76.So there was a contention at this time, one side compelling the city to a democracy, the other, the army to an oligarchy.
And presently there was an assembly of the soldiers called, wherein they deprived the former commanders, and such captains of galleys as they had in suspicion, of their charge, and chose others, both captains of galleys and commanders, in their places, of which Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus were two.And they stood up and encouraged one another, both otherwise and with this:
that they had no cause to be dejected for the city's revolting from them;for they at Athens, being the lesser part, had forsaken them, who were not only the greater part, but also every way the better provided.
For they, having the whole navy, could compel the rest of the cities subject unto them to pay in their money as well now as if they were to set out from Athens itself.And that they also had a city, namely Samos, no weak one, but even such a one as, when they were enemies, wanted little of taking the dominion of the sea from the Athenians.That the seat of the war was the same it was before;and that they should be better able to provide themselves of things necessary, having the navy, than they should be that were at home in the city.And that they at Athens were masters of the entrance of Peiraeus, both formerly by the favour of them at Samos;
and that now also, unless they restore them the government, they shall again be brought to that pass that those at Samos shall be better able to bar them the use of the sea than they shall be to bar it them of Samos.
That it was a trifle and worth nothing, which was conferred to the overcoming of the enemy by the city, and a small matter it would be to lose it, seeing they had neither any more silver to send them (for the soldiers shifted for themselves), nor yet good direction, which is the thing for which the city hath the command of the armies.Nay, that in this point they erred which were at Athens, in that they had abrogated the laws of their country;whereas they at Samos did both observe the same themselves and endeavour to constrain the other to do so likewise.So that such of them in the camp as should give good council were as good as they in the city.
And that Alcibiades, if they would decree his security and his return, would with all his heart procure the king to be their confederate.And that which is the main thing, if they failed of all other helps, yet with so great a fleet they could not fail of many places to retire to, in which they might find both city and territory.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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