The Lacedaemonians meanwhile finding the war
against the rebels in Ithome likely to last, invoked the aid of their
allies, and especially of the Athenians, who came in some force under the
command of Cimon.
The reason for this pressing summons lay in their reputed skill in siege
operations; a long siege had taught the Lacedaemonians their own deficiency in this
art, else they would have taken the place by assault.
The first open quarrel between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians arose out
of this expedition.The Lacedaemonians, when assault failed to take the place, apprehensive of
the enterprising and revolutionary character of the Athenians, and further
looking upon them as of alien extraction, began to fear that if they
remained, they might be tempted by the besieged in Ithome to attempt some
political changes.They accordingly dismissed them alone of the allies, without declaring
their suspicions, but merely saying that they had now no need of them.
But the Athenians, aware that their dismissal did not proceed from the more
honorable reason of the two, but from suspicions which had been conceived,
went away deeply offended, and conscious of having done nothing to merit
such treatment from the Lacedaemonians; and the instant that they returned home they broke off the alliance which
had been made against the Mede, and allied themselves with Sparta's enemy
Argos; each of the contracting parties taking the same oaths and making the same
alliance with the Thessalians.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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