Egestaeans and to restore Leontini, but really to conquer Sicily, and above all our city, which once gained, the rest, they think, will easily follow. [3] Make up your minds, therefore, to see them speedily here, and see how you can best repel them with the means at hand, and do not be taken off guard through scorning the news, or neglect the common good through disbelieving it. [4] Meanwhile those who believe me need not be dismayed at the force or daring of the enemy. They will not be able to do us more hurt than we shall do them; nor is the greatness of their armament altogether without advantage to us. Indeed, the greater it is the better, with regard to the rest of the Sicilians, whom dismay will make more ready to join us; and if we defeat or drive them away, having failed in their ambition (for I do not fear for a moment that they will get what they want), it will be a most glorious exploit for us, and in my judgment by no means an unlikely one. [5] Few indeed have been the large armaments, either Hellenic or barbarian, that have gone far from home and been successful. They cannot be more numerous than the people of the country and their neighbors, whom fear unites; and if they fail for want of supplies in a foreign land, to those against whom their plans were laid they nonetheless leave renown, although they may themselves have been the main cause of their own discomfort. [6] Thus these very Athenians rose by the defeat of the Persians, in a great measure due to accidental causes, from the mere fact that Athens had been the object of his attack; and this may very well be the case with us also.”


6.34
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Hermocrates advises the Syracusans to confirm old allies and seek new ones. He calls upon the Sicilians to unite their fleets and meet the Athenians at the Iapygian promontory. He concludes by begging the Syracusans, even if they will not adopt this proposal, to make preparations to defend themselves.


“Let us, therefore, confidently begin preparations here; let us send to and confirm the support of some of the Sicels, and obtain the friendship and alliance of others, and despatch envoys to the rest of Sicily to show that the danger is common to all, and to Italy to get them to become our allies, or at all events to refuse to receive the Athenians. [2] I also think that it would be best to send to Carthage as well; they are by no means without apprehension there, for it is their constant fear that the Athenians may one day attack their city, and they may perhaps think that they might themselves suffer by letting Sicily be sacrificed, and be willing to help us secretly if not openly, in one way if not in another. They are the best able to do so, if they will, of any of the present day, as they possess most gold and silver, by which war, like everything else, flourishes. [3] Let us also send to Sparta and Corinth, and ask them to come here and help us as soon as possible, and to keep alive the war in Hellas. [4] But in my opinion the most important thing to do at the present moment is what you, with your constitutional love of quiet, will be slow to see, and what I must nevertheless mention. If we Sicilians all together, or at least as many as possible besides ourselves, would only launch the whole of our present navy with two months’ provisions, and meet the Athenians at Tarentum and the Iapygian promontory, and show them that before fighting for Sicily they must first fight for their passage across the Ionian sea, we would strike dismay into their army, and make them realize that we have a base for our defense—for Tarentum is ready to receive us—while they have a wide sea to cross with all their armament, which could with difficulty keep its order through so long a voyage, and would be easy for us to attack as it came on slowly and in small detachments. [5] On the other hand, if they were to lighten their vessels, and draw together their fast sailers and attack us with these, we could either fall upon them when they were wearied with rowing or, if we chose not to do so, retire to Tarentum; while they, having crossed with few provisions just to give battle, would have a difficult time in desolate places, and would either have to remain and be blockaded, or to try to sail along the coast, abandoning the rest of their armament, and being further discouraged by not knowing for certain whether the cities would receive them. [6] In my opinion this consideration alone would be sufficient to deter them from putting out from Corcyra; and what with deliberating and reconnoitering our numbers and whereabouts, they would let the season go on until winter was upon them, or, confounded by so unexpected a circumstance, would break up the expedition, especially as their most experienced general has, as I hear, taken the command against his will, and would grasp at the first excuse offered by any serious demonstration of ours. [7] We should also be reported, I am certain, as more numerous than we really are, and men’s minds are affected by what they hear. Besides, the first to attack, or to show that they mean to defend themselves against an attack, inspire greater fear because men see that they are ready for the emergency. [8] This would be precisely the case with the Athenians at present. They are now attacking us in the belief that we shall not resist, having a right to judge us severely because we did not help the Spartans to destroy them; but if they were to see us showing a courage for which they are not prepared, they would be more dismayed by the surprise than they could ever be by our actual power. [9] I could wish to persuade you to show this courage; but if this cannot be, at all events lose not a moment in preparing generally for the war; and remember all of you that contempt for an assailant is best shown by bravery in action, but that for the present the best course is to accept the preparations which fear inspires as giving the surest promise of safety, and to act as if the danger was real. That the Athenians are coming to attack us, and are already upon the voyage, and all but here—this is what I am sure of.”


6.35
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Many Syracusans do not agree with Hermocrates. Athenagoras, a leader of The People, rises to speak.


Thus spoke Hermocrates. Meanwhile the people of Syracuse were at great strife among themselves; some contending that the Athenians had no idea of coming and that there was no truth in what he said; some asking if they did come what harm they could do that would not be repaid them tenfold in return; while others made light of the whole affair and turned it into ridicule. In short, there were few that believed Hermocrates and feared for the future. [2] Meanwhile Athenagoras, the leader of The People and very powerful at that time with the masses, came forward and spoke as follows:


6.36
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Athenagoras argues that men like Hermocrates spread alarm for their own political purposes. He says that the Athenians are unlikely to come to Sicily while the Peloponnesians so near them at home remain hostile.


“For the Athenians, he who does not wish that they may be as misguided as they are supposed to be, and that they may come here to become our subjects, is either a coward or a traitor to his country; while as for those who carry such tidings and fill you with so much alarm, I wonder less at their audacity than at their folly if they flatter themselves that we do not see through them. [2] The fact is that they have their private reasons to be afraid, and wish to throw the city into consternation to have their own terrors cast into the shade by the public alarm. In short, this is what these reports are worth; they do not arise of themselves, but are concocted by men who are always causing agitation here in Sicily. [3] However, if you are well advised, you will not be guided in your calculation of probabilities by what these persons tell you, but by what shrewd men and of large experience, as I esteem the Athenians to be, would be likely to do. [4] Now it is not likely that they would leave the Peloponnesians behind them, and before they have well ended the war in Hellas wantonly come in quest of a new war quite as arduous, in Sicily; indeed, in my judgment, they are only too glad that we do not go and attack them, being so many and so great cities as we are.”


6.37
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Athenagoras argues that even a very large expedition would probably fail in a hostile Sicily, shut up in a camp near their ships by superior Sicilian cavalry. He doubts whether it could escape annihilation.


“However, if they should come as is reported, I consider Sicily better able to go through with the war than the Peloponnesus, being at all points better prepared, and our city by itself far more than a match for this alleged army of invasion, even were it twice as large again. I know that they will not have horses with them, or get any here (except a few perhaps from the Egestaeans) or be able to bring a force of hoplites equal in number to our own, in ships which will already have enough to do to come all this distance, however lightly laden, not to speak of the transport of the other stores required against a city of this magnitude, which will be no slight quantity. [2] In fact, so strong is my opinion upon the subject, that I do not well see how they could avoid annihilation if they brought with them another city as large as Syracuse, and settled down and carried on war from our frontier; much less can they hope to succeed with all Sicily hostile to them, as all Sicily will be, and with only a camp pitched from the ships, and composed of tents and bare necessaries, from which they would not be able to stir far for fear of our cavalry.”

Image

MAP 6.38 ALLIES OF THE ATHENIANS LISTED FOR THE EXPEDITION TO SICILY IN 415


6.38
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Athenagoras argues that the Athenians are too smart to risk such an attempt. He warns against those who spread such rumors in hopes of seizing power from The People. He condemns the conspiracies that threaten Syracuse’s government and advises the citizenry to remain vigilant against such plots.


“But the Athenians see this as I tell you, and as I have reason to know are looking after their possessions at home, while persons here invent stories that neither are true nor ever will be. [2] Nor is this the first time that I see these persons, when they cannot resort to deeds, trying by such stories and by others even more abominable to frighten The People and themselves take over the government: it is what I see always. And I cannot help fearing that trying so often they may one day succeed, and that we, as long as we do not suffer, may prove too weak for the task of prevention, or, when the offenders are known, of pursuit. [3] The result is that our city is rarely at rest, but is subject to constant troubles and to conflicts as frequent against herself as against the enemy, not to speak of occasional tyrannies and other infamous forms of government. [4] However, I will try, if you will support me, to let nothing of this happen in our time, by winning over you, the many, and by chastising the authors of such machinations, not merely when they are caught in the act—a difficult feat to accomplish—but also for what they have the wish though not the power to do; as it is necessary to punish an enemy not only for what he does, but also beforehand for what he intends to do, if the first to relax precaution would not also be the first to suffer. I shall also reprove, watch, and on occasion warn The Few—the most effective way, in my opinion, of turning them from their evil courses. [5] And after all, as I have often asked—What would you have, young men? Would you hold office immediately? The law forbids it, a law enacted rather because you are not competent than to disgrace you when competent. Meanwhile you wish not to be on a legal equality with the many! But how can it be right that citizens of the same state should be held unworthy of the same privileges?”


6.39
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Athenagoras contrasts the justice and utility of democracy with the wickedness and unfairness of oligarchy.


“It will be said, perhaps, that democracy is neither wise nor equitable, but that the holders of property are also the best fitted to rule. I say, on the contrary, first, that the word demos, or people, includes the whole state, oligarchy only a part; next, that if the best guardians of property are the rich, and the best counselors the wise, none can hear and decide so well as the many; and that all these talents, individually and collectively, have their just place in a democracy. [2] But an oligarchy gives the many their share of the danger, and not content with the largest part takes and keeps the whole of the profit; and this is what the powerful and young among you aspire to, but in a great city cannot possibly obtain.”


6.40
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Athenagoras asks the young oligarchs to give up their designs and again condemns those who spread rumors. He concludes by restating his belief that if Athens attacks, Syracuse will successfully defend herself.


“But even now, foolish men, most senseless of all the Hellenes that I know, if you have no sense of the wickedness of your designs, or most criminal if you have that sense and still dare to pursue them, [6.40.1] even now, if it is not a case for repentance, you may still learn wisdom, and thus advance the interest of the country, the common interest of us all. Reflect that in the country’s prosperity the men of merit in your ranks will have a share and a larger share than the great mass of your fellow countrymen, but that if you have other designs you run a risk of being deprived of all; and cease to spread reports like these, as The People realize your purpose and will not put up with it. [2] If the Athenians arrive, this city will repulse them in a manner worthy of itself; we have generals who will see to this matter. And if nothing of this be true, as I incline to believe, the city will not be thrown into a panic by your reports, or impose upon itself a voluntary servitude by choosing you for its rulers; the city itself will look into the matter, and will judge your words as if they were acts, and instead of allowing itself to be deprived of its liberty by listening to you, will strive to preserve that liberty, by taking care to have always at hand the means of making itself respected.”


6.41
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
A Syracusan general then speaks, affirming that the city should prepare its defense and scout the enemy’s approach. The assembly ends.


Such were the words of Athenagoras. One of the generals now stood up and stopped any other speakers coming forward, adding these words of his own with reference to the matter in hand:

[2] “It is not well for speakers to utter calumnies against one another, or for their hearers to entertain them; we ought rather to look to the information that we have received, and see how each man by himself and the city as a whole may best prepare to repel the invaders. [3] Even if there should be no need, there is no harm in the state being furnished with horses and arms and all other accouterments of war; [4] and we will undertake to see to and order this, and to send round to the cities to reconnoiter and do all else that may appear desirable. Part of this we have seen to already, and whatever we discover shall be laid before you.”


6.42
415
17th Year/Summer
CORCYRA
From Corcyra the Athenian expedition sends scouts to Italy and Sicily to test the cities there.


After these words from the general, the Syracusans departed from the assembly.

In the meantime the Athenians and all their allies had now arrived at Corcyra. Here the generals began by again reviewing the armament, and made arrangements as to the order in which they were to anchor and encamp, and dividing the whole fleet into three divisions, allotted one to each of their number, to avoid sailing all together and thus lacking sufficient water, or provisions at the stations where they might land, and at the same time to be generally better ordered and easier to handle, by each squadron having its own commander. [2] Next they sent three ships ahead to Italy and Sicily to find out which of the cities would receive them, with instructions to meet them on the way and let them know before they put in to land.


6.43
415
17th Year/Summer
CORCYRA
The forces of the Athenian expedition are described.


After this the Athenians sailed from Corcyra, and proceeded to cross to Sicily with an armament now consisting of one hundred and thirty-four triremes in all (besides two Rhodian penteconters) of which one hundred were Athenian vessels—sixty men-of-war, and forty troopships—and the remainder from Chios and the other allies; five thousand and one hundred hoplites in all, of which fifteen hundred were Athenian citizens from the rolls at Athens and seven hundred Thetes shipped as marines, and the rest allied troops, some of them Athenian subjects, and besides these five hundred Argives and two hundred and fifty Mantineans serving for hire; four hundred and eighty archers in all, eighty of whom were Cretans, seven hundred slingers from Rhodes, one hundred and twenty light-armed exiles from Megara, and one horse-transport carrying thirty horses.


6.44
415
17th Year/Summer
ITALY
Carrying abundant supplies, the Athenians were not distressed that most Italian cities refused to provide markets for them.

RHEGIUM
The Athenians stop at Rhegium, send to Egesta for support, and discuss their next move.


Such was the strength of the first armament that sailed over for the war. The supplies for this force were carried by thirty merchant ships laden with grain, which conveyed the bakers, stonemasons and carpenters, and the tools for raising fortifications, accompanied by one hundred boats, like the former conscripted into the service, besides many other boats and merchant ships which followed the armament voluntarily for purposes of trade; all of which now left Corcyra and struck across the Ionian sea together. [2] The whole force made land at the Iapygian promontory and Tarentum, with more or less good fortune. They then coasted along the shores of Italy, the cities shutting their markets and gates against them, and according them nothing but water and liberty to anchor (and Tarentum and Locri not even that), until they arrived at Rhegium, the extreme point of Italy [3] Here at length they reunited, and not gaining admission within the walls, pitched a camp outside the city in the precinct of Artemis, where a market was also provided for them, and drew their ships on shore and kept quiet. Meanwhile they opened negotiations with the Rhegians, and called upon them as Chalcidians to assist their Leontine kinsmen; to which the Rhegians replied that they would not side with either party, but should await the decision of the rest of the Italians, and do as they did. [4] Upon this the Athenians now began to consider what would be the best action to take in the affairs of Sicily, and meanwhile waited for the ships sent on to come back from Egesta, in order to know whether there was really there the money mentioned by the messengers at Athens.


6.45
415
17th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Syracuse learns the Athenians are at Rhegium, and rushes to prepare her defense.


In the meantime reliable reports came in from all quarters to the Syracusans, as well as from their own officers sent to reconnoiter, that the fleet was at Rhegium; upon which they laid aside their incredulity and threw themselves ardently into the work of preparation. They sent round guards or envoys, as the case might be, to the Sicels, put garrisons into the posts of the peripoli in the country, reviewed horses and arms in the city to see that nothing was wanting, and took all other steps to prepare for a war which might be upon them at any moment.


6.46
415
17th Year/Summer
RHEGIUM
The Athenians are dismayed to discover that Rhegium refuses to join them and that Egesta can provide only thirty talents. The Egestaean ruse that had duped the Athenian envoys is described.


Meanwhile the three ships that had been sent ahead returned from Egesta to the Athenians at Rhegium, with the news that far from there being the sums promised, all that could be produced was thirty talents. [2] The generals were not a little disheartened at being thus disappointed at the outset, and by the refusal of the Rhegians to join in the expedition, they being the first people they had tried to gain and had most reason to count upon, from their relationship to the Leontines and constant friendship for Athens. If Nicias was prepared for the news from Egesta, his two colleagues were taken completely by surprise. [3] The Egestaeans had had recourse to the following stratagem when the first envoys from Athens came to inspect their resources. They took the envoys in question to the temple of Aphrodite at Eryx and showed them the treasures deposited there; bowls, wine ladles, censers, and a large number of other objects which from being in silver gave an impression of wealth quite out of proportion to their really small value. They also privately entertained the ships’ crews, and collected all the cups of gold and silver that they could find in Egesta itself or could borrow in the neighboring Phoenician and Hellenic cities, and each brought them to the banquets as their own; [4] and as all used pretty nearly the same, and everywhere a great quantity of silver was shown, the effect of which was most dazzling upon the Athenian sailors, and made them talk loudly of the riches they had seen when they got back to Athens. [5] The dupes in question—who had in their turn persuaded the rest—were much blamed by the soldiers when the news got abroad that there was not the money supposed at Egesta.


6.47
415
17th Year/Summer
RHEGIUM
Nicias proposes that with so little Egestaean support, they try to settle the war with Selinus, display their power, and then return home.


Meanwhile the generals discussed what was to be done. [6.47.1] The opinion of Nicias was to sail with all the armament to Selinus, the main objective of the expedition, and if the Egestaeans could provide money for the whole force, to make their plans accordingly; but if they could not, to require them to supply provisions for the sixty ships that they had asked for, to stay and settle matters between them and the Selinuntines either by force or by agreement, and then to coast past the other cities and, after displaying the power of Athens and proving their zeal for their friends and allies, to sail home again (unless they should have some sudden and unexpected opportunity of serving the Leontines, or of bringing over some of the other cities), and not to endanger the state by wasting its home resources.


6.48
415
17th Year/Summer
RHEGIUM
Alcibiades suggests offering alliance to all Sicilian cities. Once Athens’ allies are known, the expedition might then attack Syracuse and Selinus.


Alcibiades said that a great expedition like the present must not disgrace itself by going away without having accomplished anything; heralds must be sent to all the cities except Selinus and Syracuse, and efforts be made to make some of the Sicels revolt from the Syracusans, and to gain the friendship of others, in order to obtain grain and troops; and first of all to win over the Messanians, who lay right in the passage and entrance to Sicily, and would afford an excellent harbor and base for the army. Thus, after bringing over the cities and knowing who would be their allies in the war, they might then indeed attack Syracuse and Selinus—unless the latter came to terms with Egesta and the former ceased to oppose the restoration of Leontini.


6.49
415
17th Year/Summer
RHEGIUM
Lamachus advocates an immediate attack on Syracuse, thus exploiting surprise and the formidable reputation that unfamiliarity still accords them.


Lamachus, on the other hand, said that they ought to sail straight to Syracuse, and fight their battle at once under the walls of the city while the people were still unprepared, and the panic at its height. [2] Every armament was most terrible at first; if it allowed time to run on without showing itself, men’s courage revived, and they saw it appear at last almost with indifference. By attacking suddenly, while Syracuse still trembled at their coming, they would have the best chance of gaining a victory for themselves and of striking a complete panic into the enemy by the aspect of their numbers—which would never appear so considerable as at present—by the anticipation of coming disaster, and above all by the immediate danger of the engagement. [3] They might also count upon surprising many in the fields outside, incredulous of their coming; and at the moment that the enemy was carrying in his property the army would not want for booty if it settled in force before the city. [4] The rest of the Sicilians would thus be immediately less disposed to enter into alliance with the Syracusans, and would join the Athenians, without waiting to see which were the strongest. They must make Megara their naval station as a place to retreat to and a base from which to attack: it was an uninhabited place at no great distance from Syracuse either by land or by sea.


6.50
415
17th Year/Summer
CATANA
Failing to secure Messanian alliance, the Athenians sail to Naxos, Catana, and Syracuse; they reconnoiter the harbor and nearby coast before returning to Catana.


Having spoken to this effect, Lamachus nevertheless gave his support to the opinion of Alcibiades. After this Alcibiades sailed in his own vessel across to Messana with proposals of alliance, but met with no success, the inhabitants answering that they could not receive him within their walls, though they would provide him with a market outside. Upon this he sailed back to Rhegium. [2] Immediately upon his return the generals manned and provisioned sixty ships out of the whole fleet and coasted along to Naxos, leaving the rest of the armament behind them at Rhegium with one of their number. [3] Received by the Naxians, they then coasted on to Catana, and being refused admittance by the inhabitants (there being a pro-Syracusan party in the city), went on to the river Terias. [4] Here they bivouacked, and the next day sailed in single file to Syracuse with all their ships except ten which they sent on in front to sail into the great harbor and see if there was any fleet launched, and to proclaim by herald from shipboard that the Athenians had come to restore the Leontines to their country, as being their allies and kinsmen, and that such of them, therefore, as were in Syracuse should leave it without fear and join their friends and benefactors the Athenians. [5] After making this proclamation and reconnoitering the city and the harbors, and the features of the country which they would have to make their base of operations in the war, they sailed back to Catana.

Image

MAP 6.49 FIRST ATHENIAN PLANS AND MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SICILY IN 415

An assembly being held here, the inhabitants refused to receive the armament, but invited the generals to come in and say what they desired; and while Alcibiades was speaking and the citizens were intent on the assembly, the soldiers broke down a badly walled-up postern gate without being observed, and getting inside the city, flocked into the marketplace. [2] The Syracusan party in the city no sooner saw the army inside than they became frightened and withdrew, not being at all numerous; while the rest voted for an alliance with the Athenians and invited them to bring the rest of their forces from Rhegium. [3] After this the Athenians sailed to Rhegium and put off, this time with all the armament, for Catana, where they began to build a camp immediately upon their arrival.


6.51
415
17th Year/Summer
CATANA
The Catanians refuse to receive the Athenians, but when the Athenians gain entrance to the city, they change their minds.


Meanwhile word was brought them from Camarina that if they went there the city would go over to them, and also that the Syracusans were manning a fleet. The Athenians accordingly sailed along shore with all their armament, first to Syracuse, where they found no fleet being manned, and then along the coast to Camarina, where they stopped at the beach and sent a herald to the people who, however, refused to receive them, saying that their oaths bound them to receive only a single vessel of the Athenians unless they themselves sent for more. [2] Disappointed here, the Athenians now sailed back again, and after landing on and plundering Syracusan territory and losing some stragglers from their light-armed troops through the coming up of the Syracusan horse, so got back to Catana.


6.52
415
17th Year/Summer
CAMARINA
When Camarina refuses to receive the Athenians, they return to Catana, raiding Syracusan territory on their way.


There they found the Salaminia come from Athens for Alcibiades, with orders for him to sail home to answer the charges which the state brought against him, and for certain others of the soldiers who with him were accused of sacrilege in the matter of the Mysteries and of the Hermae. [2] For the Athenians, after the departure of the expedition, had continued as active as ever in investigating the facts of the Mysteries and of the Hermae, and, instead of testing the informers, in their suspicious temper welcomed all indifferently, arresting and imprisoning the best citizens upon the evidence of rascals, and preferring to sift the matter to the bottom sooner than to let an accused person of good character pass unquestioned, owing to the rascality of the informer. [3] The People had heard how oppressive the tyranny of Pisistratus and his sons had become before it ended, and further that his tyranny had been put down at last, not by themselves and Harmodius, but by the Spartans, and so were always in fear and took everything suspiciously.


6.53
415
17th Year/Summer
CATANA
Alcibiades is summoned home to face trial for his supposed role in the Hermae and the Mysteries affairs. Inquiry into these cases had become rabid as many Athenians feared an attempt to establish a tyranny.


Indeed, the daring action of Aristogiton and Harmodius was undertaken in consequence of a love affair, which I shall relate at some length, to show that the Athenians are no more accurate than the rest of the world in their accounts of their own tyrants and of the facts of their own history. [2] Pisistratus dying at an advanced age in possession of the tyranny, was succeeded by his eldest son, Hippias, and not Hipparchus, as is commonly believed. Harmodius was then in the flower of youthful beauty, and Aristogiton, a citizen in the middle rank of life, was his lover and possessed him. [3] Solicited without success by Hipparchus son of Pisistratus, Harmodius told Aristogiton, and the enraged lover, afraid that the powerful Hipparchus might take Harmodius by force, immediately formed a design, such as his condition in life permitted, for overthrowing the tyranny. [4] In the meantime Hipparchus, after a second solicitation of Harmodius met with no better success, unwilling to use violence, arranged to insult him in some covert way. [5] Indeed, generally their government was not grievous to the multitude, or in any way odious in practice; and these tyrants cultivated wisdom and virtue as much as any, and without exacting from the Athenians more than a twentieth of their income, splendidly adorned their city, and carried on their wars, and provided sacrifices for the temples. [6] For the rest, the city was left in full enjoyment of its existing laws, except that care was always taken to have some one of the family among the archons. Among those relatives that held the yearly archonship at Athens was Pisistratus, son of the tyrant Hippias, and named after his grandfather, who when he was archon dedicated the altar to the twelve gods in the market-place, and that of Apollo in the Pythian precinct. [7] The Athenian people afterwards built on to and lengthened the altar in the marketplace, and obliterated the inscription; but that in the Pythian precinct can still be seen, though in faded letters, and is to the following effect:


6.54
514
ATHENS
To show that Athenians do not know their own history, Thucydides recounts the story of Aristogiton and Harmodius, and their true role in the fall of the Pisistratidean tyranny nearly one hundred years earlier.


Image

ILLUSTRATION 6.54 THE ALTAR STONE DESCRIBED BY THUCYDIDES IN 6.54 WITH THE INSCRIPTION DEDICATED BY PISISTRATUS THE SON OF HIPPIAS

Pisistratus, the son of Hippias,
Set up this record of his archonship
In the precinct of Apollo Pythias.

That Hippias was the eldest son and succeeded to the government is what I positively assert as a fact upon which I have had more exact accounts than others, and may be also ascertained by the following circumstance. He is the only one of the legitimate brothers that appears to have had children; as the altar shows, and the pillar placed in the Athenian Acropolis, commemorating the crime of the tyrants, which mentions no child of Thessalus or of Hipparchus, but five of Hippias, which he had by Myrrhine, who was the daughter of Callias son of Hyperechides; and naturally the eldest would have married first. [2] Again, his name comes first on the pillar after that of his father, and this too is quite natural, as he was the eldest after him, and the reigning tyrant. [3] Nor can I ever believe that Hippias would have obtained the tyranny so easily, if Hipparchus had been in power when he was killed, and he, Hippias, had had to establish himself upon the same day; but he had no doubt been long accustomed to overawe the citizens, and to be obeyed by his mercenaries, and thus not only conquered, but conquered with ease, without experiencing any of the embarrassment of a younger brother unused to the exercise of authority. [4] It was the sad fate which made Hipparchus famous that got him also the credit with posterity of having been tyrant.


6.55
514
ATHENS
Thucydides describes epigraphic and circumstantial evidence which proves that Hippias, not Hipparchus, became tyrant of Athens after Pisistratus.


To return to Harmodius: Hipparchus having been repulsed in his solicitations insulted him as he had resolved, by first inviting a sister of Harmodius, a young girl, to come and bear a basket in a certain procession, and then rejecting her, on the grounds that she had never been invited at all owing to her unworthiness. [2] If Harmodius was indignant at this, Aristogiton for his sake now became more exasperated than ever; and having arranged everything with those who were to join them in the enterprise, they only waited for the great feast of the Panathenaea, the sole day in which the citizens forming part of the procession could meet together in arms without suspicion. Aristogiton and Harmodius were to begin, but were to be supported immediately by their accomplices against the bodyguard. [3] The conspirators were not many, for better security, besides which they hoped that those not in the plot would be carried away by the example of a few daring spirits, and use the arms in their hands to recover their liberty.


6.56
514
ATHENS
When Harmodius rejects his advances, Hipparchus insults Harmodius’ sister. Outraged, Harmodius and Aristogiton plot to kill Hipparchus’ brother, the tyrant Hippias, during the great Panathenaic festival.


At last the festival arrived; and Hippias with his bodyguard was outside the city in the Ceramicus, arranging how the different parts of the procession were to proceed. Harmodius and Aristogiton had already their daggers and were getting ready to act, [2] when seeing one of their accomplices talking familiarly with Hippias, who was easily accessible to everyone, they took fright and concluded that they had been discovered and were on the point of being arrested; [3] and eager if possible to be revenged first upon the man who had wronged them and for whom they had undertaken all this risk, they rushed, as they were, within the gates, and meeting with Hipparchus by the Leocorium recklessly fell upon him at once, infuriated, Aristogiton by love, and Harmodius by insult, and struck and killed him. [4] Aristogiton escaped the guards at the moment, through the crowd running up, but was afterwards taken and executed in no merciful way: Harmodius was killed on the spot.


6.57

514

ATHENS

Frightened that their plot had been discovered, they slew Hipparchus. Harmodius died immediately, Aristogiton was executed later.


Image

MAP 6.56 HIPPARCHUS, HARMODIUS, AND ARISTOGITON

When the news was brought to Hippias in the Ceramicus, he at once proceeded not to the scene of action, but to the armed men in the procession before they, being some distance away, knew anything of the matter. Composing his features for the occasion so as not to betray himself, he pointed to a certain spot and bade them assemble there without their arms. [2] They withdrew accordingly, supposing that he had something to say; whereupon he told the mercenaries to remove the arms, and then and there picked out the men he thought guilty and all who were found with daggers (the shield and spear being the usual weapons for a procession).


6.58
514
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Hippias swiftly disarmed all Athenians in the procession.


In this way offended love first led Harmodius and Aristogiton to conspire, and the alarm of the moment to commit the rash action recounted. [2] After this the tyranny pressed harder on the Athenians, and Hippias, now grown more fearful, put to death many of the citizens, and at the same time began to turn his eyes abroad for a refuge in case of revolution. [3] Thus, although an Athenian, he gave his daughter, Archedice, to a Lampsacene, Aeantides, son of the tyrant of Lampsacus, seeing that they had great influence with Darius. And there is her tomb in Lampsacus with this inscription:


6.59
514
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Hippias ruled harshly for four more years before the Spartans and exiled Alcmeonidae deposed him. He went into exile and later accompanied the Persian expedition to Marathon.


Archedice lies buried in this earth,
Hippias her sire, and Athens gave her birth;
Unto her bosom pride was never known,
Though daughter, wife, and sister to the throne.

[4] Hippias, after reigning three years longer over the Athenians, was deposed in the fourth by the Spartans and the banished Alcmaeonidae, and went with a safe conduct to Sigeum, and to Aeantides at Lampsacus, and from thence to King Darius; from whose court he set out twenty years after, in his old age, and came with the Persians to Marathon.

With these events in their minds, and recalling everything they knew by hearsay on the subject, the Athenian people grew uneasy and suspicious of the persons charged in the affair of the Mysteries, and became convinced that all that had taken place was part of an oligarchic and monarchical conspiracy. [2] In the state of agitation thus produced, many persons of considerable status had already been thrown into prison, and far from showing any signs of abating, public feeling grew daily more savage, and more arrests were made; until at last one of those in custody, thought to be the most guilty of all, was induced by a fellow prisoner to give information, whether true or not is a matter on which there are two opinions, no one having been able, either then or since, to say for certain who did the deed. [3] However this may be, the other found arguments to persuade him, that even if he had not done it, he ought to save himself by gaining a promise of impunity, and free the state of its present suspicions; as he would be surer of safety if he confessed after promise of impunity than if he denied and were brought to trial. [4] He accordingly made a confession implicating himself and others in the affair of the Hermae; and the Athenian people, glad at last to get at what they supposed was the truth, and furious until then at not being able to discover those who had conspired against the majority, at once let go the informer and all the rest whom he had not denounced, and bringing the accused to trial, executed as many as were apprehended, and condemned to death such as had fled and set a price upon their heads. [5] In this it was, after all, not clear whether the sufferers had been punished unjustly, and in any case the rest of the city received immediate and manifest relief.


6.60
415
17th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Memories of earlier tyranny convinced many at Athens that the Hermae and Mysteries affairs were connected to oligarchic plots. They grew savage in their search for the guilty. One imprisoned suspect accused some Athenians in exchange for immunity, and many of them were executed.


To return to Alcibiades: public feeling was very hostile to him, being worked on by the same enemies who had attacked him before he went out; and now that the Athenians fancied that they had got at the truth of the matter of the Hermae, they believed more firmly than ever that the affair of the Mysteries also, in which he was implicated, had been contrived by him in the same intention and was connected with the plot against the democracy. [2] Meanwhile it so happened that, just at the time of this agitation, a small force of Spartans had advanced as far as the Isthmus, in pursuance of some scheme with the Boeotians. It was now thought that they had come by prior arrangement and at his instigation, and not on account of the Boeotians, and that if the citizens had not acted on the information received and forestalled them by arresting the prisoners, the city would have been betrayed. [3] The citizens went so far as to sleep one night armed in the temple of Theseus within the walls. Also, and just at this time, the friends of Alcibiades at Argos were suspected of a design to attack the Argive People, so the Argive hostages deposited in the islands were given up by the Athenians to the Argive People to be put to death upon that account: [4] in short, everywhere something was found to create suspicion against Alcibiades. It was therefore decided to bring him to trial and execute him, and the Salaminia was sent to Sicily for him and the others named in the information, with instructions to order him to return and answer the charges against him, [5] but not to arrest him, because they wished to avoid causing any agitation in the army or among the enemy in Sicily, and above all to retain the services of the Mantineans and Argives, who, it was thought, had been induced to join by his influence. [6] Alcibiades, with his own ship and his fellow accused, accordingly sailed off with the Salaminia from Sicily, as though to return to Athens, and went with her as far as Thurii, and there they left the ship and disappeared, being afraid to go home for trial with such a prejudice existing against them. [7] The crew of the Salaminia stayed some time looking for Alcibiades and his companions, and at length, as they were nowhere to be found, set sail and departed. Alcibiades, now an outlaw, crossed in a boat not long after from Thurii to the Peloponnesus; and the Athenians passed sentence of death by default upon him and those in his company.


6.61
415
17th Year/Summer
ITALY
These investigations and other developments convince many Athenians that Alcibiades has plotted against the democracy. He is recalled to stand trial. He sails for home in his own ship but disappears at Thurii in Italy, and later reaches the Peloponnesus. He is condemned to death in absentia at Athens.


Image

ILLUSTRATION 6.61 FRAGMENT OF AN ATTIC STELA WITH AN INSCRIBED NOTICE OF SALE OF ALCIBIADES’ PROPERTY AFTER HIS CONDEMNATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE MOCK MYSTERIES AND THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMAE

The Athenian generals left in Sicily now divided the armament into two parts, and each taking one by lot, sailed with the whole for Selinus and Egesta, wishing to know whether the Egestaeans would give the money, and to look into the question of Selinus and ascertain the state of the quarrel between her and Egesta. [2] Coasting along Sicily, with the shore on their left, on the side toward the Tyrrhenian Sea, they touched at Himera, the only Hellenic city in that part of the island, and being refused admission resumed their voyage. [3] On their way they took Hyccara, a petty Sicanian seaport nevertheless at war with Egesta, and making slaves of the inhabitants gave up the city to the Egestaeans, some of whose horse had joined them; after which the army proceeded through the territory of the Sicels until it reached Catana, while the fleet sailed along the coast with the slaves on board. [4] Meanwhile Nicias sailed straight from Hyccara along the coast and went to Egesta, and after transacting his other business and receiving thirty talents, rejoined the forces. They now sold their slaves for the sum of one hundred and twenty talents, [5] and sailed round to their Sicel allies to urge them to send troops; and meanwhile went with half their own force to the hostile city of Hybla in the territory of Gela, but did not succeed in taking it.


6.62
415
17th Year/Summer
SICILY
The Athenians accomplish little while sailing along the coast of Sicily. Hyccara is taken and its people sold as slaves, but Himera refuses them entrance and they fail to take Hybla.


Summer was now over.

The winter following, the Athenians at once began to prepare for moving on Syracuse, and the Syracusans on their side for marching against them. [2] From the moment when the Athenians failed to attack them instantly as they at first feared and expected, every day that passed did something to revive their courage; and when they saw them sailing far away from them on the other side of Sicily, and going to Hybla only to fail in their attempts to storm it, they thought less of them than ever, and called upon their generals, as the multitude is apt to do in moments of confidence, to lead them to Catana, since the enemy would not come to them. [3] Parties also of the Syracusan horse employed in reconnoitering constantly rode up to the Athenian armament, and among other insults asked them whether they had not really come to settle alongside the Syracusans in a foreign country rather than to resettle the Leontines in their own.


6.63
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SICILY
Athenian inactivity for the rest of the summer leads the Syracusans to despise them and to beg their generals to lead them against the invaders.


Aware of this, the Athenian generals determined to draw them out in mass as far as possible from the city, and themselves in the meantime to sail by night along shore, and take up at their leisure a convenient position. This they knew they could not do so well if they had to disembark from their ships in front of a force prepared for them, or to go by land openly. The numerous cavalry of the Syracusans (a force which they were themselves without) would then be able to do the greatest harm to their light troops and the crowd that followed them; but this plan would enable them to take up a position in which the horse could do them no hurt worth speaking of, some Syracusan exiles with the army having told them of the spot near the Olympieum, which they afterwards occupied. In pursuance of their idea, the generals devised the following stratagem. [2] They sent to Syracuse a man devoted to them, and by the Syracusan generals thought to be no less in their interest; he was a native of Catana, and said he came from persons in that place, whose names the Syracusan generals were acquainted with, and whom they knew to be among the members of their party still left in the city. [3] He told them that the Athenians passed the night in the city, at some distance from their arms, and that if the Syracusans would name a day and come with all their people at daybreak to attack the armament, they, their friends, would close the gates upon the troops in the city, and set fire to the vessels, while the Syracusans would easily take the camp by an attack upon the stockade. In this they would be aided by many of the Catanians, who were already prepared to act, and from whom he himself came.


6.64
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CATANA
The Athenian generals employ a strategem to trick the Syracusans into marching to Catana.


Image

MAP 6.64 LATER ATHENIAN MILITARY OPERATIONS IN 415 AND IN THE WINTER OF 415/4

The generals of the Syracusans, who did not lack confidence, and who had intended even without this information to march on Catana, believed the man without any sufficient inquiry, fixed at once a day upon which they would be there, and dismissed him; and the Selinuntines and others of their allies having now arrived, they gave orders for all the Syracusans to march out in full force. Their preparations completed, and the time fixed for their arrival being at hand, they set out for Catana, and passed the night upon the river Symaethus, in the Leontine territory. [2] Meanwhile the Athenians no sooner knew of their approach than they took all their forces and such of the Sicels or others as had joined them, put them on board their ships and boats, and sailed by night to Syracuse. [3] Thus, when morning broke the Athenians were landing opposite the Olympieum ready to seize their camping ground, and the Syracusan horse having ridden up first to Catana and found that all the armament had put to sea, wheeled back and told the infantry, and then all turned back together and went to the relief of the city.


6.65
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
As the Syracusans approach Catana by land, the Athenians sail off to Syracuse. Finding the Athenians gone, the Syracusans have to hurry back to their city.


In the meantime, as the march before the Syracusans was a long one, the Athenians quietly established their army in a convenient position, where they could begin an engagement when they pleased, and where the Syracusan cavalry would have least opportunity of harassing them, either before or during the action, being flanked on one side by walls, houses, trees, and by a marsh, and on the other by cliffs. [2] They also felled the neighboring trees and carried them down to the sea, and formed a palisade alongside of their ships, and with stones (which they picked up) and wood, hastily raised a fort at Daskon, the most vulnerable point of their position, and broke down the bridge over the Anapus. [3] These preparations were allowed to go on without any interruption from the city; the first hostile force to appear being the Syracusan cavalry, followed afterwards by all the infantry together. They first marched close up to the Athenian army and then, finding that it did not offer to engage, crossed the Helorine road and camped for the night.


6.66
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
The Athenians occupy favorable positions near Syracuse and await the Syracusans who return and camp for the night.


The next day the Athenians and their allies prepared for battle, their dispositions being as follows:—Their right wing was occupied by the Argives and Mantineans, the center by the Athenians, and the rest of the field by the other allies. Half their army was drawn up eight deep in advance, half close to their tents in a hollow square, formed also eight deep, which had orders to look out and be ready to go to the support of the troops hardest pressed. The camp followers were placed inside this reserve. [2] The Syracusans, meanwhile, formed their hoplites sixteen deep, consisting of the mass levy of their own people, and such allies as had joined them, the strongest contingent being that of the Selinuntines; next to them the cavalry of the Geloans, numbering two hundred in all, with about twenty horse and fifty archers from Camarina. The cavalry, full twelve hundred strong, was posted on their right, and next to it the darters. [3] As the Athenians were about to begin the attack, Nicias went along the lines, and addressed these words of encouragement to the army and the nations composing it:


6.67
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
The battle order of both armies is described. Nicias speaks to his army.


“Soldiers, a long exhortation is little needed by men like ourselves, who are here to fight in the same battle, the force itself being, to my thinking, more fit to inspire confidence than a fine speech with a weak army. [2] Where we have Argives, Mantineans, Athenians, and the first of the islanders in the ranks together, it were strange indeed, with so many and so brave companions in arms, if we did not feel confident of victory; especially when we have mass levies opposed to our picked troops, and what is more, Sicilians, who may disdain us but will not stand against us, their skill not being at all commensurate to their rashness. [3] You may also remember that we are far from home and have no friendly land near, except what your own swords shall win you; and here I put before you a motive just the reverse of that to which the enemy are appealing; their cry being that they shall fight for their country, mine that we shall fight for a country that is not ours, where we must conquer or hardly get away, as we shall have their horse upon us in great numbers. [4] Remember, therefore, your renown, and go boldly against the enemy, thinking the present difficulty and necessity more terrible than they.”


6.68
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
After deprecating the enemy, Nicias warns that Athens and her allies must win a place in Sicily by the sword, and that the enemy’s superior cavalry will make retreat impossible.


Image

MAP 6.68 THE BATTLE AT THE ANAPUS RIVER

After this address Nicias at once led on the army. The Syracusans were not at that moment expecting an immediate engagement, and some had even gone away to the city, which was close by; these now ran up as fast as they could, and though late, took their places here or there in the main body as they joined it. Lack of zeal or daring was certainly not the fault of the Syracusans, either in this or the other battles, but although not inferior in courage for as long as their military science proved adequate, when this failed them, they were compelled to give up their resolution also. On the present occasion, although they had not supposed that the Athenians would begin the attack, and although constrained to stand upon their defense at short notice, they at once took up their arms and advanced to meet them. [2] First, the stone-throwers, slingers, and archers of either army began skirmishing, and routed or were routed by one another, as might be expected between light troops; next, soothsayers brought forward the usual victims, and trumpeters urged on the hoplites to the charge; [3] and thus they advanced, the Syracusans to fight for their country, and each individual for his safety that day and liberty hereafter. In the enemy’s army, the Athenians sought to make another’s country theirs and to save their own from suffering by their defeat; the Argives and independent allies aimed to help them in getting what they came for, and to earn by victory another sight of the country they had left behind; while the subject allies owed most of their ardor to the desire for self-preservation, which they could only hope for if victorious and, as a secondary motive, for the chance of serving on easier terms after helping the Athenians to a fresh conquest.


6.69
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
An Athenian advance takes the Syracusans by surprise but they form lines to meet it. They lack practice but not zeal or courage. Thucydides describes the motivations of both forces.


The armies now came to close quarters, and for a long while fought without either giving ground. Meanwhile there occurred some claps of thunder with lightning and heavy rain, which did not fail to add to the fears of the party fighting for the first time, and very little acquainted with war; while to their more experienced adversaries these phenomena appeared to be produced by the time of year, and much more alarm was felt at the continued resistance of the enemy. [2] At last the Argives drove in the Syracusan left, and after them the Athenians routed the troops opposed to them, and the Syracusan army was thus cut in two and betook itself to flight. [3] The Athenians did not pursue far, being held in check by the numerous and undefeated Syracusan horse, who attacked and drove back any of their hoplites whom they saw pursuing in advance of the rest; in spite of which the victors followed as far as was safe in a body, and then went back and set up a trophy. [4] Meanwhile the Syracusans rallied at the Helorine road, where they reformed as well as they could under the circumstances, and even sent a garrison of their own citizens to the Olympieum,fearing that the Athenians might lay hands on some of the treasures there. The rest returned to the city.


6.70
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
The battle goes evenly until a thunderstorm disconcerts the inexperienced Syracusans, who are pushed back and then routed. Syracusan cavalry prevents pursuit.


The Athenians, however, did not go to the temple, but collected their dead and laid them upon a pyre, and passed the night upon the field. The next day they gave the enemy back their dead under truce, to the number of about two hundred and sixty, Syracusans and allies, and gathered together the bones of their own, some fifty, Athenians and allies, and taking the spoils of the enemy, sailed back to Catana. [2] It was now winter; and it did not seem possible for the moment to carry on the war so near Syracuse until cavalrymen had been sent for from Athens and levied among the allies in Sicily—to do away with their utter inferiority in cavalry—and money had been collected in the country and received from Athens; and until some of the cities, which they hoped would now be more disposed to listen to them after the battle, had been brought over, and grain and all other necessities provided for a campaign in the spring against Syracuse.


6.71
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CATANA
After returning the enemy dead under truce, the Athenians sail to Catana and make preparations for a spring campaign against Syracuse.


With this intention they sailed off to Naxos and Catana for the winter. Meanwhile the Syracusans burned their dead, and then held an assembly, [2] in which Hermocrates son of Hermon, a man who with a general ability of the first order had given proofs of military capacity and brilliant courage in the war, came forward and encouraged them, and told them not to let what had occurred make them give way, [3] since their spirit had not been conquered, but their want of discipline had done the mischief. Still they had not been beaten by so much as might have been expected, especially as they were, one might say, novices in the art of war, an army of artisans opposed to the most experienced soldiers in Hellas. [4] What had also done great harm was the number of the generals (there were fifteen of them) and the quantity of orders given, combined with the disorder and insubordination of the troops. But if they were to have a few skillful generals, and used this winter in preparing their hoplites, finding arms for such as had not got any so as to make them as numerous as possible, and forcing them to attend to their training generally, they would have every chance of beating their adversaries, courage being already theirs and discipline in the field having thus been added to it. Indeed, both these qualities would improve, since danger would exercise them in discipline, while their courage would be led to surpass itself by the confidence which skill inspires. [5] The generals should be few and elected with full powers, and an oath should be taken to leave them entire discretion in their command: if they adopted this plan, their secrets would be better kept, all preparations would be properly made, and there would be no room for excuses.


6.72
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
Speaking to a Syracusan assembly, Hermocrates says the army had done unexpectedly well against the Athenians, and will improve with better arms and training. He calls for a reform of the army’s command structure.


The Syracusans heard him, and voted everything as he advised, and elected three generals, Hermocrates himself, Heraclides son of Lysimachus, and Sicanus son of Execestes. [2] They also sent envoys to Corinth and Sparta to procure a force of allies to join them, and to induce the Spartans for their sakes to address themselves more seriously to the war against the Athenians, that they might either have to leave Sicily or be less able to send reinforcements to their army there.


6.73
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
Syracuse requests aid from Corinth and Sparta.


The Athenian forces at Catana now at once sailed against Messana in the expectation that it would be betrayed to them. The intrigue, however, came to nothing, for Alcibiades, who had known the secret when he left his command upon the summons from home, foreseeing that he would be outlawed, gave information about the plot to the friends of the Syracusans in Messana, who had at once put to death its authors, and now rose in arms with those who supported them against the opposing faction and succeeded in preventing the admission of the Athenians. [2] The latter waited for thirteen days, and then, as they were exposed to the weather and without provisions, and met with no success, went back to Naxos, where they made places for their ships to lie in, erected a palisade round their camp, and retired into winter quarters; meanwhile they sent a trireme to Athens asking that money and cavalrymen be sent to them in the spring. [6.75.1] During the winter the Syracusans built a wall onto the city, so as to enclose the statue of Apollo Temenites, all along the side facing Epipolae, in order to make the task of circumvallation longer and more difficult, in case of their being defeated. They also erected a fort at Megara and another in the Olympieum, and stuck palisades along the sea wherever there was a landing place. [2] Meanwhile, as they knew that the Athenians were wintering at Naxos, they marched with all their people to Catana and ravaged the land and set fire to the tents and encampment of the Athenians, and so returned home. [3] Learning also that the Athenians were sending emissaries to Camarina on the strength of the alliance that had been concluded in the time of Laches, in order to gain that city, if possible, they also sent envoys from Syracuse to oppose them. They had a shrewd suspicion that the Camarinaeans had not provided the aid they did send for the first battle very willingly; and they now feared that they would refuse to assist them at all in future, after seeing the success of the Athenians in the action, and would join the latter on the strength of their old friendship. [4] Hermocrates, with some others, accordingly arrived at Camarina from Syracuse, and Euphemus and others from the Athenians; and an assembly of the Camarinaeans having been convened, Hermocrates spoke as follows, in the hope of prejudicing them against the Athenians:


6.74
415/4
17th Year/Winter
MESSANA
A plot to betray Messana to the Athenians is revealed by Alcibiades, and fails. The Athenians winter in Naxos and send to Athens for cavalry and money.

6.75
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans extend their city walls and fortify key places.

CAMARINA
Learning that the Athenians are sending envoys to Camarina, the Syracusans send Hermocrates there to speak on their behalf to the assembly.


Image

MAP 6.75 FURTHER MILITARY OPERATIONS, WINTER OF 415/4


6.76
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Hermocrates warns the Camarinaeans that the Athenians are not in Sicily to return the Leontines as they say, but to expand their rule in the west by the same methods they employed to develop their empire in Ionia and Hellas.


“Camarinaeans, we did not come on this embassy because we were afraid of your being frightened by the actual forces of the Athenians, but rather of your being won over by what they would say to you before you heard anything from us. [2] They have come to Sicily with the pretext that you know, and the intention which we all suspect, in my opinion less to restore the Leontines to their homes than to oust us from ours; as it is beyond all reason that they should restore in Sicily the cities that they lay waste in Hellas, or should cherish the Leontine Chalcidians because of their Ionian blood, and keep in servitude the Euboean Chalcidians, of whom the Leontines are a colony. [3] No; it is the very same policy which has proved so successful in Hellas that is now being tried in Sicily. After being chosen as the leaders of the Ionians and of the other allies of Athenian origin in the struggle to punish the Persians, the Athenians accused some allies of failure in military service, some of fighting against each other, and others, as the case might be, upon any specious pretext that could be found, until they thus subdued them all. [4] In short, in the struggle against the Persian, the Athenians did not fight for the liberty of the Hellenes, or the Hellenes for their own liberty, but the former to make their countrymen serve them instead of him, the latter to change one master for another, wiser indeed than the first, but wiser for evil.”

“But we have not now come to declare to an audience familiar with them the misdeeds of a state so open to accusation as is the Athenian, but much rather to blame ourselves, who, with the warnings we possess in the Hellenes in those parts that have been enslaved through not supporting each other, and seeing the same sophisms being now tried upon ourselves—such as restorations of Leontine kinsfolk and support of Egestaean allies—do not stand together and resolutely show them that here are no Ionians, or Hellespontines, or islanders, who change continually, but always serve a master, sometimes the Mede and sometimes some other, but free Dorians from the independent Peloponnesus, dwelling in Sicily. [2] Or, are we waiting until we be taken in detail, one city after another; knowing as we do that in no other way can we be conquered, and seeing that they turn to this plan, so as to divide some of us by words, to draw some by the bait of an alliance into open war with each other, and to ruin others by such flattery as different circumstances may render acceptable? And do we suppose when destruction first overtakes a distant fellow countryman that the danger will not come to each of us also, or that he who suffers before us will suffer himself alone?”

“As for the Camarinaean who says that it is the Syracusan, not he, who is the enemy of the Athenian, and thinks it awful to have to encounter risk on behalf of my country, I would have him bear in mind that he will fight in my country not more for mine than for his own, and will do so much more safely in that he will enter the struggle not alone, after the way has been cleared by my ruin, but with me as his ally; and that the object of the Athenian is not so much to punish the enmity of the Syracusan as to use me as an excuse to secure the friendship of the Camarinaean. [2] As for him who envies or even fears us (and envied and feared great powers must always be), and who on this account wishes Syracuse to be humbled to teach us a lesson, but would still have her survive in the interest of his own security, the wish that he indulges is not humanly possible. A man can control his own desires but he cannot likewise control circumstances; and in the event of his calculations proving mistaken, he may live to bewail his own misfortune, and wish to be again envying my prosperity. [3] An idle wish, if he now sacrifice us and refuse to take his share of perils which are the same in reality, though not in name, for him as for us; what is nominally the preservation of our power being really his own salvation. [4] It was to be expected that you, of all people in the world, Camarinaeans, being our immediate neighbors and the next in danger, would have foreseen this, and instead of supporting us in the lukewarm way that you are now doing, would rather have come to us of your own accord and be now offering at Syracuse the aid which you would have asked of us for Camarina (if the Athenians had first come to Camarina), in order to encourage us to resist the invader. Neither you, however, nor the rest have as yet bestirred yourselves in this direction.”

“Fear perhaps will make you seek to do right both by us and by the invaders, and plead that you have an alliance with the Athenians. But you made that alliance, not against your friends, but against the enemies that might attack you, and to help the Athenians when they were wronged by others, not when as now they are wronging their neighbors. [2] Even the Rhegians, Chalcidians though they be, refuse to help to restore the Chalcidian Leontines; and it would be strange if, while they suspect the truth behind this fine pretense and are wise without reason, you, with every reason on your side, should yet choose to assist your natural enemies, and should join with their direst foes in undoing those whom nature has made your own kinsfolk. [3] This is not right; you should help us without fear of their armament, which has no terrors if we hold together, but only if we let them succeed in their endeavors to separate us; indeed, even after attacking us by ourselves and being victorious in battle, they had to go off without accomplishing their purpose.”

United, therefore, we have no cause to despair, but rather new encouragement to league together; especially as help will come to us from the Peloponnesians, who are in military matters the undoubted superiors of the Athenians. And you need not think that your prudent policy of taking sides with neither, because allies of both, is either safe for you or fair to us. [2] Practically it is not as fair as it pretends to be. If the vanquished be defeated, and the victor conquer, through your refusing to join, what is the effect of your abstention but to leave the former to perish unaided, and to allow the latter to offend unhindered? And yet it were more honorable to join those who are not only the injured party, but your own kindred, and by doing so to defend the common interests of Sicily and save your friends the Athenians from doing wrong.”

“[3] In conclusion, we Syracusans say that it is useless for us to demonstrate either to you or to the rest what you know already as well as we do; but we entreat, and if our entreaty fail, we protest that we are menaced by our eternal enemies the Ionians, and are betrayed by you our fellow Dorians. [4] If the Athenians reduce us, they will owe their victory to your decision, but in their own name will reap the honor, and will receive as the prize of their triumph the very men who enabled them to gain it. On the other hand, if we are the conquerors, you will have to pay for having been the cause of our danger. Consider, therefore; and now make your choice between the security which present servitude offers and the prospect of conquering with us and thereby escaping disgraceful submission to an Athenian master and avoiding the lasting enmity of Syracuse.”


6.77
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Hermocrates blames the Sicilians for not uniting against an obvious foreign threat, and thus permitting Athens to hope to conquer them one by one.

6.78
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Addressing those Camarinaeans who envy or resent Syracuse, Hermocrates points out that by aiding Syracuse against the Athenians, Camarina will be defending itself against the same enemy, who if strengthened by the fall of Syracuse will soon come against them.

6.79
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Hermocrates says it would be unnatural for Camarina to support Chalcidians when other Sicilian Chalcidians will not do so, and to maintain a neutrality harmful to Syracuse. He reminds them that last year Syracuse beat off the Athenians by herself.

6.80
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Hermocrates concludes by saying that a neutrality that harms one side is not necessarily a fair or safe policy; that Camarina’s failure to help Syracuse will lead to permanent Syracusan enmity; and that continued neutrality will result in Camarina’s submission to Athenian rule. He entreats the Camarinaeans to assist Syracuse now.


Such were the words of Hermocrates; after whom Euphemus, the Athenian ambassador, spoke as follows:


6-81

6.82
415
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
The Athenian Euphemus responds to Hermocrates by describing the Athenian empire as an Ionian defense against a stronger Dorian confederacy. He defends Athens’ hegemony as a just reward for having risked all against Persia.

6.83
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Euphemus says Athens has come to Sicily to increase its security, which coincides with Camarina’s interests; and argues that fear of domination has led Athens to empire and to Sicily, not a desire to enslave others.


“Although we came here only to renew the former alliance, the attack of the Syracusans compels us to speak of our empire and of the good right we have to it. [2] The best proof of this the speaker himself furnished, when he called the Ionians eternal enemies of the Dorians. That is true; and since the Peloponnesian Dorians are our superiors in numbers and near neighbors, we Ionians looked out for the best means of escaping their domination. [3] After the Persian war we had a fleet, and so got rid of the empire and the supremacy of the Spartans, who had no right to give orders to us more than we to them, except that of being the strongest at that moment; and we being appointed leaders of the King’s former subjects, and continuing to be so, think that we are least likely to fall under the dominion of the Peloponnesians if we have sufficient force with which to defend ourselves. And in strict truth having done nothing unfair in reducing to subjection the Ionians and islanders, the kinsfolk whom the Syracusans say we have enslaved. [4] They, our kinsfolk, came against their mother country, that is to say against us, together with the Mede, and instead of having the courage to revolt and sacrifice their property as we did when we abandoned our city, chose to be slaves themselves, and to try to make us slaves too.”

“We, therefore, deserve to rule because we placed the largest fleet and an unflinching patriotism at the service of the Hellenes, and because these, our subjects, did us harm by their ready subservience to the Persians; and, quite apart from that we seek to strengthen ourselves against the Peloponnesians. [2] We make no fine professions of having a right to rule because we overthrew the barbarian single-handed, or because we risked what we did risk for the freedom of the subjects in question any more than for that of all, and for our own: no one can be censured for providing for his own safety. If we are now here in Sicily, it is equally in the interest of our security, with which we perceive that your interest also coincides. [3] We prove this from the conduct which the Syracusans cast against us and which you somewhat too fearfully suspect; knowing that those whom fear has made suspicious, may be carried away by the charm of eloquence for the moment, but when they come to act follow their interests.”

[4]“Now, as we have said, fear makes us hold our empire in Hellas, and fear makes us now come, with the help of our friends, to safely order matters in Sicily, and not to enslave any but rather to prevent any from being enslaved. [6.84.1] Meanwhile, let no one imagine that it is none of our business to be interested in you, seeing that if you are preserved and able to hold out against the Syracusans, they will be less likely to harm us by sending troops to the Peloponnesians. [2] In this way you have everything to do with us, and on this account it is perfectly reasonable for us to restore the Leontines, and to make them, not subjects like their kinsmen in Euboea, but as powerful as possible, to help us by causing trouble for the Syracusans from their frontier. [3] In Hellas we are alone a match for our enemies; and as for the assertion that it is beyond all reason that we should free the Sicilian, while we enslave the Chalcidian, the fact is that the latter is useful to us by being without arms and contributing money only; while the former, the Leontines and our other friends, cannot be too independent.”

Besides, for tyrants and imperial cities nothing is unreasonable if expedient, no one a kinsman unless sure; but friendship or enmity is everywhere a matter of time and circumstance. Here, in Sicily, our interest is not to weaken our friends, but by means of their strength to cripple our enemies. Why doubt this? In Hellas we treat our allies as we find them useful. [2] The Chians and Methymnians govern themselves and furnish ships; most of the rest have harder terms and pay tribute in money; while others, although islanders who would be easy for us to take, are free altogether, because they occupy convenient positions round the Peloponnesus. [3] In our settlement of the states here in Sicily, we should, therefore, naturally be guided by our interest, and by fear, as we say, of the Syracusans. Their ambition is to rule you, their plan is to use the suspicions that we excite to unite you, and then, when we have gone away without effecting any thing, by force or through your isolation, to become the masters of Sicily. And masters they must become, if you unite with them; as a force of that magnitude would no longer be easy for us to deal with united, and they would be more than a match for you as soon as we were away.”

“Any other view of the case is condemned by the facts. When you first asked us over, the fear which you held out was that of danger to Athens if we let you come under the dominion of Syracuse; [2] and it is not right now to mistrust the very same argument by which you claimed to convince us, or to give way to suspicion because we have come with a larger force against the power of that city. Those whom you should really distrust are the Syracusans. [3] We are not able to stay here without you, and if we proved perfidious enough to bring you into subjection, we should be unable to keep you in bondage, owing to the length of the voyage and the difficulty of guarding large, and in a military sense mainland, cities. The Syracusans live close to you, not in a camp, but in a city greater than the force we have with us. They plot always against you, never let slip an opportunity once offered, [4] as they have shown in the case of the Leontines and others; and now they have the effrontery just as if you were fools, to invite you to aid them against the power that hinders this, and that has thus far maintained Sicily independent. [5] We, as against them, invite you to a much more real safety, when we beg you not to betray that common security that we provide for each other and to reflect that they, even without allies, will, by their numbers, always have the way open to you, while you will not often have the opportunity of defending yourselves with such numerous auxiliaries; if, through your suspicions, you once let us go away unsuccessful or defeated, you will wish to see us back again, if only a handful, when the day is past in which our presence could do anything for you.”

“But we hope, Camarinaeans, that the calumnies of the Syracusans will not be allowed to succeed either with you or with the rest: we have told you the whole truth upon the things we are suspected of, and will now briefly recapitulate, in the hope of convincing you. [2] We assert that we are rulers in Hellas in order not to be subjects; liberators in Sicily that we may not be harmed by the Sicilians; that we are compelled to interfere in many things, because we have many things to guard against; and that now, as before, we are come as allies to those of you who suffer wrong in this island, not without invitation but upon invitation. [3] Accordingly, instead of making yourselves judges or censors of our conduct, and trying to turn us (which it were now difficult to do), so far as there is anything in our interfering policy or in our character, that accords with your interest, this take and make use of it; and be sure that far from being injurious to all alike, to most of the Hellenes that policy is even beneficial. [4] Thanks to it, all men in all places, even where we are not, who either fear or plan aggression, from the near prospect before them, in the one case, of obtaining our intervention in their favor, in the other, of our arrival making the venture dangerous, find themselves constrained, respectively, to be moderate against their will, and to be preserved without effort of their own. [5] Do not you reject this security that is open to all who desire it, and is now offered to you; but do like others, and instead of being always on the defensive against the Syracusans, unite with us, and in your turn at last threaten them.”


6.84
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Euphemus asserts that Athens supports all Sicilians hostile to Syracuse because their independence will preoccupy her and prevent her from aiding the Peloponnesians.

6.85
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Euphemus insists that expedience determines friendship for hegemonic powers. As she does in Hellas, Athens will build up independent states here to prevent Syracuse from achieving hegemony.

6.86
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Euphemus points out that Athens is far from Sicily and would be unable to hold Sicilian cities subject, whereas Syracuse is a near, powerful, and constant threat. Thus alliance with Athens is the natural and correct course for Camarina, despite the large force that Athens has sent to Sicily.

6.87
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Euphemus concludes that Athens’ actions are defensive only—intended to guard and protect itself—and that this policy is in the interest of free Greeks everywhere as it restrains aggression by such potential hegemonists as Syracuse.


Such were the words of Euphemus. What the Camarinaeans felt was this. They sympathized with the Athenians, except insofar as they might be afraid of their subjugating Sicily, and they had always been at enmity with their neighbor Syracuse. From the very fact, however, that they were their neighbors, they feared the Syracusans most of the two, and being apprehensive that the Syracusans might win even without their help, both sent them in the first instance the few horsemen mentioned and for the future determined to support them most in fact, although as sparingly as possible; but for the moment in order not to seem to slight the Athenians, especially as they had been successful in the engagement, to answer both alike. [2] In accordance with this resolution they answered that as both the contending parties happened to be allies of theirs, they thought it most consistent with their oaths, at present, to side with neither; with which answer the ambassadors of each party departed.


6.88
415/4
17th Year/Winter
CAMARINA
Camarina decides to remain neutral, but to give limited aid to Syracuse in fear that she is nearby and will win.

CATANA
The Athenians obtain support and some new allies among the Sicels. They transfer their winter base to Catana.

PELOPONNESUS
The Syracusans send for help to the Italians, the Corinthians, and the Spartans. Corinth responds enthusiastically but Sparta refuses aid. Alcibiades, having just arrived, speaks to the Spartans to urge them to act.


[3] In the meantime, while Syracuse pursued her preparations for war, the Athenians were encamped at Naxos, and tried by negotiation to gain as many of the Sicels as possible. [4] Those more in the lowlands, and subjects of Syracuse, mostly held aloof; but the peoples of the interior who had never been otherwise than independent, with few exceptions, at once joined the Athenians, and brought down grain to the army, and in some cases even money. [5] The Athenians marched against those who refused to join, and forced some of them to do so; in the case of others they were stopped by the Syracusans sending garrisons and reinforcements. Meanwhile the Athenians moved their winter quarters from Naxos to Catana, and reconstructed the camp burnt by the Syracusans, and stayed there the rest of the winter. [6] They also sent a trireme to Carthage, with offers of friendship, on the chance of obtaining assistance, and another to Tyrrhenia; some of the cities there having spontaneously offered to join them in the war. They also sent round to the Sicels and to Egesta, desiring them to send them as many horses as possible, and meanwhile prepared bricks, iron, and all other things necessary for the work of circumvallation, intending by the spring to begin hostilities.

Image

MAP 6.88 FINAL MILITARY OPERATIONS, WINTER OF 415/4

[7] In the meantime the Syracusan envoys that had been dispatched to Corinth and Sparta tried as they passed along the coast to persuade the Italians to interfere with the proceedings of the Athenians which, they argued, threatened Italy quite as much as Syracuse, and having arrived at Corinth made a speech calling on the Corinthians to assist them on the ground of their common origin. [8] The Corinthians voted at once to aid them unstintingly themselves, and then sent on envoys with them to Sparta, to help them to persuade her also to prosecute the war with the Athenians more openly at home and to send assistance to Sicily. [9] The envoys from Corinth having reached Sparta found Alcibiades there with his fellow refugees, who had without delay crossed over in a trading vessel from Thurii, first to Cyllene in Elis, and afterwards from there to Sparta; upon the Spartans’ own invitation, after first obtaining a safe conduct, as he feared them for the part he had taken in the affair of Man tinea. [10] The result was that the Corinthians, Syracusans, and Alcibiades, all pressing the same request in the assembly of the Spartans, succeeded in persuading them; but as the ephors and the authorities, although resolved to send envoys to Syracuse to prevent them surrendering to the Athenians, showed no inclination to send them any assistance, Alcibiades now came forward and inflamed and stirred the Spartans by speaking as follows:

“I am forced first to speak to you of the prejudice with which I am regarded, in order that suspicion may not make you disinclined to listen to me upon public matters. [2] The connection with you as your proxeni which the ancestors of our family by reason of some discontent renounced, I personally tried to renew by my good offices toward you, in particular upon the occasion of the disaster at Pylos. But although I maintained this friendly attitude, you yet chose to negotiate the peace with the Athenians through my enemies, and thus to strengthen them and to discredit me. [3] You had therefore no right to complain if I turned to the Mantineans and Argives, and seized other occasions of thwarting and injuring you; and the time has now come when those among you, who in the bitterness of the moment may have been then unfairly angry with me, should look at the matter in its true light, and take a different view. Those again who judged me unfavorably, because I leaned rather to the side of The People must not think that their dislike is any better founded. [4] We have always been hostile to tyrants, and all who oppose arbitrary power are called The People; hence we continued to act as leaders of the multitude; besides which, as democracy was the government of the city, it was necessary in most things to conform to established conditions. [5] However, we endeavored to be more moderate than the licentious temper of the times; and while there were others, formerly as now, who tried to lead the multitude astray (the same who banished me), [6] our party was that of the whole people, our creed being to do our part in preserving the form of government under which the city enjoyed the utmost greatness and freedom, and which we had found existing. As for democracy, the men of sense among us knew what it was, and I perhaps as well as any, as I have more cause to complain of it; but there is nothing new to be said of a patent absurdity—meanwhile we did not think it safe to alter it under the pressure of your hostility.”

“So much then for the prejudices with which I am regarded: I now can call your attention to the questions you must consider, and upon which superior knowledge perhaps permits me to speak. [2] We sailed to Sicily first to conquer, if possible, the Sicilians, and after them the Italians also, and finally to assail the empire and city of Carthage. [3] In the event of all or most of these schemes succeeding, we were then to attack the Peloponnesus, bringing with us the entire force of the Hellenes lately acquired in those parts, and taking a number of barbarians into our pay, such as the Iberians and others in those countries, recognized as the most warlike known, and building numerous triremes in addition to those which we had already (timber being plentiful in Italy); and with this fleet blockading the Peloponnesus from the sea and assailing it with our armies by land, taking some of the cities by storm, and besieging others, we hoped without difficulty to defeat them completely and after this to rule the whole of the Hellenic world. [4] Money and grain for the better execution of these plans were to be supplied in sufficient quantities by the newly acquired places in those countries, independently of our revenues here at home.”

“You have thus heard the history of the present expedition from the man who most exactly knows what our intentions were; and the remaining generals will, if they can, carry these out just the same. But that the states in Sicily must succumb if you do not help them, I will now show. [2] Although the Sicilians, with all their inexperience, might even now be saved if their forces were united, the Syracusans alone, beaten already in one battle with all their people and blockaded from the sea, will be unable to withstand the Athenian armament that is now there. [3] But if Syracuse falls, all Sicily falls also, and Italy immediately afterwards; and the danger which I just now spoke of from that quarter will before long be upon you. [4] None need therefore imagine that only Sicily is in question; the Peloponnesus will be so also, unless you speedily do as I tell you, and send on board ship to Syracuse troops that shall be able to row their ships themselves, and serve as hoplites the moment that they land; and what I consider even more important than the troops, aSpartiate as commanding officer to discipline the forces already on foot and to compel shirkers to serve. The friends that you have already will thus become more confident, and the waverers will be encouraged to join you. [5] Meanwhile you must carry on the war here more openly, so that the Syracusans, seeing that you do not forget them, may put heart into their resistance, and that the Athenians may be less able to reinforce their armament. [6] You must fortify Decelea in Attica, the blow of which the Athenians are always most afraid and the only one that they think they have not experienced in the present war; the surest method of harming an enemy being to find out what he most fears, and to choose this means of attacking him, since everyone naturally knows best his own weak points and fears accordingly. [7] The fortification in question, while it benefits you, will create difficulties for your adversaries, of which I shall pass over many, and shall only mention the chief. Whatever property there is in the country will most of it become yours, either by capture or surrender; and the Athenians will at once be deprived of their revenues from the silver mines at Laurium, of their present gains from their land and from the law courts, and above all of the revenue from their allies, which will be paid less regularly, as they lose their awe of Athens and see you addressing yourselves with vigor to this war. [6.92.1] The zeal and speed with which all this shall be done depends, Spartans, upon yourselves; as to its possibility, I am quite confident, and I have little fear of being mistaken.”

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MAP 6.91 ALCIBIADES’ FLIGHT AND SPEECH

[2] “Meanwhile I hope that none of you will think any the worse of me if after having hitherto passed as a lover of my country, I now actively join its worst enemies in attacking it, or will suspect what I say as the fruit of an outlaw’s enthusiasm. [3] I am an outlaw from the iniquity of those who drove me forth, not, if you will be guided by me, from your service: my worst enemies are not you who only harmed your foes, but they who forced their friends to become enemies; [4] and love of country is what I do not feel when I am wronged, but what I felt when secure in my rights as a citizen. Indeed I do not consider that I am now attacking a country that is still mine; I am rather trying to recover one that is mine no longer; and the true lover of his country is not he who consents to lose it unjustly rather than attack it, but he who longs for it so much that he will go to all lengths to recover it. [5] For myself, therefore, Spartans, I beg you to use me without scruple for danger and trouble of every kind, and to remember the argument in everyone’s mouth, that if I did you great harm as an enemy, I could likewise do you good service as a friend, inasmuch as I know the plans of the Athenians, while I only guessed yours. For yourselves I entreat you to believe that your most vital interests are now under consideration; and I urge you to send without hesitation the expeditions to Sicily and Attica; by the presence of a small part of your forces you will save important cities in that island, and you will destroy the power of Athens both present and prospective; after this you will dwell in security and enjoy the supremacy over all Hellas, resting not on force but upon consent and affection.”


6.89
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SPARTA
Alcibiades addresses his Spartan critics and justifies his past actions against Sparta. He explains his role in Athenian politics. He agrees that democracy is absurd, but that it was successful at Athens, that he had inherited it there, and that it could not be altered in the face of Spartan pressure.

6.90
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SPARTA Alcibiades says that Athens’ true purpose in Sicily is the conquest of all the Hellenes. She intends to use the resources gained by the conquest of Sicily and Italy, and from alliances with others, to return to the Peloponnesus in overwhelming force to reduce it city by city.

6.91
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SPARTA
Alcibiades reiterates that Sparta should act for Peloponnesian interests by preventing the fall of Syracuse. He urges the Spartans to fortify Decelea in Attica and to send troops and a general to Syracuse to lead a professional defense.

6.92
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SPARTA
Alcibiades argues that he is not a traitor because he cannot betray a country from which he was wrongfully driven and which is no longer his. Moreover, he adds, a true patriot will go to any length, even to aid his country’s enemies, in order to recover it. He concludes by asking the Spartans to use his knowledge of Athens and Athenian plans to their best advantage.


Such were the words of Alcibiades. The Spartans, who had previously intended to march against Athens themselves, but were still waiting and looking about them, at once became much more serious when they received this particular information from Alcibiades, and considered that they had heard it from the man who best knew the truth of the matter. [2] Accordingly they now turned their attention to fortifying Decelea and sending immediate aid to the Sicilians; and naming Gylippus son of Cleandridas to the command of the Syracusans, instructed him to consult with that people and with the Corinthians and arrange for help to reach the island in the best and speediest way possible under the circumstances. [3] Gylippus requested the Corinthians to send him at once two ships to Asine, and to prepare the rest that they intended to send, and to have them ready to sail at the proper time. Having settled this, the envoys departed from Sparta.


6.93
415/4
17th Year/Winter
SPARTA
Moved by Alcibiades, the Spartans vote to aid the Sicilians and send Gylippus to take command there. They prepare to fortify Decelea in Attica.

ATHENS
Athens votes to send funds and reinforcements to their forces in Sicily.


[4] In the meantime the Athenian trireme from Sicily sent by the generals for money and cavalry arrived at Athens; and the Athenians, after hearing what they wanted, voted to send the supplies for the armament and the cavalry. And the winter ended, and with it ended the seventeenth year of the present war of which Thucydides is the historian.

The next summer, at the very beginning of the season, the Athenians in Sicily put out from Catana, and sailed along shore to Megara in Sicily, from which, as I have mentioned above, the Syracusans expelled the inhabitants in the time of their tyrant Gelon, themselves occupying the territory. [2] Here the Athenians landed and laid waste the country, and after an unsuccessful attack upon a fort of the Syracusans, went on with the fleet and army to the river Terias, and advancing inland laid waste the plain and set fire to the grain; and after killing some of a small Syracusan party which they encountered, and setting up a trophy, went back again to their ships. [3] They now sailed to Catana and took in provisions there, and going with their whole force against Centoripa, a city of the Sicels, acquired it by capitulation, and departed, after also burning the grain of the Inessaeans and Hybleans. [4] Upon their return to Catana they found the horsemen arrived from Athens, to the number of two hundred and fifty (with their equipment, but without their horses which were to be procured upon the spot), and thirty mounted archers and three hundred talents of silver.


6.94
414
18th Year/Summer
SICILY
The Athenians in early spring pillage some cities and coerce others to join them. At Catana, they find reinforcements of funds and horsemen sent from Athens.


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MAP 6.95 MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SPRING 414

The same spring the Spartans marched against Argos and went as far as Cleonae, when an earthquake occurred and caused them to return. After this the Argives invaded the territory of Thyrea, which is on their border, and took much booty from the Spartans, which was sold for no less than twenty-five talents. [2] The same summer, not long after, the popular party in Thespiae made an attack upon the party in office, which was not successful, but help arrived from Thebes, and some were caught, while others took refuge at Athens.


6.95
414
18th Year/Summer
HELLAS
Thucydides reports military raids and uprisings in Argos, Thyrea, and Boeotia.


The same summer the Syracusans learned that the Athenians had been joined by their cavalry and were on the point of marching against them; and seeing that without becoming masters of Epipolae, a precipitous spot situated exactly over the city, the Athenians could not, even if victorious in battle, easily invest them, they determined to guard its approaches in order that the enemy might not ascend unobserved by these, the only ways by which ascent was possible, [2] as the remainder is lofty ground, and falls right down to the city, and can all be seen from inside; and as it lies above the rest the place is called by the Syracusans Epipolae, or Overtown.


6.96
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Syracuse decides that control of Epipolae is vital to its defense and selects six hundred picked troops to guard it.


[3] They accordingly went out in mass at daybreak into the meadow along the river Anapus, their new generals, Hermocrates and his colleagues, having just come into office, and held a review of their hoplites, from whom they first selected a picked body of six hundred, under the command of Diomilus, an exile from Andros, to guard Epipolae, and to be ready to muster at a moment’s notice to help wherever help should be required.

Meanwhile the Athenians, the very same morning, were holding a review, having already made land unobserved with all the armament from Catana, opposite a place called Leon, not much more than half a mile from Epipolae, where they disembarked their army. They anchored their fleet at Thapsus, a peninsula running out into the sea with a narrow isthmus, and not far from the city of Syracuse either by land or water. [2] While the naval force of the Athenians threw a stockade across the isthmus and remained quiet at Thapsus, the army immediately went on at a run to Epipolae, and succeeded in getting up by Euryelus before the Syracusans perceived them, or could come up from the meadow and the review. [3] Diomilus with his six hundred and the rest advanced as quickly as they could, but they had nearly three miles to go from the meadow before reaching them. [4] Attacking in this way in considerable disorder, the Syracusans were defeated in battle at Epipolae and retired to the city, with a loss of about three hundred killed, and Diomilus among the number. [5] After this the Athenians set up a trophy and restored to the Syracusans their dead under truce, and next day descended to Syracuse itself; and no one coming out to meet them, reascended and built a fort at Labdalum, upon the edge of the cliffs of Epipolae, looking toward Megara, to serve as a storehouse for their baggage and money, whenever they advanced to give battle or to work at the lines.


6.97
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians sail to Leon and occupy Epipolae from there before the picked Syracusan force arrives. The Syracusans are defeated as they come up and the Athenians build a fort on the plateau at Labdalum.


Not long afterwards three hundred cavalry came to them from Egesta, and about a hundred from the Sicels, Naxians, and others; and thus, with the two hundred and fifty from Athens, for whom they had got horses from the Egestaeans and Catanians, besides others that they bought, they now mustered six hundred and fifty cavalry in all. [2] After posting a garrison in Labdalum, they advanced to Syca, where they halted and quickly built the Circle or center of their wall of circumvallation. The Syracusans, appalled at the rapidity with which the work advanced, determined to go out against them and give battle and interrupt it; [3] and the two armies were already in battle array when the Syracusan generals observed that their troops found such difficulty in getting into line, and were in such disorder, that they led them back into the city, except part of the cavalry. These remained and hindered the Athenians from carrying stones or dispersing to any great distance, [4] until a tribe of the Athenian hoplites, with all the cavalry, charged and routed the Syracusan horse with some loss; after which they set up a trophy for the cavalry action.


6.98
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians start to build a wall of circumvallation around Syracuse. The Syracusans try to attack but cannot organize their lines properly and retreat without offering battle.


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MAP 6.99 THE ATHENIANS ATTACK SYRACUSE, 414


6.99
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Athenian wall construction proceeds rapidly from the Circle fort on Epipolae. The Syracusans build a counterwall to cut the line of the enemy’s wall.


The next day the Athenians began building the wall to the north of the Circle, at the same time collecting stone and timber, which they kept laying down toward Trogilus along the shortest line for their works from the Great Harbor to the sea; [2] while the Syracusans, guided by their generals, and above all by Hermocrates, instead of risking any more general engagements, determined to build a counterwall in the direction in which the Athenians were going to carry their wall. If this could be completed in time the enemy’s lines would be cut; and meanwhile, if he were to attempt to interrupt them by an attack, they would send a part of their forces against him, and would secure the approaches beforehand with their stockade, while the Athenians would have to leave off working with their whole force in order to attend to them. [3] They accordingly sallied forth and began to build, starting from their city, running a cross wall below the Athenian Circle, at the same time cutting down the olive trees and erecting wooden towers. [4] As the Athenian fleet had not yet sailed round into the Great Harbor, the Syracusans still commanded the sea coast, and the Athenians brought their provisions by land from Thapsus.


6.100
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
In a surprise attack, the Athenians take the Syracusan counter wall and destroy it.


The Syracusans now thought the stockades and stonework of their counterwall sufficiently far advanced; and as the Athenians, afraid of being divided and so fighting at a disadvantage, and intent upon their own wall, did not come out to interrupt them, they left one tribe to guard the new work and went back into the city. Meanwhile the Athenians destroyed the underground pipes that carried drinking water into the city; and watching until the rest of the Syracusans were in their tents at midday (and some even gone away into the city), and those in the stockade keeping but indifferent guard, they appointed three hundred picked men of their own, and some men selected from the light troops who were appropriately armed for the purpose to run suddenly as fast as they could to the counterwall, while the rest of the army advanced in two divisions, one with one of the generals to the city in case of a sortie, the other with the other general to the stockade by the postern gate. [2] The three hundred attacked and took the stockade, abandoned by its garrison, who took refuge in the outworks round the statue of Apollo Temenites. Here the pursuers burst in with them, and after getting in were beaten out by the Syracusans, and some few of the Argives and Athenians slain; [3] after which the whole army retired, and having demolished the counterwall and pulled up the stockade, carried away the stakes to their own lines, and set up a trophy.


6.101
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
A second Syracusan counterwall is also captured by the Athenians. In a confused battle the Syracusans are defeated but the Athenian general Lamachus is killed.


The next day the Athenians from the Circle proceeded to fortify the cliff above the marsh which on this side of Epipolae looks toward the Great Harbor; this being also the shortest line for their wall to go down across the plain and the marsh to the harbor. [2] Meanwhile the Syracusans marched out and began a second stockade, starting from the city, across the middle of the marsh, digging a trench alongside to make it impossible for the Athenians to carry their wall down to the sea. [3] As soon as the Athenians had finished their work at the cliff they again attacked the stockade and ditch of the Syracusans. Ordering the fleet to sail round from Thapsus into the Great Harbor of Syracuse, they descended at about dawn from Epipolae into the plain, and laying doors and planks over the marsh where it was muddy and firmest, crossed over on these, and by daybreak took the ditch and the stockade, except for a small portion which they captured afterwards. [4] A battle now ensued, in which the Athenians were victorious, the right wing of the Syracusans fleeing to the city and the left to the river. The three hundred picked Athenians, wishing to cut off their passage, pressed on at a run to the bridge, [5] when the alarmed Syracusans, who had with them most of their cavalry, closed and routed them, hurling them back upon the Athenian right wing, the first tribe of which was thrown into a panic by the shock. [6] Seeing this, Lamachus came to their aid from the Athenian left with a few archers and with the Argives, and crossing a ditch, was left alone with a few that had crossed with him, and was killed with five or six of his men. These the Syracusans managed immediately to snatch up in haste and get across the river into a place of security, themselves retreating as the rest of the Athenian army now came up.


6.102
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans attack the enemy in the plain and at the Circle fort on Epipolae. Nicias saves the Circle by burning timber and war engines so that the fire holds off the enemy until reinforcements arrive. The defeated Syracusans return to their city.


Meanwhile those who had at first fled for refuge to the city, seeing the turn affairs were taking, now rallied from the city and formed against the Athenians in front of them, sending also a part of their number to the Circle on Epipolae, which they hoped to take while denuded of its defenders. [2] These took and destroyed the Athenian outwork of a thousand feet, the Circle itself being saved by Nicias, who happened to have been left in it through illness, and who now ordered the servants to set fire to the machines and timber that had been thrown down before the wall; lack of men, as he was aware, made all other means of survival impossible. [3] This step was justified by the result, as the Syracusans came no further on account of the fire, but retreated. Meanwhile help was coming up from the Athenians below, who had put to flight the troops opposed to them; and the fleet also, according to orders, was sailing from Thapsus into the Great Harbor. [4] Seeing this, the Syracusan troops on the heights retired in haste, and the whole army reentered the city, thinking that with their present force they would no longer be able to hinder the wall reaching the sea.


6.103
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians extend their wall against the city. Provisions are secured from Italy. Some Tyrrhenians and many Sicels now join their forces. The Syracusans despair, divide into factions, replace their generals, and begin to discuss surrender terms.


After this the Athenians set up a trophy and restored to the Syracusans their dead under truce, receiving in return Lamachus and those who had fallen with him. The whole of their forces, naval and military, being now with them, they began from Epipolae and the cliffs and enclosed the Syracusans with a double wall down to the sea. [2] Provisions were now brought in for the armament from all parts of Italy; and many of the Sicels, who had hitherto been looking to see how things went, came as allies to the Athenians: there also arrived three ships of fifty oars from Tyrrhenia. Meanwhile everything else progressed favorably for their hopes. [3] The Syracusans began to despair of finding safety in arms, no relief having reached them from the Peloponnesus, and were now proposing terms of capitulation among themselves and to Nicias, who after the death of Lamachus was left sole commander. [4] No decision was reached, but as was natural with men in difficulties and besieged more severely than before, there was much discussion with Nicias and still more in the city. Their present misfortunes had also made them suspicious of one another; and the blame of their disasters was thrown upon the ill-fortune or treachery of the generals under whose command they had happened; and these were deposed and others, Heraclides, Eucles, and Tellias, elected in their stead.


6.104
414
18th Year/Summer
ITALY Gylippus leaves Leucas, believing that Syracuse was lost. He hopes to save Italy. Tarentum receives him but Thurii rejects his plea. Nicias hears of his approach but, despising the smallness of his force, takes no precautions.


Meanwhile the Spartan Gylippus and the ships from Corinth were now off Leucas, intent upon going with all haste to the relief of Sicily. The news that reached them being of an alarming kind, and all agreeing in a false report that the siege line around Syracuse was already complete. Gylippus abandoned all hope for Sicily, and wishing to save Italy, rapidly crossed the Ionian Sea to Tarentum1d with the Corinthian, Pythen, in two Laconian, and two Corinthian vessels, leaving the Corinthians to follow him after manning, in addition to their own ten, two Leucadian and two Ambraciot ships. [2] From Tarentum Gylippus first went on a mission to Thurii, and claimed anew the rights of citizenship which his father had enjoyed, but failing to bring over the townspeople, he weighed anchor and coasted along Italy. Opposite the Terinaean gulf he was caught by the wind which blows violently and steadily from the north in that quarter, and was carried out to sea; and after experiencing very rough weather, made it back to Tarentum where he hauled ashore and refitted such of his ships as had suffered most from the tempest. [3] Nicias heard of his approach, but, like the Thurians, scorned the scanty number of his ships, and set down piracy as the only probable purpose of the voyage, and so took no precautions for the present.


6.105
414
18th Year/Summer
ARGOS-LACONIA
Sparta invades Argos, and Athenian forces sent in response conduct raids against Peloponnesian territories, providing a pretext for the initiation of Spartan hostilities against Athens.


About the same time in this summer, the Spartans invaded Argos with their allies, and laid waste most of the country. The Athenians went with thirty ships to the relief of the Argives, thus breaking their treaty with the Spartans in the most overt manner. [2] Up to this time incursions from Pylos and descents on the coasts of the rest of the Peloponnesus, instead of on the Laconian, had been the extent of their cooperation with the Argives and Mantineans; and although the Argives had often begged them to land, if only for a moment, with their hoplites in Laconia,2c lay waste ever so little of it with them, and depart, they had always refused to do so. Now, however, under the command of Pythodorus, Laespodius, and Demaratus, they landed at Epidaurus Limera, Prasiae, and other places, and plundered the country; and thus furnished the Spartans with a better pretext for hostilities against Athens. [3] After the Athenians had retired from Argos with their fleet, and the Spartans also, the Argives made an incursion into the territory of Phlius, and returned home after ravaging the land and killing some of the inhabitants.

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MAP 6.104 MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUMMER, 414

6.1.1a Sicily: Map 6.4, Sicily and locator.

For Laches in Sicily, see 3.86.1, 3.90.2, and 3.115.2; for Eurymedon in Sicily, see 3.115.5, 4.2ff., and 4.65.

Iberia: Map 6.4, locator.

Ilium (Troy): Map 6.4, locator.

Eryx: Map 6.4, AX.

Egesta: Map 6.4, AX.

Libya: Map 6.4, locator.

Italy: Map 6.4, AY, locator.

Phoenicia: Map 6.4, locator.

Motya: Map 6.4, AX.

Soloeis: Map 6.4, AX.

Panormus: Map 6.4, AX.

Carthage: Map 6.4, locator.

Chalcidians from Chalcis, Euboea: Map 6.4, Hellas.

Naxos, Sicily: Map 6.4, AY.

Syracuse: Map 6.4, BY.

Corinth: Map 6.4, Hellas.

Leontini: Map 6.4, BY.

Catana: Map 6.4, BY.

Megara: Map 6.4, Hellas.

Trotilus, possible location: Map 6.4, BY.

Pantacyas River, possible location: Map 6.4, BY.

Thapsus: Map 6.4, BY.

Megara Hyblaea: Map 6.4, BY.

Selinus: Map 6.4, AX.

Gela: Map 6.4, BX.

Rhodes: Map 6.4, locator.

Crete: Map 6.4, locator.

Gelas River, Map 6.4, BX.

See Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, for a brief description of the different ethnic and dialect groups into which the Greeks were divided.

Acragas (Agrigentum): Map 6.4, BX.

Zancle (Messana): Map 6.4, AY.

Cumae: Map 6.4, locator and Map 6.88.

Samos: Map 6.4, locator.

Persia, Map 6.4, locator. See Appendix E, The Persians, ©3, for a description of Persia’s expansion into Asian Ionia.

Rhegium: Map 6.4, AY.

His “old country” was Messenia in Peloponnesus (Map 6.4, Hellas).

Himera: Map 6.4, AX.

See Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©3, for a discussion of the Dorians.

Acrae: Map 6.4, BY.

Casmenae, possible location: Map 6.4, BY.

Camarina: Map 6.4, BX.

Gela: Map 6.4, BX.

Crawley here translates as “in real truth” the same phrase in 1.23.6 which he translates as “the real cause.”

Egesta: Map 6.4, AX.

Selinus: Map 6.4, AX.

Syracuse: Map 6.4, BY.

The Egestaeans are referring to the Athenian operations in Sicily in 427-26 which Thucydides describes in 3.86, 3.88, 3.90, 3.99, 3.103, and 3.115-16. This alliance is mentioned in 3.86. The text actually says “the Egestaeans now reminded the Athenians of the alliance with the people of Leontini during the former war.” Whichever is the correct translation, it is incredible that the envoys could talk like this of an alliance that had been made with Egesta in 418/7, as some scholars now claim; see the Introduction (sect. IV.ii).

Leontini: Map 6.4, BY.

Dorian: see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, for a brief description of the groups into which the Greeks were divided.

Athenian assemblies are briefly discussed in Appendix A, The Athenian Government, ©8.

Offerings of silver and gold objects and other valuable material accumulated at major temples and shrines to such a degree that these institutions became unique and tempting repositories of ready capital in ancient Greece. In 2.13.4-5, Pericles lists the vast wealth lying in Athenian temples and shrines that could be called upon, if necessary, to support the war.

Argos: Map 6.4, Hellas.

Orneae: Map 6.4, Hellas.

Hoplite is the Greek word for a heavily armed infantryman. See Appendix F, Land Warfare, ©2.

Methone in Macedonia: Map 6.4, Hellas. Perdiccas was the king of Macedonia.

Macedonia: Map 6.4, Hellas.

Chalcidice in Thrace: Map 6.4, Hellas.

Egesta: Map 6.4, AX.

The talent was a unit of weight and of money; see Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©5.

By “full powers” was meant that the generals could decide matters for themselves without referring back to Athens, but decide only within stated terms of reference. Cf. the situation in 5.45.

Selinus: Map 6.4, AX.

Leontini: Map 6.4, BY.

The “treaty” referred to here is the fifty-year alliance between Athens and Sparta described in 5.23.

Mainland: Thucydides must be referring to Thrace and Asia Minor.

It is only here and at 6.2.3 that it plainly emerges that the Egestaeans are not Greek.

Nicias refers to the Leontines exiled in 422; see 5.4.3 and 6.19.1.

Ionian sea, for coasting and the narrowest crossing, i.e., for triremes. Map 6.20. See Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©7, for an explanation of why triremes were forced to follow coastlines and rarely ventured out, like merchant vessels, into the open sea.

Sicilian sea for sailing due west from the Peloponnesus, i.e., for merchant vessels. Map 6.20; Map 6.38, BX.

Prytanis: a member of the council who served in the assembly as its chairman. He was normally termed the Epistates, not the Prytanis. He was a member of the Prytaneis, a group that acted as a standing committee for both the council and the assembly during the tenth of the year that it was each tribe’s turn to “preside.” (See Appendix A, The Athenian Government, ©5.) Whether it was illegal for theEpistates to put to the vote a matter previously decided, as would seem to be the case here, has been disputed.

See the Introduction (sect. II.v) for a discussion of speeches in Thucydides.

Sicily: Map 6.20.

Carthage: Map 6.20. Regarding the plan to conquer it, see 6.90.2.

Since Thucydides seems here to refer Athens’ defeat in the Peloponnesian War, it has been thought that 6.16.3 and 4 were inserted after 404 BC.

Alcibiades refers to the Olympic Games of 416 B.C. See Appendix I, Religious Festivals, ©5, 8.

Alcibiades refers to the battle of Man tinea; see 5.71-74.

By “Mede,” Alcibiades means here the Persians; see Appendix E, The Persians, ©1.

Naxos, Catana, Leontini, Selinus, Syracuse: Map 6.20.

See 7.57 for a list by status of the allies who came with the Athenians to Sicily. See 2.7.3.

Egesta: Map 6.20.

For the meaning of “full powers,” see note 6.8.2a.

The Mysteries were religious ceremonies celebrated twice a year at Eleusis in Attica (Map 4.69). Only those who had been solemnly initiated were permitted to share the secret of what happened, and to profane these sacred rites by divulging their content or mocking them was a most grievous offense.

We next hear of Alcibiades and the affair of the Mysteries and the Hermae in 6.53.

Corcyra: Map 6.38, AX.

Ionian sea: Map 6.38, AX.

Iapygian promontory (Cape Iapygium ): Map 6.38, AX.

Piraeus: Map 6.38, inset.

Epidaurus: Map 6.38, inset. This expedition is mentioned in 2.56.3 and 2.58.3.

Potidaea: Map 6.38, AY.

Lesbos: Map 6.38, AY.

Chios: Map 6.38, AY.

The drachma is a unit of currency. See Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©3.

For the role of the captains and the skilled crewmen in the Athenian navy, and of the different classes of oarsmen, such as thranitae, see note 1.31.1a and Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©5, 12.

Aegina: Map 6.38, inset.

Corcyra: Map 6.38, AX.

Carthage: Map 6.20.

Sparta: Map 6.38, BY.

Corinth: Map 6.38, inset.

Tarentum: Map 6.38, AX.

Iapygian promontory (Cape Iapygium): Map 6.38, AX.

Ionian sea: Map 6.38, AX.

Warships were “lightened” by being stripped of all nonessential equipment (such as masts and sails used for long-distance travel). This gear might be immediately jettisoned in an emergency but more often would be stored at a shore camp before the ships entered into battle. See 7.24.2, 8.28.1, 8.43.1, and Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©8.

Corcyra: Map 6.38, AX.

Syracuse: Map 6.38, BX.

Corcyra: Map 6.38, AX.

Italy: Map 6.38, AX.

Sicily: Map 6.38, BX.

Rhodes: Map 6.38, BY. Penteconters, 50-oared warships, were smaller than triremes, with 170 oars.

Chios: Map 6.38, AY.

The thetes were the poorest of the four property classes at Athens. Since they were unable to afford the cost of hoplite equipment, their principal military employment was to serve in the fleet as rowers. Their role as marines here is quite anomalous. Perhaps they had been equipped and armed at public expense. See Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©8, 11, 14, andAppendix A, The Athenian Government, ©2.

Argos: Map 6.38, inset.

Mantinea: Map 6.38, BY.

Crete: Map 6.38, BY.

Megara: Map 6.38, inset.

Ionian sea: Map 6.38, AX.

Iapygian promontory (Cape Iapygium): Map 6.38, AX.

Tarentum: Map 6.38, AX.

Italy: Map 6.38, AX.

Locri (Epizephyrian Locri, in Italy): Map 6.38, AX.

Rhegium: Map 6.38, AX.

Greek soldiers and sailors at this time were expected to purchase their food from local markets with their own money, which made prompt and adequate military pay quite important. For a city to offer a special market at a convenient and exterior location for foreign troops was a polite and presumably profitable amenity; and it also helped to keep such visitors out of the city.

Leontini: Map 6.38, BX.

See Illustration 3.86, of a fragment of a treaty between Athens and Rhegium dated from 433 B.C.

Egesta: Map 6.49.

It is thought that the peripoli in Athens were a force of young men normally employed in patrolling the countryside, though that is not their role on the occasions Thucydides refers to them (4.67.2 and 8.92.2 and 5). There seems to have been a similar institution at Syracuse. See 7.45.5 for these guardposts.

Egesta: Map 6.49.

Eryx: Map 6.49.

Selinus: Map 6.49.

Leontini: Map 6.49.

Messana: Map 6.49.

Megara (Hyblaea): Map 6.49.

Messana: Map 6.49.

Markets for military forces: see note at 6.44.3a.

Rhegium: Map 6.49.

Naxos: Map 6.49.

Catana: Map 6.49.

Terias River: Map 6.49.

Syracuse: Map 6.49.

Leontini: Map 6.49.

Catana: Map 6.49.

Camarina: Map 6.49.

Syracuse: Map 6.49.

The Salaminia and her sister ship the Paralus were special state triremes used on sacred embassies and official business. Thucydides mentions them several times in his history (3.33.1, 3.77.3, 6.61.4-7, 8.73.5-6, and 8.74.1-2).

For Thucydides’ account of the blasphemous affairs of the Mysteries and the Hermae, and their political effects, see 6.27-29 and note 6.28.1a.

Tyrannies overthrown by Sparta: see 1.18.1 and 1.122.3; also 6.59.4.

This common belief was first described by Thucydides in 1.20.

Archon: a political officer of Athens; see Appendix A, The Athenian Government,©6.

The site of the altar of the twelve gods has been located in the Athenian agora; see Map 6.56, inset.

The sanctuary of Apollo in the Pythian district is believed to have been in the southeast part of the city, between the Athenian Olympieum sanctuary and the Ilissos river; see Map 6.56, inset.

Acropolis of Athens: Map 6.56, inset.

This altar stone exists today and its inscription is still legible. See Illustration 6.54.

Thessalus and Hipparchus were, with Hippias, the sons of Pisistratus the tyrant; see 1.20.2.

For the Feast of the Panathenaea, see Appendix I, Religious Festivals, ©8.

The Ceramicus district of Athens , which lay both inside and outside the walls: Map 6.56, inset.

Leocoriuni, possible location: Map 6.56, inset.

The Panathenaean festival included a ceremonial procession along the Panathenaic Way (Map 6.56, inset) to the temple of Athena (Parthenon) on the Acropolis (Map 6.56, inset).

Lampsacus: Map 6.56.

Darius, King of Persia.

The Alcmeonidae was a powerful clan easier to banish because of its role in the curse of the goddess; see 1.126-7.

Sigeum: Map 6.56.

Marathon, the Attic site of a famous Athenian victory over the invading Persians in 490: Map 6.56. Also see Appendix E, The Persians, ©4.

As Andocides’ existing oration On the Mysteries shows, Andocides himself was the “one in custody.”

Isthmus (of Corinth): Map 6.56.

Boeotia: Map 6.56.

The site of this temple of Theseus is unknown. Pausanias (1.17.2) says it lay southeast of the agora. Map 6.56, inset, shows a possible location.

Argos: Map 6.56.

These were probably the same hostages that Alcibiades and his twenty ships seized and deposited in the various islands of the empire, as described in 5.84.

The Salaminia and her sister ship the Paralus were special state triremes used on sacred embassies and official business. Thucydides mentions them several times in the course of his narrative. See note 6.53.1a.

Mantinea: Map 6.56.

Thurii: Map 6.64, locator.

Selinus, Egesta: Map 6.64.

Tyrrhenian sea: Map 6.64.

Himera: Map 6.64.

Hyccara: Map 6.64.

Catana: Map 6.64.

The only known Hybla (Map 6.64) can hardly be said to lie in the territory of Gela; see Map 6.64. Perhaps Thucydides is mistaken or refers here to another town of the same name whose location is unknown.

Catana: Map 6.64.

Olympieum, a temple built on the heights southwest of Syracuse: Map 6.68.

Syracuse: Map 6.64.

Catana: Map 6.64.

Selinus: Map 6.64.

Symaethus river: Map 6.64.

Leontini: Map 6.64.

Olympieum sanctuary: Map 6.68.

Fort Daskon: Map 6.68.

Anapus River: Map 6.68.

Helorine Road, the road connecting Syracuse and Helorus: Map 6.68.

Selinus, Gela, Camarina: Map 6.64.

A trophy was set up by the victors after an ancient Greek battle. It usually consisted of a set of captured armor arranged on a pole that was raised on or near the battlefield.

Helorine Road, the road connecting Syracuse and Helorus: Map 6.68.

Olympieum sanctuary: Map 6.68.

After a battle in ancient Greece, the victors would gather up their dead, strip those of the enemy, and raise a trophy. The defeated would collect the bodies of their fallen during a truce that they would explicitly request and be granted for that purpose. In this way, appropriate reverence was shown and proper burial was accorded to all war dead. See Appendix F, Land Warfare, ©6.

Catana, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Syracuse, Sicily: Map 6.75 and inset.

Athens: Map 6.75.

Sicily: Map 6.75.

Naxos and Catana, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Catana and Messana, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Naxos, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Approximate location of new wall built in the winter of 415/4: Map 6.75, inset.

Temenites district of Syracuse: Map 6.75, inset.

Epipolae, a plateau overlooking Syracuse: Map 6.75, inset.

Circumvallation: the building of a wall to surround or isolate a city by land.

Megara Hyblaea, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Olympieum sanctuary: Map 6.75, inset.

Naxos, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Catana, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Camarina, Sicily: Map 6.75.

For operations while Laches was in Sicily, see 3.86.1, 3.90.2, and 3.115.2; Thucydides mentions no treaties of alliance, although he writes in 5.5.3 that all the allies of Syracuse, except the Locrians, made peace with Athens when the reconciliation between the Sicilians took place.

The new Syracusan wall in Map 6.75, inset, basically follows the interpretation of Peter Green in Armada from Athens (Hodder and Stoughton, 1971), passim. The reader should be aware that many scholars follow the quite different views expressed in A.W. Gomme, A. Andrewes, and K.J. Dover, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, iv (Oxford, 1970), 466 ff.

Leontini, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Euboea, Map 6.75.

Egesta, Sicily: Map 6.75.

The “Mede” here is the Persians; see Appendix E, ©1.

For the Ionians and the Dorians, see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©8.

Camarina, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Rhegium, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Leontini, Sicily: Map 6.75.

Although this speech seems to suggest that there was a sharp ethnic division between the combatants, with Athens allied with Ionians, and Syracuse allied with Dorians, Thucydides will later (7.57-58) emphasize the ethnic paradoxes of the contending armies in Sicily. See Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©7, 9.

Former alliance: see note 6.75.3b.

The Persian King: see Appendix E, ©2.

Leontini: Map 6.88.

Euboea: Map 6.91.

Chios: Map 6.56.

Methymna, a city on the island of Lesbos: Map 6.56. The other cities on the island of Lesbos revolted from Athens in 428, were conquered, and reduced to subject status; see 3.2-19, 3.26-50.

Peloponnesus: Map 6.91. The free islands mentioned here are Zacynthus, Cephallenia, and Corcyra, Map 6.95, Hellas inset.

Syracuse: Map 6.88.

In 427: see 3.86.2..

Camarina: Map 6.88.

Thucydides wrote in 6.67.2 that Camarina had sent about twenty horse and fifty archers to Syracuse.

Naxos: Map 6.88.

Catana: Map 6.88.

Carthage: Map 6.88.

’Tyrrhenia (Etruria): Map 6.88.

Map 6.88.

Circumvallation: the building of a wall to surround or isolate a city by land.

The dispatch of these envoys was mentioned in 6.73.2.

He sailed from Thurii, Italy (Map 6.88) to Cyllene in Elis (Map 6.91). See also Map 6.64, locator.

Mantinea: Map 6.91. The “affair” is the campaign and battle described by Thucydides in 5.61-75.

For the Spartan assembly and ephors, see Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©5-6.

A proxenus, although a citizen and resident of his own state, served as a “friend or representative” (much like a modern honorary consul) of a foreign state.

Pylos: Map 6.91. The Spartan “disaster at Pylos” is described by Thucydides in 4.2-41.

Carthage: Map 6.88.

Iberia: Map 6.4, locator.

Oarsmen were not often soldiers also, but sometimes (see 3.18.4) it made economic and/or military sense to man a ship with those who could both row at sea and fight as hoplites on land.

A Spartiate is a full citizen of Sparta and a member of the highest Spartan military caste.

Decelea, in Attica: Map 6.91.

Lauriurn, in Attica: Map 6.91.

Decelea, in Attica: Map 6.91.

Corinth: Map 6.91.

Asine, probably in Messenia: Map 6.91.

Catana: Map 6.95, Sicily.

This expulsion by Gelon is mentioned in 6.4.2. Megara (Hyblaea): Map 6.95, Sicily.

Terias river: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Centoripa: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Inessa, Hybla, possible location: Map 6.95, Sicily.

The talent was a unit of weight and of money; see Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©5.

Argos, Cleonae: Map 6.95, Hellas.

Thyrea: Map 6.95, Hellas.

Thespiae, Thebes, Athens: Map 6.95, Hellas.

Epipolae: Map 6.99, AX.

Anapus river: Map 6.99, BX.

Andros: Map 6.56.

Catana: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Leon: Map 6.99, AX.

Epipolae: Map 6.99, AX.

Thapsus: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Euryelus: Map 6.99, AX.

Labdalum: Map 6.99, AX.

Megara (Hyblaea): Map 6.95, Sicily.

Egesta: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Naxos: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Catana: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Labdalum: Map 6.99, AX.

Syca, possible location: Map 6.99, AY.

Circle fort: Map 6.99, AX.

Citizens were organized into ten tribes at Athens, and the Athenian army was also organized in tribal regiments. This was also true of the Syracusan army; see 6.100.1.

Trogilus, probable location: Map 6.99, AY. This map basically follows the interpretation of Peter Green in Armada from Athens (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1971), passim, particularly in the location of Trogilus and the Lysimeleia marsh (Map 7.39). The reader should be aware, how-ever, that many scholars follow the view adopted by K. J. Dover, as described in A.W. Gomme, A. Andrewes, and KJ. Dover,A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, iv (Oxford, 1970), 466 ff, which locates Trogilus in a more northerly cove shown as “Trogilus A?” on Map 6.99, AY.

Circle fort: Map 6.99, AX.

Great Harbor: Map 6.99, BY.

Thapsus: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Temenites district: Map 6.99, AY.

Circle fort: Map 6.99, AX.

Thapsus: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Great Harbor: Map 6.99, BY.

Epipolae: Map 6.99, AX.

For the tribal organization of the Athenian army, see note 6.98.4a.

Circle fort: Map 6.99, AX.

Thapsus: Map 6.95, Sicily.

Great Harbor: Map 6.99, BY.

Epipolae: Map 6.99, AX.

Tyrrhenia: Map 6.104, locator.

Corinth: Map 6.104.

Leucas: Map 6.104.

Ionian sea: Map 6.104, locator.

Tarentum: Map 6.104, locator.

Ambracia: Map 6.104.

Thurii: Map 6.104, locator.

Terinaean gulf, possible location: Map 6.104, locator. Perhaps Thucydides makes a geographic error here. The city of Terina is located on the west coast of Bruttium (as shown in Map 6.104, locator), but a north wind there would hardly blow a ship out to sea, nor would Gylippus’ ships be likely to return to Tarentum from the Tyrrhenian Sea west of Italy. A location on the south coast of Italy between Croton and Rhegium is certainly a more plausible location for this possibly misnamed gulf.

Argos: Map 6.104.

Pylos:Map 6.104.

Mantinea: Map 6.104.

Laconia: Map 6.104.

Epidaurus Limera: Map 6.104.

Prasiae: Map 6.104.

Phlius: Map 6.104.

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