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21. Thus spoke the Lacedaemonians, thinking that the Athenians, who had formerly been1 desirous of making terms with them, and had only been prevented by their refusal2, would now, when peace was offered to them, joyfully agree and would restore their men. [2] But the Athenians reflected that, since they had the Lacedaemonians shut up in the island, it was at any time in their power to make peace, and they wanted more. [3] These feelings were chiefly encouraged by Cleon the son of Cleaenetus, a popular leader of the day who had the greatest influence over the multitude3. He persuaded them to reply that the men in the island must first of all give up themselves and their arms and be sent to Athens; the Lacedaemonians were then to restore Nisaea, Pegae, Troezen, and Achaia—places which had not been taken in war, but had been surrendered under a former treaty4 in a time of reverse, when the Athenians5 were more anxious to obtain peace than they now were6 On these conditions they might recover the men and make a treaty of such duration as both parties should approve.

1 The Athenians at the instigation of Cleon insist on impossible terms.

2 Cp. 2.59.

3 Cp. 3.36 fin.

4 Cp. 1.115 init.

5 Or, 'were making and not receiving offers of peace.'

6 Or, 'were making and not receiving offers of peace.'

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  • Commentary references to this page (11):
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 2, 2.4
    • C.E. Graves, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 5, 5.14
    • C.E. Graves, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 5, 5.3
    • Harold North Fowler, Commentary on Thucydides Book 5, 5.14
    • Harold North Fowler, Commentary on Thucydides Book 5, 5.16
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, 1.115
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, 1.115
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, 1.29
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, 1.76
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, Introduction
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, Introduction
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, Thuc. 3.36
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.115
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.59
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.36
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (5):
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