Agis, however, did not believe in the
tranquillity of the city, or that the commons would thus in a moment give up
their ancient liberty, but thought that the sight of a large Lacedaemonian
force would be sufficient to excite them if they were not already in
commotion, of which he was by no means certain.He accordingly gave to the envoys of the Four Hundred an answer which held
out no hopes of an accommodation, and sending for large reinforcements from
Peloponnese, not long afterwards, with these and his garrison from Decelea,
descended to the very walls of Athens; hoping either that civil disturbances might help to subdue them to his
terms, or that, in the confusion to be expected within and without the city,
they might even surrender without a blow being struck; at all events he thought he would succeed in seizing the Long Walls, bared
of their defenders.
However, the Athenians saw him come close up, without making the least
disturbance within the city; and sending out their cavalry, and a number of their heavy infantry, light
troops, and archers shot down some of his soldiers who approached too near,
and got possession of some arms and dead.Upon this Agis, at last convinced, led his army back again,
and remaining with his own troops in the old position at Decelea, sent the
reinforcement back home, after a few days' stay in Attica.After this the Four Hundred persevering sent another embassy to Agis, and
now meeting with a better reception, at his suggestion despatched envoys to
Lacedaemon to negotiate a treaty, being desirous of making peace.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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