The enemies of Alcibiades, who had attacked him before he sailed, continued their machinations, and popular feeling was deeply stirred1
against him. The Athenians now thought that they knew the truth about the Hermae, and they were more than ever convinced that the violation of the mysteries which had been laid to his charge was done by him with the same purpose, and was a part of the conspiracy.
It so happened that while the city was in this state of excitement a small Lacedaemonian force proceeded as far as the Isthmus, having something to do in Boeotia. They were supposed to have come, not in the interest of the Boeotians, but by a secret understanding with Alcibiades; and the Athenians really believed that but for their own alacrity in arresting the accused persons the city would have been betrayed. For one whole night the people lay in arms in the temple of Theseus which is within the walls.
About this time too the friends of Alcibiades at Argos were suspected of conspiring against the Argive democracy, and accordingly the Argive hostages who had been deposited in the islands2
were at once given up by the Athenians to the vengeance of the Argive people.
From every quarter suspicion had gathered around Alcibiades, and the Athenian people were determined to have him tried and executed; so they sent the ship Salaminia to Sicily bearing a summons to him and to others against whom information had been given.
He was ordered to follow the officers home and defend himself, but they were told not to arrest him; the Athenians, having regard to their interests in Sicily, were anxious not to cause excitement in their own camp or to attract the attention of the enemy, and above all not to lose the Mantineans and Argives, whom they knew to have been induced by his influence to join in the expedition3
He in his own ship, and those who were accused with him, left Sicily in company with the Salaminia, and sailed for Athens.
When they arrived at Thurii they followed no further, but left the ship and disappeared, fearing to return and stand their trial when the prejudice against them was so violent. The crew of the Salaminia searched for them, but after a time, being unable to find them, gave up the search and went home. Alcibiades, now an exile, crossed not long afterwards in a small vessel from Thurii to Peloponnesus, and the Athenians on his non-appearance sentenced him and his companions to death.