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When Timocles was archon in Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Lar Herminius and Titus Stertinius Structor. In this year the Samians went to war with the Milesians because of a quarrel over Priene, and when they saw that the Athenians were favouring the Milesians, they revolted from the Athenians, who thereupon chose Pericles as general and dispatched him with forty ships against the Samians. [2] And sailing forth against Samos, Pericles got into the city and mastered it, and then established a democracy in it. He exacted of the Samians eighty talents and took an equal number2 of their young men as hostages, whom he put in the keeping of the Lemnians; then, after having finished everything in a few days, he returned to Athens. [3]

But civil discord arose in Samos, one party preferring the democracy and the other wanting an aristocracy, and the city was in utter tumult. The opponents of the democracy crossed over to Asia, and went on to Sardis to get aid from Pissuthnes, the Persian satrap. Pissuthnes gave them seven hundred soldiers, hoping that in this way he would get the mastery of the island, and the Samians, sailing to Samos by night with the soldiers which had been given them, slipped unnoticed into the city with the aid of the citizens, seized the island without difficulty, and expelled from the city those who opposed them. Then, after they had stolen and carried off the hostages from Lemnos and had made everything secure in Samos, they publicly declared themselves to be enemies of the Athenians. [4] The Athenians again chose Pericles as general and dispatched him against the Samians with sixty ships. Thereupon Pericles fought a naval battle against seventy triremes of the Samians and defeated them; and then, summoning twenty-five ships from the Chians and Mytilenaeans, together with them he laid siege to the city of Samos. [5] But a few days later Pericles left a part of his force to continue the siege and set out to sea to meet the Phoenician ships which the Persians had dispatched to the aid of the Samians.

1 441 B.C.

2 Thuc. 1.115 says fifty.

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