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Since in all this matters had proceeded as1 they desired, the Lacedaemonians resolved, in the case of all among their allies who had been hostile during the war and more favourably inclined toward the enemy than toward Lacedaemon, to chastise them and put them in such a situation that they could not be disloyal. Firstly, therefore, they sent2 to the Mantineans and ordered them to tear down their wall, saying that they could not trust them in any other way not to take sides with their enemies. [2] For they said they had noted not only that the Mantineans had been sending corn to the Argives when they themselves were making war upon that people, but also that sometimes, on the pretext of a holy truce, they had not served in the Lacedaemonian armies at all, and when they had fallen into line, had served badly. Furthermore, the Lacedaemonians said they were aware that they were envious if any good fortune came to them, and delighted if any disaster befel them.3 It was also common talk that the thirty years' truce, concluded after the battle of Mantinea,4 had expired this year, so far as the Mantineans were concerned. [3] When, accordingly, they now refused to tear down their walls, the Lacedaemonians called out the ban against them.

Now Agesilaus requested the state to relieve him of the command of this expedition, saying that the city of the Mantineans had rendered his father many services in the wars against Messene; Agesipolis, therefore, led forth the ban, even5 though his father, Pausanias,6 was on exceedingly friendly terms with the leaders of the popular party in Mantinea. [4] And when he had entered Mantinean territory, he first laid waste the land; but since even then they would not tear down the walls, he proceeded to dig a trench round about the city, with one half of the soldiers sitting under arms in front of the diggers to protect them, and the other half working. And after the trench had been completed,7 he then without risk built a wall round about the city. Learning, however, that the corn supply in the city was abundant, since there had been a good harvest the previous year, and thinking that it would be a grievous thing if it should prove necessary to burden both his state and its allies for a long period with campaigns, he dammed up the river which flowed through the city; and it was a very large one. [5] Its outflow being thus checked, the water rose not only above the foundations of the houses but above those of the city wall. Then as the lower bricks became soaked and failed to support those above them, the wall began first to crack and then to give way. And the Mantineans for a time tried to prop it up with timbers, and sought contrivances to prevent the tower from falling; but when they were no longer able to resist the water, being seized with the fear that if any portion of the encircling wall fell they would become prisoners of war, they offered to agree to tear down their walls. The Lacedaemonians, however, said that they would not make peace with them except on condition that they should also dwell apart in villages. And they for their part, coming to the conclusion that it was necessary, agreed that they would do this also. [6] Now the partisans of Argos and the leaders of the popular party expected that they would be put to death, but the father of Agesipolis obtained from him the promise that safety should be granted them as they departed from the city, being sixty in number. So on both sides of the road, beginning at the city gates, stood the Lacedaemonians with their spears, watching those who were coming out. And although they hated them, nevertheless they kept8 their hands off them more easily than did the Mantineans belonging to the aristocratic party. Let this, then, stand recorded as a striking example of good discipline. [7]

After this the wall was torn down and Mantinea was divided into four separate villages, just as the people had dwelt in ancient times. And at first they were displeased, because they were compelled to tear down the houses which they had and to build others; but the owners of the landed property, since they not only dwelt nearer to their estates, which were round about the villages, but also enjoyed an aristocratic government and were rid of the troublesome demagogues, were pleased with what had been done. And the Lacedaemonians sent mustering officers to them, not singly, but one for each village. Moreover, they came from their villages for service in the Lacedaemonian army far more zealously than when they were under a democratic government. Thus ended the affair of the Mantineans, whereby men were made wiser in this point at least — not to let a river run through city walls. [8]

And now the exiles from Phlius, as they observed9 that the Lacedaemonians were investigating to see what sort of friends their several allies had proved to be to them during the war, thinking that it was an opportune time, proceeded to Lacedaemon and set forth that so long as they were at home in Phlius, the city had received the Lacedaemonians within its walls, and its people had gone with them on their campaigns wherever they led the way; but that after the Phliasians had driven them into exile, they had declined to follow anywhere, and had refused to receive the Lacedaemonians — and them alone of all10 men — within their gates. [9] When the ephors heard these things, they decided that the matter deserved attention. Accordingly they sent to the city of the Phliasians and said that the exiles were friends of the Lacedaemonian state and had been exiled for no wrong-doing. They said further that they deemed it proper to effect their return from banishment, not by compulsion, but by voluntary consent of the Phliasians. Upon hearing this the Phliasians conceived the fear that if the Lacedaemonians made an expedition against them, some of the people within the walls would let them into the city. For not only were there many kinsmen of the exiles in the city, and people who were friendly to them for other reasons, but also, as is indeed usual in most cities, some desired a change of government and therefore wanted to bring back the exiles. [10] On account, then, of such fears, the Phliasians voted to take back the exiles and to restore to them their undisputed property, those who had purchased such property to recover the price of it from the public treasury; and if any dispute should arise in any case between these purchasers and the exiles, it was to be settled by legal process. Thus ended, in its turn, this incident of the Phliasian exiles at that time. [11]

Then there came ambassadors to Lacedaemon from11 Acanthus and Apollonia, which are the largest of the cities in the neighbourhood of Olynthus. And when the ephors heard with what object they had come, they brought them before the Lacedaemonian assembly and the allies. [13] Thereupon Cleigenes of Acanthus spoke as follows: “Men of Lacedaemon and of the allied states, we think you are unaware that a great danger is springing up in Greece. To be sure,12 almost all of you know that Olynthus is the largest of the cities on the coast of Thrace. These Olynthians, in the first place, attached to themselves some of the cities with the provision that all should live under the same laws and be fellow-citizens, and then they took over some of the larger cities also. After this they undertook, further, to free the cities of Macedonia from Amyntas, king of the Macedonians. [13] And when the nearest of them gave their allegiance, they speedily proceeded against those which were farther away and larger; and we left them already in possession of a great number of Macedonian cities, including especially Pella, which is the largest of the cities in Macedonia. We also had information that Amyntas was withdrawing from his cities and had already been all but driven out of all Macedonia. The Olynthians, furthermore, sent to us and to the Apollonians and announced to us that if we did not present ourselves to join them in their campaigns, they would come against us. [14]

“As for ourselves, however, men of Lacedaemon, we desire to live under the laws of our fathers and to be citizens of our own city; but unless some one shall come to our aid, it will be necessary for us also to be united with them. And yet at this moment they already have not less than eight hundred hoplites and far more than that number of peltasts; while as for horsemen, if we also become united with them, they will have more than one thousand. [15] Again, we left ambassadors both of the Athenians and of the Boeotians already there. And we heard reports that the Olynthians on their side had voted to send ambassadors with them to these states in regard to the matter of an alliance. Now if so great a power13 is to be added to the present strength of the Athenians and Thebans, take care,” he said, “lest you find that situation no longer easy to handle. Furthermore, since the Olynthians are in possession of Potidaea, which is on the isthmus of Pallene, be sure that the cities included within Pallene will also be subject to them. And let this fact also be a further evidence to you that these cities have come to fear the Olynthians mightily — that although they feel the utmost hatred toward the Olynthians, nevertheless they did not dare to send ambassadors with us to set forth these things. [16] You should consider this question also, how you can consistently, after having taken care in the case of Boeotia to prevent its being united, nevertheless disregard the gathering of a much greater power, and what is more, a power which is becoming strong not by land only, but also by sea. For what indeed is there to hinder such expansion, seeing that the country itself possesses ship-timber and has revenues from many ports and many trading-places, and likewise an abundant population on account of the abundance of food? [17] And further, mark you, they have for neighbours those Thracians who are under no king. They even now are paying court to the Olynthians; and if they should come under their sway, this also would be a great power added to the Olynthians. Then, if the Thracians were their followers, straightway the gold mines of Mount Pangaeum also would beckon to them. And there is not one of these things which we say which is not also said thousands of times among the people of Olynthus. [18] As for their pride, how could one describe it? For the deity, perhaps, has so ordered it that men's pride14 should increase with their power.

“We, then, men of Lacedaemon and of the allied states, report that such are the conditions there; it is for you to deliberate as to whether they seem to deserve attention. But you must understand this also, that the power which we have described as great is not yet hard to wrestle with. For such of the cities as share in the citizenship of Olynthus unwillingly, these, I say, will quickly fall away if they see any opposing force presenting itself; [19] if, however, they once become closely connected by reciprocal rights of intermarriage and of property, which have already been voted, and find that it is profitable to be on the side of the conqueror — even as the Arcadians when they go with you keep their own possessions safe and plunder those of others — then, it may be, this confederacy will no longer be so easy to break up.” [20]

When these things had been said, the Lacedaemonians gave their allies permission to speak and bade them advise whatever course anyone of them deemed best both for Peloponnesus and for the allies. Thereupon many, especially those who desired to gratify the Lacedaemonians, advocated raising an army, and it was decided that each state should send its proportionate contingent for an army of ten thousand. [21] Proposals were also made that any state which so desired should be allowed to give money instead of men, three Aeginetan15 obols per day for each man, while if any state normally furnished horsemen, pay equal to that of four hoplites should be given for each horseman; [22] and if any one of the states should16 fail to send its contingent to the army, the Lacedaemonians were to be permitted to fine such state a stater17 per day for each man. [23] When these things had been decided upon, the Acanthians rose again and declared that while these measures were excellent, it nevertheless was not possible for them to be speedily carried out. They said it was better, therefore, that while this expedition was gathering, a commander should set out with all possible speed with a force from Lacedaemon, of such size as could take the field quickly, and likewise from the other states; for if this were done, the cities which had not yet gone over to the Olynthians would take no step in that direction, and those which had been coerced would be less likely to continue in alliance with them. [24] This plan also was adopted, and the Lacedaemonians sent out Eudamidas, and with him emancipated Helots and men of the Perioeci and the Sciritans18 to the total number of about two thousand. Now Eudamidas on setting out requested the ephors to allow Phoebidas, his brother, to gather together all the troops assigned to him which were left behind and to follow after him; as for himself, when he reached the region of the Thracian coast, he sent garrisons to such of the cities as desired them, gained possession of Potidaea, which came over voluntarily, although it was already an ally of the Olynthians, and making that city his base of operations, carried on war in the way one naturally would who had an inferior force. [25]

Then Phoebidas, after he had gathered together the remaining portion of Eudamidas' troops, took them under his command and began his march. And19 when they arrived in the district of Thebes, they encamped outside the city, near the gymnasium. Now since the Thebans were divided by factions, it chanced that Ismenias and Leontiades, who were polemarchs20, were at variance with one another, and both of them leaders of their respective political clubs. Hence Ismenias, on account of his hatred for the Lacedaemonians, did not even go near Phoebidas. Leontiades, however, not only paid court to him in various ways, but when he had become intimate with him, spoke to him as follows: [26] “Phoebidas, it is within your power this day to render the greatest service to your fatherland; for if you will follow me with your hoplites, I will lead you into the Acropolis. And this once accomplished, be sure that Thebes will be completely under the control of the Lacedaemonians and of us who are your friends; [27] whereas now, as you see, proclamation has been made forbidding any Theban from serving with you against the Olynthians. But if you join with us and accomplish this deed, we will at once send with you many hoplites and many horsemen; so that you will go to the aid of your brother with a large force, and while he is getting ready to subdue Olynthus, you will already have subdued Thebes, a far greater state than Olynthus.” [28] When Phoebidas heard this, he was filled with bouyant hopes; for he was a man with a far greater passion for performing some brilliant achievement than for life itself, although, on the other hand, he was not regarded as one who weighed his acts or had much practical wisdom. And when he had agreed to the plan, Leontiades directed him to set out on his way, prepared as he was to depart from Thebes.21 “And when the proper time arrives,” said Leontiades, “I will return to you and act as your guide myself.” [29] Accordingly, while the senate was in session in the portico in the market-place, for the reason that the women were celebrating the festival of the Thesmophoria in the Cadmea,22 and while, inasmuch as it was summer and midday, the streets were entirely deserted, at this time Leontiades rode out on horseback to overtake Phoebidas, turned him back, and led him straight to the Acropolis. And after establishing Phoebidas there with the troops under his command, giving him the key to the gates, and telling him to let no one into the Acropolis unless he himself so ordered, he proceeded at once to the meeting of the senate. And when he had arrived there, he spoke as follows: [30] “Be not at all despondent, gentlemen, because the Lacedaemonians are in possession of the Acropolis; for they say that they have not come as enemies to anyone who is not eager for war; as for me, since the law directs that a polemarch shall have power to arrest any man who seems to be doing deeds which deserve death, I arrest Ismenias here, as an instigator of war. Therefore do you captains, and you who have been detailed with them, arise, seize this man, and lead him away to the place where you have been directed to take him.” [31] Now those who knew of the plan were of course present, obeyed the order, and seized Ismenias; but of those who did not know about it and were opponents of Leontiades and his party, some fled at once out of the city, fearing that they would be put to death; others withdrew at first to their homes; when they learned, however, that Ismenias was imprisoned in the Cadmea, then all those who23 held the same views as Androcleidas and Ismenias retired to Athens, to the number of about three hundred. [32]

When these things had been accomplished, they chose another polemarch in place of Ismenias, but Leontiades proceeded at once to Lacedaemon. There he found the ephors and the majority of the citizens angry with Phoebidas because he had acted in this matter without authorization by the state. Agesilaus, however, said that if what he had done was harmful to Lacedaemon, he deserved to be punished, but if advantageous, it was a time-honoured custom that a commander, in such cases, had the right to act on his own initiative. “It is precisely this point, therefore,” he said, “which should be considered, whether what has been done is good or bad for the state.” [33]

Then Leontiades came before the assembly and spoke as follows: “Men of Lacedaemon, that the Thebans were hostile to you before what has now been done came to pass, you were wont to say yourselves; for you saw that they were always friendly to your enemies, and enemies to your friends. Did they not refuse to join you in the campaign against the Athenian commons in Piraeus, who were bitter enemies of yours, and did they not, on the other hand, march against the Phocians because they saw that you were well disposed towards them? [34] Again, knowing that you were making war upon the Olynthians, they undertook to conclude an alliance with them, and you in those past days were always uneasily watching for the time when you should hear that they were forcing Boeotia to be under their sway; but now that this stroke has been accomplished,24 there is no need of your fearing the Thebans; on the contrary, a brief message from you will suffice to secure from that quarter all the support that you may desire, provided only you show as much concern for us as we have shown for you.” [35] Upon hearing these words the Lacedaemonians resolved, so long as the Acropolis had been seized, to keep it garrisoned, and to bring Ismenias to trial. Accordingly they sent out as judges three Lacedaemonians and one from each of the allied states, whether small or great. And it was not until the court held its sitting that charges were brought against Ismenias, — that he was a supporter of the barbarians, that he had become a guest-friend of the Persian satrap to the hurt of Greece, that he had received a share of the money which came from the King, and that he and Androcleidas were chiefly responsible for all the trouble and disorder in Greece. [36] To all these charges he did indeed make a defence, but he failed to persuade the court that he was not a man of great and evil undertakings. So he was pronounced guilty and put to death; as for Leontiades and his party, they held possession of Thebes and gave the Lacedaemonians their support in even more than was demanded of them. [37]

After these things had been accomplished, the25 Lacedaemonians with much more spirit set about dispatching the joint army to Olynthus. They sent out Teleutias as governor, and not only sent with him their own full contingent of the total ten thousand men, but also transmitted official dispatches to the various allied states, directing them to follow Teleutias in accordance with the resolution of the allies. And26 all the states gave their hearty support to Teleutias, — for he was regarded as a man not ungrateful to those who performed any service, — while the Theban state in particular, inasmuch as he was a brother of Agesilaus, eagerly sent with him both hoplites and horsemen. [38] Now he prosecuted his march with no great speed, his concern being rather to make the journey without doing any harm to the friends of his state and to collect as large a force as possible. He also sent word on ahead to Amyntas and asked him not only to hire mercenaries, but likewise to give money to the kings in his neighbourhood, that they might become allies, if he really wanted to recover his dominions. Furthermore, he sent to Derdas, the ruler of Elimia, pointing out to him that the Olynthians had already subdued the greater power, Macedonia, and would not let the lesser escape unless someone put a stop to their presumption. [39] As a result of his doing these things he had a very large army when he arrived in the territory of his state's allies. And when he had come to Potidaea, he proceeded from there with his army in order of battle into the enemy's country. Now on his way toward the city of Olynthus he neither burned nor cut down, believing that anything of this sort he should do would prove so many obstacles in his way both as he approached and as he withdrew; but he believed that when he should retire from the city it would be right to cut down the trees and put them in the way of anyone who might come against him from behind. [40]

And when he was distant from the city not so much as ten stadia, he halted the army, himself occupying the left wing, — for in this way it fell to27 him to advance in the direction of the gate where the enemy issued forth, — while the rest of the phalanx, made up of the allies, stretched away to the right. As for the horsemen, he likewise posted upon the right wing the Laconians, the Thebans, and all the Macedonians who were present, while he kept by his own side Derdas and his horsemen, numbering about four hundred, not only because he admired this troop, but also to do honour to Derdas, so that he should be glad he had joined the expedition. [41] But when the enemy came and formed in opposing line beneath the city wall, their horsemen, massing themselves together, charged upon the Laconians and Boeotians. And they not only struck down from his horse Polycharmus, the Lacedaemonian commander of cavalry, and inflicted very many wounds upon him as he lay, but they also killed others, and finally put to flight the cavalry upon the right wing. Now as the cavalry fled, the infantry next them also gave way, and the whole army, indeed, would have been in danger of being defeated had not Derdas with his troop dashed straight for the gates of the Olynthians. And Teleutias also advanced to the attack with his troops in battle order. [42] When the Olynthian horsemen perceived these movements, being seized with fear lest they should be shut out from the gates, they turned about and retired in great haste. Then Derdas killed very many of them as they rode past him. And the foot-soldiers of the Olynthians also retired into the city; but not many of them were killed, because the wall was near. [43] And when a trophy had been set up and this victory had fallen to Teleutias, then as he withdrew28 he proceeded to cut down the trees. Now after continuing the campaign through this summer he dismissed both the Macedonian army and the horsemen of Derdas; the Olynthians, however, on their side made frequent raids into the territory of the cities allied with the Lacedaemonians, and carried off booty and killed men.

1 386 B.C.

2 386 B.C.

3 cp. IV. v. 18.

4 In 418 B.C.

5 385 B.C.

6 Who was still living, though deposed and in exile.cp. III. v. 25.

7 385 B.C.

8 385 B.C.

9 384 B.C.

10 384 B.C.

11 383 B.C.

12 383 B.C.

13 383 B.C.

14 383 B.C.

15 The Aeginetan obol was worth nearly half as much again as the Attic;cp. I. v. 5.

16 383 B.C.

17 i.e., two drachmas.

18 A people who lived on the northern frontier of Laconia.

19 383 B.C.

20 The polemarchs were the chief officials of Thebes.

21 383 B.C.

22 The Theban Acropolis, which was the usual meeting-place of the senate.

23 383 B.C.

24 383 B.C.

25 382 B.C.

26 382 B.C.

27 382 B.C.

28 382 B.C.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 9.35
  • Cross-references to this page (14):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), BOEOTARCHES
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ECCLE´TI
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ENCTE´SIS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), E´PHORI
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), EXE´RCITUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), EXSI´LIUM
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), POLEMARCHUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SCY´TALE
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), THESMOPHO´RIA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), XENA´GI
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ACANTHUS
    • Smith's Bio, Amyntas II.
    • Smith's Bio, Derdas
    • Smith's Bio, Phoe'bidas
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