Before the following winter the Ephors under whom the peace was concluded were succeeded1
by others, of whom some were actually opposed to it. During the winter, embassies from the allied states arrived at Sparta, including representatives of Athens, Boeotia, and Corinth. Much was said with no result. As the ambassadors were departing, Cleobulus and Xenares, the Ephors who were most desirous of renewing the war, entered into a private negotiation with the Boeotians and Corinthians, recommending them to unite as closely as possible, and suggesting that the Boeotians should first enter the Argive alliance and then try and make the Argives, as well as themselves, allies of the Lacedaemonians. The Boeotians would thus escape the necessity of accepting the peace with Athens; for the Lacedaemonians would prefer the friendship and alliance of Argos to anything which they might lose by the enmity of Athens and the dissolution of the treaty. The two Ephors knew that a satisfactory alliance with Argos was an object which the Lacedaemonians always had at heart, perceiving as they did that it would enable them to carry on the war beyond the Peloponnesus with greater freedom.
At the same time they entreated the Boeotians to give up Panactum to the Lacedaemonians, in order that they might exchange it for Pylos, and so be in a better position for renewing the war with Athens.