In the following year ambassadors of the Lacedaemonians1
and their allies, with full powers, came to Athens to take counsel as to what should be the terms of the alliance between the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians. And while many foreigners and many Athenians said that the alliance ought to be on terms of full equality, Procles the Phliasian made the following speech:
“Men of Athens, since you have decided that it is a good thing to make the Lacedaemonians your friends, it seems to me that you ought to consider this point, how the friendship is to endure for the longest possible time. Now it is only by making the compact on such terms as will be most advantageous to each party that we can expect it to be, in all probability, most enduring. The other points, then, have been pretty well agreed upon, but the question of the leadership is at present under discussion. Now it has been proposed by your Senate that the leadership by sea shall belong to you, and the leadership by land to the Lacedaemonians. And I, too, think that this distinction is based, not so much upon human judgment as upon divine arrangement and ordering.
In the first place, you have a position most excellently adapted by nature for supremacy by sea. For most of the states which are dependent upon the sea are situated round about your state, and they are all weaker than2
yours. In addition to this, you have harbours, without which it is not possible to enjoy naval power. Furthermore, you already possess many triremes, and it is a traditional policy of yours to keep adding ships.
You likewise possess as peculiarly your own all the arts and crafts which have to do with ships. Again, you are far superior to other men in experience of nautical affairs, for most of you get your livelihood from the sea; hence, while attending to your private concerns, you are also at the same time gaining experience for encounters by sea. Here is another point also: there is no port from which more triremes can sail forth at one time than from your city. And this is a matter of no slight importance with reference to leadership, for all men love best to join forces with the power which is first to show itself strong.
Furthermore, it has also been granted you by the gods to be successful in this pursuit. For while you have engaged in very many and very great combats by sea, you have met with an exceedingly small number of misfortunes and have achieved an exceedingly large number of successes. Therefore it is likely that the allies would like best to share in such perils if they were under your leadership.
And that this devotion to the sea is indeed both necessary and proper for you, you must conclude from the following fact: the Lacedaemonians once made war upon you for many years,3
and though masters of your land could make no progress toward destroying you. But when at length the deity granted them to win the mastery by sea, straightway you fell completely under their power.4
In these circumstances, therefore, it is plain to be seen that all your safety depends upon the sea.
Such, then, being the situation ordained by nature, how could you be content to allow the Lacedaemonians to be leaders by sea, when, in the first place, they themselves admit that they are less experienced than you are in this work, and when, in the second place, they do not risk as much as you do in contests by sea, but merely the people on board the triremes, whereas you risk wives and children and the entire state.
“This is the situation on your side; consider now that of the Lacedaemonians. Firstly, they dwell in the interior; hence, so long as they are masters of the land, they can lead a comfortable existence even if they are shut off from the sea. Therefore, realizing this fact themselves, they carry on their training from their very boyhood with a view to war by land. Furthermore, in that which is of the greatest importance, obedience to their commanders, they are best by land, as you are by sea.
Again, they on their side can set forth by land, as you can with a fleet, in greatest numbers and with greatest speed; therefore it is to them in turn that the armies of the allies would be likely to attach themselves with greatest confidence. Besides, the deity has granted, as to you success by sea, so to them success by land; for while they on their side have engaged in very many combats on the land, they have incurred an exceedingly small number of defeats, and have won an exceedingly large number of victories.
And that this devotion to the land is no less necessary for them than devotion to the sea for you, one may judge from the results. For you made war upon5
them for many years,6
and though you defeated them many times by sea, could make no progress toward subduing them. But so soon as they incurred one defeat on the land,7
immediately their wives and children and their entire state were at stake.
Hence for them, on their side, it would surely be a dreadful thing to allow others to be leaders by land, when they themselves are best at the administration of affairs by land. As for myself, therefore, the course which has been proposed by your Senate is that which I have urged, and which I believe to be most advantageous to both parties; and may you, for your part, be fortunate in reaching the conclusion that is best for us all.”
Thus he spoke, and both the Athenians and those Lacedaemonians who were present applauded his speech vigorously. But Cephisodotus came forward and said: “Men of Athens, you do not observe that you are being deceived; but if you will listen to me, I will prove it to you very speedily. As the matter now stands, you are to be leaders by sea. And if the Lacedaemonians are your allies, it is clear that the captains, and perhaps the marines whom they send out, will be Lacedaemonians, but it is also clear that the sailors will be either Helots or mercenaries. You, therefore, will be leaders of these people.
When, however, the Lacedaemonians give you the order for a campaign by land, it is clear that you will send your hoplites and your horsemen. By this plan, therefore, they become leaders of your own selves, while you become leaders merely of their slaves and their men of least account. Answer me,” he said,8
“Timocrates of Lacedaemon, did you not say a moment ago that you had come with intent to make the alliance on terms of full equality?” “I did say that.”
“Then,” said Cephisodotus, “is there anything more equal than that each party in turn should be leader of the fleet, and each in turn leader of the army, and that you, if there is any advantage in the leadership by sea, should share therein, and we likewise in the matter of leadership by land?” Upon hearing this the Athenians were led to change their minds, and they voted that each party should hold the leadership in turn for periods of five days.
Now when both peoples and their allies had proceeded to Corinth, it was determined that they should together guard Oneum. Accordingly, while the Thebans and their allies were on the march, they formed their lines and proceeded to keep guard at one point and another of Oneum, but the Lacedaemonians and the Pelleneans at the most assailable point. And the Thebans and their allies, when they were distant thirty stadia from the troops on guard, encamped in the plain. Then, after calculating the time at which they thought they should start in order to finish their journey at dawn, they marched upon the garrison of the Lacedaemonians.
And in fact they did not prove mistaken in the hour, but fell upon the Lacedaemonians and the Pelleneans at the time when the night watches were just coming to an end, and the men were rising from their camp-beds and going wherever each one had to go. Thereupon the Thebans made their attack and laid on their blows — men prepared attacking those unprepared, and men in good order against those in disorder.
And when such as came out of the affair with their9
lives had made their escape to the nearest hill, although the polemarch of the Lacedaemonians might have got as many hoplites and as many peltasts as he pleased from the forces of the allies and might have held his position — for supplies might have been brought in safety from Cenchreae — he did not do this, but while the Thebans were in great perplexity as to how they were to descend on the side looking toward Sicyon, failing which they would have to go back again, he concluded a truce which, as most people thought, was more to the advantage of the Thebans than to that of his own side, and under these circumstances departed and led away the troops under his command.
The Thebans, then, after descending in safety and effecting a junction with their allies, the Arcadians, Argives, and Eleans, immediately attacked Sicyon and Pellene; they also made an expedition to Epidaurus, and laid waste the whole territory of the Epidaurians. Returning from there in a manner which showed great disdain for all their adversaries, as soon as they came near the city of the Corinthians they rushed at the double toward the gates through which one passes in going to Phlius, with the intention of bursting in if they chanced to be open.
But some light troops sallied forth from the city against them and met the picked men10
of the Thebans at a distance of not so much as four plethra from the city walls; then they climbed up on burial monuments and elevated spots, killed a very considerable number of the troops in the front ranks by hurling javelins and other missiles, and after putting the rest to flight, pursued them about three11
or four stadia. When this had taken place the Corinthians dragged the bodies to the wall, and after they had given them back under a truce, set up a trophy. In this way the allies of the Lacedaemonians were renewed in their spirits.
Just after these events had happened, the expedition sent by Dionysius to aid the Lacedaemonians sailed in, numbering more than twenty triremes. And they brought Celts, Iberians, and about fifty horsemen. On the following day the Thebans and the rest, their allies, after forming themselves in detached bodies and filling the plain as far as the sea and as far as the hills adjoining the city, destroyed whatever of value there was in the plain. And the horsemen of the Athenians and of the Corinthians did not approach very near their army, seeing that the enemy were strong and numerous.
But the horsemen sent by Dionysius, few though they were, scattering themselves here and there, would ride along the enemy's line, charge upon them and throw javelins at them, and when the enemy began to move forth against them, would retreat, and then turn round and throw their javelins again. And while pursuing these tactics they would dismount from their horses and rest. But if anyone charged upon them while they were dismounted, they would leap easily upon their horses and retreat. On the other hand, if any pursued them far from the Theban army, they would press upon these men when they were retiring, and by throwing javelins work havoc with them, and thus they compelled the entire army, according to their own will, either to advance or to fall back.
After this, however, the Thebans remained but a few days and then12
returned home, and the others likewise to their several homes. Then the troops sent by Dionysius invaded the territory of Sicyon, and they not only defeated the Sicyonians in battle on the plain and killed about seventy of them, but captured by storm the stronghold of Deras. After these exploits the first supporting force sent out by Dionysius sailed back to Syracuse.
Up to this time the Thebans and all who had revolted from the Lacedaemonians had been acting and carrying on their campaigns in full accord, under the leadership of the Thebans.
Now, however, there appeared a certain Lycomedes of Mantinea, a man inferior to none in birth, foremost in wealth, and ambitious besides, and filled the Arcadians with self-confidence, saying that it was to them alone that Peloponnesus was a fatherland, since they were the only autochthonous stock that dwelt therein, and that the Arcadian people was the most numerous of all the Greek peoples and had the strongest bodies. He also declared that they were the bravest, offering as evidence the fact that whenever men needed mercenaries, there were none whom they chose in preference to Arcadians. Furthermore, the Lacedaemonians had never, he said, invaded the territory of Athens without their help, nor had the Thebans at present come to Lacedaemon without the help of the Arcadians.
“If you are wise, therefore, you will leave off following wherever anyone summons you; for in former days, by following the Lacedaemonians, you made them great, and now, if you follow the Thebans heedlessly and do not make the claim to enjoy the leadership by turns with them, it may be that you will soon find in them another13
set of Lacedaemonians.” Upon hearing these words the Arcadians were puffed up, and loved Lycomedes beyond measure, and thought that he alone was a man; so that they appointed as their leaders whomsoever he directed them to appoint. But the Arcadians were exalted as a result also of the actual achievements which fell to their lot;
for when the Argives had invaded the country of Epidaurus and their way out had been barred by the mercenaries under Chabrias, and by the Athenians, and the Corinthians, they went to the rescue and released the Argives from an absolute blockade, although they had not only the enemy's troops but also the character of the country to contend with. They also made an expedition to Asine in Laconia, defeated the garrison of the Lacedaemonians, slew Geranor, the Spartiate who had become polemarch, and plundered the outer city of the Asinaeans. And whenever they wished to take the field, neither night nor storm nor length of journey nor difficult mountains would prevent them; so that at that time they counted themselves altogether the strongest of the Greeks.
For these reasons the Thebans naturally felt somewhat jealous and no longer friendly toward the Arcadians. As for the Eleans, when they demanded back again from the Arcadians the cities of which they had been deprived by the Lacedaemonians and found that the Arcadians gave no heed to phylians and the others who had revolted from them, because these people said they were Arcadians, as a result of this the Eleans in their turn felt unfriendly toward them.
While the several allies were each thus filled with14
proud confidence in themselves, Philiscus of Abydus came from Ariobarzanes15
with a large amount of money. And in the first place he brought together at Delphi the Thebans, their allies, and the Lacedaemonians to negotiate in regard to peace. But when they had arrived there, they did not consult the god at all as to how peace should be brought about, but deliberated for themselves. Since, however, the Thebans would not agree that Messene should be subject to the Lacedaemonians,16
Philiscus set about collecting a large mercenary force in order to make war on the side of the Lacedaemonians.
While these things were going on the second supporting force sent out by Dionysius arrived. And when the Athenians said that it ought to go to Thessaly to oppose the Thebans, while the Lacedaemonians urged that it should go to Laconia, the latter plan carried the day among the allies. Accordingly, after these troops from Dionysius had sailed round to Lacedaemon, Archidamus took them, along with his citizen soldiers, and set out on an expedition. He captured Caryae by storm and put to the sword all whom he took prisoners. From there he marched at once with his united forces against the people of Parrhasia, in Arcadia, and laid waste their land.
But when the Arcadians and Argives came to their assistance, he retired and encamped in the hills above Melea. While he was there Cissidas, the commander of the supporting force from Dionysius, said that the time for which he had been directed to stay had expired. And as soon as he had said this he departed by the road leading to Sparta. But when, as he was marching17
away, the Messenians tried to cut him off at a narrow place on the road, thereupon he sent to Archidamus and bade him come to his aid. And Archidamus did in fact do so. Then as soon as they all arrived at the branch road leading to the country of the Eutresians, there were the Arcadians and Argives advancing towards Laconia, they also having the intention of shutting off Archidamus from his homeward way. He accordingly, at just the point where there is a level space at the junction of the road leading to the Eutresians and the road to Melea, turned out of his path and formed his troops in line for battle.
It is said that he also went along in front of the battalions and exhorted his men in the following words: “Fellow citizens, let us now prove ourselves brave men and thus be able to look people in the face; let us hand on to those who come after us the fatherland as it was when we received it from our fathers; let us cease to feel shame before wives and children and elders and strangers, in whose eyes we used once to be the most highly honoured of all the Greeks.”
When these words had been spoken, it is said that from a clear sky there came lightnings and thunderings of favourable omen for him; and it chanced also that on the right wing was a sanctuary and a statue of Heracles.18
As a result, therefore, of all these things, it is reported that the soldiers were inspired with so much strength and courage that it was a task for their leaders to restrain them as they pushed forward to the front. And when Archidamus led the advance, only a few of the enemy waited till his men came within spear-thrust;19
these were killed, and the rest were cut down as they fled, many by the horsemen and many by the Celts.
Then as soon as the battle had ended and he had set up a trophy, he immediately sent home Demoteles, the herald, to report the greatness of his victory and the fact that not so much as one of the Lacedaemonians had been slain, while vast numbers of the enemy had fallen. And when the people at Sparta heard this, it is said that all of them wept, beginning with Agesilaus, the senators, and the ephors; so true it is, indeed, that tears belong to joy and sorrow alike. On the other hand, both the Thebans and the Eleans were almost as well pleased as the Lacedaemonians at the misfortune of the Arcadians — so vexed had they become by this time at their presumption.
And now the Thebans, who were continually planning20
how they might obtain the leadership of Greece, hit upon the idea that if they should send to the King of the Persians, they would gain some advantage in him. Thereupon they immediately summoned their allies, on the pretext that Euthycles, the Lacedaemonian, was also at the King's court; and there went up thither Pelopidas for the Thebans, Antiochus, the pancratiast,21
for the Arcadians, and Archidamus for the Eleans; an Argive also went with them. And the Athenians, upon hearing of this, sent up Timagoras and Leon.
When the ambassadors arrived there, Pelopidas enjoyed a great advantage with the Persian. For he was able to say that his people were the only ones among the Greeks who had fought on the side of the King at Plataea, that22
they had never afterwards undertaken a campaign against the King, and that the Lacedaemonians had made war upon them for precisely the reason that they had declined to go with Agesilaus against him23
and had refused to permit Agesilaus to sacrifice to Artemis at Aulis,24
the very spot where Agamemnon, at the time when he was sailing forth to Asia, had sacrificed before he captured Troy.
It also contributed greatly toward the winning of honour for Pelopidas that the Thebans had been victorious in battle at Leuctra, and that they had admittedly ravaged the country of the Lacedaemonians. Pelopidas also said that the Argives and Arcadians had been defeated by the Lacedaemonians when the Thebans were not present with them. And the Athenian, Timagoras, bore witness in his behalf that all these things which he said were true, and so stood second in honour to Pelopidas.
Pelopidas was therefore asked by the King what he desired to have written for him; he replied, that Messene should be independent of the Lacedaemonians and that the Athenians should draw up their ships on the land; that if they refused obedience in these points, the contracting parties were to make an expedition against them; and that if any city refused to join in such expedition, they were to proceed first of all against that city.
When these things had been written and read to the ambassadors, Leon said in the King's hearing, “By Zeus, Athenians, it is time for you, it seems, to be seeking some other friend instead of the King.” And when the secretary had interpreted to the King what the Athenian had said, he again brought out a further writing: “And if the Athenians25
are aware of anything juster than these provisions, let them come to the King and inform him.”
Now when the ambassadors had returned to their several homes, Timagoras was put to death by the Athenians on the complaint of Leon that he had refused to share quarters with him and had taken counsel in all matters with Pelopidas. As for the other ambassadors, Archidamus, the Elean, praised the doings of the King, because he had honoured Elis above the Arcadians; but Antiochus, because the Arcadian League was less regarded, did not accept the royal gifts, and reported back to the Ten Thousand26
that the King had bakers, and cooks, and wine-pourers, and doorkeepers in vast numbers, but as for men who could fight with Greeks, he said that though he sought diligently he could not see any. Besides this, he said that for his part he thought that the King's wealth of money was also mere pretence, for he said that even the golden plane-tree, that was forever harped upon, was not large enough to afford shade for a grasshopper.
When the Thebans had called together representatives from all the cities to hear the letter from the King, and the Persian who bore the document, having shown the King's seal, had read what was written therein, although the Thebans directed those who desired to be friends of the King and themselves to swear to these provisions, the representatives from the cities replied that they had not been sent to give their oaths, but to listen; and if the Thebans had any desire for oaths, they bade them send to the cities. Indeed the Arcadian, Lycomedes, said this besides, that it was not even proper for the congress to be27
held in Thebes, but rather at the seat of war, wherever it might be. Then, since the Thebans were angry with him and said that he was destroying the compact of alliance, he refused even to occupy a seat at the congress, but took himself off, and with him went all the ambassadors from Arcadia.
Accordingly, inasmuch as those who had come together refused to take the oath at Thebes, the Thebans sent ambassadors to the cities and directed them to swear that they would act in accordance with the King's letter, believing that each one of the cities taken singly would hesitate to incur the hatred of themselves and the King at the same time. When, however, upon the arrival of the ambassadors at Corinth, their first stopping-place, the Corinthians resisted the proposal, and replied that they had no desire for oaths shared with the King, then other cities also followed suit, giving their answers in the same terms. Thus it was that this attempt on the part of Pelopidas and the Thebans to gain the leadership came to its end.
Epaminondas, on the other hand, wishing to bring over the Achaeans to the side of the Thebans, in order that the Arcadians and the other allies might be more inclined to give heed to them, decided that he must march forth against Achaea. He therefore persuaded Peisias, the Argive, who held the position of general at Argos, to occupy Oneum28
in advance. And Peisias, after he had learned that the guard over Oneum was being maintained carelessly by Naucles, who commanded the mercenary troops of the Lacedaemonians, and by Timomachus, the Athenian, did indeed seize the hill above Cenchreae by night with29
two thousand hoplites, having provisions for seven days.
Within this number of days the Thebans arrived and crossed over Oneum, and all the allies thereupon marched against Achaea, under the leadership of Epaminondas. Now upon the urgent entreaty which the aristocrats of Achaea addressed to him, Epaminondas effected through his personal influence an arrangement that their opponents were not to banish the aristocrats or to change the form of government, but after receiving pledges from the Achaeans that in very truth they would be allies and would follow wherever the Thebans led the way, he thereupon returned home.
When, however, the Arcadians and the Achaean opposition brought against him the charge that he had aranged matters in Achaea in the interest of the Lacedaemonians and had then gone away, the Thebans resolved to send governors to the Achaean cities. When they arrived they drove out the aristocrats, with the assistance of the commons, and established democracies in Achaea. But those who had been thus exiled speedily banded themselves together, proceeded against each one of the cities singly, and as they were not few in number, accomplished their restoration and gained possession of the cities. Then, since after their restoration they no longer followed a neutral course, but fought zealously in support of the Lacedaemonians, the Arcadians were hard pressed by the Lacedaemonians on the one side and by the Achaeans on the other.
As for Sicyon, its government up to this time had been in conformity with its ancient laws. But now Euphron, who had been the most powerful of the citizens in his influence with the Lacedaemonians and wished in like manner to stand first with their30
adversaries also, said to the Argives and to the Arcadians that if the richest men should remain in control of Sicyon, it was manifest that whenever an opportunity offered, the city would go over to the Lacedaemonians again, “while if a democracy is established, be well assured,” he said, “that the city will remain true to you. If, therefore, you will be at hand to support me, I will be the one to call the people together, and I will not only give you in this act a pledge of my good faith, but will make the city steadfast in its alliance with you. This I do, you must understand,” he said, “because, like yourselves, I have long found the arrogance of the Lacedaemonians hard to endure, and I should be glad to escape from servitude to them.”
Accordingly the Arcadians and the Argives, upon hearing these words, gladly presented themselves to support him. Then he immediately called the people together in the market-place in the presence of the Argives and the Arcadians, announcing that the government was to be on terms of full equality. When they had come together, he bade them choose whomsoever they saw fit as generals; and they chose Euphron himself, Hippodamus, Cleander, Acrisius, and Lysander. When this had been done, he also appointed Adeas, his own son, to the command of the mercenary troops, removing Lysimenes, their former commander.
And straightway Euphron made some of these mercenaries faithful to him by treating them generously, and took others into his pay, sparing neither the public nor the sacred funds. He likewise availed himself of the property of all those whom he banished for favouring the Lacedaemonians. Furthermore, he treacherously put to death some31
of his fellow-officials and banished others, so that he brought everything under his control and was manifestly a tyrant. And he managed to induce his allies to permit these proceedings of his, partly by the use of money, and partly by following with them zealously at the head of his mercenary force wherever they made an expedition.