While Chalcedon was being walled in from sea to sea,1
Pharnabazus came to raise the siege, and at the same time Hippocrates, the Spartan governor, led his forces out of the city and attacked the Athenians. But Alcibiades arrayed his army so as to face both enemies at once, put Pharnabazus to shameful flight, and slew Hippocrates together with many of his vanquished men.
Then he sailed in person into the Hellespont and levied moneys there. He also captured Selymbria, where he exposed himself beyond all bounds. For there was a party in the city which offered to surrender it to him, and they had agreed with him upon the signal of a lighted torch displayed at midnight. But they were forced to give this signal before the appointed time, through fear of one of the conspirators, who suddenly changed his mind. So the torch was displayed before his army was ready; but Alcibiades took about thirty men and ran to the walls, bidding the rest of his force follow with all speed.
The gate was thrown open for him and he rushed into the city, his thirty men-at-arms reinforced by twenty targeteers, but he saw at once that the Selymbrians were advancing in battle array to attack him. In resistance he saw no safety, and for flight, undefeated as he was in all his campaigns down to that day, he had too much spirit. He therefore bade the trumpet signal silence, and then ordered formal proclamation to be made that Selymbria must not bear arms against Athens.
This proclamation made some of the Selymbrians less eager for battle, if, as they supposed, their enemies were all inside the walls; and others were mollified by hopes of a peaceful settlement. While they were thus parleying with one another, up came the army of Alcibiades. Judging now, as was really the case, that the Selymbrians were disposed for peace, he was afraid that his Thracian soldiers might plunder the city.
There were many of these, and they were zealous in their service, through the favour and good will they bore Alcibiades. Accordingly, he sent them all out of the city, and then, at the plea of the Selymbrians, did their city no injury whatever, but merely took a sum of money from it, set a garrison in it, and went his way.