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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. [2] 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. [3] Consequently the 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. [4] 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. [5] 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 Peloponnesians. [6] Thereupon the most of them were slain fighting gallantly, and the survivors, about five hundred, fled for refuge to the altars of the temples. [7] 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.

1 i.e. the boats of the Byzantines.

2 Xen. Hell. 1.3.14 ff. does not mention this action in the harbour.

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