Well, then, Cyrus summoned Lysander to Sardis, and gave him this, and promised him that, ardently protesting, to gratify him, that he would actually squander his own fortune, if his father gave him nothing for the Spartans; and if all else failed, he said he would cut up the throne on which he sat when giving audience, a throne covered with gold and silver.
And finally, as he was going up into Media to wait upon his father, he assigned to Lysander the tribute of the cities, and entrusted his own government to him; and embracing him in farewell, and begging him not to fight the Athenians at sea until he was come back, and promising to come back with many ships from Phoenicia and Cilicia, he set out to go up to the King.1
Then Lysander, who could neither fight a naval battle on equal terms, nor remain idle with the large fleet at his disposal, put out to sea and reduced some of the islands, and touching at Aegina and Salamis, overran them.
Then he landed in Attica and saluted Agis, who came down in person from Deceleia2
to meet him, and displayed to the land forces there the strength of his fleet, with the mien of one who sailed where he pleased and was master of the sea. But on learning that the Athenians were pursuing him, he fled by another route through the islands to Asia.
Finding the Hellespont unguarded, he himself attacked Lampsacus from the sea with his ships, while Thorax, cooperating with the land forces, assaulted the walls. He took the city by storm, and gave it up to his soldiers to plunder.3
Meanwhile the Athenian fleet of a hundred and eighty triremes had just arrived at Elaeus in the Chersonese, and learning that Lampsacus had fallen, they straightway put in at Sestos.
There they took in provisions, and then sailed along to Aegospotami, over against their enemies, who were still in station at Lampsacus. The Athenians were under the command of several generals, among whom was Philocles, the man who had recently persuaded the people to pass a decree that their prisoners of war should have the right thumb cut off that they might not be able to wield a spear, though they might ply an oar.4