the Athenians learned of their success at the Arginusae, they commended the generals for the
victory but were incensed that they had allowed the men who had died to maintain their
supremacy to go unburied.
Since Theramenes and Thrasybulus had
gone off to Athens in advance of the others, the generals, having assumed that it was they who
had made accusations before the populace with respect to the dead, dispatched letters against
them to the people stating that it was they whom the generals had ordered to pick up the dead.
But this very thing turned out to be the principal cause of their undoing.
For although they could have had the help of Theramenes and his
associates in the trial, men who both were able orators and had many friends and, most
important of all, had been participants in the events relative to the battle, they had them, on
the contrary, as adversaries and bitter accusers.
For when the
letters were read before the people, the multitude was at once angered at Theramenes and his
associates, but after these had presented their defence, it turned out that their anger was
directed again on the generals.
Consequently the people served
notice on them of their trial and ordered them to turn over the command of the armaments to
Conon, whom they freed of the responsibility, while they decreed that the others should report
to Athens with all speed. Of the generals Aristogenes and Protomachus, fearing the wrath of the
populace, sought safety in flight, but Thrasyllus and Calliades and, besides, Lysias and
Pericles and Aristocrates sailed home to Athens with most of their ships, hoping that they
would have their crews, which were numerous, to aid them in the trial.
When the populace gathered in the assembly, they gave attention to the
accusation and to those who spoke to gratify them, but any who entered a defence they unitedly
greeted with clamour and would not allow to speak. And not the least damaging to the generals
were the relatives of the dead, who appeared in the assembly in mourning garments and begged
the people to punish those who had allowed men who had gladly died on behalf of their country
to go unburied.
And in the end the friends of these relatives
and the partisans of Theramenes, being many, prevailed and the outcome was that the generals
were condemned to death and their property confiscated.