The Lacedaemonians perceived that great excitement prevailed in Peloponnesus, and that1
the Corinthians had inspired it and were themselves on the point of making a treaty with Argos. So they sent envoys to Corinth, desiring to anticipate what might happen. They laid the blame of having instigated the whole movement on the Corinthians, and protested that, if they deserted them and joined the Argives, they would be forsworn; indeed they were already much to blame for not accepting the peace made with Athens, although there was an article in their league which said that what the majority of the allies voted should be binding unless there was some impediment on the part of Gods or heroes.
Now the Corinthians had previously summoned those of the allies who, like themselves, had rejected the treaty: and, replying in their presence, they were unwilling to speak out and state their grievances, of which the chief was that the Lacedaemonians had not recovered for them Sollium2
. But they pretended that they could not betray their allies in Thrace, to whom, when they originally joined in the revolt of Potidaea, they had sworn a separate oath4
, and had afterwards renewed it.
They denied therefore that they were violating the terms of the league by refusing to join in the peace with the Athenians; for, having sworn in the name of the Gods to their allies, they would be violating their oaths if they betrayed them:
the treaty said 'unless there was some impediment on the part of Gods or heroes,' and this did appear to them to be an impediment of that nature. Thus far they pleaded their former oaths;
as to the Argive alliance they would take counsel with their friends, and do whatever was right. So the Lacedaemonians returned home. Now there happened to be at that time Argive envoys present at Corinth who urged the Corinthians to join the alliance without more delay, and the Corinthians told them to come to their next assembly.