After remaining quiet for some time, Cleon
was at length obliged to do as Brasidas expected.
His soldiers, tired of their inactivity, began also seriously to reflect on
the weakness and incompetence of their commander and the skill and valor
that would be opposed to him, and on their own original unwillingness to
accompany him.These murmurs coming to the ears of Cleon, he resolved not to disgust the
army by keeping it in the same place, and broke up his camp and advanced.
The temper of the general was what it had been at Pylos, his success on
that occasion having given him confidence in his capacity.He never dreamed of any one coming out to fight him, but said that he was
rather going up to view the place; and if he waited for his reinforcements it was not in order to make victory
secure in case he should be compelled to engage, but to be enabled to
surround and storm the city.
He accordingly came and posted his army upon a strong hill in front of
Amphipolis, and proceeded to examine the lake formed by the Strymon, and how
the town lay on the side of Thrace.
He thought to retire at pleasure without fighting, as there was no one to
be seen upon the wall or coming out of the gates, all of which were shut.Indeed, it seemed a mistake not to have brought down engines with him; he could then have taken the town, there being no one to defend it.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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