But now, on joining Tachos, who was making preparations for his expedition, he was not, as he expected, appointed commander of all the forces, but only of the mercenaries, while Chabrias the Athenian had charge of the fleet, and Tachos himself was commander-in-chief
This was the first thing that vexed Agesilaüs; then, though he was indignant at the vain pretensions of the king in other matters, he was compelled to endure them. He even sailed with him against the Phoenicians, forcing himself into a subservience which was beneath his dignity and contrary to his nature, until he found his opportunity.
For Nectanabis, who was a cousin of Tachos and had a part of the forces under his command, revolted from him, and having been proclaimed king by the Egyptians, sent to Agesilaüs asking for his aid and assistance. He made the same appeal to Chabrias also, promising large gifts to both.
When Tachos learned of this and resorted to entreaties for their allegiance, Chabrias tried to persuade and encourage Agesilaüs to continue with him in the friendship of Tachos. But Agesilaüs said:
‘You, Chabrias, who came here on your own account, can decide your own case; but I was given by my country to the Egyptians as a general. It would therefore be dishonourable for me to make war on those to whom I was sent as an ally, unless my country gives me a new command to do so.’
After these words, he sent men to Sparta who were to denounce Tachos, and commend Nectanabis. Tachos and Nectanabis also sent and besought the support of the Lacedaemonians, the former on the ground that he had long been their ally and friend, the latter on the plea that he would be well disposed to their city and more eager to promote her interests. The Lacedaemonians, accordingly, after hearing the messengers, made public answer to the Egyptians that Agesilaüs would attend to these matters; but to Agesilaüs they wrote privately bidding him see to it that the interests of Sparta should not suffer.
So Agesilaüs took his mercenaries and went over from Tachos to Nectanabis, making the interests of his country serve as a veil for a strange and unnatural proceeding, since when this pretext was removed, the most fitting name for his act was treachery.
But the Lacedaemonians assign the chief place in their ideas of honour to the interests of their country, and neither learn nor understand any other justice than that which they think will enhance the glory of Sparta.