During the same summer the citizens of Megara were hard pressed by the Athenians, who1
twice every year invaded the country with their whole army2
, as well as by their own exiles in Pegae, who had been driven out by the people in a revolution3
, and were continually harassing and plundering them. So they conferred together upon the advisability of recalling the exiles, lest they should expose the city to destruction from the attacks of two enemies at once.
The friends of the exiles became aware of the agitation and ventured to urge the measure more openly than hitherto.
But the popular leaders, knowing that their partisans were in great extremity and could not be trusted to hold out in support of them much longer, took alarm and entered into negotiation with the Athenian generals, Hippocrates the son of Ariphron, and Demosthenes the son of Alcisthenes. They thought that they would incur less danger by surrendering the city to them than by the restoration of the exiles whom they had themselves expelled. So they agreed that the Athenians should in the first place seize their Long Walls4
, which were a little less than a mile in length and extended from the city to their harbour Nisaea. They wanted to prevent the Peloponnesians interfering from Nisaea, of which they formed the sole garrison, being stationed there to secure Megara. The conspirators were then to try and place in the hands of the Athenians the upper city, which would be more ready to come over when they once had possession of the Long Walls.