When the events of this year had come to an end, Eucleides
was archon in Athens, and in Rome four military tribunes succeeded to the consular magistracy,
Publius Cornelius, Numerius Fabius, and Lucius Valerius.2
After these magistrates had taken office, the Byzantines were
in serious difficulties both because of factional strife and of a war that they were waging
with the neighbouring Thracians; and since they were unable to devise a settlement of their
mutual differences, they asked the Lacedaemonians for a general. The Spartans, accordingly,
sent them Clearchus to bring order to the affairs of the city;
and he, after being entrusted with supreme authority, and having gathered a large body of
mercenaries, was no longer their president but their tyrant. First of all, he invited their
chief magistrates to attend a festival of some kind and put them to death, and after this,
since there was no government in the city, he seized a group of thirty prominent Byzantines,
put a cord about their necks, and strangled them to death. After appropriating for himself the
property of those he had slain, he also picked out the wealthy among the rest of the citizens,
and launching false charges against them, he put some to death and drove others into exile.
Having thus acquired a large amount of money and assembled a great body of mercenaries, he made
his tyrannical power secure.
When the cruelty and power of the tyrant became noised abroad, the Lacedaemonians first of
all dispatched ambassadors to him to prevail upon him to lay down his tyrannical power, but
when he paid no heed to their requests, they sent an army against him under the command of
Clearchus, on learning of his approach,
transferred his army to Selymbria, being master also of this city, for he assumed that after
the many crimes he had committed against the Byzantines, he would have as enemies not only the
Lacedaemonians, but also the inhabitants of the city.
Consequently, having decided that Selymbria would be a safer base for the war, he removed
both his treasure and his army to that place. When he learned that the Lacedaemonians were
close at hand, he advanced to meet them and joined battle with the troops of Panthoedas at the
place called Porus.
The struggle lasted a long while, but the
Lacedaemonians fought splendidly and the forces of the tyrant were destroyed. Clearchus with a
few companions was at first shut up in Selymbria and besieged there, but later he was fearful
and slipped away by night, and crossed over to Ionia, where he became intimate with Cyrus, the
brother of the Persian King, and won command of his troops.
For Cyrus, who had been appointed supreme commander of the satrapies lying on the sea3
and was afire with ambition, was planning to lead an army against his
Observing, therefore, that Clearchus
possessed daring and a prompt boldness, he supplied him with funds and instructed him to enroll
as many mercenaries as he could, believing that he would have in Clearchus an apt partner for
his bold undertakings.