Upon their return the truce at Pylos instantly came to an end, and the Lacedaemonians demanded back their ships according to the agreement. But the Athenians accused them of making an assault upon the fort, and of some other petty infractions of the treaty which seemed hardly worth mentioning. Accordingly1
they refused to restore them, insisting upon the clause which said that if 'in any particular, however slight,' the agreement were violated, the treaty was to be at an end.
The Lacedaemonians remonstrated, and went away protesting against the injustice of detaining their ships. Both parties then renewed the war at Pylos with the utmost vigour. The Athenians had two triremes sailing round Sphacteria in opposite directions throughout the day, and at night their whole fleet was moored about the island, except on the side towards the sea when the wind was high. Twenty additional ships had come from Athens to assist in the blockade, so that the entire number was seventy. The Peloponnesians lay encamped on the mainland and made assaults upon the fort, watching for any opportunity which might present itself of rescuing their men.