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424 B.C.At the close of this year, in Athens the archon was Isarchus and in Rome the consuls elected were Titus Quinctius and Gaius Julius, and among the Eleians the Eighty-ninth Olympiad was celebrated, that in which SymmachusOf Messene; cp. chap. 49.1. won the "stadion" for the second time. This year the Athenians chose as general Nicias, the son of Niceratus, and assigning to him sixty triremes and three thousand hoplites, they ordered him to plunder the allies of the Lacedaemonians. He sailed to Melos as the first place, where he ravaged their territory and for a number of days laid siege to the city; for it was the only island of the Cyclades which was maintaining its alliance with the Lacedaemonians, being a Spartan colony. Nicias was unable to take the city, however, since the Melians defended themselves gallantly, and he then sailed to OropusOropus was always debatable territory between Attica and Boeotia. in Boeotia. L
This Cadmus had previously inherited from his father the tyranny of Cos. Although the tyranny was well established, he nevertheless handed the government over to the whole body of Coans of his own free will. This he did under no constraint of danger, but out of a sense of justice, and he then went to Sicily, where he was given by the Samians the city of Zancle which he colonized and changed its name to Messene. This is how Cadmus had come, and it was he whom Gelon now sent because of his sense of justice. What I will now relate was not the least of the many just acts of Cadmus' life; he had in his possession great wealth entrusted to him by Gelon and might have kept it. He nevertheless would not do so, but when the Greeks had prevailed in the sea-fight and Xerxes had headed home, Cadmus returned to Sicily with all that money.
Many are the services which we have rendered to the state of the Lacedaemonians, but it has suited my purpose to speak of this one only; for, starting with the advantage afforded by our succor of them, the descendants of Heracles—the progenitors of those who now reign in Lacedaemon—returned to the Peloponnese, took possession of Argos, Lacedaemon, and Messene, settled Sparta, and were established as the founders of all the blessings which the Lacedaemonians now enj
which was not only fitted by her situation to command the sea, but also surpassed all the islands in her general resources,Herodotus characterizes Euboea as a “large and prosperous” island, Hdt. 5.31. Cf. Thuc. 8.96. and Euboea lent itself more readily to our control than did our own country besides, while we knew that both among the Hellenes and among the barbarians those are regarded most highly who have driven their neighbors from their homesThis cynical remark points to the Spartan conquest of Messene. and have so secured for themselves a life of affluence and ease, nevertheless, none of these considerations tempted us to wrong the people of the isla
And yet our alliesEspecially the Corinthians. See Introduction. have been only too zealous in advising you that you must give up Messene and make peace. Because of this they merit your indignation far more than those who revoltedThe Arcadians had joined the Thebans in invading Sparta. The Argives, Eleans, and Achaeans had also forsaken Sparta and gone over partly or wholly to the Thebans. from you at the beginning. For the latter, when they had forsaken your friendship, destroyed their own cities, plunging them into civil strife and massacres and vicious forms of government.Such disturbances and changes of government took place about this time in Arcadia, Argos, Sicyon, Elis, and Phlius. See Xen. Hell. 7.1-4. By vicious forms of government Archidamus probably refers to the democracies which in various places had been set up instead of the earlier oligarchies. These men, on the other hand, come here to inflict injury upon us;