All the events, then, which took place in Thessaly in connection with Jason, and, after his death, down to the rule of Tisiphonus, have thus been described; now I return to the point from which I digressed to discuss these matters. When, namely, Archidamus had led back his army from1
the relief expedition to Leuctra, the Athenians, taking thought of the fact that the Peloponnesians still counted themselves bound to follow the Lacedaemonians, and that the latter were not yet in the same situation to which they had brought the Athenians, invited to Athens all the cities which wished to participate in the peace which the King had sent down.
And when they had come together, they passed a resolution to take the following oath, in company with such as desired to share in the peace: “I will abide by the treaty which the King sent down, and by the decrees of the Athenians and their allies. And if anybody takes the field against any one of the cities which have sworn this oath, I will come to her aid with all my strength.” Now all the others were pleased with the oath; the Eleans only opposed it, saying that it was not right to make either the Marganians, Scilluntians, or Triphylians independent, for these cities were theirs.
But the Athenians and the others, after voting that both small and great cities alike should be independent, even as the King wrote, sent out the officers charged with administering the oath and directed them to administer it to the highest authorities in each city.2
And all took the oath except the Eleans.
As a natural result of these proceedings the Mantineans, feeling that they were now entirely independent, all came together and voted to make Mantinea a single3
city and to put a wall about it.
But the Lacedaemonians, on the other hand, thought that it would be a grievous thing if this were done without their approval. They accordingly sent Agesilaus as ambassador to the Mantineans, because he was regarded as an ancestral friend of theirs.4
Now when he had come to them, the officials refused to assemble for him the Mantinean people, but bade him tell them what he desired. He then offered them his promise that, if they would desist from their wall-building for the present, he would arrange matters so that the wall should be constructed with the approval of Lacedaemon and without great expense.
And when they replied that it was impossible to desist, since a resolution to build at once had been adopted by the entire city, Agesilaus thereupon departed in anger. It did not seem to be possible, however, to make an expedition against them, inasmuch as the peace had been concluded on the basis of independence. Meanwhile some of the Arcadian cities sent men to help the Mantineans in their building, and the Eleans made them a contribution of three talents in money toward the expense of the wall. The Mantineans, then, were occupied with this work.
Among the Tegeans, on the other hand, the followers5
of Callibius and Proxenus were making efforts to the end that all the people of Arcadia should unite, and that whatever measure was carried in the6
common assembly should be binding on the several cities as well; but the followers of Stasippus made it their policy to leave their city undisturbed and to live under the laws of their fathers.
Now the followers of Proxenus and Callibius, defeated in the council of the magistrates, and conceiving the thought that if the people came together they would prove far superior in numbers, gathered openly under arms. Upon seeing this the followers of Stasippus also armed themselves in their turn, and they did indeed prove fewer in number; when, however, they had set forth for battle, they killed Proxenus and a few others along with him, but although they put the rest to flight they did not pursue them; for Stasippus was the sort of man not to desire to kill many of his fellow-citizens.
Then the followers of Callibius, who had retired to a position under the city wall and the gates on the side toward Mantinea, inasmuch as their adversaries were no longer attacking them, remained quietly gathered there. They had long before this sent to the Mantineans bidding them come to their aid, but with the followers of Stasippus they were negotiating for a reconciliation. When, however, the Mantineans were to be seen approaching, some of them leaped upon the wall, urged the Mantineans to come on to their assistance with all possible speed, and with shouts exhorted them to hurry; others meanwhile opened the gates to them.
Now when the followers of Stasippus perceived what was going on, they rushed out by the gates leading to Pallantium, gained refuge in the temple of Artemis before they could be overtaken by their pursuers, and after shutting themselves in, remained quiet there. But their foes who had followed after them climbed7
upon the temple, broke through the roof, and pelted them with the tiles. And when the people within realized the hopelessness of their situation, they bade them stop and said they would come out. Then their adversaries, as soon as they had got them in their power, bound them, threw them into a wagon, and carried them back to Tegea. There, in company with the Mantineans, they passed sentence upon them and put them to death.
While these things were going on, about eight hundred of the Tegeans who were partisans of Stasippus fled to Lacedaemon as exiles, and subsequently the Lacedaemonians decided that, in accordance with their oaths, they ought to avenge the Tegeans who had been slain and to aid those who had been banished. So they decided to make an expedition against the Mantineans on the ground that, in violation of their oaths, they had proceeded in arms against the Tegeans. The ephors accordingly called out the ban, and the state directed Agesilaus to act as commander.
Now most of the Arcadians were gathering together at Asea. But since the Orchomenians refused to be members of the Arcadian League on account of their enmity toward the Mantineans, and had even received into their city the mercenary force, commanded by Polytropus, which had been collected at Corinth, the Mantineans were remaining at home and keeping watch upon them. On the other hand, the Heraeans and Lepreans were serving with the Lacedaemonians against the Mantineans.
Agesilaus, then, when his sacrifices at the frontier proved favourable, at once proceeded to march against Arcadia. And having occupied Eutaea, which was a city on the border,8
and found there the older men, the women, and the children living in their houses, while the men of military age had gone to the Arcadian assembly, he nevertheless did the city no harm, but allowed the people to continue to dwell there, and his troops got everything that they needed by purchase; and if anything had been taken as booty at the time when he entered the city, he searched it out and gave it back. He also occupied himself, during the whole time that he spent there awaiting the mercenaries under Polytropus, in repairing all those portions of the city wall which needed it.
Meanwhile the Mantineans made an expedition against the Orchomenians. And they came off very badly from their attack upon the city wall, and some of them were killed; but when in their retreat they had reached Elymia and, although the Orchomenian hoplites now desisted from following them, Polytropus and his troops were very boldly pressing upon them, then the Mantineans, realizing that if they did not beat them off many of their own number would be struck down by javelins, turned about and charged their assailants.
Polytropus fell fighting where he stood; the rest fled, and very many of them would have been killed had not the Phliasian horsemen arrived, and by riding around to the rear of the Mantineans made them desist from their pursuit. The Mantineans, then, after accomplishing these things, went back home.
Agesilaus heard of this affair and came to the conclusion that the mercenaries from Orchomenus could not now join him; under these circumstances, therefore, he continued his advance. On the first day he took dinner in the territory of Tegea, and on the9
following day crossed into the territory of the Mantineans and encamped at the foot of the mountains to the west of Mantinea; there at the same time he laid waste the land and plundered the farms. Meanwhile the Arcadians who had assembled at Asea made their way by night to Tegea.
On the next day Agesilaus encamped at a distance of about twenty stadia from Mantinea. But the Arcadians from Tegea, a very large force of hoplites, made their appearance; they were skirting the mountains between Mantinea and Tegea, desiring to effect a junction with the Mantineans, for the Argives, who came with them, were not in full force. And there were some who tried to persuade Agesilaus to attack these troops separately; he, however, fearing that while he was marching against them the Mantineans might issue forth from their city and attack him in flank and rear, judged it best to allow the two hostile forces to come together and, in case they wished to fight, to conduct the battle in regular fashion and in the open.
The Arcadians from Tegea had by now effected a junction with the Mantineans.
On the other hand, the peltasts from Orchomenus, and with them the horsemen of the Phliasians, made their way during the night past Mantinea and appeared as Agesilaus was sacrificing in front of his camp at daybreak; and they caused the Lacedaemonians to fall hurriedly into line and Agesilaus himself to retire to the camp. But when they had been recognized as friends, and Agesilaus had obtained favourable omens, immediately after breakfast he led his army forward. Later, as evening was coming on, he unwittingly encamped in the valley which lies behind the town10
of Mantinea; it is surrounded by mountains which are only a short distance away.
On the following day at daybreak he was offering sacrifices in front of the army; and seeing that troops were gathering from the city of the Mantineans on the mountains which were above the rear of his army, he decided that he must lead his men out of the valley with all possible speed. Now he feared that if he led the way himself, the enemy would fall upon his rear; accordingly, while keeping quiet and presenting his front toward the enemy, he ordered the men at the rear to face about to the right and march along behind the phalanx toward him. And in this manner he was at the same time leading them out of the narrow valley and making the phalanx continually stronger.11
When the phalanx had thus been doubled in depth, he proceeded into the plain with the hoplites in this formation, and then extended the army again into a line nine or ten shields deep. The Mantineans, however, now desisted from coming forth from their city, for the Eleans, who were making the campaign with them, urged them not to fight a battle until the Thebans arrived; and they said they were quite sure that the Thebans would come, for they had borrowed ten talents from the Eleans themselves for the expenses of the expedition to aid them.
The Arcadians, then, upon hearing this, remained quiet in Mantinea; and Agesilaus, even though he was exceedingly desirous12
of leading back his army — for it was mid-winter — nevertheless remained there for three days, not far away from the city of the Mantineans, that he might not be thought to be hurrying his departure out of fear. On the fourth day, however, after breakfasting early he began his homeward march, intending to encamp at the place where he had originally made camp on his departure from Eutaea.
But since none of the Arcadians appeared, he continued his march as rapidly as possible to Eutaea, even though it was very late, with the desire of getting his hoplites away before they even saw the enemy's fires, so that no one could say that he had withdrawn in flight. For he seemed to have brought the state some relief from its former despondency, inasmuch as he had invaded Arcadia and, though he laid waste the land, none had been willing to fight with him. And after he had arrived in Laconia, he let the Spartiatae go home and dismissed the Perioeci to their several cities.
As for the Arcadians, since Agesilaus had departed and they learned that his army had been disbanded, while they themselves were still gathered together, they made an expedition against the Heraeans, not only because they refused to be members of the Arcadian League, but also because they had joined with the Lacedaemonians in invading Arcadia. And after entering the territory of Heraea they proceeded to burn the houses and cut down the trees.
It was not until the Thebans with their supporting force were reported to have arrived in Mantinea that the Arcadians departed from Heraea and united with the Thebans.
When they had joined forces, the13
Thebans thought that matters stood well with them, inasmuch as they had come to bring aid and there was no longer an enemy to be seen in the land; they accordingly made their preparations for going back. But the Arcadians, Argives, and Eleans urged them to lead the way with all speed into Laconia, pointing out the number of their own troops14
and praising beyond measure the army of the Thebans. For all the Boeotians were now training themselves in the craft of arms, glorying in their victory at Leuctra; and they were reinforced by the Phocians, who had become their subjects, the Euboeans from all their cities, both the Locrian peoples,15
the Acarnanians, the Heracleots, and the Malians; they were also reinforced by horsemen and peltasts from Thessaly. The Arcadians, then, seeing all this and describing the dearth of men in Lacedaemon, begged them by no means to turn back before invading the country of the Lacedaemonians.
But while the Thebans listened to this request, they took into account, on the other hand, the fact that Laconia was said to be exceedingly difficult to enter, and that they believed garrisons were posted at the points of easiest access. For Ischolaus was at Oeum, in Sciritis, commanding a garrison composed of emancipated Helots and about four hundred of the youngest of the Tegean exiles; and there was another garrison also at Leuctrum, above Maleatis. The Thebans likewise weighed this consideration, that the force of the Lacedaemonians would gather quickly and that they would fight nowhere better16
than in their own country. Therefore, taking into account all these things, they were by no means eager to proceed into Lacedaemon.
But when people had come from Caryae telling of the dearth of men, promising that they would themselves act as guides, and bidding the Thebans slay them if they were found to be practising any deception, and when, further, some of the Perioeci appeared, asking the Thebans to come to their aid, engaging to revolt if only they would show themselves in the land, and saying also that even now the Perioeci when summoned by the Spartiatae were refusing to go and help them — as a result, then, of hearing all these reports, in which all agreed, the Thebans were won over, and pushed in with their own forces by way of Caryae, while the Arcadians went by way of Oeum, in Sciritis.
Now if Ischolaus had advanced to the difficult part of the pass and had made his stand there, no one, by all accounts, could have accomplished the ascent by that route at least; but in fact, since he wished to employ the Oeans as allies, he remained in the village, and the Arcadians ascended the pass in very great numbers. There, in the face-to-face fighting, the troops with Ischolaus were victorious; but when the enemy showered blows and missiles upon them from the rear, on the flank, and from the houses upon which they mounted, then Ischolaus was killed and all the rest as well, unless one or another slipped through unrecognized.
After achieving this deed the Arcadians marched to join the Thebans at Caryae; and when the Thebans heard what had been accomplished by the Arcadians, they proceeded to make the descent with far greater boldness. Coming17
to Sellasia, they at once burned and pillaged it; but when they arrived in the plain, they encamped there, in the sacred precinct of Apollo. The next day they marched on.
Now they did not even make the attempt to cross over by the bridge against Sparta, for in the sanctuary of Athena Alea the hoplites were to be seen, ready to oppose them; but keeping the Eurotas on their right they passed along, burning and plundering houses full of many valuable things.
As for the people in the city, the women could not even endure the sight of the smoke, since they had never seen an enemy; but the Spartiatae, their city being without walls, were posted at intervals, one here, another there, and so kept guard, thought they were, and were seen to be, very few in number. It was also determined by the authorities to make proclamation to the Helots that if any wished to take up arms and be assigned to a place in the ranks, they should be given a promise that all should be free who took part in the war.
And it was said that at first more than six thousand enrolled themselves, so that they in their turn occasioned fear when they were marshalled together, and were thought to be all too numerous; but when the mercenaries from Orchomenus remained true, and the Lacedaemonians received aid from the Phliasians, Corinthians, Epidaurians, Pelleneans, and likewise some of the other states, then the Spartiatae were less fearful of those who had been enrolled.
Now when, in its onward march, the army of the enemy came opposite Amyclae, at this point they crossed the Eurotas. And wherever the Thebans encamped they at once threw down in front of their lines the greatest possible quantity of the trees which18
they cut down, and in this way guarded themselves; the Arcadians, however, did nothing of this sort, but left their camp behind them and turned their attention to plundering the houses. After this, on the third or fourth day of the invasion, the horsemen advanced to the race-course in the sanctuary of Poseidon Gaeaochus by divisions, the Thebans in full force, the Eleans, and all the horsemen who were there of the Phocians, Thessalians, or Locrians.
And the horsemen of the Lacedaemonians, seemingly very few in number, were formed in line against them. Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians had set an ambush of the younger hoplites, about three hundred in number, in the house of the Tyndaridae,19
and at the same moment these men rushed forth and their horsemen charged. The enemy, however, did not await their attack, but gave way. And on seeing this, many of the foot-soldiers also took to flight. But when the pursuers stopped and the army of the Thebans stood firm, the enemy encamped again.
It now seemed somewhat more certain that they would make no further attempt upon the city; and in fact their army departed thence and took the road toward Helos and Gytheium. And they burned such of the towns as were unwalled and made a three days' attack upon Gytheium, where the Lacedaemonians had their dockyards. There were some of the Perioeci also who not only joined in this attack, but did regular service with the troops that followed the Thebans.20
When the Athenians heard of all these things, they21
were in a state of concern as to what they should do in regard to the Lacedaemonians, and by resolution of the Senate they called a meeting of the Assembly. Now it chanced that there were present ambassadors of the Lacedaemonians and of the allies who still remained to them. Wherefore the Lacedaemonians spoke — Aracus, Ocyllus, Pharax, Etymocles, and Olontheus — almost all of them saying much the same things. They reminded the Athenians that from all time the two peoples had stood by one another in the most important crises for good ends; for they on their side, they said, had aided in expelling the tyrants22
from Athens, while the Athenians, on the other hand, gave them zealous assistance at the time when they were hard pressed by the Messenians.23
They also described all the blessings which were enjoyed at the time when both peoples were acting in union, recalling how they had together driven the barbarian back, recalling likewise how the Athenians had been chosen by the Greeks as leaders of the fleet and custodians of the common funds,24
the Lacedaemonians supporting this choice, while they had themselves been selected by the common consent of all the Greeks as leaders by land, the Athenians in their turn supporting this selection.
And one of them even said something like this: “But if you and we, gentlemen, come to agreement, there is hope now that the Thebans will be decimated, as the old saying has it.” The Athenians, however, were not very much inclined to accept all this, and a murmur went round to the effect that “this is what they say now, but in the time when25
they were prosperous they were hostile to us.” The weightiest of the arguments urged by the Lacedaemonians seemed to their hearers to be, that at the time when they subdued the Athenians, though the Thebans wanted to destroy Athens utterly, it was they who had prevented it.
Most stress was laid, however, upon the consideration that the Athenians were required by their oaths to come to their assistance; for it was not because the Lacedaemonians had done wrong that the Arcadians and those with them were making an expedition against them, but rather because they had gone to the aid of the Tegeans for the reason that the Mantineans, in violation of their oaths, had taken the field against them. At these words an uproar again ran through the Assembly; for some said that the Mantineans had done right in avenging the followers of Proxenus who had been slain by the followers of Stasippus, while others said that they were in the wrong because they had taken up arms against the Tegeans.
While the Assembly itself was trying to determine these matters, Cleiteles, a Corinthian, arose and spoke as follows: “Men of Athens, it is perhaps a disputed point who began the wrong-doing; but as for us, can anyone accuse us of having, at any time since peace was concluded, either made a campaign against any city, or taken anyone's property, or laid waste another's land? Yet, nevertheless, the Thebans have come into our country, and have cut down trees, and burned down houses, and seized property and cattle. If, therefore, you do not aid us, who are so manifestly wronged, will you not surely be acting in violation of your oaths? They were the same oaths, you remember, that you yourselves took care to26
have all of us swear to all of you.” Thereupon the Athenians shouted their approval, saying that Cleiteles had spoken to the point and fairly.
Then Procles, a Phliasian, arose after Cleiteles and said: “Men of Athens, it is clear to everyone, I imagine, that you are the first against whom the Thebans would march if the Lacedaemonians were got out of the way; for they think that you are the only people in Greece who would stand in the way of their becoming rulers of the Greeks.
If this is so, I, for my part, believe that if you undertake a campaign, you would not be giving aid to the Lacedaemonians so much as to your own selves. For to have the Thebans, who are unfriendly to you and dwell on your borders, become leaders of the Greeks, would prove much more grievous to you, I think, than when you had your antagonists far away. Furthermore, you would aid yourselves with more profit if you should do so while there are still people who would fight on your side, than if they should perish first and you should then be compelled to enter by yourselves upon a decisive struggle with the Thebans.
“Now if any are fearful that in case the Lacedaemonians escape this time, they may again in the future cause you trouble, take thought of this, that it is not those whom one benefits, but those whom one injures, of whom one has to fear that they may some day attain great power. And you should bear in mind this likewise, that it is meet both for individuals and for states to acquire a goodly store in the days when they are strongest, in order that, if some day they become powerless, they may draw upon their previous labours for succour.
So to you27
has now been offered by some god an opportunity, in case you aid the Lacedaemonians in their need, of acquiring them for all time as friends who will plead no excuses. For it is not in the presence of only a few witnesses, as it seems to me, that they would now receive benefit at your hands, but the gods will know of this, who see all things both now and for ever, and both your allies and your enemies know also what is taking place, and the whole world of Greeks and barbarians besides. For to none of them all is it a matter of indifference.
Therefore, if the Lacedaemonians should show themselves base in their dealings with you, who would ever again become devoted to them? But it is fair to expect that they will prove good rather than base men, for if any people in the world seem consistently to have striven for commendation and to have abstained from deeds of shame, it is truly they. Besides all this, take thought of the following considerations likewise.
If ever again danger should come to Greece from barbarians, whom would you trust more than the Lacedaemonians? Whom would you more gladly make your comrades in the ranks than these, whose countrymen, posted at Thermopylae, chose every man to die fighting rather than to live and admit the barbarian to Greece? Therefore, both because they proved themselves brave men along with you, and because there is hope that they will so prove themselves again, is it not surely right that you and we alike should show all good-will toward them?
“It is also worth while to show the Lacedaemonians good-will for the sake of the allies who are present with them. For be well assured that those who remain faithful to them in their misfortunes are28
the very men who would be ashamed if they did not make due requital to you. And if we who are willing to share the peril with them seem to be small states, reflect that if your state is added to our number, we who aid them shall no longer be small states.
In former days, men of Athens, I used from hearsay to admire this state of yours, for I heard that all who were wronged and all who were fearful fled hither for refuge, and here found assistance; now I no longer hear, but with my own eyes at this moment see the Lacedaemonians, those most famous men, and their most loyal friends appearing in your state and in their turn requesting you to assist them.
I see also the Thebans, who then29
did not succeed in persuading the Lacedaemonians to enslave you, now requesting you to allow those who saved you to perish.
“It is truly a noble deed that is told of your ancestors, when they did not suffer those Argives who died at the Cadmea to go unburied;30
but you would achieve a far nobler deed if you did not suffer those Lacedaemonians who still live either to incur insult or to perish.
And while that other deed was also noble, when you checked the insolence of Eurystheus and preserved the sons of Heracles,31
would it not surely be an even nobler one if you saved from perishing, not merely the founders, but the whole state as well? And noblest of all deeds if, after the Lacedaemonians saved you then by a32
vote, void of danger, you shall aid them now with arms and at the risk of your lives.
Again, when even we, who by word urge you to aid brave men, are proud of doing so, it would manifestly be generous of you, who are able to aid by act, if, after being many times both friends and enemies of the Lacedaemonians, you should recall, not the harm you have suffered at their hands, but rather the favours which you have, received, and should render them requital, not in behalf of yourselves alone, but also in behalf of all Greece, because in her behalf they proved themselves brave men.”
After this the Athenians deliberated, and they would not endure to listen to those who spoke on the other side, but voted to go to the aid of the Lacedaemonians in full force, and chose Iphicrates as general. And when his sacrifices had proved favourable and he had issued orders to his men to dine in the Academy,33
many, it is said, went thither ahead of Iphicrates himself. After this Iphicrates led the way and they followed, believing that he would lead them to some noble achievement. And when, after arriving in Corinth, he delayed there for some days, they at once began to censure him, for the first time, for this delay; then when he at length marched them forth, they eagerly followed wherever he led the way, and eagerly attacked any stronghold against which he brought them.
As for the enemy in Lacedaemon, many Arcadians, Argives, and Eleans had already departed, inasmuch as they lived just across the border, some of them leading and others carrying what they had taken as plunder. On the34
other hand, the Thebans and the rest were desirous of departing from the country, partly for the very reason that they saw their army growing daily smaller, and partly because provisions were scantier, the supply having been in part used up or stolen away, in part wasted or burned up; besides, it was winter, so that by this time all alike wanted to withdraw.
When, accordingly, they proceeded to retire from Lacedaemon, then, of course, Iphicrates likewise proceeded to lead back the Athenians from Arcadia to Corinth. Now I have no fault to find with any good generalship he may have shown on any other occasion; but as regards all his actions at that time, I find them to have been either futile or inexpedient. For while he undertook to keep guard at Oneum so that the Thebans should not be able to get back home, he left unguarded the best pass, which led past Cenchreae.
And when he wanted to find out whether the Thebans had passed Oneum, he sent as scouts all the horsemen both of the Athenians and of the Corinthians. And yet a few men would have been quite as efficient for seeing as the many; while if it were necessary to retire, it would be much easier for the few than for the many both to find an easy route and to retire at their leisure. But to employ a force that was numerous and still inferior to the enemy — was this not surely the height of folly? For inasmuch as the horsemen extended their line over a large space because they were a large force, when it was necessary to retire they encountered a large number of difficult places, so that no fewer than twenty horsemen lost their lives. At that time, then, the Thebans returned home as they pleased.