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Since the enemy refused to accept battle at sea and famine gripped the army, Philocles, who held the command on that day, ordered the other captains to man their triremes and follow him, while he with thirty triremes which were ready set out in advance. [2] Lysander, who had learned of this from some deserters, set out to sea with all his ships, and putting Philocles to flight, pursued him toward the other ships.1 [3] The triremes of the Athenians had not yet been manned and confusion pervaded them all because of the unexpected appearance of the enemy. [4] And when Lysander perceived the tumult among the enemy, he speedily put ashore Eteonicus and the troops who were practised in fighting on land. Eteonicus, quickly turning to his account the opportunity of the moment, seized a part of the camp, while Lysander himself, sailing up with all his triremes in trim for battle, after throwing iron hands on the ships which were moored along the shore began dragging them off. [5] The Athenians, panic-stricken at the unexpected move, since they neither had respite for putting out to sea with their ships nor were able to fight it out by land, held out for a short while and then gave way, and at once, some deserting the ships, others the camp, they took to flight in whatever direction each man hoped to find safety. [6] Of the triremes only ten escaped. Conon the general, who had one of them, gave up any thought of returning to Athens, fearing the wrath of the people, but sought safety with Evagoras, who was in control of Cyprus and with whom he had relations of friendship; and of the soldiers the majority fled by land to Sestus2 and found safety there. [7] The rest of the ships Lysander captured, and taking prisoner Philocles the general, he took him to Lampsacus and had him executed.

After this Lysander dispatched messengers by the swiftest tireme to Lacedaemon to carry news of the victory, first decking the vessel out with the most costly arms and booty. [8] After this, advancing against the Athenians who had found refuge in Sestus, he took the city but let the Athenians depart under a truce. Then he sailed at once to Samos with his troops and himself began the siege of the city, but Gylippus, who with a flotilla had fought in aid of the Syracusans in Sicily,3 he dispatched to Sparta to take there both the booty and with it fifteen hundred talents of silver. [9] The money was in small bags, each of which contained a skytale4 which carried the notation of the amount of the money. Gylippus, not knowing of the skytale, secretly undid the bags and took out three hundred talents, and when, by means of the notation, Gylippus was detected by the ephors, he fled the country and was condemned to death. [10] Similarly it happens that Clearchus5 also, the father of Gylippus, fled the country at an earlier time, when he was believed to have accepted a bribe from Pericles not to make the planned raid into Attica, and was condemned to death, spending his life as an exile in Thurii in Italy. And so these men, who in all other affairs were looked upon as individuals of ability, by such conduct brought shame upon the rest of their lives.

1 This account of the battle differs radically from that in Xen. Hell. 2.1.27-28, which is more credible.

2 Some eight miles down the Hellespont from Aegospotami.

3 Cp. chaps. 7; 8; 28 ff.

4 The σκυτάλη was a staff used for writing in code. The Lacedaemonians had two round staves of identical size, the one kept at Sparta, the other in possession of commanders abroad. A strip of paper was rolled slantwise around the staff and the dispatch written lengthwise on it; when unrolled the dispatch was unintelligible, but rolled slantwise round the commander's skytale it could be read. Even if Gylippus had found the dispatch he could not have read it.

5 Called Cleandridas by Thucydides (Thuc. 6.93.2).

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