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After this the Achaeans, who were in possession1 of Calydon—in ancient times an Aetolian town —and had made the people of Calydon Achaean citizens, were compelled to keep a garrison there. For the Acarnanians made an expedition against the city, and some of the Athenians and Boeotians joined with them, because the Acarnanians were their allies. Therefore, being hard pressed by them, the Achaeans sent ambassadors to Lacedaemon. And upon reaching there the ambassadors said that they were not receiving fair treatment from the Lacedaemonians. [2] “For, gentlemen,” they said, “we serve with you howsoever you direct and follow whithersoever you lead; but now that we are besieged by the Acarnanians and their allies, the Athenians and Boeotians, you take no thought for us. Now we cannot hold out if these things go on in this way, but either we shall abandon the war in Peloponnesus and all of us cross over and make war against the Acarnanians and their allies, or else we shall make peace on whatever terms we can.” [3] Now they said this by way of covertly threatening to withdraw from their alliance with the Lacedaemonians unless the latter should help them in return. In view2 of this statement, it seemed to the ephors and the assembly that it was necessary to undertake a campaign with the Achaeans against the Acarnanians. And they sent out Agesilaus, with two Lacedaemonian regiments and the corresponding contingent of the allies. The Achaeans, however, joined in the campaign with their entire force. [4] Now when Agesilaus crossed over, all the Acarnanians of the country districts fled to the walled towns, and all their cattle were driven off to remote parts to prevent their being captured by the army. But when Agesilaus arrived at the borders of the enemy's country, he sent to the general assembly of the Acarnanians at Stratus and said that unless they discontinued their alliance with the Boeotians and Athenians and chose his people and the Achaeans as allies, he would lay waste their whole territory, one portion after another, and would not spare any portion of it. [5] Then, upon their refusing to obey him, he proceeded to do so, continually devastating the land as he went and hence advancing not more than ten or twelve stadia a day. The Acarnanians, therefore, deeming it safe on account of the slow progress of the army, brought down their cattle from the mountains and continued to till the greater part of their land. [6] But when it seemed to Agesilaus that they were now very bold, on the fifteenth or sixteenth day from the time when he entered the country, he offered sacrifice in the morning and accomplished before evening a march of one hundred and sixty stadia to the lake on whose banks were almost all the cattle of the Acarnanians, and he captured herds of cattle and droves of horses in large numbers besides all sorts of other stock and great numbers of slaves.3 And after effecting this capture and remaining there through the ensuing day, he made public sale of the booty. [7] Now, however, many peltasts of the Acarnanians came up, and, inasmuch as Agesilaus was encamped on the mountain-side, by throwing stones and discharging their slings from the ridge of the mountain they succeeded, without suffering any harm themselves, in forcing the army to descend to the plain, even though the men were already making preparations for dinner. But at night the Acarnanians departed, and the troops posted sentinels and lay down to rest. [8]

On the next day Agesilaus undertook to lead his army away. Now the road which led out from the meadow and plain surrounding the lake was narrow on account of the mountains which encircled it round; and the Acarnanians, taking possession of these mountains, threw stones and javelins upon the Lacedaemonians from the heights upon their right, and descending gradually to the spurs of the mountains pressed the attack and caused trouble to such an extent that the army was no longer able to proceed. [9] And when the hoplites and the horsemen left the phalanx and pursued their assailants, they could never do them any harm; for when the Acarnanians fell back, they were speedily in safe places. Then Agesilaus, thinking it a difficult matter for his troops to go out through the narrow pass under these attacks, decided to pursue the men who were attacking them on the left, very many in number; for the mountain on this side was more accessible both for hoplites and horses. [10] Now while he was sacrificing, the Acarnanians pressed them very hard with throwing stones and javelins, and4 coming close up to them wounded many. But when he gave the word, the first fifteen year-classes of the hoplites ran forth, the horsemen charged, and he himself with the other troops followed. [11] Then those among the Acarnanians who had come down the mountains and were throwing missiles quickly gave way and, as they tried to escape uphill, were killed one after another; on the summit, however, were the hoplites of the Acarnanians, drawn up in line of battle, and the greater part of the peltasts, and there they stood firm, and not only discharged their other missiles, but by hurling their spears struck down horsemen and killed some horses. But when they were now almost at close quarters with the Lacedaemonian hoplites, they gave way, and there fell on that day about three hundred of them. [12] When these things had taken place, Agesilaus set up a trophy. And afterwards, going about through the country, he laid it waste with axe and fire; he also made assaults upon some of the cities, being compelled by the Achaeans to do so, but did not capture any one of them. And when at length autumn was coming on, he set about departing from the country. [13]

The Achaeans, however, thought that he had accomplished nothing because he had gained possession of no city, with or without its consent, and they begged him, even if he did nothing else, at least to stay long enough to prevent the Acarnanians from sowing their seed. He replied that what they were proposing was the opposite of the advantageous course. “For,” he said, “I shall again lead an expedition hither next summer; and the more these people sow, the more they will desire peace.” [14] Having said this, he departed overland through5 Aetolia by such roads as neither many nor few could traverse against the will of the Aetolians; they allowed him, however, to pass through; for they hoped that he would aid them to recover Naupactus. And when he reached the point opposite Rhium, he crossed over at that point and returned home; for the Athenians barred the passage from Calydon to Peloponnesus6 with their triremes, using Oeniadae as a base.

1 389 B.C.

2 389 B.C.

3 389 B.C.

4 389 B.C.

5 389 B.C.

6 Hence, instead of crossing directly from Calydon, the army was compelled to proceed a long distance to the eastward, through difficult country (see above), to reach the Strait of Rhium.

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  • Cross-references to this page (5):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CI´VITAS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), EXE´RCITUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), HOSPI´TIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ACARNA´NIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), STRATUS
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