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In the same period Sitalces, the king of the Thracians, had succeeded to the kingship of a small land indeed but nonetheless by his personal courage and wisdom he greatly increased his dominion, equitably governing his subjects, playing the part of a brave soldier in battle and of a skilful general, and furthermore giving close attention to his revenues. In the end he attained to such power that he ruled over more extensive territory than had any who had preceded him on the throne of Thrace. [2] For the coastline of his kingdom began at the territory of the Abderites and stretched as far as the Ister1 River, and for a man going from the sea to the interior the distance was so great that a man on foot travelling light required thirteen days for the journey. Ruling as he did over a territory so extensive he enjoyed annual revenues of more than a thousand talents; [3] and when he was waging war in the period we are discussing he mustered from Thrace more than one hundred and twenty thousand infantry and fifty thousand cavalry. But with respect to this war we must set forth its causes, in order that the discussion of it may be clear to our readers.

Now Sitalces, since he had entered into a treaty of friendship with the Athenians,2 agreed to support them in their war in Thrace; and consequently, since he desired, with the help of the Athenians, to subdue the Chalcidians, he made ready a very considerable army. [4] And since he was at the same time on bad terms with Perdiccas, the king of the Macedonians, he decided to bring back Amyntas, the son of Philip, and place him upon the Macedonian throne.3 It was for these two reasons, therefore, as we have described them, that he was forced to raise an imposing army. When all his preparations for the campaign had been made, he led forth the whole army, marched through Thrace, and invaded Macedonia. [5] The Macedonians, dismayed at the great size of the army, did not dare face him in battle, but they removed both the grain and all the property they could into their most powerful strongholds, in which they remained inactive. [6] The Thracians, after placing Amyntas upon the throne, at the outset made an effort to win over the cities by means of parleys and embassies, but when no one paid any attention to them, they forthwith made an assault on the first stronghold and took it by storm. [7] After this some of the cities and strongholds submitted to them of their own accord through fear. And after plundering all Macedonia and appropriating much booty the Thracians turned against the Greek cities in Chalcidice.

1 Abdera was on the Nestus River facing the Aegean Sea; the Ister is the Danube.

2 In 431 B.C. The war described below opened two years later.

3 Perdiccas had driven his brother Philip from the kingdom, and Philip had taken refuge at the court of Sitalces; cp. Thuc. 2.95.

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