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After Demosthenes had fortified Pylos,1 the Peloponnesians came up against it by land and sea, a battle was fought, and about four hundred Spartans were shut off on the island of Sphacteria. Then the Athenians considered that their capture would be a great achievement, as was true. But the siege was difficult and toilsome, since the region afforded little fresh water. Even in summer the shipping of the necessary supplies round Peloponnesus was a long and expensive process, while in winter it was sure to be perilous if not altogether impossible. The Athenians were therefore in bad humor, and repented them of having repulsed an embassy of the Lacedaemonians which had come to treat with them for a truce and peace.

1 In 425 B.C. The Pylos episode is narrated at great length by Thucydides (;Thuc. 4.2-41).

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