But to return to the war against the Samians, they accuse Pericles of getting the decree for this passed at the request of Aspasia and in the special behalf of the Milesians. For the two cities were waging their war for the possession of Priene, and the Samians were getting the better of it, and when the Athenians ordered them to stop the contest and submit the case to arbitration at Athens, they would not obey. So Pericles set sail and broke up the oligarchical government which Samos had, and then took fifty of the foremost men of the state, with as many of their children, as hostages, and sent them off to Lemnos.
And yet they say that every one of these hostages offered him a talent on his own account, and that the opponents of democracy in the city offered him many talents besides. And still further, Pissouthnes, the Persian satrap, who had much good-will towards the Samians, sent him ten thousand gold staters and interceded for the city. However, Pericles took none of these bribes, but treated the Samians just as he had determined, set up a democracy and sailed back to Athens.
Then the Samians at once revolted, after Pissouthnes had stolen away their hostages from Lemnos for them, and in other ways equipped them for the war. Once more, therefore, Pericles set sail against them. They were not victims of sloth, nor yet of abject terror, but full of exceeding zeal in their determination to contest the supremacy of the sea. In a fierce sea-fight which came off near an island called Tragia, Pericles won a brilliant victory, with four and forty ships outfighting seventy, twenty of which were infantry transports.