While Hellas was thus in suspense and Athens especially in danger, certain men of that city who were of prominent families and large wealth, but had been impoverished by the war, saw that with their riches all their influence in the city and their reputation had departed, while other men now had the honors and offices. They therefore met together secretly at a certain house in Plataea, and conspired to overthrow the democracy; or, if their plans did not succeed, to injure the general cause and betray it to the Barbarians.
Such was the agitation in the camp, and many had already been corrupted, when Aristides got wind of the matter, and, fearful of the crisis that favoured the plot, determined not to leave the matter in neglect, nor yet to bring it wholly to the light, since it could not be known how many would be implicated by a test which was based on justice rather than expediency. Accordingly, he arrested some eight or so of the many conspirators.
Two of these, against whom the charge was first formally brought, and who were really the most guilty ones, Aeschines of Lamptrae and Agesias of Acharnae, fled the camp. The rest he released, affording thus an opportunity for encouragement and repentance to those who still thought they had escaped detection, and suggested to them that the war was a great tribunal for their acquittal from the charges made against them, provided they took sincere and righteous counsel in behalf of their country.