Soon afterwards envoys from Elis likewise arrived at Corinth, who, first of all making an1
alliance with the Corinthians, went on to Argos, and became allies of the Argives in the manner prescribed. Now the Eleans had a quarrel with the Lacedaemonians about the town of Lepreum.
A war had arisen between the Lepreans and certain Arcadian tribes, and the Eleans having been called in by the Lepreans came to assist them, on condition of receiving half their territory. When they had brought the war to a successful end the Eleans allowed the inhabitants of Lepreum to cultivate the land themselves, paying a rent of a talent to Olympian Zeus.
Until the Peloponnesian war they had paid the talent, but taking advantage of the war they ceased to pay, and the Eleans tried to compel them. The Lepreans then had recourse to the Lacedaemonians, who undertook to arbitrate. The Eleans suspected that they would not have fair play at their hands; they therefore disregarded the arbitration and ravaged the Leprean territory.
Nevertheless the Lacedaemonians went on with the case and decided that Lepreum was an independent state, and that the Eleans were in the wrong. As their award was rejected by the Eleans, they sent a garrison of hoplites to Lepreum.
The Eleans, considering that the Lacedaemonians had taken into alliance a city which had seceded from them, appealed to the clause of the agreement which provided that whatever places any of the confederates had held previous to the war with Athens should be retained by them at its conclusion, and acting under a sense of injustice they now seceded to the Argives and, like the rest, entered into the alliance with them in the manner prescribed.
Immediately afterwards the Corinthians and the Chalcidians of Thrace joined; but the Boeotians and the Megarians agreed to refuse2
, and, jealously watched by the Lacedaemonians, stood aloof; for they were well aware that the Lacedaemonian constitution was far more congenial to their own oligarchical form of government than the Argive democracy.