There was now an obstinate struggle; the one party determined to force democracy upon1
the city, the other to force oligarchy upon the fleet.
The soldiers proceeded to summon an assembly, at which they deposed their former generals, and any trierarchs whom they suspected, and chose others. Among the new generals Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus naturally found a place. One after another the men rose and encouraged their comrades by various arguments.
'We ought not to despond,' they said, 'because the city has revolted from us, for they are few and we are many; they have lost us and not we them, and our resources are far greater.
Having the whole navy with us we can compel the subject-states to pay us tribute as well as if we sailed forth from the Piraeus; Samos is our own—no weak city, but one which in the Samian war all but wrested from Athens the dominion of the sea; and the position which we hold against our Peloponnesian enemies is as strong as heretofore. And again, with the help of the fleet we are better able to obtain supplies than the Athenians at home. Indeed the only reason why the citizens have so long retained the command of the Piraeus is that we who are stationed at Samos are the advanced guard of the Piraeus itself.
And now if they will not agree to give us back the constitution, it will come to this-that we shall be better able to drive them off the sea than they us. The help which the city gives us against our enemies is poor and worthless;
and we have lost nothing in losing them. They have no longer any money to send' (the soldiers were supplying themselves). 'They cannot aid us by good counsel; and yet for what other reason do states exercise authority over armies? But in this respect too they are useless. They have gone altogether astray, and overthrown the constitution of their country, which we maintain and will endeavour to make the oligarchy maintain likewise. Our advisers in the camp then are at least as good as theirs in the city.
Alcibiades, if we procure his recall and pardon, will be delighted to obtain for us the alliance of the King. And above all, if these hopes fail entirely, yet, while we have our great navy, there are many places of refuge open to us in which we shall find city and lands.'