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So, then, Theramenes died; but the Thirty,1 thinking that now they could play the tyrant without fear, issued a proclamation forbidding those who were outside the roll to enter the city and evicted them from their estates, in order that they themselves and their friends might have these people's lands. And when they fled to Piraeus, they drove many of them away from there also, and filled both Megara and Thebes with the refugees. [2]

Presently Thrasybulus set out from Thebes with about seventy companions and seized Phyle, a strong fortress. And the Thirty marched out from the city against him with the Three Thousand and the cavalry, the weather being very fine indeed. When they reached Phyle, some of the young men were so bold as to attack the fortress at once, but they accomplished nothing and suffered some wounds themselves before they retired. [3] And while the Thirty were planning to invest the place, so as to force them to surrender by shutting off their avenues for receiving provisions, a very heavy snow storm came on during the night and continued on the following day. So they came back to the city in the snow, after losing a goodly number of their camp-followers by the attacks of the men in Phyle. [4] Then the Thirty, knowing that the enemy would also gather plunder from the farms if there were no force to protect them, sent out all but a few of the Laconian guardsmen and two divisions of the cavalry to the outlying districts about fifteen stadia from Phyle. These troops made their camp in a bushy spot and proceeded to keep guard. [5] Now by this time about seven hundred men were gathered at Phyle, and during the night Thrasybulus marched down with2 them; and about three or four stadia from the guardsmen he had his troops ground their arms and keep quiet. [6] Then when it was drawing towards day and the enemy were already getting up and going away from their camp whithersoever each one had to go, and the grooms were keeping up a hubbub as they curried their horses, at this moment Thrasybulus and his men picked up their arms and charged on the run. They struck down some of the enemy and turned them all to flight, pursuing them for six or seven stadia; and they killed more than one hundred and twenty of the hoplites, and among the cavalry Nicostratus, nicknamed “the beautiful,” and two more besides, catching them while still in their beds. [7] Then after returning from the pursuit and erecting a trophy and packing up all the arms and baggage they had captured, they went back to Phyle. And when the cavalry from the city came to the rescue, there were none of the enemy left to be seen; so after waiting until their relatives had taken up the bodies of the dead, they returned to the city. [8]

After this the Thirty, deeming their government no longer secure, formed a plan to appropriate Eleusis, so as to have a place of refuge if it should prove necessary. Accordingly Critias and the rest of the Thirty, having issued orders to the cavalry to accompany them, went to Eleusis. There they held a review of the townspeople under guard of the cavalry, pretending that they wanted to know how numerous they were and how large an additional garrison they would require, and then ordered them all to register; and each man when he had registered had to pass out by the gate in the town wall in the direction of the3 sea. Meanwhile they had stationed the cavalry on the shore on either side of the gate, and as each man passed out their servants bound him fast. And when all had thus been seized, they ordered Lysimachus, the cavalry commander, to take them to Athens and turn them over to the Eleven. [9] On the following day they summoned to the Odeum4 the hoplites who were on the roll and the cavalry also. Then Critias rose and said: “We, gentlemen,” said he, “are establishing this government no less for you than for ourselves. Therefore, even as you will share in honours, so also you must share in the dangers. Therefore you must vote condemnation of the Eleusinians who have been seized, that you may have the same hopes and fears as we.” Then he showed them a place and bade them cast their ballots therein, in plain sight of everybody. [10] Now the Laconian guardsmen were in one half of the Odeum, fully armed; and these proceedings were pleasing also to such of the citizens as cared only for their own advantage.

Soon after this Thrasybulus took the men of Phyle, who had now gathered to the number of about one thousand, and came by night to Piraeus. When the Thirty learned of this, they at once set out against him, with the Laconian guardsmen and their own cavalry and hoplites; then they advanced along the carriage road which leads up to Piraeus. [11] And for a time the men from Phyle tried to prevent their coming up, but when they saw that the line of the town wall, extensive as it was, needed a large force for its defence, whereas they were not yet numerous, they gathered in a compact body on the hill of5 Munichia.6 And the men from the city, when they came to the market-place of Hippodamus,7 first formed themselves in line of battle, so that they filled the road which leads to the temple of Artemis of Munichia and the sanctuary of Bendis; and they made a line not less than fifty shields in depth; then, in this formation, they advanced up the hill. [12] As for the men from Phyle, they too filled the road, but they made a line not more than ten hoplites in depth. Behind the hoplites, however, were stationed peltasts and light javelin-men, and behind them the stone-throwers. And of these there were many, for they came from that neighbourhood.

And now, while the enemy were advancing, Thrasybulus ordered his men to ground their shields and did the same himself, though still keeping the rest of his arms, and then took his stand in the midst of them and spoke as follows: [13] “Fellow-citizens, I wish to inform some of you and to remind others that those who form the right wing of the approaching force are the very men whom you turned to flight and pursued four days ago, but the men upon the extreme left—they, yes they, are the Thirty, who robbed us of our city when we were guilty of no wrong, and drove us from our homes, and proscribed those who were dearest to us. But now, behold, they have found themselves in a situation in which they never expected to be, but we always prayed that they might be. [14] For with arms in our hands we stand face to face with them; and the gods, because once we were seized while dining or sleeping or8 trading, because some of us also were banished when we were not only guilty of no offence, but were not even in the city, are now manifestly fighting on our side. For in fair weather they send a storm, when it is to our advantage, and when we attack, they grant us, though we are few in number and our enemies are many, to set up trophies of victory; [15] and now in like manner they have brought us to a place where the men before you, because they are marching up hill, cannot throw either spears or javelins over the heads of those in front of them, while we, throwing both spears and javelins and stones down hill, shall reach them and strike down many. [16] And though one would have supposed that we should have to fight with their front ranks at least on even terms, yet in fact, if you let fly your missiles with a will, as you should, no one will miss his man when the road is full of them, and they in their efforts to protect themselves will be continually skulking under their shields. You will therefore be able, just as if they were blind men, to strike them wherever you please and then leap upon them and overthrow them. [17] And now, comrades, we must so act that each man shall feel in his breast that he is chiefly responsible for the victory. For victory, God willing, will now give back to us country and homes, freedom and honours, children, to such as have them, and wives. Happy, indeed, are those of us who shall win the victory and live to behold the gladdest day of all! And happy also he who is slain; for no one, however rich he may be, will gain a monument so glorious. Now, when the right moment comes, I will strike up the paean; and when we call Enyalius9 to our aid, then let us all, moved by one spirit, take10 vengeance upon these men for the outrages we have suffered.” [18]

After saying these words and turning about to face the enemy, he kept quiet; for the seer bade them not to attack until one of their own number was either killed or wounded. “But as soon as that happens,” he said, “we shall lead on, and to you who follow will come victory, but death, methinks, to me.” [19] And his saying did not prove false, for when they had taken up their shields, he, as though led on by a kind of fate, leaped forth first of all, fell upon the enemy, and was slain, and he lies buried at the ford of the Cephisus; but the others were victorious, and pursued the enemy as far as the level ground. In this battle fell two of the Thirty, Critias and Hippomachus, one of the Ten who ruled in Piraeus, Charmides, the son of Glaucon, and about seventy of the others. And the victors took possession of their arms, but they did not strip off the tunic11 of any citizen. When this had been done and while they were giving back the bodies of the dead, many on either side mingled and talked with one another. [20] And Cleocritus, the herald of the initiated,12 a man with a very fine voice, obtained silence and said: “Fellow citizens, why do you drive us out of the city? why do you wish to kill us? For we never did you any harm, but we have shared with you in the most solemn rites and sacrifices and the most splendid festivals, we have been companions in the dance and schoolmates and comrades in arms, and we have braved many dangers with you both by land and by sea in defense of the13 common safety and freedom of us both. [21] In the name of the gods of our fathers and mothers, in the name of our ties of kinship and marriage and comradeship,—for all these many of us share with one another,—cease, out of shame before gods and men, to sin against your fatherland, and do not obey those most accursed Thirty, who for the sake of their private gain have killed in eight months more Athenians, almost, than all the Peloponnesians in ten years of war. [22] And when we might live in peace as fellow citizens, these men bring upon us war with one another, a war most utterly shameful and intolerable, utterly unholy and hated by both gods and men. Yet for all that, be well assured that for some of those now slain by our hands not only you, but we also, have wept bitterly.”

Thus he spoke; but the surviving officials of the oligarchy, partly because their followers were hearing such things, led them back to the city. [23] On the following day the Thirty, utterly dejected and with but few adherents left, held their session in the council-chamber; and as for the Three Thousand, wherever their several detachments were stationed, everywhere they began to quarrel with one another. For all those who had done any act of especial violence and were therefore fearful, urged strenuously that they ought not to yield to the men in Piraeus; while those who were confident that they had done no wrong, argued in their own minds and set forth to the others that there was no need of their suffering these evils, and they said that they ought not to obey the Thirty or allow them to ruin the state. In the end they voted to depose the Thirty and choose others. And they chose ten, one from14 each tribe. [24]

The Thirty thereupon retired to Eleusis; and the15 Ten, with the aid of the cavalry commanders, took care of the men in the city, who were in a state of great disquiet and distrust of one another. In fact, even the cavalry did guard duty by night, being quartered in the Odeum and keeping with them both their horses and their shields16; and such was the suspicion that prevailed, that they patrolled along the walls17 from evening onwards with their shields, and toward dawn with their horses, fearing continually that they might be attacked by parties of men from Piraeus. [25] The latter, who were now numerous and included all sorts of people, were engaged in making shields, some of wood, others of wicker-work, and in painting them. And having given pledges that whoever fought with them should be accorded equality in taxation18 with citizens even if they were foreigners, they marched forth before ten days had passed, a large body of hoplites with numerous light troops; they also got together about seventy horsemen; and they made forays and collected wood and produce, and then came back to spend the night in Piraeus. [26] As for the men in the city, none of them went forth from the walls under arms except the cavalry, who sometimes captured foraging parties made up of the men from Piraeus and inflicted losses upon their main body. They also fell in with some people of Aexone who were going to their own farms after provisions;19 and Lysimachus, the cavalry commander, put these men to the sword, although they pleaded earnestly and many of the cavalrymen were much opposed to the proceeding. [27] In retaliation, the men in Piraeus killed one of the cavalrymen, Callistratus, of the tribe of Leontis, having captured him in the country. For by this time they were very confident, so that they even made attacks upon the wall of the city. And perhaps it is proper to mention also the following device of the engineer in the city: when he learned that the enemy were intending to bring up their siege-engines by the race-course which leads from the Lyceum, he ordered all his teams to haul stones each large enough to load a wagon and drop them at whatever spot in the course each driver pleased. When this had been done, each single one of the stones caused the enemy a great deal of trouble. [28]

And now, when the Thirty in Eleusis sent ambassadors to Lacedaemon, and likewise those in the city who were on the roll, and asked for aid on the plea that the commons had revolted from the Lacedaemonians, Lysander, calculating that it was possible to blockade the men in Piraeus both by land and by sea and to force them to a quick surrender if they were cut off from provisions, lent his assistance to the ambassadors, with the result that a hundred talents was loaned to the Athenian oligarchs and that Lysander himself was sent out as governor on land and his brother Libys as admiral of the fleet. [29] Accordingly, Lysander proceeded to Eleusis and busied himself with gathering a large force of Peloponnesian hoplites; meanwhile the admiral kept guard on the sea, to prevent any supplies from coming in by water to the besieged; so that the men in Piraeus20 were soon in difficulties again, while the men in the city again had their turn of being confident, in reliance upon Lysander. While matters were proceeding in this way, Pausanias the king, seized with envy of Lysander because, by accomplishing this project, he would not only win fame but also make Athens his own, persuaded three of the five ephors and led forth a Lacedaemonian army. [30] And all the allies likewise followed with him, excepting the Boeotians and the Corinthians; and the plea of these was that they did not think they would be true to their oaths if they took the field against the Athenians when the latter were doing nothing in violation of the treaty; in fact, however, they acted as they did because they supposed that the Lacedaemonians wanted to make the territory of the Athenians their own sure possession.

So Pausanias encamped on the plain which is called Halipedum, near Piraeus, himself commanding the right wing, while Lysander and his mercenaries formed the left. [31] Then, sending ambassadors to the men in Piraeus, Pausanias bade them disperse to their homes; and when they refused to obey, he attacked them, at least so far as to raise the war-cry, in order that it might not be evident that he felt kindly toward them. And when he had retired without accomplishing anything by his attack, on the next day he took two regiments of the Lacedaemonians and three tribes of the Athenian cavalry and proceeded along the shore to the Still Harbour,21 looking to see where Piraeus could best be shut off by a wall. [32] As he was returning, some of the enemy attacked him and caused him trouble, whereupon, becoming22 angry, he ordered the cavalry to charge upon them at full speed, and the infantrymen within ten years of military age23 to follow the cavalry; while he himself with the rest of his troops came along in the rear. And they killed nearly thirty of the enemy's light troops and pursued the rest to the theatre in Piraeus. [33] There, as it chanced, the whole body of the light troops and likewise the hoplites of the men in Piraeus were arming themselves. And the light troops, rushing forth at once, set to throwing javelins, hurling stones, shooting arrows, and discharging slings; then the Lacedaemonians, since many of them were being wounded and they were hard pressed, gave ground, though still facing the enemy; and at this the latter attacked much more vigorously. In this attack Chaeron and Thibrachus, both of them polemarchs,24 were slain, and Lacrates, the Olympic victor, and other Lacedaemonians who lie buried before the gates of Athens in the Cerameicus. [34] Now Thrasybulus and the rest of his troops—that is, the hoplites—when they saw the situation, came running to lend aid, and quickly formed in line, eight deep, in front of their comrades. And Pausanias, being hard pressed and retreating about four or five stadia to a hill, sent orders to the Lacedaemonians and to the allies to join him. There he formed an extremely deep phalanx and led the charge against the Athenians. The Athenians did indeed accept battle at close quarters; but in the end some of them were pushed into the mire of the marsh of Halae and others gave way; and about one hundred and fifty of them were25 slain. [35]

Thereupon Pausanias set up a trophy and returned to his camp; and despite what had happened he was not angry with them, but sent secretly and instructed the men in Piraeus to send ambassadors to him and the ephors who were with him, telling them also what proposals these ambassadors should offer; and they obeyed him. He also set about dividing the men in the city, and gave directions that as many of them as possible should gather together and come to him and the ephors and say that they had no desire to be waging war with the men in Piraeus, but rather to be reconciled with them and in common with them to be friends of the Lacedaemonians. [36] Now Naucleidas also, who was an ephor, was pleased to hear this. For, as it is customary for two of the ephors to be with a king on a campaign, so in this instance Naucleidas and one other were present, and both of them held to the policy of Pausanias rather than to that of Lysander. For this reason they eagerly sent to Lacedaemon both the envoys from Piraeus, having the proposals for peace with the Lacedaemonians, and the envoys from the city party as private individuals, namely, Cephisophon and Meletus. [37] When, however, these men had departed for Lacedaemon, the authorities in the city also proceeded to send ambassadors, with the message that they surrendered both the walls which they possessed and themselves to the Lacedaemonians, to do with them as they wished; and they said they counted it only fair that the men in Piraeus, if they claimed to be friends of the Lacedaemonians, should in like manner surrender Piraeus and Munichia. [38] When the ephors and the members of the Lacedaemonian assembly had heard all the26 ambassadors, they dispatched fifteen men to Athens and commissioned them, in conjunction with Pausanias, to effect a reconciliation in the best way they could. And they effected a reconciliation on these terms, that the two parties should be at peace with one another and that every man should depart to his home except the members of the Thirty, and of the Eleven, and of the Ten who had ruled in Piraeus. They also decided that if any of the men in the city were afraid, they should settle at Eleusis. [39]

When these things had been accomplished, Pausanias disbanded his army and the men from Piraeus went up to the Acropolis under arms and offered sacrifice to Athena. When they had come down, the generals convened an Assembly. There Thrasybulus spoke as follows: [40] “I advise you,” he said, “men of the city, to `know yourselves.' And you would best learn to know yourselves were you to consider what grounds you have for arrogance, that you should undertake to rule over us. Are you more just? But the commons, though poorer than you, never did you any wrong for the sake of money; while you, though richer than any of them, have done many disgraceful things for the sake of gain. But since you can lay no claim to justice, consider then whether it is courage that you have a right to pride yourselves upon. [41] And what better test could there be of this than the way we made war upon one another? Well then, would you say that you are superior in intelligence, you who having a wall, arms, money, and the Peloponnesians as allies, have been worsted by men who had none of these? Is it the Lacedaemonians, then, think27 you, that you may pride yourselves upon? How so? Why, they have delivered you up to this outraged populace, just as men fasten a clog upon the necks of snapping dogs and deliver them up to keepers, and now have gone away and left you. [42] Nevertheless, my comrades, I am not the man to ask you to violate any one of the pledges to which you have sworn, but I ask you rather to show this virtue also, in addition to your other virtues,—that you are true to your oaths and are god-fearing men.” When he had said this and more to the same effect, and had told them that there was no need of their being disturbed, but that they had only to live under the laws that had previously been in force, he dismissed the Assembly. [43]

So at that time they appointed their magistrates and proceeded to carry on their government; but at28 a later period, on learning that the men at Eleusis were hiring mercenary troops, they took the field with their whole force against them, put to death their generals when they came for a conference, and then, by sending to the others their friends and kinsmen, persuaded them to become reconciled. And, pledged as they were under oath, that in very truth they would not remember past grievances, the two parties even to this day live together as fellow-citizens and the commons abide by their oaths.

1 404 B.C.

2 404 B.C.

3 404 B.C.

4 A building designed for musical performances. It was just outside the city, to the south-east.

5 404 B.C.

6 On the eastern side of the Piraeus peninsula.

7 The architect of the market-place, as well as of the whole town of Piraeus.

8 404 B.C.

9 i.e. Ares.

10 404 B.C.

11 Worn underneath the breastplate. The victors, then, appropriated the arms and armour of the dead, but not their clothing.

12 i.e. in the Eleusinian mysteries.

13 404 B.C.

14 404 B.C.

15 403 B.C.

16 i.e. in order to serve both as horsemen and as hoplites. See below and cp. note on iii. 48.

17 i.e. outside the walls (see note on Odeum, 9). In their “distrust of one another” (see above) they sought by this means to prevent desertions to Piraeus.

18 A favoured class of resident aliens, the ίσοπελε̂ις, stood upon an equal footing with Athenian citizens in respect to taxes.

19 403 B.C.

20 403 B.C.

21 Apparently the inlet to the west of the main harbour of Piraeus.

22 403 B.C.

23 I.e. the youngest ten year-classes, each year-class including those who reached military age (I.e., the age of 20) in the same year.

24 The title of the commander of a Lacedaemonian regiment.

25 403 B.C.

26 403 B.C.

27 403 B.C.

28 401 B.C.

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  • Cross-references to this page (20):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), AMNE´STIA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), BOIAE
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CLIP´EUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), COLLA´RE
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), DECADU´CHI
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ECCLE´TI
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ENDEIXIS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), E´PHORI
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), EXE´RCITUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FUNDA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), HIPPODAMEIA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), PSEPHUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), TAGUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), THEATRUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ATHE´NAE
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter VI
    • Smith's Bio, Cleo'critus
    • Smith's Bio, Pheidon
    • Smith's Bio, Thrasy Bu'lus
    • Smith's Bio, Thucy'dides
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