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Later,Actually in 419. Andocides is thinking of Alcibiades' descent on Epidaurus in support of the Argives, who had already invaded her territory by land. The expedition was made in virtue of the alliance of the previous year between Athens, Argos, Elis, and Mantinea. the same Argives who are here today to persuade us to continue the war, induced us to arouse Sparta's anger by making a naval descent upon Laconia while at peace with her, an act which was responsible for endless disasters; from it sprang a war which ended with our being forced to demolish our walls, to surrender our fleet, and to restore our exiles. Yet what help did we receive in our misfortunes from Argos who had drawn us into the war? What danger did she brave for Athens?
The Spartans had been deprived of their strength by the battle of LeuctraCf. Din. 1.73, note., and the Eurotas, which had never yet heard an enemy trumpet, saw Boeotians camping in Laconia. For the Theban had cut off the bloom of Sparta, enveloping in ashes the flower of her young men, the established boundaries of Laconia. Our own resources were spent with war and the hopes ole of LeuctraCf. Din. 1.73, note., and the Eurotas, which had never yet heard an enemy trumpet, saw Boeotians camping in Laconia. For the Theban had cut off the bloom of Sparta, enveloping in ashes the flower of her young men, the established boundaries of Laconia. Our own resources were spent with war and the hopes of the survivors were oppressed by the fate of the dead.
The Messenians together with the Helots at first advanced against the city of Sparta, assuming that they would take it because there would be no one to defend it; but when they heard that the survivors were drawn up in a body with Archidamus the king and were ready for the struggle on behalf of their native land, they gave up this plan, and seizing a stronghold in Messenia they made it their base of operations and from there continued to overrun Laconia. And the Spartans, turning for help to the Athenians, received from them an army; and they gathered troops as well from the rest of their allies and thus became able to meet their enemy on equal terms. At the outset they were much superior to the enemy, but at a later time, when a suspicion arose that the Athenians were about to go over to the Messenians, they broke the alliance with them, stating as their reason that in the other allies they had sufficient men to meet the impendin