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The policy of Lacedaemon was not to exact tribute from her allies, but merely to secure their subservience to her interests by establishing oligarchies among them; Athens, on the contrary, had by degrees deprived hers of their ships, and imposed instead contributions in money on all except Chios and Lesbos. Both found their resources for this war separately to exceed the sum of their strength when the alliance flourished intact.
As soon as the Athenians heard the news, they sailed with sixty ships against Samos. Sixteen of these went to Caria to look out for the Phoenician fleet, and to Chios and Lesbos carrying round orders for reinforcements, and so never engaged; but forty-four ships under the command of Pericles with nine colleagues gave battle, off the island of Tragia, to seventy Samian vessels, of which twenty were transports, as they were sailing from Miletus. Victory remained with the Athenians. Reinforced afterwards by forty ships from Athens, and twenty-five Chian and Lesbian vessels, the Athenians landed, and having the superiority by land invested the city with three walls; it was also invested from the sea.
Immediately after the invasion of the Peloponnesians all Lesbos, except Methymna, revolted from the Athenians. The Lesbians had wished to revolt even before the war, but the Lacedaemonians would not receive them; and yet now when they did revolt, they were compelled to do so sooner than they had intended. While they were waiting
the Athenians that the Mitylenians were forcibly uniting the island under
their sovereignty, and that the preparations about which they were so
active, were all concerted with the Boeotians their kindred and the
Lacedaemonians with a view to a revolt, and that unless they were
immediately prevented, Athens would lose Lesbos.
However, the Athenians, distressed by the plague, and by the war that had recently broken out and was now raging, thought it a serious matter to add Lesbos with its fleet and untouched resources to the list of their enemies; and at first would not believe the charge, giving too much weight to their wish that it might not be true. But when an embassy which they sent had failed to persuade the Mitylenians to give up the union and preparations complained of, they became alarmed, and resolved to strike the first blow. They accordingly suddenly sent off forty ships that had been got ready to sail round Peloponnese, under the command of Cleippides, son of Deinias, and two others; w
the ambassadors from Athens returned without having effected anything; and hostilities were at once begun by the Mitylenians and the rest of Lesbos, with the exception of the Methymnians, who came to the aid of the Athenians with the Imbrians and Lemnians and some few of the other allies. The Mitylenians made a sortie with all their forces against the Athenian camp; and a
loponnese before making a second venture, being encouraged
by the arrival of Meleas, a Laconian, and Hermaeondas, a Theban, who had
been sent off before the insurrection but had been unable to reach Lesbos
before the Athenian expedition, and who now stole in in a trireme after the
battle, and advised them to send another trireme and envoys back with them,
which the Mitylenians