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It happened at this time that a serious civil strife occurred in Corcyra accompanied by massacre, which is said to have been due to various causes but most of all to the mutual hatred that existed between its own inhabitants. [2] For never in any state have there taken place such murderings of citizens nor have there been greater quarrelling and contentiousness which culminated in bloodshed.1 For it would seem that the number of those who were slain by their fellow citizens before the present civil strife was some fifteen hundred, and all of these were leading citizens. [3] And although these misfortunes had already befallen them, Fortune brought upon them a second disaster, in that she increased once more the disaffection which prevailed among them. For the foremost Corcyraeans, who desired the oligarchy, favoured the cause of the Lacedaemonians, whereas the masses which favoured the democracy were eager to ally themselves with the Athenians. [4] For the peoples who were struggling for leadership in Greece were devoted to opposing principles; the Lacedaemonians, for example, made it their policy to put the control of the government in the hands of the leading citizens of their allied states, whereas the Athenians regularly established democracies in their cities. [5] Accordingly the Corcyraeans, seeing that their most influential citizens were planning to hand the city over to the Lacedaemonians, sent to the Athenians for an army to protect their city. [6] And Conon, the general of the Athenians, sailed to Corcyra and left in the city six hundred men from the Messenians in Naupactus,2 while he himself sailed on with his ships and cast anchor off the sacred precinct of Hera. [7] And the six hundred, setting out unexpectedly with the partisans of the people's party at the time of full market3 against the supporters of the Lacedaemonians, arrested some of them, slew others, and drove more than a thousand from the state; they also set the slaves free and gave citizenship to the foreigners living among them as a precaution against the great number and influence of the exiles. [8] Now the men who had been exiled from their country fled to the opposite mainland; but a few days later some people still in the city who favoured the cause of the exiles seized the market-place, called back the exiles, and essayed a final decision of the struggle. When night brought an end to the fighting they came to an agreement with each other, stopped their quarrelling, and resumed living together as one people in their fatherland.

Such, then, was the end of the massacre in Corcyra.

1 Thucydides (Thuc. 3.70 ff.) describes the earlier civil strife on the island.

2 These Messenians had been allowed by the Spartans to leave their country and had been settled in Naupactus by the Athenian general Tolmides in 456 B.C. (cp. Book 11.84).

3 In the middle of the morning.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), AGĀ“ORA
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