When Thrasyllus at Samos heard that he had started from Miletus he sailed away in all haste1
with fifty-five ships, fearing that the enemy might get into the Hellespont before him.
Observing that Mindarus was at Chios, and thinking that he could keep him there, he placed scouts at Lesbos and on the mainland opposite, that he might be informed if the ships made any attempt to sail away. He himself coasted along the island to Methymna and ordered a supply of barley-meal and other provisions, intending, if he were long detained, to make Lesbos his head-quarters while attacking Chios. He wanted also to sail against the Lesbian town of Eresus, which had revolted, and, if possible, to destroy the place.
Now certain of the chief citizens of Methymna who had been driven into exile had conveyed to the island about fifty hoplites, partisans of theirs, from Cymè, besides others whom they hired on the mainland, to the number of three hundred in all. They were commanded by Anaxander, a Theban, who was chosen leader because the Lesbians were of Theban descent2
. They first of all attacked Methymna. In this attempt they were foiled by the timely arrival of the Athenian garrison from Mytilenè, and being a second time repulsed outside the walls, had marched over the mountains and induced Eresus to revolt.
Thither Thrasyllus sailed, having determined to attack them with all his ships. He found that Thrasybulus had already reached the place, having started from Samos with five ships as soon as he heard that the exiles had landed. But he had come too late to prevent the revolt, and was lying off Eresus.
There Thrasyllus was also joined by two ships which were on their way home from the Hellespont, and by a squadron from Methymna. The whole fleet now consisted of sixty-seven ships, from the crews of which the generals formed an army, and prepared by the help of engines and by every possible means to take Eresus.