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  • Attica invaded by the Peloponnesians.
  • -- The Mytilenaeans revolt and are received by the Peloponnesians at Olympia into their league. -- The Athenians send Paches to Mytilene to besiege it. -- Part of the besieged Plataeans escape through the fortifications of the enemy. -- The commons of Mytilene, armed by the nobility for a sally on the enemy, deliver the town to the Athenians. -- The residue of the Plataeans yield to the besiegers and are put to the sword. -- The proceedings upon the Mytilenaeans and their punishment. -- The sedition in Corcyra. -- Laches is sent by the Athens into Sicily, and Nicias into Melos. -- Demosthenes fighteth against the Aetolians unfortunately, and afterwards against the Ambraciotes fortunately. -- Pythadorus is sent into Sicily to receive the fleet from Laches. -- This in other three years of this war.

1. The summer following, the Peloponnesians and their confederates, at the time when corn was at the highest, entered with their army into Attica under the conduct of Archidamus, the son of Zeuxidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians, and there set them down and wasted the territory about. [2] And the Athenian horsemen, as they were wont, fell upon the enemy where they thought fit and kept back the multitude of light-armed soldiers from going out before the men of arms and infesting the places near the city. [3] And when they had stayed as long as their victual lasted, they returned and were dissolved according to their cities.

2. After the Peloponnesians were entered Attica, Lesbos immediately, all but Methymne, revolted from the Athenians, which though they would have done before the war and the Lacedaemonians would not then receive them, yet even now they were forced to revolt sooner than they had intended to do. [2] For they stayed to have first straitened the mouth of their haven with dams of earth, to have finished their walls and their galleys then in building, and to have gotten in all that was to come out of Pontus, as archers, and victual, and whatsoever else they had sent for. [3] But the Tenedians, with whom they were at odds, and the Methymnaeans, and of the Mytilenaeans themselves certain particular men upon faction, being hosts to the Athenians, made known unto them that the Lesbians were forced to go all into Mytilene; that by the help of the Lacedaemonians and their kindred, the Boeotians, they hastened all manner of provision necessary for a revolt; and that unless it were presently prevented, all Lesbos would be lost.

3. The Athenians, afflicted with the disease, and with the war now on foot and at the hottest, thought it a dangerous matter that Lesbos, which had a navy and was of strength entire, should thus be added to the rest of their enemies, and at first received not the accusations, holding them therefore the rather feigned because they would not have them true. But after, when they had sent ambassadors to Mytilene and could not persuade them to dissolve themselves and undo their preparation, they then feared the worst and would have prevented them, [2] and to that purpose suddenly sent out the forty galleys made ready for Peloponnesus with Cleippedes and two other commanders. [3] For they had been advertised that there was a holiday of Apollo Maloeis to be kept without the city and that to the celebration thereof the Mytilenaeans were accustomed to come all out of the town; and they hoped, making haste, to take them there unawares. And if the attempt succeeded, it was well; if not, they might command the Mytilenaeans to deliver up their galleys and to demolish their walls; or they might make war against them if they refused. [4] So these galleys went their way. And ten galleys of Mytilene which then chanced to be at Athens, by virtue of their league to aid them, the Athenians stayed and cast into prison the men that were in them. [5] In the meantime a certain man went from Athens into Euboea by sea and then by land to Geraestus and, finding there a ship ready to put off, having the wind favourable, arrived in Mytilene three days after he set forth from Athens and gave them notice of the coming of the fleet. Hereupon they not only went not out to Maloeis, as was expected, but also stopped the gaps of their walls and ports where they were left unfinished and placed guards to defend them.

4. When the Athenians not long after arrived and saw this, the commanders of the fleet delivered to the Mytilenaeans what they had in charge, which not hearkened unto, they presently fell to the war. [2] The Mytilenaeans, unprovided and compelled to a war on such a sudden, put out some few galleys before the haven to fight; but being driven in again by the galleys of Athens, they called to the Athenian commanders to parley, desiring, if they could upon reasonable conditions, to get the galleys for the present sent away. [3] And the Athenian commander allowed the conditions, he also fearing they should be too weak to make war against the whole island. [4]

When a cessation of arms was granted, the Mytilenaeans amongst others sent to Athens one of those that had given intelligence there of their design, and had repented him after of the same, to try if they could persuade them to withdraw their fleet from them as not intending any innovation. [5] Withal they sent ambassadors at the same time to Lacedaemon, undiscovered of the fleet of the Athenians which was riding at anchor in Malea to the north of the city, being without any confidence of their success at Athens. [6] And these men, after an ill voyage through the wide sea, arriving at Lacedaemon, negotiated the sending of aid from thence.

5. But when their ambassadors were come back from Athens without effect, the Mytilenaeans and the rest of Lesbos, save only Methymne (for these, together with the Imbrians, Lemnians, and some few other their confederates, aided the Athenians), prepared themselves for the war. And the Mytilenaeans with the whole strength of the city made a sally upon the Athenian camp and came to a battle; [2] wherein, though the Mytilenaeans had not the worse, yet they lay not that night without the walls nor durst trust to their strength but retiring into the town, lay quiet there, expecting to try their fortune with the accession of such forces as (if any came) they were to have from Peloponnesus. For there were now come into the city one Meleas a Laconian and Hermiondas a Theban, who, having been sent out before the revolt but unable to arrive before the coming of the Athenian fleet, secretly after the end of the battle entered the haven in a galley and persuaded them to send another galley along with them with other ambassadors to Sparta, which they did.

6. But the Athenians, much confirmed by this the Mytilenaeans' cessation, called in their confederates (who, because they saw no assurance on the part of the Lesbians, came much sooner in than was thought they would have done) and, riding at anchor to the south of the city, fortified two camps, on either side one, and brought their galleys before both the ports and so quite excluded the Mytilenaeans from the use of the sea. [2] As for the land, the Athenians held so much only as lay near their camps, which was not much; and the Mytilenaeans and other Lesbians, that were now come to aid them, were masters of the rest. For Malea served the Athenians for a station only for their galleys and to keep their market in. And thus proceeded the war before Mytilene.

7. About the same time of the same summer, the Athenians sent likewise thirty galleys into Peloponnesus under the conduct of Asopius the son of Phormio. For the Acarnanians had desired them to send some son or kinsman of Phormio for general into those parts. [2] These, as they sailed by, wasted the maritime country of Laconia; [3] and then sending back the greatest part of his fleet to Athens, Asopius himself with twelve galleys went on to Naupactus. And afterwards, having raised the whole power of Acarnania, he made war upon the Oeniades and both entered with his galleys into the river of Achelöus and with his land forces wasted the territory. [4] But when the Oeniades would not yield, he disbanded his land forces and sailed with his galleys to Leucas and landed his soldiers on the territory of Neritum, but in going off was by those of the country that came out to defend it and by some few of the garrison soldiers there both himself and part of his company slain. [5] And having upon truce received from the Leucadians their dead bodies, they went their ways.

8. Now the ambassadors of the Mytilenaeans that went out in the first galley, having been referred by the Lacedaemonians to the general meeting of the Grecians at Olympia to the end they might determine of them together with the rest of the confederates, went to Olympia accordingly. It was that Olympiad wherein Dorieus of Rhodes was the second time victor. [2] And when after the solemnity they were set in council, the ambassadors spake unto them in this manner:

9. "Men of Lacedaemon and confederates, we know the received custom of the Grecians. For they that take into league such as revolt in the wars and relinquish a former league, though they like them as long as they have profit by them, yet accounting them but traitors to their former friends, they esteem the worse of them in their judgment. [2] And to say the truth, this judgment is not without good reason when they that revolt and they from whom the revolt is made are mutually like minded and affected, and equal in provision and strength, and no just cause of their revolt given. But now between us and the Athenians it is not so. [3] Nor let any man think the worse of us for that having been honoured by them in time of peace, we have now revolted in time of danger.

10. "For the first point of our speech, especially now we seek to come into league with you, shall be to make good the justice and honesty of our revolt. For we know there can be neither firm friendship between man and man nor any communion between city and city to any purpose whatsoever without a mutual opinion of each other's honesty, and also a similitude of customs otherwise; for in the difference of minds is grounded the diversity of actions. [2]

"As for our league with the Athenians, it was first made when you gave over the Medan war, and they remained to prosecute the relics of that business. [3] Yet we entered not such a league as to be their helpers in bringing the Grecians into the servitude of the Athenians but to set free the Grecians from the servitude of the Medes. [4] And as long as they led us as equals, we followed them with much zeal: but when we saw they remitted their enmity against the Medes and led us to the subjugation of the confederates, we could not then but be afraid. [5] And the confederates, through the multitude of distinct counsels unable to unite themselves for resistance, fell all but ourselves and the Chians into their subjection. And we, having still our own laws and being in name a free state, followed them to the wars; [6] but so, as by the examples of their former actions, we held them not any longer for faithful leaders. For it was not probable when they had subdued those whom together with us they took into league but that, when they should be able, they would do the like also by the rest.

11. "It is true that if we were now in liberty all, we might be the better assured that they would forbear to innovate; but since they have under them the greatest part already, in all likelihood they will take it ill to deal on equal terms with us alone and, the rest yielding, to let us only stand up as their equals. Especially when by how much they are become stronger by the subjection of their confederates, by so much the more are we become desolate. [2] But the equality of mutual fear is the only band of faith in leagues. [3] For he that hath the will to transgress, yet when he hath not the odds of strength, will abstain from coming on. Now the reason why they have left us yet free is no other but that they may have a fair colour to lay upon their domination over the rest and because it hath seemed unto them more expedient to take us in by policy than by force. [4] For therein they made use of us for an argument that having equal vote with them we would never have followed them to the wars if those against whom they led us had not done the injury: [5] and thereby also they brought the stronger against the weaker and, reserving the strongest to the last, made them the weaker by removing the rest. Whereas if they had begun with us, when the confederates had had both their own strength and a side to adhere to, they had never subdued them so easily. [6] Likewise our navy kept them in some fear, lest united and added to yours or to any other, it might have created them some danger. [7] Partly also we escaped by our observance toward their commons and most eminent men from time to time. [8] But yet we still thought we could not do so long, considering the examples they have showed us in the rest, if this war should not have fallen out.

12. "What friendship then or assurance of liberty was this when we received each other with alienated affections: when whilst they had wars, they for fear courted us; and when they had peace, we for fear courted them: and whereas in others good will assureth loyalty, in us it was the effect of fear? So it was more for fear than love that we remained their confederates; and whomsoever security should first embolden, he was first likely by one means or other to break the league. [2] Now if any man think we did unjustly to revolt upon the expectation of evil intended without staying to be certain whether they would do it or not, he weigheth not the matter aright. [3] For if we were as able to contrive evil against them and again to defer it, as they can against us, being thus equal, what needed us to be at their discretion? But seeing it is in their hands to invade at pleasure, it ought to be in ours to anticipate.

13. "Upon these pretensions, therefore, and causes, men of Lacedaemon and confederates, we have revolted, the which are both clear enough for the hearers to judge upon, that we had reason for it, and weighty enough to affright, and compel us to take some course for our own safety, which we would have done before, when before the war we sent ambassadors to you about our revolt, but could not because you would not then admit us into your league. And now when the Boeotians invited us to it, we presently obeyed. Wherein we thought we made a double revolt, one from the Grecians, in ceasing to do them mischief with the Athenians and helping to set them free, and another from the Athenians, in breaking first and not staying to be destroyed by them hereafter. [2] But this revolt of ours hath been sooner than was fit and before we were provided for it. For which cause also the confederates ought so much the sooner to admit us into the league and send us the speedier aid, thereby the better at once both to defend those you ought to defend and to annoy your enemies. [3] Whereof there was never better opportunity than at present. [4] For the Athenians being both with the sickness and their great expenses consumed and their navy divided, part upon your own coasts and part upon ours, it is not likely they should have many galleys to spare in case you again this summer invade them both by sea and land, but that they should either be unable to resist the invasion of your fleet or be forced to come off from both our coasts. [5] And let not any man conceive that you shall herein at your own danger defend the territory of another. For though Lesbos seem remote, the profit of it will be near you. For the war will not be, as a man would think, in Attica but there from whence cometh the profit to Attica. [6] This profit is the revenue they have from the confederates, which, if they subdue us, will still be greater. For neither will any other revolt; and all that is ours will accrue unto them, and we shall be worse handled besides than those that were under them before. [7] But aiding us with diligence, you shall both add to your league a city that hath a great navy, the thing you most stand in need of, and also easily overthrow the Athenians by subduction of their confederates because everyone will then be more confident to come in, and you shall avoid the imputation of not assisting such as revolt unto you. And if it appear that your endeavour is to make them free, your strength in this war will be much the more confirmed.

14. In reverence therefore of the hopes which the Grecians have reposed in you and of the presence of Jupiter Olympius, in whose temple here we are in a manner suppliants to you, receive the Mytilenaeans into league and aid us. And do not cast us off, who (though, as to the exposing of our persons, the danger be our own) shall bring a common profit to all Greece if we prosper and a more common detriment to all the Grecians if, through your inflexibleness, we miscarry. [2] Be you therefore men such as the Grecians esteem you and our fears require you to be.

15. In this manner spake the Mytilenaeans. And the Lacedaemonians and their confederates, when they had heard and allowed their reasons, decreed not only a league with the Lesbians but also again to make an invasion into Attica. And to that purpose the Lacedaemonians appointed their confederates there present to make as much speed as they could with two parts of their forces into the isthmus; and they themselves being first there prepared engines in the isthmus for the drawing up of galleys, with intention to carry the navy from Corinth to the other sea that lieth towards Athens, and to set upon them both by sea and land. [2] And these things diligently did they. But the rest of the confederates assembled but slowly, being busied in the gathering in of their fruits and weary of warfare.

16. The Athenians, perceiving all this preparation to be made upon an opinion of their weakness and desirous to let them see they were deceived as being able, without stirring the fleet at Lesbos, easily to master the fleet that should come against them out of Peloponnesus, manned out a hundred galleys and embarked therein generally, both citizens (except those of the degree of Pentacosiomedimni and Horsemen) and also strangers that dwelt amongst them, and sailing to the isthmus made a show of their strength and landed their soldiers in such parts of Peloponnesus as they thought fit. [2] When the Lacedaemonians saw things so contrary to their expectation, they thought it false which was spoken by the Lesbian ambassadors, and esteeming the action difficult, seeing their confederates were not arrived and that news was brought of the wasting of the territory near their city by the thirty galleys formerly sent about Peloponnesus by the Athenians, went home again, [3] and afterwards prepared to send a fleet to Lesbos, and intimated to the cities rateably to furnish forty galleys, and appointed Alcidas, who was to go thither with them, for admiral. [4] And the Athenians, when they saw the Peloponnesians gone, went likewise home with their hundred galleys.

17. About the time that this fleet was out, they had surely the most galleys (besides the beauty of them) together in action in these employment; yet in the beginning of the war they had both as good and more in number. [2] For a hundred attended the guard of Attica, Euboea, and Salamis; and another hundred were about Peloponnesus, besides those that were at Potidaea and other places, so that in one summer they had in all two hundred and fifty sail. [3] And this, together with Potidaea, was it that most exhausted their treasure. [4] For the men of arms that besieged the city had each of them two drachmes a day, one for himself and another for his man, and were three thousand in number that were sent thither at first and remained to the end of the siege, besides sixteen hundred more that went with Phormio and came away before the town was won. And the galleys had all the same pay. In this manner was their money consumed and so many galleys employed, the most indeed that ever they had manned at once.

18. About the same time that the Lacedaemonians were in the isthmus, the Mytilenaeans marched by land, both they and their auxiliaries, against Methymne in hope to have had it betrayed unto them and, having assaulted the city, when it succeeded not the way they looked for, they went thence to Antissa, Pyrrha, and Eressus; and after they had settled the affairs of those places and made strong their walls returned speedily home. [2] When these were gone, the Methymnaeans likewise made war upon Antissa; but beaten by the Antisaeans and some auxiliaries that were with them, they made haste again to Methymne with the loss of many of their soldiers. [3] But the Athenians being advertised hereof and understanding that the Mytilenaeans were masters of the land and that their own soldiers there were not enough to keep them in, sent thither, about the beginning of autumn, Paches, the son of Epicurus, with a thousand men of arms of their own city, [4] who, supplying the place of rowers themselves, arrived at Mytilene and ingirt it with a single wall, save that in some places, stronger by nature than the rest, they only built turrets and placed guards in them. [5] So that the city was every way strongly besieged, both by sea and land, and the winter began.

19. The Athenians, standing in need of money for the siege, both contributed themselves and sent thither two hundred talents of this their first contribution, and also dispatched Lysicles and four others with twelve galleys to levy money amongst the confederates. [2] But Lysicles, after he had been to and fro and gathered money in divers places, as he was going up from Myus through the plains of Maeander in Caria as far as to the hill Sandius, was set upon there by the Carians and Anaeitans and himself with a great part of his soldiers slain.

20. The same winter the Plataeans (for they were besieged by the Peloponnesians and Boeotians), pressed now with want of victual and hopeless of relief from Athens, and no other means of safety appearing, took counsel, both they and the Athenians that were besieged with them, at first all to go out and, if they could, to pass over the wall of the enemy by force. The authors of this attempt, were Theaenetus the son of Tolmidas, a soothsayer, and Eupompidas the son of Daimachus, one of their commanders. [2] But half of them afterwards, by one means or other, for the greatness of the danger shrunk from it again; but two hundred and twenty or thereabouts voluntarily persisted to go out in this manner. [3] They made them ladders fit for the height of the enemy's wall; the wall they measured by the lays of bricks on the part toward the town where it was not plastered over; and divers men at once numbered the lays of bricks, whereof, though some missed, yet the greatest part took the reckoning just, especially numbering them so often and at no great distance but where they might easily see the part to which their ladders were to be applied, and so by guess of the thickness of one brick took the measure of their ladders. [4]

21. As for the wall of the Peloponnesians, it was thus built. It consisted of a double circle, one towards Plataea and another outward in case of an assault from Athens. These two walls were distant one from the other about sixteen foot; [2] and that sixteen foot of space which was betwixt them was disposed and built into cabins for the watchmen, which was so joined and continued one to another that the whole appeared to be one thick wall with battlements on either side. [3] At every ten battlements stood a great tower of a just breadth to comprehend both walls and reach from the outmost to the inmost front of the whole, so that there was no passage by the side of a tower but through the midst of it. [4] And such nights as there happened any storm of rain, they used to quit the battlements of the wall and to watch under the towers, as being not far asunder and covered beside overhead. Such was the form of the wall wherein the Peloponnesians kept their watch.

22. The Plataeans, after they were ready and had attended a tempestuous night, and withal moonless, went out of the city and were conducted by the same men that were the authors of the attempt. And first they passed the ditch that was about the town and then came up close to the wall of the enemy, who, because it was dark, could not see them coming; and the noise they made as they went could not be heard for the blustering of the wind. [2] And they came on besides at a good distance one from the other, that they might not be betrayed by the clashing of their arms, and were but lightly armed and not shod but on the left foot for the more steadiness in the wet. [3] They came thus to the battlements in one of the spaces between tower and tower, knowing that there was now no watch kept there. And first came they that carried the ladders and placed them to the wall: then twelve lightly armed, only with a dagger and a breastplate, went up, led by Ammeas the son of Coroebus, who was the first that mounted; and they that followed him went up into either tower six. To these succeeded others lightly armed that carried the darts for whom they that came after carried targets at their backs that they might be the more expedite to get up, which targets they were to deliver to them when they came to the enemy. [4] At length, when most of them were ascended, they were heard by the watchmen that were in the towers. [5] For one of the Plataeans taking hold of the battlements threw down a tile which made a noise in the fall. And presently there was an alarm, and the army ran to the wall. For in the dark and stormy night they knew not what the danger was, and the Plataeans that were left in the city came forth withal and assaulted the wall of the Peloponnesians on the opposite side to that where their men went over. [6] So that though they were all in a tumult in their several places, yet not any of them that watched durst stir to the aid of the rest nor were able to conjecture what had happened. [7] But those three hundred that were appointed to assist the watch upon all occasions of need went without the wall and made towards the place of the clamour. [8] They also held up the fires, by which they used to make known the approach of enemies, towards Thebes. But then the Plataeans likewise held out many other fires from the wall of the city, which for that purpose they had before prepared, to render the fires of the enemy insignificant, and that the Thebans, apprehending the matter otherwise than it was, might forbear to send help till their men were over and had recovered some place of safety.

23. In the meantime those Plataeans, which having scaled the wall first and slain the watch were now masters of both the towers, not only guarded the passages by standing themselves in the entries but also, applying ladders from the wall to the towers and conveying many men to the top, kept the enemies off with shot both from above and below. In the mean space, the greatest number of them having reared to the wall many ladders at once and beaten down the battlements passed quite over between the towers. [2] And ever as any of them got to the other side, they stood still upon the brink of the ditch without and with arrows and darts kept off those that came by the outside of the wall to hinder their passage. [3] And when the rest were over, then last of all, and with much ado, came they also down to the ditch which were in the two towers. And by this time the three hundred that were to assist the watch came and set upon them and had lights with them, [4] by which means the Plataeans that were on the further brink of the ditch discerned them the better from out of the dark and aimed their arrows and darts at their most disarmed parts; for standing in the dark, the lights of the enemy made the Plataeans the less discernible, insomuch as these last passed the ditch, though with difficulty and force. [5] For the water in it was frozen over, though not so hard as to bear, but watery, and such as when the wind is at east rather than at north. And the snow which fell that night, together with so great a wind as that was, had very much increased the water, which they waded through with scarce their heads above. But yet the greatness of the storm was the principal means of their escape.

24. From the ditch the Plataeans in troop took the way towards Thebes, leaving on the left hand the temple of Juno built by Androcrates, both for that they supposed they would least suspect the way that led to their enemies, and also because they saw the Peloponnesians with their lights pursue that way, which by Mount Cithaeron and the Oak-heads led to Athens. [2] The Plataeans, when they had gone six or seven furlongs, forsook the Theban way and turned into that which led towards the mountain to Erythrae and Hysiae and, having gotten the hills, escaped through to Athens, being two hundred and twelve persons of a greater number. For some of them returned into the city before the rest went over, and one of their archers was taken upon the ditch without. And so the Peloponnesians gave over the pursuit and returned to their places. [3] But the Plataeans that were within the city, knowing nothing of the event and those that turned back having told them that not a man escaped, as soon as it was day sent a herald to entreat a truce for the taking up of their dead bodies; but when they knew the truth, they gave it over. And thus these men of Plataea passed through the fortification of their enemies and were saved.

25. About the end of the same winter Salaethus, a Lacedaemonian, was sent in a galley to Mytilene and, coming first to Pyrrha and thence going to Mytilene by land, entered the city by the dry channel of a certain torrent, which had a passage through the wall of the Athenians, undiscovered. And he told the magistrates that Attica should again be invaded and that the forty galleys which were to aid them were coming, and that himself was sent afore both to let them know it and withal to give order in the rest of their affairs. [2] Hereupon the Mytilenaeans grew confident and hearkened less to composition with the Athenians. And the winter ended, and the fourth year of this war written by Thucydides.

26. In the beginning of the summer after they had sent Alcidas away with the forty-two galleys, whereof he was admiral, unto Mytilene, both they and their confederates invaded Attica to the end that the Athenians, troubled on both sides, might the less send supply against the fleet now gone to Mytilene. [2] In this expedition Cleomenes was general instead of Pausanias, the son of Pleistoanax, who being king was yet in minority; and Cleomenes was his uncle by the father. [3] And they now cut down both what they had before wasted and began to grow again, and also whatsoever else they had before pretermitted: and this was the sharpest invasion of all but the second. [4] For whilst they stayed to hear news from their fleet at Lesbos, which by this time they supposed to have been arrived, they went abroad and destroyed most part of the country. But when nothing succeeded according to their hopes and seeing their corn failed, they retired again and were dissolved according to their cities.

27. The Mytilenaeans, in the meantime, seeing the fleet came not from Peloponnesus but delayed the time and their victuals failed, were constrained to make their composition with the Athenians upon this occasion. [2] Salaethus, when he also expected these galleys no longer, armed the commons of the city, who were before unarmed, with intention to have made a sally upon the Athenians. [3] But they, as soon as they had gotten arms, no longer obeyed the magistrates but, holding assemblies by themselves, required the rich men either to bring their corn to light and divide it amongst them all, or else, they said, they would make their composition by delivering up the city to the Athenians.

28. Those that managed the state perceiving this and unable to hinder it, knowing also their own danger in case they were excluded out of the composition, they all jointly agreed to yield the city to Paches and his army with these conditions: ‘to be proceeded withal at the pleasure of the people of Athens and to receive the army into the city; and that the Mytilenaeans should send ambassadors to Athens about their own business; and that Paches, till their return, should neither put in bonds, nor make slave of, nor slay any Mytilenaean.’ This was the effect of that composition. [2] But such of the Mytilenaeans as had principally practised with the Lacedaemonians, being afraid of themselves, when the army was entered the city durst not trust to the conditions agreed on but took sanctuary at the altars. But Paches, having raised them upon promise to do them no injury, sent them to Tenedos to be in custody there till the people of Athens should have resolved what to do. [3] After this he sent some galleys to Antissa and took in that town and ordered the affairs of his army as he thought convenient.

29. In the meantime those forty galleys of Peloponnesus which should have made all possible haste trifled away the time about Peloponnesus and, making small speed in the rest of their navigation, arrived at Delos unknown to the Athenians at Athens. From thence sailing to Icarus and Myconus, they got first intelligence of the loss of Mytilene. But to know the truth more certainly, they went thence to Embatus in Erythraea. [2] It was about the seventh day after the taking of Mytilene that they arrived at Embatus where, understanding the certainty, they went to council about what they were to do upon the present occasion; and Teutiaplus, an Eleian, delivered his opinion to this effect:

30. Alcidas, and the rest that have command of the Peloponnesians in this army, it were not amiss, in my opinion, to go to Mytilene as we are before advice be given of our arrival. [2] For in all probability we shall find the city, in respect they have but lately won it, very weakly guarded and to the sea (where they expect no enemy, and we are chiefly strong) not guarded at all. It is also likely that their land soldiers are dispersed, some in one house and some in another, carelessly as victors. [3] Therefore if we fall upon them suddenly and by night, I think, with the help of those within, if any be left there that will take our part, we may be able to possess ourselves of the city. [4] And we shall never fear the danger if we but think this: that all stratagems of war whatsoever are no more but such occasions as this, which, if a commander avoid in himself and take the advantage of them in the enemy, he shall for the most part have good success.

31. Thus said he, but prevailed not with Alcidas. And some others, fugitives of lonia and those Lesbians that were with him in the fleet, gave him counsel that, seeing he feared the danger of this, he should seize some city of Ionia or Cume in Aeolia, that having some town for the seat of the war, they might from thence force Ionia to revolt, whereof there was hope because the Ionians would not be unwilling to see him there; and if they could withdraw from the Athenians this their great revenue and withal put them to maintain a fleet against them, it would be a great exhausting of their treasure. They said besides that they thought they should be able to get Pissuthnes to join with them in the war. [2] But Alcidas rejected this advice likewise, inclining rather to this opinion that since they were come too late to Mytilene, they were best to return speedily into Peloponnesus.

32. Whereupon putting off from Embatus, he sailed by the shore to Myonnesus of the Teians and there slew most of the prisoners he had taken by the way. [2] After this he put in at Ephesus; and thither came ambassadors to him from the Samians of Anaea and told him that it was but an ill manner of setting the Grecians at liberty to kill such as had not lift up their hands against him nor were indeed enemies to the Peloponnesians but confederates to the Athenians by constraint, and that, unless he gave over that course, he would make few of the enemies his friends but many now friends to become his enemies. [3] Wherefore upon these words of the ambassadors he set the Chians and some others, all that he had left alive, at liberty. For when men saw their fleet, they never fled from it but came unto them as to Athenians, little imagining that the Athenians being masters of the sea, the Peloponnesians durst have put over to Ionia.

33. From Ephesus Alcidas went away in haste, indeed fled; for he had been described by the Salaminia and the Paralus (which by chance were then in their course for Athens) whilst he lay at anchor about Claros and, fearing to be chased, kept the wide sea, meaning by his good will to touch no land till he came into Peloponnesus. [2] But the news of them came to Paches from divers places, especially from Erythraea. For the cities of Ionia being unwalled were afraid extremely lest the Peloponnesians, sailing by without intention to stay, should have pillaged them as they passed. But the Salaminia and the Paralus, having seen him at Claros, brought the news themselves. And Paches thereupon made great haste after and followed him as far as Latmos the island. [3] But when he saw he could not reach him, he came back again and thought he had a good turn, seeing he could not overtake those galleys upon the wide sea that the same were not compelled, by being taken in some place near land, to fortify themselves and so to give him occasion with guards and galleys to attend them.

34. As he came by in his return, he put in at Notium, a city of the Colophonians, into which the Colophonians came and inhabited after the town above, through their own sedition, was taken by Itamanes and the barbarians. (This town was taken at the time when Attica was the second time invaded by the Peloponnesians.) [2] They then that came down and dwelt in Notium, falling again into sedition, the one part having procured some forces, Arcadians and barbarians, of Pissuthnes, kept them in a part of the town which they had severed from the rest with a wall; and there, with such of the Colophonians of the high town as being of the Medan faction entered with them, they governed the city at their pleasure; [3] and the other part, which went out from these and were the fugitives, brought in Paches. He, when he had called out Hippias, captain of the Arcadians that were within the said wall, with promise, if they should not agree, to set him safe and sound within the wall again, and Hippias was thereupon come to him, committed him to custody, but without bonds, and withal, assaulting the wall on a sudden when they expected not, took it and slew as many of the Arcadians and barbarians as were within; and when he had done, brought Hippias in again, according as he had promised, but, after he had him there, laid hold on him and caused him to be shot to death and restored Notium to the Colophonians, excluding only such as had medized. [4] Afterwards the Athenians sent governors to Notium of their own and, having gathered together the Colophonians out of all cities whatsoever, seated them there under the law of the Athenians.

35. Paches, when he came back to Mytilene, took in Pyrrha and Eressus and, having found Salaethus the Lacedaemonian hidden in Mytilene, apprehended him and sent him, together with those men he had put in custody at Tenedos and whomsoever else he thought author of the revolt, to Athens. [2] He likewise sent away the greatest part of his army and with the rest stayed and settled the state of Mytilene and the rest of Lesbos as he thought convenient.

36. These men, and Salaethus with them, being arrived at Athens, the Athenians slew Salaethus presently, though he made them many offers, and amongst other to get the army of the Peloponnesians to rise from before Plataea, for it was yet besieged. [2] But upon the rest they went to council and in their passion decreed to put them to death, not only those men there present but also all the men of Mytilene that were of age, and to make slaves of the women and children, laying to their charge the revolt itself in that they revolted not being in subjection as others were; and withal the Peloponnesian fleet, which durst enter into Ionia to their aid, had not a little aggravated that commotion. For by that it seemed that the revolt was not made without much premeditation. [3] They therefore sent a galley to inform Paches of their decree with command to put the Mytilenaeans presently to death. [4] But the next day they felt a kind of repentance in themselves and began to consider what a great and cruel decree it was that not the authors only but the whole city should be destroyed. [5] Which when the ambassadors of the Mytilenaeans that were there present and such Athenians as favoured them understood, they wrought with those that bare office to bring the matter again into debate, wherein they easily prevailed, forasmuch as to them also it was well known that the most of the city were desirous to have means to consult of the same anew. [6] The assembly being presently met, among the opinions of divers others Cleon also, the son of Cleaenetus, who in the former assembly had won to have them killed, being of all the citizens most violent and with the people at that time far the most powerful, stood forth and said in this manner:

37. "I have often on other occasions thought a democracy incapable of dominion over others, but most of all now for this your repentance concerning the Mytilenaeans. [2] For through your own mutual security and openness, you imagine the same also in your confederates and consider not that when at their persuasion you commit an error or relent upon compassion, you are softened thus to the danger of the commonwealth not to the winning of the affections of your confederates; nor do you consider that your government is a tyranny and those that be subject to it are against their wills so and are plotting continually against you, and obey you not for any good turn, which to your own detriment you shall do them, but only for that you exceed them in strength, and for no good will. [3] But the worst mischief of all is this, that nothing we decree shall stand firm and that we will not know that a city with the worse laws, if immoveable, is better than one with good laws when they be not binding, and that a plain wit accompanied with modesty is more profitable to the state than dexterity with arrogance, and that the more ignorant sort of men do, for the most part, better regulate a commonwealth than they that are wiser. [4] For these love to appear wiser than the laws and in all public debatings to carry the victory as the worthiest things wherein to show their wisdom, from whence most commonly proceeds the ruin of the states they live in. Whereas the other sort, mistrusting their own wits, are content to be esteemed not so wise as the laws and not able to carp at what is well spoken by another, and so, making themselves equal judges rather than contenders for mastery, govern a state for the most part well. [5] We therefore should do the like and not be carried away with combats of eloquence and wit to give such counsel to your multitude as in our own judgments we think not good.

38. "For my own part, I am of the opinion I was before; and I wonder at these men that have brought this matter of the Mytilenaeans in question again and thereby caused delay, which is the advantage only of them that do the injury. For the sufferer by this means comes upon the doer with his anger dulled; whereas revenge, the opposite of injury, is then greatest when it follows presently. I do wonder also what he is that shall stand up now to contradict me and shall think to prove that the injuries done us by the Mytilenaeans are good for us or that our calamities are any damage to our confederates. [2] For certainly he must either trust in his eloquence to make you believe that that which was decreed was not decreed or, moved with lucre, must with some elaborate speech endeavour to seduce you. Now of such matches [of eloquence] as these, the city giveth the prizes to others; [3] but the danger that hence proceedeth, she herself sustaineth. [4] And of all this you yourselves are the cause, by the evil institution of these matches, in that you use to be spectators of words and hearers of actions, beholding future actions in the words of them that speak well as possible to come to pass and actions already past in the orations of such as make the most of them, and that with such assurance, as if what you saw with your eyes were not more certain than what you hear related. [5] You are excellent men for one to deceive with a speech of a new strain but backward to follow any tried advice, slaves to strange things, contemners of things usual. You would everyone chiefly give the best advice; [6] but if you cannot, then you will contradict those that do. You would not be thought to come after with your opinion but rather, if anything be acutely spoken, to applaud it first and to appear ready apprehenders of what is spoken even before it be out, but slow to preconceive the sequel of the same. You would hear, as one may say, somewhat else than what our life is conversant in; [7] and yet you sufficiently understand not that that is before your eyes. And to speak plainly, overcome with the delight of the ear, you are rather like unto spectators sitting to hear the contentions of sophisters than to men that deliberate of the state of a commonwealth.

39. "To put you out of this humour, I say unto you that the Mytilenaeans have done us more injury than ever did any one city. [2] For those that have revolted through the over-hard pressure of our government or that have been compelled to it by the enemy, I pardon them. But they that were islanders and had their city walled so as they needed not fear our enemies but only by sea, in which case also they were armed for them with sufficient provision of galleys, and they that were permitted to have their own laws and whom we principally honoured, and yet have done thus, what have they done but conspired against us and rather warred upon us than revolted from us (for a revolt is only of such as suffer violence) and joined with our bitterest enemies to destroy us? This is far worse than if they had warred against us for increasing of their own power. [3] But these men would neither take example by their neighbour's calamity, who are, all that revolted, already subdued by us; nor could their own present felicity make them afraid of changing it into misery, but being bold against future events and aiming at matters above their strength though below their desires, have taken arms against us and preferred force before justice. For no sooner they thought they might get the victory but immediately, though without injury done them, they rose against us. But with cities that come to great and unexpected prosperity, it is usual to turn insolent; [4] whereas most commonly that prosperity which is attained according to the course of reason is more firm than that which cometh unhoped for; and such cities, as one may say, do more easily keep off an adverse, than maintain a happy, fortune. [5] Indeed we should not formerly have done any honour more to the Mytilenaeans than to the rest of our confederates, for then they had never come to this degree of insolence. For it is natural to men to contemn those that observe them and to have in admiration such as will not give them way. [6] Now therefore let them be punished according to their wicked dealing, and let not the fault be laid upon a few and the people be absolved. For they have all alike taken arms against us; and the commons, if they had been constrained to it, might have fled hither and have recovered their city afterwards again. But they, esteeming it the safer adventure to join with the few, are alike with them culpable of the revolt. [7] Have also in consideration your confederates; and if you inflict the same punishment on them that revolt upon compulsion of the enemy that you do on them that revolt of their own accord, who, think you, will not revolt, though on light pretence, seeing that speeding they win their liberty and failing their case is not incurable? [8] Besides, that against every city we must be at a new hazard, both of our persons and fortunes. Wherein with the best success we recover but an exhausted city and lose that wherein our strength lieth, the revenue of it; but miscarrying, we add these enemies to our former and must spend that time in warring against our own confederates, which we needed to employ against the enemies we have already.

40. We must not therefore give our confederates hope of pardon, either impetrable by words or purchasable by money, as if their errors were but such as are commonly incident to humanity. For these did us not an injury unwillingly but wittingly conspired against us; [2] whereas it ought to be involuntary whatsoever is pardonable. Therefore both then at first, and now again, I maintain that you ought not to alter your former decree nor to offend in any of these three most disadvantageous things to empire, pity, delight in plausible speeches, and lenity. [3] As for pity, it is just to show it on them that are like us and will have pity again but not upon such as not only would not have had pity upon us but must also of necessity have been our enemies forever hereafter. And for the rhetoricians that delight you with their orations, let them play their prizes in matters of less weight and not in such wherein the city for a little pleasure must suffer a great damage, but they for their well speaking must well have. Lastly for lenity, it is to be used towards those that will be our friends hereafter rather than towards such as being suffered to live will still be as they are, not a jot the less our enemies. [4] In sum I say only this, that if you follow my advice, you shall do that which is both just in respect of the Mytilenaeans and profitable for yourselves; whereas if you decree otherwise, you do not gratify them but condemn yourselves. For if these have justly revolted, you must unjustly have had dominion over them. Nay though your dominion be against reason, yet if you resolve to hold it, you must also, as a matter conducing thereunto, against reason punish them; or else you must give your dominion over, that you may be good without danger. [5] But if you consider what was likely they would have done to you if they had prevailed, you cannot but think them worthy the same punishment nor be less sensible, you that have escaped, than they that have conspired, especially they having done the injury first. [6] For such as do an injury without precedent cause persecute most, and even to the death, him they have done it to, as jealous of the danger his remaining enemy may create him; for he that is wronged without cause and escapeth will commonly be more cruel than if it were against any enemy on equal quarrel. [7] Let us not therefore betray ourselves, but in contemplation of what you were near suffering and how you once prized above all things else to have them in your power, requite them now accordingly. Be not softened at the sight of their present estate, nor forget the danger that hung over our own heads so lately. Give not only unto these their deserved punishment but also unto the rest of our confederates a clear example that death is their sentence whensoever they shall rebel. Which when they know, you shall the less often have occasion to neglect your enemies and fight against your own confederates.

41. To this purpose spake Cleon. After him Diodotus the son of Eucrates, who also in the former assembly opposed most the putting of the Mytilenaeans to death, stood forth and spake as followeth.

42. "I will neither blame those who have propounded the business of the Mytilenaeans to be again debated nor commend those that find fault with often consulting in affairs of great importance. But I am of opinion that nothing is so contrary to good counsel as these two, haste and anger, whereof the one is ever accompanied with madness and the other with want of judgment. [2] And whosoever maintaineth that words are not instructors to deeds, either he is not wise or doth it upon some private interest of his own. Not wise, if he think that future and not apparent things may be demonstrated otherwise than by words; interested, if desiring to carry an ill matter and knowing that a bad cause will not bear a good speech, he go about to deter his opposers and hearers by a good calumniation. But they of all others are most intolerable that when men give public advice will accuse them also of bribery. [3] For if they charged a man with no more but ignorance when he had spoken in vain, he might yet depart with the opinion of a fool. But when they impute corruption also, if his counsel take place, he is still suspected; and if it do not take place, he shall be held not only a fool but also void of honesty. [4] The commonwealth gets no good by such courses for through fear hereof it will want counsellors. And the state would do their business for the most part well if this kind of citizens were they that had least ability in speaking, for they should then persuade the city to the fewer errors. [5] For a good statesman should not go about to terrify those that contradict him but rather to make good his counsel upon liberty of speech. And a wise state ought not either to add unto, or, on the other side, to derogate from, the honour of him that giveth good advice, nor yet punish, nay, nor disgrace, the man whose counsel they receive not. [6] And then, neither would he that lighteth on good advice deliver anything against his own conscience, out of ambition of further honour and to please the auditory, nor he that doth not, covet thereupon by gratifying the people some way or other that he also may endear them.

43. "But we do here the contrary; and besides, if any man be suspected of corruption, though he give the best counsel that can be given, yet through envy for this uncertain opinion of his gain, we lose a certain benefit to the commonwealth. [2] And our custom is to hold good counsel given suddenly no less suspect then bad, by which means as he that gives the most dangerous counsel must get the same received by fraud, so also he that gives the most sound advice is forced by lying to get himself believed. [3] So that the commonwealth is it alone which, by reason of these suspicious imaginations, no man can possibly benefit by the plain and open way without artifice. For if any man shall do a manifest good unto the commonwealth, he shall presently be suspected of some secret gain unto himself in particular. [4] We, therefore, that in the most important affairs and amidst these jealousies do give our advice have need to foresee further than you that look not far, and the rather because we stand accountable for our counsel, and you are to render no account of your hearing it. [5] For if the persuader and the persuaded had equal harm, you would be the more moderate judges. But now, according to the passion that takes you when at any time your affairs miscarry, you punish the sentence of that one only that gave the counsel, not the many sentences of your own that were in fault as well as his.

44. "For my own part, I stood not forth with any purpose of contradiction in the business of the Mytilenaeans nor to accuse any man. For we contend not now, if we be wise, about the injury done by them but about the wisest counsel for ourselves. [2] For how great soever be their fault, yet I would never advise to have them put to death unless it be for our profit, [nor yet would I pardon them,] though they were pardonable, unless it be good for the commonwealth. [3] And in my opinion, our deliberation now is of the future rather than of the present. And whereas Cleon contendeth that it will be profitable for the future to put them to death in that it will keep the rest from rebelling, I, contending likewise for the future, affirm the contrary. [4] And I desire you not to reject the profit of my advice for the fair pretexts of his, which agreeing more with your present anger against the Mytilenaeans may quickly perhaps win your consent. We plead not judicially with the Mytilenaeans so as to need arguments of equity, but we consult of them which way we may serve ourselves of them to our most advantage hereafter.

45. "I say, therefore, that death hath been in states ordained for a punishment of many offences, and those not so great but far less than this. Yet encouraged by hope, men hazard themselves; nor did any man ever yet enter into a practice which he knew he could not go through with. [2] And a city when it revolteth, supposeth itself to be better furnished, either of themselves or by their confederates, than it is, or else it would never take the enterprise in hand. [3] They have it by nature, both men and cities, to commit offences; nor is there any law that can prevent it. For men have gone over all degrees of punishment, augmenting them still, in hope to be less annoyed by malefactors. And it is likely that gentler punishments were inflicted of old even upon the most heinous crimes; but that in tract of time, men continuing to transgress, they were extended afterwards to the taking away of life; [4] and yet they still transgress. And therefore, either some greater terror than death must be devised, or death will not be enough for coercion. For poverty will always add boldness to necessity; and wealth, covetousness to pride and contempt. And the other [middle] fortunes, they also through human passion, according as they are severally subject to some insuperable one or other, impel men to danger. [5] But hope and desire work this effect in all estates. And this as the leader, that as the companion; this contriving the enterprise, that suggesting the success are the cause of most crimes that are committed, and being least discerned, are more mischievous than evils seen. [6] Besides these two, fortune also puts men forward as much as anything else. For presenting herself sometimes unlooked for, she provoketh some to adventure, though not provided as they ought for the purpose, and especially cities because they venture for the greatest matters, as liberty and dominion over others; and amongst a generality, everyone, though without reason, somewhat the more magnifies himself in particular. [7] In a word, it is a thing impossible and of great simplicity to believe when human nature is earnestly bent to do a thing that by force of law or any other danger it can be diverted.

46. "We must not, therefore, relying on the security of capital punishment, decree the worst against them nor make them desperate, as if there were no place to repent and, as soon as they can, to cancel their offence. For observe: [2] if a city revolted should know it could not hold out, it would now compound whilst it were able both to pay us our charges for the present and our tribute for the time to come. But the way that Cleon prescribeth, what city, think you, would not provide itself better than this did and endure the siege to the very last if to compound late and soon be all one? [3] And how can it be but detriment to us to be at charge of long sieges through their obstinacy and, when we have taken a city to find it exhausted and to lose the revenue of it for the future? And this revenue is the only strength we have against our enemies. [4] We are not then to be exact judges in the punition of offenders but to look rather how by their moderate punishment we may have our confederate cities, such as they may be able to pay us tribute; and not think to keep them in awe by the rigour of laws but by the providence of our own actions. [5] But we to the contrary, when we recover a city which, having been free and held under our obedience by force hath revolted justly, think now that we ought to inflict some cruel punishment upon them. [6] Whereas we ought rather not mightily to punish a free city revolted but mightily to look to it before it revolt and to prevent the intention of it, but when we have overcome them, to lay the fault upon as few as we can.

47. "Consider also, if you follow the advice of Cleon, how much you shall offend likewise in this other point. [2] For in all your cities the commonalty are now your friends and either revolt not with the few, or, if they be compelled to it by force, they presently turn enemies to them that caused the revolt; whereby when you go to war, you have the commons of the adverse city on your side. [3] But if you shall destroy the commonalty of the Mytilenaeans, which did neither partake of the revolt and as soon as they were armed presently delivered the city into your hands, you shall first do unjustly to kill such as have done you service, and you shall effect a work besides which the great men do everywhere most desire. For when they have made a city to revolt, they shall have the people presently on their side, you having foreshown them by the example that both the guilty and not guilty must undergo the same punishment. [4] Whereas indeed, though they were guilty, yet we ought to dissemble it, to the end that the only party now our friend may not become our enemy. [5] And for the assuring of our dominion, I think it far more profitable voluntarily to put up an injury than justly to destroy such as we should not. And that same both justice and profit of revenge, alleged by Cleon, can never possibly be found together in the same thing.

48. You, therefore, upon knowledge that this is the best course, not upon compassion or lenity (for neither would I have you won by that) but upon consideration of what hath been advised, be ruled by me, and proceed to judgment at your own leisure against those whom Paches hath sent hither as guilty, and suffer the rest to enjoy their city. [2] For that will be both good for the future and also of present terror to the enemy. For he that consulteth wisely is a sorer enemy than he that assaulteth with the strength of action unadvisedly.

49. Thus spake Diodotus. After these two opinions were delivered, the one most opposite to the other, the Athenians were at contention which they should decree; and at the holding up of hands they were both sides almost equal, but yet the sentence of Diodotus prevailed. [2] Whereupon they presently in haste sent away another galley, lest not arriving before the former they should find the city already destroyed. The first galley set forth before the second a day and a night. [3] But the Mytilenaean ambassadors having furnished this latter with wine and barley cakes and promised them great rewards if they overtook the other galley, they rowed diligently, at one and the same time both plying their oars and taking their refection of the said barley cakes steeped in wine and oil; and by turns part of them slept, and the other part rowed. [4] It happened also that there blew no wind against them; and the former galley making no great haste, as going on so sad an errand, whereas the former proceeded in the manner before mentioned, arrived indeed first, but only so much as Paches had read the sentence and prepared to execute what they had decreed. But presently after came in the other galley and saved the city from being destroyed. So near were the Mytilenaeans to the danger.

50. But those whom Paches had sent home as most culpable of the revolt, the Athenians, as Cleon had advised, put to death, being in number somewhat above a thousand. They also razed the walls of Mytilene and took from them all their galleys. [2] After which they imposed on the Lesbians no more tribute; but having divided their land (all but that of the Methymnaeans) into three thousand parts, three hundred of those parts [of the choicest land] they consecrated to the gods.And for the rest, they sent men by lot out of their own city to possess it of whom the Lesbians, at the rent of two minae of silver yearly upon a lot, had the land again to be husbanded by themselves. [3] The Athenians took in all such towns also as the Mytilenaeans were masters of in the continent, which were afterwards made subjects to the people of Athens. Thus ended the business touching Lesbos.

51. The same summer, after the recovery of Lesbos the Athenians, under the conduct of Nicias the son of Niceratus, made war on Minoa, an island adjacent to Megara. For the Megareans had built a tower in it and served themselves of the island for a place of garrison. [2] But Nicias desired that the Athenians might keep their watch upon Megara in that island as being nearer and no more at Budorum and Salamis, to the end that the Peloponnesians might not go out thence with their galleys undescried nor send out pirates as they had formerly done, and to prohibit the importation of all things to the Megareans by sea. [3] Wherefore, when he had first taken two towers that stood out from Nisaea, with engines applied from the sea, and so made a free entrance for his galleys between the island and the firm land, he took it in with a wall also from the continent in that part where it might receive aid by a bridge over the marshes; for it was not far distant from the main land. [4] And, that being in few days finished, he built a fort in the island itself and, leaving there a garrison, carried the rest of his army back.

52. It happened also about the same time of this summer, that the Plataeans, having spent their victual and being unable longer to hold out, yielded their city in this manner to the Peloponnesians. [2] The Peloponnesians assaulted the walls, but they within were unable to fight. Whereupon the Lacedaemonian commander, perceiving their weakness, would not take the place by force (for he had command to that purpose from Lacedaemon, to the end that if they should ever make peace with the Athenians with conditions of mutual restitution of such cities as on either side had been taken by war, Plataea, as having come in of its own accord, might not be thereby recoverable) but sent a herald to them who demanded whether or no they would give up their city voluntarily into the hands of the Lacedaemonians and take them for their judges with power to punish the offenders, but none without form of justice. [3] So said the herald, and they (for they were now at the weakest) delivered up the city accordingly. So the Peloponnesians gave the Plataeans food for certain days till the judges, which were five, should arrive from Lacedaemon. [4] And when they were come, no accusation was exhibited; but calling them man by man, they asked of everyone only this question: whether they had done to the Lacedaemonians and their confederates in this war any good service. [5] But the Plataeans, having sued to make their answer more at large and having appointed Astymachus the son of Asopolaus and Lacon the son of Aeimnestus (who had been heretofore the host of the Lacedaemonians) for their speakers, said as followeth:

53. "Men of Lacedaemon, relying upon you we yielded up our city, not expecting to undergo this but some more legal manner of proceeding; and we agreed not to stand to the judgment of others (as now we do) but of yourselves only, conceiving we should so obtain the better justice. But now we fear we have been deceived in both. [2] For we have reason to suspect both that the trial is capital, and you, the judges, partial, gathering so much both from that, that there hath not been presented any accusation to which we might answer, and also from this, that the interrogatory is short and such, as if we answer to it with truth, we shall speak against ourselves and be easily convinced if we lie. [3] But since we are on all hands in a strait, we are forced (and it seems our safest way) to try what we can obtain by pleading. For, for men in our case the speech not spoken may give occasion to some to think, that spoken it had preserved us. But besides other inconveniences, the means also of persuasion go ill on our side. [4] For if we had not known one another, we might have helped ourselves by producing testimony in things you knew not. Whereas now, all that we shall say will be before men that know already what it is. And we fear not that you mean, because you know us inferior in virtue to yourselves, to make that a crime, but lest you bring us to a judgment already judged to gratify somebody else.

54. "Nevertheless, we will produce our reasons of equity against the quarrel of the Thebans and withal make mention of our services done both to you and to the rest of Greece, and make trial if by any means we can persuade you. [2] As to that short interrogatory, whether we have any way done good in this present war to the Lacedaemonians and their confederates, or not, if you ask us as enemies, we say that, if we have done them no good, we have also done them no wrong; [3] if you ask us as friends, then we say that they rather have done us the injury in that they made war upon us. But in the time of the peace and in the war against the Medes we behaved ourselves well; [4] for the one we brake not first, and in the other we were the only Boeotians that joined with you for the delivery of Greece. For though we dwell up in the land, yet we fought by sea at Artemisium; and in the battle fought in this our own territory, we were with you; and whatsoever dangers the Grecians in those times underwent, we were partakers of all, even beyond our strength. [5] And unto you, Lacedaemonians, in particular, when Sparta was in greatest affright after the earthquake, upon the rebellion of the Helotes and seizing of Ithome, we sent the third part of our power to assist you, which you have no reason to forget.

55. "Such then we showed ourselves in those ancient and most important affairs. It is true, we have been your enemies since; but for that you are to blame yourselves. For when oppressed by the Thebans we sought league of you, you rejected us and bade us go to the Athenians that were nearer hand, yourselves being far off. [2] Nevertheless, you neither have in this war nor were to have suffered at our hands anything that misbecame us. [3] And if we denied to revolt from the Athenians when you bade us, we did you no injury in it. For they both aided us against the Thebans when you shrunk from us, and it was now no more any honesty to betray them, especially having been well used by them, and we ourselves having sought their league and being made denizens also of their city. [4] Nay, we ought rather to have followed them in all their commands with alacrity. When you or the Athenians have the leading of the confederates, if evil be done, not they that follow are culpable but you that lead to the evil.

56. "The Thebans have done us many other injuries; but this last, which is the cause of what we now suffer, you yourselves know what it was. [2] For we avenged us but justly of those that in time of peace, and upon the day of our novilunial sacrifice, had surprised our city; and by the law of all nations it is lawful to repel an assailing enemy, and therefore there is no reason you should punish us now for them. [3] For if you shall measure justice by your and their present benefit in the war, it will manifestly appear that you are not judges of the truth but respecters only of your profit. [4] And yet if the Thebans seem profitable to you now, we and the rest of the Grecians were more profitable to you then when you were in greater danger. For though the Thebans are now on your side when you invade others; yet at that time when the barbarian came in to impose servitude on all, they were on his. [5] It is but justice that with our present offence (if we have committed any) you compare our forwardness then which you will find both greater than our fault and augmented also by the circumstance of such a season when it was rare to find any Grecian that durst oppose his valour to Xerxes' power, and when they were most commended not that with safety helped to further his invasion but that adventured to do what was most honest, though with danger. [6] But we being of that number and honoured for it amongst the first are afraid lest the same shall be now a cause of our destruction, as having chosen rather to follow the Athenians justly than you profitably. [7] But you should ever have the same opinion in the same case and think this only to be profitable that doing what is useful for the present occasion, you reserve withal a constant acknowledgment of the virtue of your good confederates.

57. "Consider also that you are an example of honest dealing to the most of the Grecians. Now if you shall decree otherwise than is just (for this judgment of yours is conspicuous, you that be praised against us that be not blamed), take heed that they do not dislike that good men should undergo an unjust sentence, though at the hands of better men, or that the spoil of us that have done the Grecians service should be dedicated in their temples. [2] For it will be thought a horrible matter that Plataea should be destroyed by Lacedaemonians and that you, whereas your fathers in honour of our valour inscribed the name of our city on the tripod at Delphi, should now blot it out of all Greece to gratify the Thebans. [3] For we have proceeded to such a degree of calamity that if the Medes had prevailed, we must have perished then; and now the Thebans have overcome us again in you, who were before our greatest friends, and have put us to two great hazards, one before of famishing if we yielded not, and another now of a capital sentence. [4] And we Plataeans, who even beyond our strength have been zealous in the defence of the Grecians, are now abandoned and left unrelieved by them all.

58. "But we beseech you for those gods' sakes, in whose names once we made mutual league, and for our valour's sake shown in the behalf of the Grecians, to be moved towards us and, if at the persuasion of the Thebans you have determined aught against us, to change your minds and reciprocally to require at the hands of the Thebans this courtesy, that whom you ought to spare, they would be contented not to kill and so receive an honest benefit in recompense of a wicked one, and not to bestow pleasure upon others and receive wickedness upon yourselves in exchange. [2] For though to take away our lives be a matter quickly done, yet to make the infamy of it cease will be work enough. [3] For being none of your enemies but well-willers and such as have entered into the war upon constraint, you cannot put us to death with justice. [4] Therefore, if you will judge uncorruptly, you ought to secure our persons and to remember that you received us by our own voluntary submission and with hands upheld (and it is the law among Grecians not to put such to death), besides that we have from time to time been beneficial to you. For look upon the sepulchres of your fathers whom, slain by the Medes and buried in this territory of ours, we have yearly honoured at the public charge both with vestments and other rites; and of such things as our land hath produced, we have offered unto them the first fruits of it all, as friends in an amicable land and confederates use to do to those that have formerly been their fellows in arms. [5] But now by a wrong sentence you shall do the contrary of this. For consider this. Pausanias, as he thought, interred these men in amicable ground and amongst their friends. But you, if you slay us, and of Plataeis make Thebais, what do you but leave your fathers and kindred, deprived of the honours they now have, in an hostile territory and amongst the very men that slew them? And moreover, put into servitude that soil whereon the Grecians were put into liberty? And make desolate the temples wherein they prayed when they prevailed against the Medes? And destroy the patrial sacrifices which were instituted by the builders and founders of the same?

59. These things are not for your glory, men of Lacedaemon, nor to violate the common institutions of Greece and wrong your progenitors, nor to destroy us that have done you service for the hatred of another when you have received no injury from us yourselves, but to spare our lives, to relent, to have a moderate compassion in contemplation not only of the greatness of the punishment but also of who we are that must suffer and of the uncertainty where calamity may light, and that undeservedly. [2] Which we, as becometh us and our need compelleth us to do, cry aloud unto the common gods of Greece to persuade you unto producing the oath sworn by your fathers to put you in mind; and also we become here sanctuary men at the sepulchres of your fathers, crying out upon the dead not to suffer themselves to be in the power of the Thebans nor to let their greatest friends be betrayed into the hands of their greatest enemies, remembering them of that day upon which, though we have done glorious acts in their company, yet we are in danger at this day of most miserable suffering. [3] But to make an end of speaking (which is as necessary so most bitter to men in our case because the hazard of our lives cometh so soon after), for a conclusion we say that it was not to the Thebans that we rendered our city (for we would rather have died of famine, the most base perdition of all other), but we came out on trust in you. And it is but justice that if we cannot persuade you, you should set us again in the estate we were in and let us undergo the danger at our own election. [4] Also we require you, men of Lacedaemon, not only not to deliver us Plataeans, who have been most zealous in the service of the Grecians especially being sanctuary men, out of your own hands and your own trust into the hands of our most mortal enemies the Thebans but also to be our saviours and not to destroy us utterly, you that set at liberty all other Grecians.

60. Thus spake the Plataeans. But the Thebans, fearing lest the Lacedaemonians might relent at their oration, stood forth and said that since the Plataeans had had the liberty of a longer speech (which they thought they should not) than for answer to the question was necessary, they also desired to speak, and being commanded to say on, spake to this effect:

61. "If these men had answered briefly to the question and not both turned against us with an accusation and also out of the purpose and wherein they were not charged made much apology and commendation of themselves in things unquestioned, we had never asked leave to speak. But as it is, we are to the one point to answer and to confute the other, that neither the fault of us nor their own reputation may do them good, but your sentence may be guided by hearing of the truth of both. [2] The quarrel between us and them arose at first from this, that when we had built Plataea last of all the cities of Boeotia, together with some other places which, having driven out the promiscuous nations, we had then in our dominion, they would not (as was ordained at first) allow us to be their leaders; but being the only men of all the Boeotians that transgressed the common ordinance of the country when they should have been compelled to their duty, they turned unto the Athenians and together with them did us many evils, for which they likewise suffered as many from us.

62. "But when the barbarian invaded Greece, then, say they, that they of all the Boeotians only also Medized not. And this is the thing wherein they both glory most themselves and most detract from us. [2] Now we confess they Medized not because also the Athenians did not. Nevertheless, when the Athenians afterwards invaded the rest of the Grecians, in the same kind then of all the Boeotians they only Atticized. [3] But take now into your consideration withal what form of government we were in both the one and the other when we did this. For then had we our city governed neither by an oligarchy with laws common to all nor by a democracy; but the state was managed by a few with authority absolute, than which there is nothing more contrary to laws and moderation nor more approaching unto tyranny. [4] And these few, hoping yet further, if the Medes prevailed, to increase their own power, kept the people under and furthered the coming in of the barbarian. And so did the whole city, but it was not then master of itself nor doth it deserve to be upbraided with what it did when they had no laws [but were at the will of others]. [5] But when the Medes were gone and our city had laws, consider now, when the Athenians attempted to subdue all Greece and this territory of ours with the rest wherein through sedition they had gotten many places already, whether by giving them battle at Coroneia and defeating them, we delivered not Boeotia from servitude then, and do not also now with much zeal assist you in the asserting of the rest, and find not more horses and more provision of war than any of the confederates besides. And so much be spoken by way of apology to our Medizing.

63. "And we will endeavour to prove now that the Grecians have been rather wronged by you and that you are more worthy of all manner of punishment. You became, you say, confederates and denizens of Athens for to be righted against us. [2] Against us then only the Athenians should have come with you and not you with them have gone to the invasion of the rest, especially when if the Athenians would have led you whither you would not, you had the league of the Lacedaemonians made with you against the Medes, which you so often object, to have resorted unto, which was sufficient not only to have protected you from us but, which is the main matter, to have secured you to take what course you had pleased. But voluntarily and without constraint you rather chose to follow the Athenians. [3] And you say it had been a dishonest thing to have betrayed your benefactors. But it is more dishonest and more unjust by far to betray the Grecians universally, to whom you have sworn, than to betray the Athenians alone, especially when these go about to deliver Greece from subjection and the other to subdue it. [4] Besides, the requital you make the Athenians is not proportionable nor free from dishonesty. For you, as you say yourselves, brought in the Athenians to right you against injuries; and you co-operate with them in injuring others. And howsoever, it is not so dishonest to leave a benefit unrequited as to make such a requital, as though justly due cannot be justly done.

64. "But you have made it apparent that even then it was not for the Grecians' sake that you alone of all the Boeotians Medized not but because the Athenians did not; [2] yet now you that would do as the Athenians did, and contrary to what the Grecians did, claim favour of these for what you did for the others' sake. But there is no reason for that; but as you have chosen the Athenians, so let them help you in this trial. [3] And produce not the oath of the former league as if that should save you now. For you have relinquished it and, contrary to the same, have rather helped the Athenians to subdue the Aeginetae and others than hindered them from it. And this you not only did voluntarily and having laws the same you have now, and none forcing you to it as there did us, but also rejected our last invitation, a little before the shutting up of your city, to quietness and neutrality. [4] Who can therefore more deservedly be hated of the Grecians in general than you that pretend honesty to their ruin? And those acts wherein formerly, as you say, you have been beneficial to the Grecians, you have now made apparent to be none of yours and made true proof of what your own nature inclines you to. [5] For with Athenians you have walked in the way of injustice. And thus much we have laid open touching our involuntary Medizing and your voluntary Atticizing.

65. "And for this last injury you charge us with, namely, the unlawful invading of your city in time of peace and of your new-moon sacrifice, we do not think, no not in this action, that we have offended so much as you yourselves. [2] For though we had done unjustly if we had assaulted your city or wasted your territory as enemies of our own accord; yet when the prime men of your own city, both for wealth and nobility, willing to discharge you of foreign league and conform you to the common institutions of all Boeotia, did of their own accord call us in, wherein lieth the injury then? For they that lead transgress rather than they that follow. [3] But as we conceive, neither they nor we have transgressed at all. But being citizens as well as you and having more to hazard, they opened their own gates and took us into the city as friends not as enemies with intention to keep the ill-affected from being worse and to do right to the good, taking upon them to be moderators of your councils and not to deprive the city of your persons but to reduce you into one body with the rest of your kindred, and not to engage you in hostility with any but to settle you in peace with all.

66. "And for an argument that we did not this as enemies, we did harm to no man but proclaimed that if any man were willing to have the city governed after the common form of all Boeotia, he should come to us. [2] And you came willingly at first and were quiet. But afterwards, when you knew we were but few, though we might seem to have done somewhat more than was fit to do without the consent of your multitude, you did not by us as we did by you, first innovate nothing in fact and then with words persuade us to go forth again, but contrary to the composition assaulted us. And for those men you slew in the affray, we grieve not so much; for they suffered by a kind of law. But to kill those that held up their hands for mercy, whom taken alive you afterwards had promised to spare, was not this a horrible cruelty? [3] You committed in this business three crimes, one in the neck of another; first, the breach of the composition; then, the death that followed of our men; and thirdly, the falsifying of your promise to save them if we did no hurt to anything of yours in the fields. And yet you say that we are the transgressors and that you for your parts deserve not to undergo a judgment. But it is otherwise. And if these men judge aright, you shall be punished now for all your crimes at once.

67. We have herein, men of Lacedaemon, been thus large both for your sakes and ours: for yours, to let you see that if you condemn them, it will be no injustice; for ours, that the equity of our revenge may the better appear. [2] Be not moved with the recital of their virtues of old, if any they had, which, though they ought to help the wronged, should double the punishment of such as commit wickedness because their offence doth not become them. Nor let them fare ever the better for their lamentation or your compassion when they cry out upon your fathers' sepulchres and their own want of friends. [3] For we on the other side affirm that the youth of our city suffered harder measure from them; and their fathers, partly slain at Coroneia in bringing Boeotia to your confederation and partly alive and now old and deprived of their children, make far juster supplication to you for revenge. And pity belongeth to such as suffer undeservedly; [4] but, on the contrary, when men are worthily punished, as these are, it is to be rejoiced at. And for their present want of friends they may thank themselves. For of their own accord they rejected the better confederates. [5] And the law hath been broken by them, without precedent wrong from us, in that they condemned our men spitefully rather than judicially, in which point we shall now come short of requiting them; for they shall suffer legally and not, as they say they do, with hands upheld from battle but as men that have put themselves upon trial by consent. [6] Maintain therefore, ye Lacedaemonians, the law of the Grecians against these men that have transgressed it, and give unto us that have suffered contrary to the law the just recompense of our alacrity in your service. And let not the words of these give us a repulse from you; but set up an example to the Grecians by presenting [unto these men] a trial not of words but of facts, which, if they be good, a short narration of them will serve the turn; if ill, compt orations do but veil them. [7] But if such as have the authority, as you have now, would collect the matter to a head and, according as any man should make answer thereunto, so proceed to sentence, men would be less in the search of fair speeches wherewith to excuse the foulness of their actions.

68. Thus spake the Thebans. And the Lacedaemonian judges, conceiving their interrogatory to stand well, namely, whether they had received any benefit by them or not in this present war, for they had indeed intreated them both at other times, according to the ancient league of Pausanias after the Medan war, to stand neutral, and also a little before the siege the Plataeans had rejected their proposition of being common friends to both sides according to the same league, taking themselves, in respect of these their just offers, to be now discharged of the league and to have received evil at their hands, caused them one by one to be brought forth and, having asked them again the same question, whether they had any way benefited the Lacedaemonians and their confederates in this present war or not, as they answered not led them aside and slew them, not exempting any. [2] Of the Plataeans themselves they slew no less than two hundred; of the Athenians who were besieged with them, twenty-five. [3] The women they made slaves; and the Thebans assigned the city for a year, or thereabouts, for a habitation to such Megareans as in sedition had been driven from their own and to all those Plataeans which, living, were of the Theban faction. But afterwards, pulling it all down to the very foundation, they built a hospital in the place near the temple of Juno of two hundred foot diameter with chambers on every side in circle both above and below, using therein the roofs and doors of the Plataeans' buildings. And of the rest of the stuff that was in the city wall, as brass and iron, they made bedsteads and dedicated them to Juno, to whom also they built a stone chapel of a hundred foot over. [4] The land they confiscated and set it to farm afterwards for ten years to the Thebans. So far were the Lacedaemonians alienated from the Plataeans, especially, or rather altogether, for the Thebans' sake, whom they thought useful to them in the war now on foot. [5] So ended the business at Plataea in the fourscore and thirteenth year after their league made with the Athenians.

69. The forty galleys of Peloponnesus, which having been sent to aid the Lesbians fled, as hath been related, through the wide sea chased by the Athenians and tossed by storms on the coast of Crete, came thence dispersed into Peloponnesus and found thirteen galleys, Leucadians and Ambraciotes, in the haven of Cyllene with Brasidas the son of Tellis come hither to be of council with Alcidas. [2] For the Lacedaemonians, seeing they failed of Lesbos, determined with their fleet augmented to sail to Corcyra, which was in sedition (there being but twelve Athenian galleys about Naupactus), to the end they might be there before the supply of a greater fleet should come from Athens. So Brasidas and Alcidas employed themselves in that.

70. The sedition in Corcyra began upon the coming home of those captives which were taken in the battles by sea at Epidamnus and released afterwards by the Corinthians at the ransom, as was voiced, of eighty talents for which they had given security to their hosts, but in fact for that they had persuaded the Corinthians that they would put Corcyra into their power. [2] These men going from man to man solicited the city to revolt from the Athenians. And two galleys being now come in, one of Athens, another of Corinth, with ambassadors from both those states, the Corcyraeans upon audience of them both decreed to hold the Athenians for their confederates on articles agreed on but withal to remain friends to the Peloponnesians as they had formerly been. [3] There was one Peithias, voluntary host of the Athenians and that had been principal magistrate of the people. [4] Him these men called into judgment and laid to his charge a practice to bring the city into the servitude of the Athenians. He again, being acquit, called in question five of the wealthiest of the same men saying they had cut certain stakes in the ground belonging to the temples both of Jupiter and of Alcinus, upon every of which there lay a penalty of a state. [5] And the cause going against them, they took sanctuary in the temples to the end, the sum being great, they might pay it by portions [as they should be taxed]. [6] But Peithias (for he was also of the senate) obtained that the law should proceed. These five being by the law excluded the senate and understanding that Peithias, as long as he was a senator, would cause the people to hold for friends and foes the same that were so to the Athenians, conspired with the rest and, armed with daggers, suddenly brake into the senate-house and slew both Peithias and others, as well private men as senators, to the number of about sixty persons; only a few of those of Peithias his faction escaped in the Athenian galley that lay yet in the harbour.

71. When they had done this and called the Corcyraeans to an assembly, they told them that what they had done was for the best and that they should not be now in bondage to the Athenians; and for the future they advised them to be in quiet and to receive neither party with more than one galley at once and to take them for enemies if they were more. And when they had spoken, forced them to decree it accordingly. [2] They also presently sent ambassadors to Athens both to show that it was fit for them to do what they had done and also to dissuade such Corcyraeans as were fled thither of the other faction from doing anything to their prejudice for fear the matter should fall into a relapse.

72. When these arrived, the Athenians apprehended both the ambassadors themselves as seditious persons and also all those Corcyraeans whom they had there prevailed with and sent them to custody in Aegina. [2] In the meantime, upon the coming in of a galley of Corinth with ambassadors from Lacedaemon, those that managed the state assailed the commons, and overcame them in fight. [3] And night coming on, the commons fled into the citadel and the higher parts of the city where they rallied themselves and encamped and made themselves masters of the haven called the Hillaique haven. But the nobility seized on the market place (where also the most of them dwelt) and on the haven on the side toward the continent.

73. The next day they skirmished a little with shot, and both parts sent abroad into the villages to solicit the slaves with promise of liberty to take their parts. And the greatest part of the slaves took part with the commons, and the other side had an aid of eight hundred men from the continent.

74. The next day but one they fought again; and the people had the victory, having the odds both in strength of places and in number of men. And the women also manfully assisted them, throwing tiles from the houses and enduring the tumult even beyond the condition of their sex. [2] The few began to fly about twilight and fearing lest the people should even with their shout take the arsenal and so come on and put them to the sword, to stop their passage set fire on the houses in circle about the market place and upon others near it. Much goods of merchants was hereby burnt, and the whole city, if the wind had risen and carried the flame that way, had been in danger to have been destroyed. [3] When the people had gotten the victory, the Corinthian galley stole away; and most of the auxiliaries got over privily into the continent.

75. The next day Nicostratus, the son of Diitrephes, an Athenian commander, came in with twelve galleys and five hundred Messenian men of arms from Naupactus; and both negotiated a reconciliation and induced them (to the end they might agree) to condemn ten of the principal authors of the sedition (who presently fled) and to let the rest alone, with articles both between themselves and with the Athenians to esteem friends and enemies the same the Athenians did. [2] When he had done this, he would have been gone; but the people persuaded him before he went to leave behind him five of his galleys, the better to keep their adversaries from stirring, and to take as many of theirs, which they would man with Corcyraeans and send with him. [3] To this he agreed; and they made a list of those that should embark, consisting altogether of their enemies. But these, fearing to be sent to Athens, took sanctuary in the temple of Castor and Pollux. [4] But Nicostratus endeavoured to raise them and spake to them to put them into courage. But when he could not prevail, the people, arming themselves on pretence that their diffidence to go along with Nicostratus proceeded from some evil intention, took away their arms out of their houses and would also have killed some of them such as they chanced on if Nicostratus had not hindered them. [5] Others also when they saw this took sanctuary in the temple of Juno, and they were in all above four hundred. But the people fearing some innovation got them by persuasion to rise and, conveying them into the island that lieth over against the temple of Juno, sent them their necessaries thither.

76. The sedition standing in these terms, the fourth or fifth day after the putting over of these men into the island arrived the Peloponnesian fleet from Cyllene, where since their voyage of Ionia they had lain at anchor, to the number of three and fifty sail. Alcidas had the command of these as before, and Brasidas came with him as a counsellor. And having first put in at Sybota, a haven of the continent, they came on the next morning by break of day toward Corcyra.

77. The Corcyraeans, being in great tumult and fear both of the seditious within and of the invasion without, made ready threescore galleys, and still as any of them were manned sent them out against the enemy; whereas the Athenians had advised them to give leave to them to go forth first and then the Corcyraeans to follow after with the whole fleet together. [2] When their galleys came forth thus thin, two of them presently turned to the enemy; and in others they that were aboard were together by the ears amongst themselves, and nothing was done in due order. [3] The Peloponnesians, seeing their confusion, opposed themselves to the Corcyraeans with twenty galleys only; the rest they set in array against the twelve galleys of Athens, whereof the Salaminia and the Paralus were two.

78. The Corcyraeans having come disorderly up, and by few at once, were on their part in much distress; but the Athenians, fearing the enemy's number and doubting to be environed, would never come up to charge the enemy where they stood thick nor would set upon the galleys that were placed in the midst but charged one end of them and drowned one of their galleys. [2] And when the Peloponnesians afterwards had put their fleet into a circular figure, they then went about and about it endeavouring to put them into disorder. Which they that were fighting against the Corcyraeans perceiving and fearing such another chance as befell them formerly at Naupactus, went to their aid and, uniting themselves, came upon the Athenians all together. [3] But they retiring rowed astern, intending that the Corcyraeans should take that time to escape in, they themselves in the meantime going as leisurely back as was possible and keeping the enemy still ahead. [4] Such was this battle, and it ended about sunset.

79. The Corcyraeans, fearing lest the enemy in pursuit of their victory should have come directly against the city or take aboard the men which they had put over into the island or do them some other mischief, fetched back the men into the temple of Juno again and guarded the city. [2] But the Peloponnesians, though they had won the battle, yet durst not invade the city but, having taken thirteen of the Corcyraean galleys, went back into the continent from whence they had set forth. [3] The next day they came not unto the city no more than before, although it was in great tumult and affright and though also Brasidas (as it is reported) advised Alcidas to it but had not equal authority, but only landed soldiers at the promontory of Leucimna and wasted their territory.

80. In the meantime the people of Corcyra, fearing extremely lest those galleys should come against the city, not only conferred with those in sanctuary and with the rest about how the city might be preserved but also induced some of them to go aboard. For notwithstanding the sedition they manned thirty galleys in expectation that the fleet of the enemy should have entered. [2] But the Peloponnesians, having been wasting of their fields till it was about noon, went their ways again. Within night the Corcyraeans had notice by fires of threescore Athenian galleys coming toward them from Leucas, which the Athenians, upon intelligence of the sedition and of the fleet to go to Corcyra under Alcidas, had sent to aid them under the conduct of Eurymedon the son of Thucles.

81. The Peloponnesians therefore, as soon as night came, sailed speedily home, keeping still the shore and causing their galleys to be carried over at the isthmus of Leucas that they might not come in sight as they went about. [2] But the people of Corcyra, hearing of the Attic galleys coming in and the going off of the Peloponnesians, brought into the city those Messenians which before were without and appointing the galleys which they had furnished to come about into the Hillaique haven, whilst accordingly they went about, slew all the contrary faction they could lay hands on, and also afterwards threw overboard out of the same galleys all those they had before persuaded to embark, and so went thence. And coming to the temple of Juno, they persuaded fifty of those that had taken sanctuary to refer themselves to a legal trial, all which they condemned to die. [3] But the most of the sanctuary men, that is, all those that were not induced to stand to trial by law, when they saw what was done, killed one another there right in the temple; some hanged themselves on trees; everyone as he had means made himself away. [4] And for seven days together that Eurymedon stayed there with his sixty galleys, the Corcyraeans did nothing but kill such of their city as they took to be their enemies, laying to their charge a practice to have everted the popular government. Amongst whom some were slain upon private hatred and some by their debtors for the money which they had lent them. All forms of death were then seen; [5] and (as in such cases it usually falls out) whatsoever had happened at any time happened also then, and more. For the father slew his son; men were dragged out of the temples and then slain hard by; and some immured in the temple of Bacchus died within it. So cruel was this sedition and seemed so the more because it was of these the first.

82. For afterwards all Greece, as a man may say, was in commotion; and quarrels arose everywhere between the patrons of the commons, that sought to bring in the Athenians, and the few, that desired to bring in the Lacedaemonians. Now in time of peace they could have had no pretence nor would have been so forward to call them in; but being war and confederates to be had for either party, both to hurt their enemies and strengthen themselves, such as desired alteration easily got them to come in. [2] And many and heinous things happened in the cities through this sedition, which though they have been before and shall be ever as long as human nature is the same, yet they are more calm and of different kinds according to the several conjunctures. For in peace and prosperity as well cities as private men are better minded because they be not plunged into necessity of doing anything against their will. But war, taking away the affluence of daily necessaries, is a most violent master and conformeth most men's passions to the present occasion. The cities therefore being now in sedition and those that fell into it later having heard what had been done in the former, they far exceeded the same in newness of conceit, both for the art of assailing and for the strangeness of their revenges. [3] The received value of names imposed for signification of things was changed into arbitrary. For inconsiderate boldness was counted true-hearted manliness; provident deliberation, a handsome fear; modesty, the cloak of cowardice; to be wise in everything, to be lazy in everything. [4] A furious suddenness was reputed a point of valour. To re-advise for the better security was held for a fair pretext of tergiversation. He that was fierce was always trusty, and he that contraried such a one was suspected. He that did insidiate, if it took, was a wise man; but he that could smell out a trap laid, a more dangerous man than he. [5] But he that had been so provident as not to need to do the one or the other was said to be a dissolver of society and one that stood in fear of his adversary. In brief, he that could outstrip another in the doing of an evil act or that could persuade another thereto that never meant it was commended. To be kin to another was not to be so near as to be of his society because these were ready to undertake anything and not to dispute it. [6] For these societies were not made upon prescribed laws of profit but for rapine, contrary to the laws established. And as for mutual trust amongst them, it was confirmed not so much by divine law as by the communication of guilt. And what was well advised of their adversaries, they received with an eye to their actions to see whether they were too strong for them or not, and not ingenuously. [7] To be revenged was in more request than never to have received injury. And for oaths (when any were) of reconcilement, being administered in the present for necessity, were of force to such as had otherwise no power; but upon opportunity, he that first durst thought his revenge sweeter by the trust than if he had taken the open way. For they did not only put to account the safeness of that course but, having circumvented their adversary by fraud, assumed to themselves withal a mastery in point of wit. And dishonest men for the most part are sooner called able than simple men honest, and men are ashamed of this title but take a pride in the other.

The cause of all this is desire of rule out of avarice and ambition, and the zeal of contention from those two proceeding. [8] For such as were of authority in the cities, both of the one and the other faction, preferring under decent titles, one, the polit- ical equality of the multitude, the other, the moderate aristoc- racy, though in words they seemed to be servants of the public, they made it in effect but the prize of their contention; and striving by whatsoever means to overcome both ventured on most horrible outrages and prosecuted their revenges still fartheir without any regard of justice or the public good, but limiting them, each faction, by their own appetite, and stood ready, whether by unjust sentence or with their own hands, when they should get power, to satisfy their present spite. So that neither side made account to have anything the sooner done for religion [of an oath], but he was most commended that could pass a business against the hair with a fair oration. The neutrals of the city were destroyed by both factions, partly because they would not side with them and partly for envy that they should so escape.

83. Thus was wickedness on foot in every kind throughout all Greece by the occasion of their sedition. Sincerity (whereof there is much in a generous nature) was laughed down; and it was far the best course to stand diffidently against each other with their thoughts in battle array, which no speech was so powerful nor oath terrible enough to disband. [2] And being all of them the more they considered the more desperate of assurance, they rather contrived how to avoid a mischief than were able to rely on any man's faith. [3] And for the most part, such as had the least wit had the best success; for both their own defect and the subtlety of their adversaries putting them into a great fear to be overcome in words, or at least in preinsidiation, by their enemies' great craft, they therefore went roundly to work with them with deeds. [4] Whereas the other, not caring though they were perceived and thinking they needed not to take by force what they might do by plot, were thereby unprovided and so the more easily slain.

84. In Corcyra then were these evils for the most part committed first; and so were all other, which either such men as have been governed with pride rather than modesty by those on whom they take revenge were like to commit in taking it; or which such men as stand upon their delivery from long poverty out of covetousness, chiefly to have their neighbours' goods would contrary to justice give their voices to; or which men, not for covetousness but assailing each other on equal terms, carried away with the unruliness of their anger would cruelly and inexorably execute. [2] And the common course of life being at that time confounded in the city, the nature of man, which is wont even against law to do evil, gotten now above the law, showed itself with delight to be too weak for passion, too strong for justice, and enemy to all superiority. Else they would never have preferred revenge before innocence nor lucre (whensoever the envy of it was without power to do them hurt) before justice. [3] And for the laws common to all men in such cases (which, as long as they be in force, give hope to all that suffer injury), men desire not to leave them standing against the need a man in danger may have of them but by their revenges on others to be beforehand in subverting them.

85. Such were the passions of the Corcyraeans, first of all other Grecians, towards one another in the city; and Eurymedon and the Athenians departed with their galleys. [2] Afterwards, such of the Corcyraeans as had fled (for there escaped about five hundred of them), having seized on the forts in the continent, impatronized themselves of their own territory on the other side and from thence came over and robbed the islanders and did them much hurt; and there grew a great famine in the city. [3] They likewise sent ambassadors to Lacedaemon and Corinth concerning their reduction; and when they could get nothing done, having gotten boats and some auxiliary soldiers, they passed, awhile after, to the number of about six hundred into the island. Where, when they had set fire on their boats that they might trust to nothing but to make themselves masters of the field, they went up into the hill Istone and, having there fortified themselves with a wall, infested those within and were masters of the territory.

86. In the end of the same summer the Athenians sent twenty galleys into Sicily under the command of Laches the son of Melanopus and Charoeadas the son of Euphiletus, for the Syracusians and the Leontines were now warring against each other. [2] The confederates of the Syracusians were all the Doric cities except the Camarinaeans, which also in the beginning of this war were reckoned in the league of the Lacedaemonians but had not yet aided them in the war. The confederates of the Leontines were the Chalcidique cities together with Camarina. And in Italy the Locrians were with the Syracusians; but the Rhegians, according to their consanguinity, took part with the Leontines. [3] Now the confederates of the Leontines, in respect of their ancient alliance with the Athenians as also for that they were Ionians, obtained of the Athenians to send them galleys, for that the Leontines were deprived by the Syracusians of the use both of the land and sea. [4] And so the people of Athens sent aid unto them, pretending propinquity but intending both to hinder the transportation of corn from thence into Peloponnesus and also to test the possibility of taking the states of Sicily into their own hands. [5] These arriving at Rhegium in Italy joined with the confederates and began the war. And so ended this summer.

87. The next winter, the sickness fell upon the Athenians again (having indeed never totally left the city, though there was some intermission) and continued above a year after; [2] but the former lasted two years, insomuch as nothing afflicted the Athenians or impaired their strength more than it. [3] For the number that died of it of men of arms enrolled were no less than four thousand four hundred; and horsemen, three hundred; of the other multitude, innumerable. [4] There happened also at the same time many earthquakes both in Athens and Euboea and also amongst the Boeotians, and in Boeotia chiefly at Orchomenus.

88. The Athenians and Rhegians that were now in Sicily made war the same winter on the islands called the islands of Aeolus with thirty galleys. For in summer it was impossible to war upon them for the shallowness of the water. [2] These islands are inhabited by the Liparaeans who are a colony of the Cnidians and dwell in one of the same islands, no great one, called Lipara; and thence they go forth and husband the rest which are Didyme, Strongyle, and Hiera. [3] The inhabitants of those places have an opinion that in Hiera Vulcan exerciseth the craft of a smith. For it is seen to send forth abundance of fire in the daytime and of smoke in the night. These islands are adjacent to the territory of the Siculi and Messanians but were confederates of the Syracusians. [4] When the Athenians had wasted their fields and saw they would not come in, they put off again and went to Rhegium. And so ended this winter and the fifth year of this war written by Thucydides.

89. The next summer the Peloponnesians and their confederates came as far as the isthmus under the conduct of Agis the son of Archidamus, intending to have invaded Attica; but by reason of the many earthquakes that then happened, they turned back, and the invasion proceeded not. [2] About the same time (Euboea being then troubled with earthquakes), the sea came in at Orobiae on the part which then was land and, being impetuous withal, overflowed most part of the city, whereof part it covered and part it washed down and made lower in the return so that it is now sea which before was land. And the people, as many as could not prevent it by running up into the higher ground, perished. [3] Another inundation like unto this happened in the isle of Atalanta, on the coast of Locris of the Opuntians, and carried away part of the Athenians' fort there; and of two galleys that lay on dry land, it brake one in pieces. [4] Also there happened at Peparethus a certain rising of the water, but it brake not in; and a part of the wall, the town-house, and some few houses besides were overthrown by the earthquakes. [5] The cause of such inundation, for my part, I take to be this: that the earthquake, where it was very great, did there send off the sea; and the sea returning on a sudden, caused the water to come on with greater violence. And it seemeth unto me that without an earthquake such an accident could never happen.

90. The same summer divers others, as they had several occasions, made war in Sicily; so also did the Sicilians amongst themselves and the Athenians with their confederates. But I will make mention only of such most memorable things as were done either by the confederates there with the Athenians or against the Athenians by the enemy. [2]

Charoeades the Athenian general being slain by the Syracusians, Laches, who was now sole commander of the fleet, together with the confederates made war on Mylae, a town belonging to Messana. There were in Mylae two companies of Messanians in garrison, the which also laid a certain ambush for those that came up from the fleet. [3] But the Athenians and their confederates both put to flight those that were in ambush with the slaughter of the most of them and also, assaulting their fortification, forced them on composition both to render the citadel and to go along with them against Messana. [4] After this, upon the approach of the Athenians and their confederates, the Messanians compounded likewise and gave them hostages and such other security as was requisite.

91. The same summer the Athenians sent thirty galleys about Peloponnesus under the command of Demosthenes the son of Alkisthenes and Proclus the son of Theodorus and sixty galleys more with two thousand men of arms, commanded by Nicias the son of Niceratus, into Melos. [2] For the Athenians, in respect that the Melians were islanders and yet would neither be their subjects nor of their league, intended to subdue them. [3] But when upon the wasting of their fields they still stood out, they departed from Melos and sailed to Oropus in the opposite continent. Being there arrived within night, the men of arms left the galleys and marched presently by land to Tanagra in Boeotia. [4] To which place, upon a sign given, the Athenians that were in the city of Athens came also forth with their whole forces, led by Hipponnicus the son of Callias and Eurymedon the son of Thucles, and joined with them and, pitching their camp, spent the day in wasting the territory of Tanagra and lay there the night following. [5] The next day, they defeated in battle such of the Tanagrians as came out against them and also certain succours sent them from Thebes; and when they had taken up the arms of those that were slain and erected a trophy, they returned back, the one part to Athens, the other to their fleet. [6] And Nicias with his sixty galleys, having first sailed along the coast of Locris and wasted it, came home likewise.

92. About the same time the Peloponnesians erected the colony of Heracleia in Trachinia with this intention. The Melians in the whole contain these three parts: [2] Paralians, Hierans, and Trachinians. Of these the Trachinians, being afflicted with war from the Oetaeans their borderers, thought at first to have joined themselves to the Athenians; but fearing that they would not be faithful to them, they sent to Lacedaemon, choosing for their ambassador Tisamenus. [3] And the Dorians, who are the mother nation to the Lacedaemonians, sent their ambassadors likewise with him with the same requests; for they also were infested with war from the same Oetaeans. [4] Upon audience of these ambassadors the Lacedaemonians concluded to send out a colony, both intending the reparation of the injuries done to the Trachinians and to the Dorians and conceiving withal that the town would stand very commodiously for their war with the Athenians, inasmuch as they might thereby have a navy ready, where the passage was but short, against Euboea; and it would much further their conveyance of soldiers into Thrace. And they had their mind wholly bent to the building of the place.

First, therefore, they asked counsel of the oracle in Delphi. [5] And the oracle having bidden them do it, they sent inhabitants thither, both of their own people and of the neighbours about them, and gave leave also to any that would to go thither out of the rest of Greece, save only to the Ionians, Achaeans, and some few other nations. The conductors of the colony were three Lacedaemonians, Leon, Alcidas, and Damagon. [6] Who, taking it in hand, built the city which is now called Heracleia from the very foundation, being distant from Thermopylae forty furlongs and from the sea twenty. Also they made houses for galleys to lie under, beginning close to Thermopylae against the very strait, to the end to have them the more defensible.

93. The Athenians, when this city was peopled, were at first afraid and thought it to be set up especially against Euboea; because from thence to Cenaeum, a promontory of Euboea, the passage is but short. But it fell out afterwards otherwise than they imagined; for they had no great harm by it, the reason whereof was this. [2] That the Thessalians, who had the towns of those parts in their power and upon whose ground it was built, afflicted these new planters with a continual war till they had worn them out, though they were many indeed in the beginning. For being the foundation of the Lacedaemonians, everyone went thither boldly, conceiving the city to be an assured one. And chiefly the governors themselves, sent hither from Lacedaemon, undid the business and dispeopled the city by fighting most men away, for that they governed severely and sometimes also unjustly, by which means their neighbours more easily prevailed against them.

94. The same summer, and about the same time that the Athenians stayed in Melos, those other Athenians that were in the thirty galleys about Peloponnesus slew first certain garrison soldiers in Ellomenus, a place of Leucadia, by ambush. But afterwards with a greater fleet and with the whole power of the Acarnanians, who followed the army, all (but the Oeniades) that could bear arms, and with the Zacynthians and Cephalonians and fifteen galleys of the Corcyraeans, made war against the city itself of Leucas. [2] The Leucadians, though they saw their territory wasted by them both without the isthmus and within where the city of Leucas standeth and the temple of Apollo, yet they durst not stir because the number of the enemy was so great. And the Acarnanians entreated Demosthenes, the Athenian general, to wall them up, conceiving that they might easily be expugned by a siege and desiring to be rid of a city their continual enemy. [3] But Demosthenes was persuaded at the same time by the Messenians that, seeing so great an army was together, it would be honourable for him to invade the Aetolians, principally as being enemies to Naupactus; and that if these were subdued, the rest of the continent thereabouts would easily be added to the Athenian dominion. [4] For they alleged that though the nation of the Aetolians were great and warlike, yet their habitation was in villages unwalled and those at great distances, and were but light-armed and might, therefore, with no great difficulty be all subdued before they could unite themselves for defense. [5] And they advised him to take in hand first the Apodotians, next the Ophionians, and after them the Eurytanians (which are the greatest part of Aetolia, of a most strange language, and that are reported to eat raw flesh); for these being subdued, the rest would easily follow.

95. But he, induced by the Messenians whom he favoured, but especially because he thought without the forces of the people of Athens with the confederates only of the continent and with the Aetolians to invade Boeotia by land, going first through the Locri Ozolae and so to Cytinium of Doris, having Parnassus on the right hand till the descent thereof into the territory of the Phoceans, which people, for the friendship they ever bore to the Athenians, would, he thought, be willing to follow his army, and if not, might be forced; and upon the Phoceans bordereth Boeotia; putting off therefore with his whole army, against the minds of the Acarnanians, from Leucas, he sailed unto Solium by the shore. [2] And there, having communicated his conceit with the Acarnanians, when they would not approve of it because of his refusal to besiege Leucas, he himself with the rest of his army, Cephalonians, Zacynthians, and three hundred Athenians, the soldiers of his own fleet (for the fifteen galleys of Corcyra were now gone away), warred on the Aetolians, having Oeneon, a city of Locris, for the seat of his war. [3] Now these Locrians called Ozolae were confederates of the Athenians and were to meet them with their whole power in the heart of the country. For being confiners on the Aetolians and using the same manner of arming, it was thought it would be a matter of great utility in the war to have them in their army for that they knew their manner of fight and were acquainted with the country.

96. Having lain the night with his whole army in the temple of Jupiter Nemeius (wherein the poet Hesiodus is reported by them that dwell thereabout to have died, foretold by an oracle that he should die in Nemea), in the morning betimes he dislodged and marched into Aetolia. [2] The first day he took Potidania; the second day, Crocyleium; the third, Teichium. There he stayed and sent the booty he had gotten to Eupalium in Locris. For he purposed, when he had subdued the rest, to invade the Ophionians afterwards (if they submitted not) in his return to Naupactus. [3] But the Aetolians knew of this preparation when it was first resolved on. And afterwards, when the army was entered, they were united into a mighty army to make head, insomuch as that the farthest off of the Ophionians that reach out to the Melian Gulf, the Bomians and Callians, came in with their aids.

97. The Messenians gave the same advice to Demosthenes that they had done before and, alleging that the conquest of the Aetolians would be but easy, willed him to march with all speed against them, village after village, and not to stay till they were all united and in order of battle against him but to attempt always the place which was next to hand. [2] He, persuaded by them and confident of his fortune because nothing had crossed him hitherto, without tarrying for the Locrians that should have come in with their aids (for his greatest want was of darters light-armed), marched to Aegitium, which approaching he won by force, the men having fled secretly out and encamped themselves on the hills above it; for it stood in a mountainous place and about eighty furlongs from the sea. [3] But the Aetolians (for by this time they were come with their forces to Aegitium) charged the Athenians and their confederates and, running down upon them, some one way and some another, from the hills, plied them with their darts. And when the army of the Athenians assaulted them, they retired; and when it retired, they assaulted. So that the fight for a good while was nothing but alternate chase and retreat, and the Athenians had the worst in both.

98. Nevertheless, as long as their archers had arrows and were able to use them (for the Aetolians, by reason they were not armed, were put back still with the shot), they held out. But when upon the death of their captain the archers were dispersed and the rest were also wearied, having a long time continued the said labour of pursuing and retiring, and the Aetolians continually afflicting them with their darts, they were forced at length to fly and, lighting into hollows without issue and into places they were not acquainted withal, were destroyed. For Chromon a Messenian, who was their guide for the ways, was slain. [2] And the Aetolians, pursuing them still with darts, slew many of them quickly whilst they fled, being swift of foot and without armour. But the most of them missing their way and entering into a wood which had no passage through, the Aetolians set it on fire and burnt it about them. [3] All kinds of shifts to fly and all kinds of destruction were that day in the army of the Athenians. Such as remained with much ado got to the sea and to Oeneon, a city of Locris, from whence they first set forth. [4] There died very many of the confederates and a hundred and twenty men of arms of the Athenians; that was their number, and all of them able men; these men of the very best died in this war. Procles also was there slain, one of the generals. [5] When they had received the bodies of their dead from the Aetolians under truce and were gotten again to Naupactus, they returned with the fleet to Athens. But they left Demosthenes about Naupactus and those parts because he was afraid of the Athenian people for the loss that had happened.

99. About the same time the Athenians that were on the coast of Sicily sailed unto Locris and, landing, overcame such as made head and took in Peripolium, situated on the river Halex.

100. The same summer, the Aetolians, having sent their ambassadors, Tolophus, an Ophionian, Boryades, an Eurytanian, and Tisander, an Apodotian, to Corinth and Lacedaemon, persuaded them to send an army against Naupactus for that it harboured the Athenians against them. [2] And the Lacedaemonians, towards the end of autumn, sent them three thousand men of arms of their confederates of which five hundred were of Heracleia, the new-built city of Trachinia. The general of the army was Eurylochus, a Spartan, with whom Macarius and Menedaeus went also along, Spartans likewise.

101. When the army was assembled at Delphi, Eurylochus sent a herald to the Locrians of Ozolae both because their way lay through them to Naupactus, and also because he desired to make them revolt from the Athenians. [2] Of all the Locrians the Amphissians co-operated with him most, as standing most in fear for the enmity of the Phoceans. And they first giving hostages induced others who likewise were afraid of the coming in of the army to do the like: the Myoneans first, being their neighbours, for this way is Locris of most difficult access; then the Ipneans, Messapians, Tritaeans, Chalaeans, Tolophonians, Hessians, and the Oeantheans. All these went with them to the war. The Olpaeans gave them hostages but followed not the army. But the Hyaeans would give them no hostages till they had taken a village of theirs called Polis.

102. When everything was ready and he had sent the hostages away to Cytinium in Doris, he marched with his army towards Naupactus through the territory of the Locrians. And as he marched, he took Oeneon, a town of theirs, and Eupalium because they refused to yield unto him. [2] When they were come into the territory of Naupactus, the Aetolians being there already to join with them, they wasted the fields about and took the suburbs of the city, being unfortified. Then they went to Molycreium, a colony of the Corinthians but subject to the people of Athens, and took that. [3] Now Demosthenes, the Athenian (for ever since the Aetolian business he abode about Naupactus), having been pre-advertised of this army and being afraid to lose the city, went amongst the Acarnanians and with much ado, because of his departure from before Leucas, persuaded them to relieve Naupactus; [4] and they sent along with him in his galleys a thousand men of arms. Which entering were the preservation of the city; [5] for there was danger, the walls being of a great compass and the defendants few, that else they should not have been able to make them good. Eurylochus and those that were with him, when they perceived that those forces were entered and that it was impossible to take the city by assault, departed thence not into Peloponnesus but to Aeolis, now called Calydon, and to Pleuron and other places thereabouts, and also to Proschion in Aetolia. [6] For the Ambraciotes coming to them persuaded them to undertake, together with themselves, the enterprise against Argos and the rest of Amphilochia, and Acarnania, saying withal that if they could overcome these, the rest of that continent would enter into the league of the Lacedaemonians. [7] Whereunto Eurylochus assented and, dismissing the Aetolians, lay quiet in those parts with his army till such time as the Ambraciotes being come with their forces before Argos he should have need to aid them. And so this summer ended.

103. The Athenians that were in Sicily in the beginning of winter, together with the Grecians of their league and as many of the Siculi as having obeyed the Syracusans by force, or being their confederates before, had now revolted, warred jointly against Nessa, a town of Sicily, the citadel whereof was in the hands of the Syracusans. And they assaulted the same; [2] but when they could not win it, they retired. In the retreat, the Syracusans that were in the citadel sallied out upon the confederates that retired later than the Athenians, and charging, put a part of the army to flight and killed not a few. [3] After this, Laches and the Athenians landed some time at Locris and overcame in battle by the river Caicinus about three hundred Locrians, who with Proxenus, the son of Capaton, came out to make resistance; and when they had stripped them of their arms, departed.

104. The same winter also the Athenians hallowed the isle of Delos, by the admonition indeed of a certain oracle. For Pisistratus also, the tyrant, hallowed the same before; not all, but only so much as was within the prospect of the temple. But now they hallowed it all over in this manner. [2] They took away all sepulchres whatsoever of such as had died there before, and for the future made an edict that none should be suffered to die nor any woman to bring forth child in the island; but [when they were near the time, either of the one or the other] they should be carried over into Rheneia. This Rheneia is so little a way distant from Delos that Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos, who was once of great power by sea and had the dominion of the other islands, when he won Rheneia dedicated the same to Apollo of Delos, tying it unto Delos with a chain. [3] And now after the hallowing of it, the Athenians instituted the keeping, every fifth year, of the Delian games.

There had also in old time been great concourse in Delos, both of Ionians and of the islanders round about. For they then came to see the games, with their wives and children, as the Ionians do now the games at Ephesus. [4] There were likewise matches set of bodily exercise and of music; and the cities did severally set forth dances. Which things to have been so, is principally declared by Homer in these verses of his hymn to Apollo:

But thou, Apollo, takest most delight
In Delos. There assemble in thy sight
The long-coat Ions, with their children dear
And venerable bedfellows; and there
In matches set of buffets, song, and dance,
Both show thee pastime and thy name advance.
[5] That there were also matches of music and that men resorted thither to contend therein he again maketh manifest in these verses of the same hymn. For after he hath spoken of the Delian dance of the women, he endeth their praise with these verses, wherein also he maketh mention of himself:
But well: let Phoebus and Diana be
Propitious; and farewell you, each one.
But yet remember me when I am gone:
And if of earthly men you chance to see
Any toil'd pilgrim, that shall ask you, Who,
O damsels, is the man that living here
Was sweet'st in song, and that most had your ear?
Then all, with a joint murmur, thereunto
Make answer thus: [6] A man deprived of seeing;
In the isle of sandy Chios is his being.
So much hath Homer witnessed touching the great meeting and solemnity celebrated of old in the isle of Delos. And the islanders and the Athenians, since that time, have continued still to send dancers along with their sacrificers; but the games and things of that kind were worn out, as is likely, by adversity till now that the Athenians restored the games and added the horse race, which was not before.

105. The same winter the Ambraciotes, according to their promise made to Eurylochus when they retained his army, made war upon Argos in Amphilochia with three thousand men of arms, and invading Argeia, they took Olpae, a strong fort on a hill by the sea-side, which the Acarnanians had fortified and used for the place of their common meetings for matters of justice, and is distant from the city of Argos, which stands also on the sea-side, about twenty-five furlongs. [2] The Acarnanians, with part of their forces, came to relieve Argos; and with the rest they encamped in that part of Amphilochia which is called Crenae to watch the Peloponnesians that were with Eurylochus that they might not pass through to the Ambraciotes without their knowledge; [3] and sent to Demosthenes, who had been leader of the Athenians in the expedition against the Aetolians, to come to them and be their general. They sent also to the twenty Athenian galleys that chanced to be then on the coast of Peloponnesus under the conduct of Aristoteles, the son of Timocrates, and Hierophon, the son of Antimnestus. [4] In like manner the Ambraciotes that were at Olpae sent a messenger to the city of Ambracia, willing them to come to their aid with their whole power, as fearing that those with Eurylochus would not be able to pass by the Acarnanians, and so they should be either forced to fight alone or else have an unsafe retreat.

106. But the Peloponnesians that were with Eurylochus, as soon as they understood that the Ambraciotes were come to Olpae, dislodging from Proschion went with all speed to assist them; and passing over the river Achelöus, marched through Acarnania, which, by reason of the aids sent to Argos, was now disfurnished. On their right hand they had the city of Stratus and that garrison; on the left, the rest of Acarnania. [2] Having passed the territory of the Stratians, they marched through Phytia, and again by the utmost limits of Medeon; then through Limnaea; then they went into the territory of the Agraeans, which are out of Acarnania, and their friends: [3] and getting to the hill Thiamus, which is a desert hill, they marched over it and came down into Argeia when it was now night; and passing between the city of the Argives and the Arcarnanians that kept watch at [the] Wells, came unseen and joined with the Ambraciotes at Olpae.

107. When they were all together, they sat down about break of day at a place called Metropolis and there encamped. And the Athenians not long after with their twenty galleys arrived in the Ambracian gulf to the aid of the Argives, to whom also came Demosthenes with two hundred Messenian men of arms and threescore Athenian archers. [2] The galleys lay at sea before the hill upon which the fort of Olpae standeth. But the Acarnanians, and those few Amphilochians (for the greatest part of them the Ambraciotes kept back by force) that were come already together at Argos, prepared themselves to give the enemy battle, and chose Demosthenes, with their own commanders, for general of the whole league. He, when he had brought them up near unto Olpae, there encamped. [3] There was between them a great hollow. And for five days together they stirred not; but the sixth day both sides put themselves into array for the battle. The army of the Peloponnesians reached a great way beyond the other, for indeed it was much greater; but Demosthenes, fearing to be encompassed, placed an ambush in a certain hollow way and fit for such a purpose, of armed and unarmed soldiers, in all to the number of four hundred; which, in that part where the number of the enemies overreached, should in the heat of the battle rise out of ambush and charge them on their backs. [4] When the battles were in order on either side, they came to blows. Demosthenes, with the Messenians and those few Athenians that were there, stood in the right wing; and the Acarnanians (as they could one after another be put in order) and those Amphilochian darters which were present, made up the other. The Peloponnesians and Ambraciotes were ranged promiscuously, except only the Mantineans, who stood together most of them in the left wing, but not in the utmost part of it; for Eurylochus and those that were with him made the extremity of the left wing, against Demosthenes and the Messenians.

108. When they were in fight, and that the Peloponnesians with that wing overreached and had encircled the right wing of their enemies, those Acarnanians that lay in ambush, coming in at their backs, charged them and put them to flight in such sort as they endured not the first brunt, and besides, caused the greatest part of the army through affright to run away. For when they saw that part of it defeated which was with Eurylochus, which was the best of their army, they were a great deal the more afraid. And the Messenians that were in that part of the army with Demosthenes, pursuing them, dispatched the greatest part of the execution. [2] But the Ambraciotes that were in the right wing, on that part had the victory, and chased the enemy unto the city of Argos. [3] But in their retreat, when they saw that the greatest part of the army was vanquished, the rest of the Acarnanians setting upon them, they had much ado to recover Olpae in safety. And many of them were slain, whilst they ran into it out of array and in disorder, save only the Mantineans, for these made a more orderly retreat than any part of the army. And so this battle ended, having lasted till the evening.

109. The next day, Menedaius (Eurylochus and Macarius being now slain), taking the command upon him and not finding how, if he stayed, he should be able to sustain a siege, wherein he should both be shut up by land and also with those Attic galleys by sea, or if he should depart, how he might do it safely, had speech with Demosthenes and the Acarnanian captains, both about a truce for his departure and for the receiving of the bodies of the slain. [2] And they delivered unto them their dead, and having erected a trophy took up their own dead, which were about three hundred. But for their departure they would make no truce openly [nor] to all; but secretly Demosthenes with his Acarnanian fellow-commanders made a truce with the Mantineans, and with Menedaius and the rest of the Peloponnesian captains and men of most worth, to be gone as speedily as they could, with purpose to disguard the Ambraciotes and multitude of mercenary strangers, and withal to use this as a means to bring the Peloponnesians into hatred with the Grecians of those parts as men that had treacherously advanced their particular interest. [3] Accordingly they took up their dead, and buried them as fast as they could; and such as had leave consulted secretly touching how to be gone.

110. Demosthenes and the Acarnanians had now intelligence that the Ambraciotes from the city of Ambracia, according to the message sent to them before from Olpae [which was that they should bring their whole power through Amphilochia to their aid], were already on their march (ignorant of what had passed here) to join with those at Olpae. [2] And hereupon he sent a part of his army presently forth to beset the ways with ambushment and to pre-occupy all places of strength, and prepared withal to encounter with the rest of his army.

111. In the meantime, the Mantineans and such as had part in the truce, going out on pretence to gather potherbs and firewood, stole away by small numbers, and as they went, did indeed gather such things as they pretended to go forth for; [2] but when they were gotten far from Olpae, they went faster away. But the Ambraciotes and others that came forth in the same manner, but in greater troops, seeing the others go quite away, were eager to be gone likewise, and ran outright, as desiring to overtake those that were gone before. [3] The Acarnanians at first thought they had gone all without a truce alike and pursued the Peloponnesians and threw darts at their own captains for forbidding them and for saying that they went away under truce, as thinking themselves betrayed. [4] But at last they let go the Mantineans and Peloponnesians, and slew the Ambraciotes only. And there was much contention and ignorance of which was an Ambraciote and which a Peloponnesian. So they slew about two hundred of them, and the rest escaped into Agrais, a bordering territory, where Salynthius, king of the Agraeans and their friend, received them.

112. The Ambraciotes out of the city of Ambracia were come as far as Idomene. Idomene are two high hills, to the greater whereof came first undiscovered that night they whom Demosthenes had sent afore from the camp and seized it; but the Ambraciotes got first to the lesser and there encamped the same night. [2] Demosthenes, after supper, in the twilight, marched forward with the rest of the army, one half whereof himself took with him for the assault of the camp, and the other half he sent about through the mountains of Amphilochia. [3] And the next morning before day, he invaded the Ambraciotes whilst they were yet in their lodgings and knew not what was the matter, but thought rather that they had been some of their own company. [4] For Demosthenes had placed the Messenians on purpose in the foremost ranks, and commanded them to speak unto them as they went in the Doric dialect and to make the sentinels secure, especially seeing their faces could not be discerned, for it was yet night. [5] Wherefore they put the army of the Ambraciotes to flight at the first onset and slew many upon the place; [6] the rest fled as fast as they could towards the mountains. But the ways being beset and the Amphilochians being well acquainted with their own territory and armed but lightly against men in armour unacquainted and utterly ignorant which way to take, they lit into hollow ways and to the places forelaid with ambushes and perished. [7] And having been put to all manner of shifts for their lives, some fled towards the sea; and when they saw the galleys of Athens sailing by the shore (this accident concurring with their defeat), swam to them, and chose rather in their present fear to be killed of those in the galleys than by the barbarians and their most mortal enemies the Amphilochians. [8] The Ambraciotes with this loss came home, a few of many, in safety to their city. And the Acarnanians, having taken the spoil of the dead and erected their trophies, returned unto Argos.

113. The next day there came a herald from those Ambraciotes which fled from Olpae into Agrais to demand leave to carry away the bodies of those dead which were slain after the first battle, when without truce they went away together with the Mantineans and with those that had truce. [2] But when the herald saw the armours of those Ambraciotes that came from the city, he wondered at the number, for he knew nothing of this last blow but thought they had been armours of those with them. [3] Then one asked him what he wondered at and how many he thought were slain; for he that asked him the question thought, on the other side, that he had been a herald sent from those at Idomene. And he answered, about two hundred.

Then he that asked replied and said: ‘Then these are not the armours of them, but of above a thousand. [4]

Then,’ said he again, ‘they belong not to them that were in battle with us.’ The other answered: ‘Yes, if you fought yesterday in Idomene.

But we fought not yesterday at all, but the other day in our retreat.

But we yet fought yesterday with those Ambraciotes that came from the city to aid the rest. [5]

When the herald heard that and knew that the aid from the city was defeated, he burst out into Aimees, and astonished with the greatness of the present loss, forthwith went his way without his errand and required the dead bodies no farther. [6] For this loss was greater than, in the like number of days, happened to any one city of Greece in all this war. I have not written the number of the slain because it was said to be such as is incredible for the quantity of the city. But this I know: that if the Acarnanians and Amphilochians, as Demosthenes and the Athenians would have had them, would have subdued Ambracia, they might have done it even with the shout of their voices. But they feared now that if the Athenians possessed it, they would prove more troublesome neighbours unto them than the other.

114. After this, having bestowed the third part of the spoils upon the Athenians, they distributed the other two parts according to the cities. The Athenians' part was lost by sea. For those three hundred complete armours which are dedicated in the temples in Attica, were picked out for Demosthenes [himself], and he brought them away with him. His return was withal the safer for this action, after his defeat in Aetolia. And the Athenians that were in the twenty galleys returned to Naupactus. [2]

The Acarnanians and Amphilochians, when the Athenians and Demosthenes were gone, granted truce at the city of the Oeniades to those Ambraciotes and Peloponnesians that were fled to Salynthius and the Agraeans to retire, the Oeniades being gone over to Salynthius and the Agraeans likewise. [3] And for the future, the Acarnanians and Amphilochians made a league with the Ambraciotes for a hundred years, upon these conditions: ‘That neither the Ambraciotes with the Acarnanians should make war against the Peloponnesians, nor the Acarnanians with the Ambraciotes against the Athenians; that they should give mutual aid to one another's country; that the Ambraciotes should restore whatsoever towns or bordering fields they held of the Amphilochians; and that they should at no time aid Anactorium, which was in hostility with the Acarnanians.’ And upon this composition the war ended. [4] After this, the Corinthians sent a garrison of about three hundred men of arms of their own city to Ambracia under the conduct of Xenocleides, the son of Euthycles, who, with much difficulty passing through Epirus, at length arrived. Thus passed the business in Ambracia.

115. The same winter the Athenians that were in Sicily invaded Himeraea by sea, aided by the Sicilians that invaded the skirts of the same by land. They sailed also to the islands of Aeolus. Returning afterwards to Rhegium, they found there Pythodorus, the son of Isolochus, [with certain galleys], come to receive charge of the fleet commanded by Laches. [2] For the Sicilian confederates had sent to Athens and persuaded the people to assist them with a greater fleet. [3] For though the Syracusans were masters by land, yet seeing they hindered them but with few galleys from the liberty of the sea, they made preparation, and were gathering together a fleet with intention to resist them. [4] And the Athenians furnished out forty galleys to send into Sicily, conceiving that the war there would the sooner be at an end and desiring withal to train their men in naval exercise. [5] Therefore Pythodorus, one of the commanders, they sent presently away with a few of those galleys, and intended to send Sophocles, the son of Sostratides, and Eurymedon, the son of Thucles, with the greatest number afterwards. [6] But Pythodorus, having now the command of Laches' fleet, sailed in the end of winter unto a certain garrison of the Locrians which Laches had formerly taken, and overthrown in a battle there by the Locrians, retired.

116. The same spring, there issued a great stream of fire out of the mountain Aetna, as it had also done in former times, and burned part of the territory of the Catanaeans, that dwell at the foot of Aetna, which is the highest mountain of all Sicily. [2] From the last time that the fire brake out before to this time, it is said to be fifty years. And it hath now broken out thrice in all since Sicily was inhabited by the Grecians. [3] These were the things that came to pass this winter. And so ended the sixth year of this war written by Thucydides.

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