Phrynichus now knew that a proposal would be made for the restoration of Alcibiades, which1
the Athenians would certainly accept; and having opposed his return he feared that Alcibiades, if he were recalled, would do him a mischief, because he had stood in his way.
So he had recourse to the following device. He secretly sent a letter to Astyochus, the Lacedaemonian admiral, who was still at Miletus, informing him that Alcibiades was gaining over Tissaphernes to the Athenians and ruining the Peloponnesian interests. He gave full particulars, adding that Astyochus must excuse him if he sought to harm an enemy even at some cost to his country2
Now Astyochus had no idea of punishing Alcibiades, who moreover no longer came within his reach. On the contrary, he went to him and to Tissaphernes at Magnesia, and, turning informer, told them of the letter which he had received from Samos. (He was believed to have sold himself to Tissaphernes, to whom he now betrayed everything; and this was the reason why he was so unwilling to bestir himself about the reduction of the pay3
Alcibiades immediately sent a despatch denouncing to the leaders of the army at Samos the treason of Phrynichus, and demanding that he should be put to death.
Phrynichus was confounded4
, and in fact the revelation placed him in the greatest danger. However he sent again to Astyochus, blaming him for having violated his former confidence. He then proceeded to say that he was ready to give the Peloponnesians the opportunity of destroying the whole Athenian army, and he explained in detail how Samos, which was unfortified, might best be attacked; adding that he was in danger of his life for their sakes, and that he need no longer apologise if by this or any other means he could save himself from destruction at the hands of his worst enemies. Again the message was communicated by Astyochus to Alcibiades.