The Athenian generals, giving the impression that they intended to raise the siege and
take their armaments to Ionia
, sailed out in the
afternoon with all their ships and withdrew the land army some distance; but when night came,
they turned back again and about the middle of the night drew near the city, and they
dispatched the triremes with orders to drag off the boats1
and to raise a clamour as if the entire force were
at that point, while they themselves, holding the land army before the walls, watched for the
signal which had been agreed upon with those who were yielding the city.
And when the crews of the triremes set about carrying out their orders,
shattering some of the boats with their rams, trying to haul off others with their grappling
irons, and all the while raising a tremendous outcry,2
the Peloponnesians in the city and everyone who was unaware of the trickery
rushed out to the harbours to bring aid.
betrayers of the city raised the signal from the wall and admitted Alcibiades' troops by means
of ladders in complete safety, since the multitude had thronged down to the harbour.
When the Peloponnesians learned what had happened, at first they left
half their troops at the harbour and with the rest speedily rushed back to attack the walls
which had been seized.
And although practically the entire
force of the Athenians had already effected an entrance, they nonetheless were not
panic-stricken but resisted stoutly for a long while and battled the Athenians with the help of
the Byzantines. And in the end the Athenians would not have conquered the city by fighting, had
not Alcibiades, perceiving his opportunity, had the announcement made that no wrong should be
done to the Byzantines; for at this word the citizens changed sides and turned upon the
Thereupon the most of them were slain fighting
gallantly, and the survivors, about five hundred, fled for refuge to the altars of the temples.
The Athenians returned the city to the Byzantines, having
first made them allies, and then came to terms with the suppliants at the altars: the Athenians
would take away their arms and carrying their persons to Athens
turn them over to the decision of the Athenian people.