After the battle of Amphipolis and the return of Rhamphias from Thessaly, neither side1
undertook any military operations. Both alike were inclined to peace. The Athenians had been beaten at Delium, and shortly afterwards at Amphipolis; and so they had lost that confidence in their own strength which had indisposed them to treat at a time when temporary success seemed to make their final triumph certain. They were afraid too that their allies would be elated at their disasters, and that more of them would revolt;
they repented that after the affair at Pylos, when they might honourably have done so, they had not come to terms. The Lacedaemonians on the other hand inclined to peace because the course of the war had disappointed their expectations.
There was a time when they fancied that, if they only devastated Attica, they would crush the power of Athens within a few years2
; and yet they had received a blow at Sphacteria such as Sparta had never experienced until then; their country was continually ravaged from Pylos and Cythera; the Helots were deserting, and they were always fearing lest those who had not deserted, relying on the help of those who had, should seize their opportunity and revolt, as they had done once before.
Moreover, the truce for thirty years which they had made with Argos was on the point of expiring; the Argives were unwilling to renew it unless Cynuria were restored to them, and the Lacedaemonians deemed it impossible to fight against the Argives and Athenians combined. They suspected also that some of the Peloponnesian cities would secede and join the Argives, which proved to be the case.