After this the various contingents of the army were dismissed to their several cities and Agesilaus also sailed back home. And from that time on the1
Athenians, Boeotians, Argives, and their allies continued the war, making Corinth their base, and the Lacedaemonians and their allies from Sicyon. As the Corinthians, however, saw that their own land was being laid waste and that many of them were being killed because they were continually near the enemy, while the rest of the allies were living in peace themselves and their lands were under cultivation, the most and best of them came to desire peace, and uniting together urged this course upon one another.
But the Argives, Athenians, Boeotians, and2
those among the Corinthians who had received a share of the money from the King, as well as those who had made themselves chiefly responsible for the war, realizing that if they did not put out of the way the people who had turned toward peace, the state would be in danger of going over to the Lacedaemonians again, undertook, under these circumstances, to bring about a general massacre. And in the first place, they devised the most sacrilegious of all schemes; for other people, even if a man is condemned by process of law, do not put him to death during a religious festival; but these men chose the last day of the Euclea,3
because they thought they would catch more people in the market-place, so as to kill them.
Then again, when the signal was given to those who had been told whom they were to4
kill, they drew their swords and struck men down,—one while standing in a social group, another while sitting in his seat, still another in the theatre, and another even while he was sitting as judge in a dramatic contest. Now when the situation became known, the better classes immediately fled, in part to the statues of the gods in the market-place, in part to the altars; then the conspirators, utterly sacrilegious and without so much as a single thought for civilized usage, both those who gave the orders and those who obeyed, kept up the slaughter even at the holy places, so that some even among those who were not victims of the attack, being right-minded men, were dismayed in their hearts at beholding such impiety.
In this way many of the older men were killed; for it was they especially who chanced to be in the market-place; while the younger men, since Pasimelus suspected what was going to happen, had remained quietly in the gymnasium of Craneium. But when they heard the outcry and some had come to them in flight from the massacre, thereupon, rushing up on the slopes of Acrocorinthus,5
they beat off an attack which the Argives and the rest made upon them.
While they were deliberating, however, as to what they should do, the capital fell from a column, although there had been neither earthquake nor wind. Likewise, when they sacrificed, the omens from the victims were such that the seers said it was better to descend from the place. And at first they retired beyond the territory of Corinth with the intention of going into exile; but when their friends and mothers and sisters kept coming to them and trying to dissuade them, and,6
further, some of the very men who were in power promised under oath that they should suffer no harm, under these circumstances some of them returned home.
They saw, however, that those who were in power were ruling like tyrants, and perceived that their state was being put out of existence, inasmuch as boundary stones had been removed and their fatherland was called Argos instead of Corinth; and, while they were compelled to share in the rights of citizenship at Argos, for which they had no desire, they had less influence in their state than aliens. Some of them, accordingly, came to the belief that life under such conditions was not endurable; but if they endeavoured to make their fatherland Corinth again, even as it had been from the beginning, and to make it free, and not only pure of the stain of the murderers, but blest with an orderly government, they thought it a worthy deed, if they could accomplish these things, to become saviours of their fatherland, but if they could not do so, to meet a most praiseworthy death in striving after the fairest and greatest blessings.
Accordingly two men, Pasimelus and Alcimenes, undertook by wading through a torrent to effect a meeting with Praxitas, the Lacedaemonian polemarch, who chanced to be on garrison duty with his regiment at Sicyon, and told him that they could give him entrance to the walls which reached down to Lechaeum.7
And Praxitas, since even before this he had known the two men to be trustworthy, trusted them, and after arranging that the regiment which was about to depart from Sicyon should also remain, made plans for his entrance.
And when the two men, partly by8
accident and partly by contrivance, had been made sentinels at the very gate where the trophy stands, then Praxitas came with his regiment, the Sicyonians, and all the Corinthians who chanced to be exiles. But when he was at the gate, being afraid to make the entry, he wished to send in one of his trusted men to examine the situation inside. Then the two Corinthians led him in and showed him everything in so straightforward a manner that the man who went in reported that all was truly just as they said. Thereupon Praxitas entered.
The walls, however, are a long distance from each other; his troops, in consequence, when they formed in line for battle, thought themselves to be few in number, and therefore made a stockade and as good a trench as they could in front of them, to protect them until their allies should come to their aid. Besides, there was a garrison of Thebans in their rear, at the port.
Now the day after the night on which they entered they passed without a battle; but on the following day came the Argives, hurrying with all speed to the rescue; and finding the Lacedaemonians stationed on the right of their own line, the Sicyonians next to them, and the Corinthian exiles, about one hundred and fifty in number, by the eastern wall, the enemy formed in line against them with the mercenaries under Iphicrates close to the eastern wall, and next to them the Argives; while the Corinthians from the city occupied their left wing.
Then the Argives, filled with overweening confidence on account of their numbers, advanced at once; and they defeated the Sicyonians, and breaking through the stockade pursued them to the sea and there killed many of them. But Pasimachus, the Lacedaemonian9
commander of horse, at the head of a few horsemen, when he saw the Sicyonians hard pressed, tied his horses to trees, took from the Sicyonians their shields, and advanced with a volunteer force against the Argives. The Argives, however, seeing the Sigmas upon the shields, did not fear these opponents at all, thinking that they were Sicyonians. Then, as the story goes, Pasimachus said: “By the twin gods,10
Argives, these Sigmas will deceive you,” and came to close quarters with them; and fighting thus with a few against many he was slain, and likewise others of his party
Meanwhile the Corinthian exiles, being victorious over the troops opposed to them, pushed their way through in the inland direction and got near the wall which surrounded the city. As for the Lacedaemonians, when they perceived that the forces opposed to the Sicyonians were victorious, they issued forth from the stockade and went to the rescue, keeping the stockade on their left. But when the Argives heard that the Lacedaemonians were in their rear, they turned around and burst out of the stockade again on the run. And those upon their extreme right were struck on their unprotected sides by the Lacedaemonians and killed, but those who were near the wall, crowded together in a disorderly mass, continued their retreat towards the city. When, however, they came upon the Corinthian exiles and discovered that they were enemies, they turned back again. Thereupon some of them, climbing up by the steps to the top of the wall, jumped down on the other side and were killed, others perished around the steps, being shoved and struck by the enemy, and still others11
were trodden under foot by one another and suffocated.
And the Lacedaemonians were in no uncertainty about whom they should kill; for then at least heaven granted them an achievement such as they could never even have prayed for. For to have a crowd of enemies delivered into their hands, frightened, panic-stricken, presenting their unprotected sides, no one rallying to his own defence, but all rendering all possible assistance toward their own destruction,—how could one help regarding this as a gift from heaven? On that day, at all events, so many fell within a short time that men accustomed to see heaps of corn, wood, or stones, beheld then heaps of dead bodies. Furthermore, the Boeotians of the garrison in the port were also killed, some upon the walls, and others after they had climbed up on the roofs of the ship-houses.
After this the Corinthians and Argives carried of their dead under a truce, and the allies of the Lacedaemonians came to their aid. And when they were gathered together, in the first place Praxitas decided to tear down a portion of the walls12
so as to make a passage through wide enough for an army, and secondly, putting himself at the head of his army, he advanced by the road to Megara and captured by storm, first Sidus and then Crommyon. And after stationing garrisons in these strongholds he marched back again; then he fortified Epieiceia, in order that it might serve as an outpost to protect the territory of his allies,13
and then disbanded his army and himself withdrew by the road to Lacedaemon.
From this time on large armies of citizens were no14
longer employed on either side, for the states merely sent out garrisons, the one party to Corinth, the other to Sicyon, and guarded the walls of these cities. Each side, however, had mercenaries, and with these prosecuted the war vigorously.
It was at this time also that Iphicrates invaded the territory of Phlius, set an ambush, meanwhile plundering with a few followers, and when the men from the city came out against him in an unguarded way, killed so many of them that the Phliasians, although before this they had refused to receive the Lacedaemonians within their wall, from fear that the latter would bring back to the city the people who said that they were in exile on account of their Lacedaemonian sympathies, were then seized with such panic fear of the men from Corinth that they sent for the Lacedaemonians and put the city and the citadel in their hands to guard. And the Lacedaemonians, although they were well minded toward the exiles, during all the time that they held their city made not so much as the least mention of a restoration of exiles, but when the city seemed to have recovered its courage, they departed, after giving over to the Phliasians both their city and their laws unchanged, precisely as they were when they took the city in charge.
Again, Iphicrates and his troops invaded many districts of Arcadia also, where they plundered and made attacks upon the walled towns; for the hoplites of the Arcadians did not come out from their walls at all to meet them; such fear they had conceived of the peltasts. But the peltasts in their turn were so afraid of the Lacedaemonians that they did not approach within a javelin's cast of the hoplites; for it had once happened that the younger15
men among the Lacedaemonians, pursuing even from so great a distance as that, overtook and killed some of them.
But while the Lacedaemonians felt contempt for the peltasts, they felt even greater contempt for their own allies; for once, when the Mantineans went out against peltasts who had sallied forth from the wall that extends to Lechaeum, they had given way under the javelins of the peltasts and some of them had been killed as they fled; so that the Lacedaemonians were even so unkind as to make game of their allies, saying that they feared the peltasts just as children fear hobgoblins. As for themselves, setting out from Lechaeum as a base with one regiment and the Corinthian exiles, they made expeditions all round about the city of the Corinthians;
but the Athenians, on the other hand, fearing the power of the Lacedaemonians and thinking that they might come against them, now that the long walls of the Corinthians had been destroyed, decided that it was best to rebuild the walls destroyed by Praxitas. So they came with their full force, accompanied by masons and carpenters, and completed within a few days the wall toward Sicyon and the west, making a very excellent wall of it, and then went on to build the eastern wall in more leisurely fashion.
The Lacedaemonians on their side, considering that the Argives were enjoying the fruits of their lands at home and taking pleasure in the war, made an expedition against them. Agesilaus was in command, and after laying waste all their territory he proceeded straight from there across the mountains by way of Tenea to Corinth and captured the walls that had been rebuilt by the Athenians. And his16
brother Teleutias also came to his support by sea, with about twelve triremes; so that their mother was deemed happy in that on the same day one of the sons whom she bore captured by land the walls of the enemy and the other by sea his ships and dock-yards. And at that time, after accomplishing these things, Agesilaus disbanded the army of the allies and led his citizen force back home.