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The Peloponnesian war had now been carried on for a long time, and after their disaster in Sicily1 it was expected that the Athenians would straightway lose their control of the sea, and presently give up the struggle altogether. But Alcibiades, returning from exile and taking the command, wrought a great change, and made his countrymen again a match for their enemies by sea.2 [2] The Lacedaemonians, accordingly, were frightened again, and summoning up fresh zeal for the war, which required, as they thought, an able leader and a more powerful armament, sent out Lysander to take command upon the sea.3 When he came to Ephesus, he found the city well disposed to him and very zealous in the Spartan cause, although it was then in a low state of prosperity and in danger of becoming utterly barbarized by the admixture of Persian customs, since it was enveloped by Lydia, and the King's generals made it their headquarters. [3] He therefore pitched his camp there, and ordered the merchant vessels from every quarter to land their cargoes there, and made preparations for the building of triremes. Thus he revived the traffic of their harbors, and the business of their market, and filled their houses and workshops with profits, so that from that time on, and through his efforts, the city had hopes of achieving the stateliness and grandeur which it now enjoys.

1 413 B.C. Cf. Thuc. 8.2.

2 Cf. Plut. Alc. 32.4

3 In the autumn of 408 B.C.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Plutarch, Alcibiades, 32.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.2
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