84.The next summer went Alcibiades to Argos with twenty galleys and took thence the suspected Argives and such as seemed to savour of the Lacedaemonian faction, to the number of three hundred, and put them into the nearest of the islands subject to the Athenian state.The Athenians made war also against the isle of Melos, with thirty galleys of their own, six of Chios, and two of Lesbos.Wherein were of their own twelve hundred men of arms, three hundred archers, and twenty archers on horseback;and of their confederates and islanders, about fifteen hundred men of arms.
The Melians are a colony of the Lacedaemonians, and therefore refused to be subject, as the rest of the islands were, unto the Athenians, but rested at the first neutral;and afterwards, when the Athenians put them to it by wasting of their land, they entered into open war.
Now the Athenian commanders, Cleomedes, the son of Lycomedes, and Tisias, the son of Tisimachus, being encamped upon their land with these forces, before they would hurt the same sent ambassadors to deal with them first by way of conference.These ambassadors the Melians refused to bring before the multitude, but commanded them to deliver their message before the magistrates and the few;and they accordingly said as followeth:
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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