The Lacedaemonians seeing the Athenians masters of Cythera, and expecting descents of the kind upon their coasts, nowhere opposed them in force, but sent garrisons here and there through the country, consisting of as many heavy infantry as the points menaced seemed to require, and generally stood very much upon the defensive. After the severe and unexpected blow that had befallen them in the island, the occupation of Pylos and Cythera, and the apparition on every side of a war whose rapidity defied precaution, they lived in constant fear of internal revolution, and now took the unusual step of raising four hundred horse and a force of archers, and became more timid than ever in military matters, finding themselves involved in a maritime struggle, which their organization had never contemplated, and that against Athenians, with whom an enterprise unattempted was always looked upon as a success sacrificed. Besides this, their late numerous reverses of fortune, coming close one upon another without any reason, had thoroughly unnerved them, and they were always afraid of a second disaster like that on the island, and thus scarcely dared to take the field, but fancied that they could not stir without a blunder, for being new to the experience of adversity they had lost all confidence in themselves.
Accordingly they now allowed the Athenians to ravage their seaboard, without making any movement, the garrisons in whose neighbourhood the descents were made always thinking their numbers insufficient, and sharing the general feeling. A single garrison which ventured to resist, near Cotyrta and Aphrodisia, struck terror by its charge into the scattered mob of light troops, but retreated, upon being received by the heavy infantry, with the loss of a few men and some arms, for which the Athenians set up a trophy, and then sailed off to Cythera. From thence they sailed round to Epidaurus Limera, ravaged part of the country, and so came to Thyrea in the Cynurian territory, upon the Argive and Laconian border. This district had been given by its Lacedaemonian owners to the expelled Aeginetans to inhabit, in return for their good offices at the time of the earthquake and the rising of the Helots; and also because, although subjects of Athens, they had always sided with Lacedaemon.
While the Athenians were still at sea, the Aeginetans evacuated a fort which they were building upon the coast, and retreated into the upper town where they lived, rather more than a mile from the sea. One of the Lacedaemonian district garrisons which was helping them in the work, refused to enter here with them at their entreaty, thinking it dangerous to shut themselves up within the wall, and retiring to the high ground remained quiet, not considering themselves a match for the enemy. Meanwhile the Athenians landed, and instantly advanced with all their forces and took Thyrea. The town they burnt, pillaging what was in it; the Aeginetans who were not slain in action they took with them to Athens, with Tantalus, son of Patrocles, their Lacedaemonian commander, who had been wounded and taken prisoner. They also took with them a few men from Cythera whom they thought it safest to remove. These the Athenians determined to lodge in the islands: the rest of the Cytherians were to retain their lands and pay four talents tribute; the Aeginetans captured to be all put to death, on account of the old inveterate feud; and Tantalus to share the imprisonment of the Lacedaemonians taken on the island.
The same summer, the inhabitants of Camarina and Gela in Sicily first made an armistice with each other, after which embassies from all the other Sicilian cities assembled at Gela to try to bring about a pacification. After many expressions of opinion on one side and the other, according to the griefs and pretensions of the different parties complaining, Hermocrates, son of Hermon, a Syracusan, the most influential man among them, addressed the following words to the assembly:
"If I now address you, Sicilians, it is not because my city is the least in Sicily or the greatest sufferer by the war, but in order to state publicly what appears to me to be the best policy for the whole island. That war is an evil is a proposition so familiar to every one that it would be tedious to develop it. No one is forced to engage in it by ignorance, or kept out of it by fear, if he fancies there is anything to be gained by it. To the former the gain appears greater than the danger, while the latter would rather stand the risk than put up with any immediate sacrifice. But if both should happen to have chosen the wrong moment for acting in this way, advice to make peace would not be unserviceable; and this, if we did but see it, is just what we stand most in need of at the present juncture.
"I suppose that no one will dispute that we went to war at first in order to serve our own several interests, that we are now, in view of the same interests, debating how we can make peace; and that if we separate without having as we think our rights, we shall go to war again. And yet, as men of sense, we ought to see that our separate interests are not alone at stake in the present congress: there is also the question whether we have still time to save Sicily, the whole of which in my opinion is menaced by Athenian ambition; and we ought to find in the name of that people more imperious arguments for peace than any which I can advance, when we see the first power in Hellas watching our mistakes with the few ships that she has at present in our waters, and under the fair name of alliance speciously seeking to turn to account the natural hostility that exists between us. If we go to war, and call in to help us a people that are ready enough to carry their arms even where they are not invited; and if we injure ourselves at our own expense, and at the same time serve as the pioneers of their dominion, we may expect, when they see us worn out, that they will one day come with a larger armament, and seek to bring all of us into subjection.
"And yet as sensible men, if we call in allies and court danger, it should be in order to enrich our different countries with new acquisitions, and not to ruin what they possess already; and we should understand that the intestine discords which are so fatal to communities generally, will be equally so to Sicily, if we, its inhabitants, absorbed in our local quarrels, neglect the common enemy. These considerations should reconcile individual with individual, and city with city, and unite us in a common effort to save the whole of Sicily. Nor should any one imagine that the Dorians only are enemies of Athens, while the Chalcidian race is secured by its Ionian blood; the attack in question is not inspired by hatred of one of two nationalities, but by a desire for the good things in Sicily, the common property of us all. This is proved by the Athenian reception of the Chalcidian invitation: an ally who has never given them any assistance whatever, at once receives from them almost more than the treaty entitles him to. That the Athenians should cherish this ambition and practise this policy is very excusable; and I do not blame those who wish to rule, but those who are over-ready to serve. It is just as much in men's nature to rule those who submit to them, as it is to resist those who molest them; one is not less invariable than the other. Meanwhile all who see these dangers and refuse to provide for them properly, or who have come here without having made up their minds that our first duty is to unite to get rid of the common peril, are mistaken. The quickest way to be rid of it is to make peace with each other; since the Athenians menace us not from their own country, but from that of those who invited them here. In this way instead of war issuing in war, peace quietly ends our quarrels; and the guests who come hither under fair pretences for bad ends, will have good reason for going away without having attained them.
"So far as regards the Athenians, such are the great advantages proved inherent in a wise policy. Independently of this, in the face of the universal consent, that peace is the first of blessings, how can we refuse to make it amongst ourselves; or do you not think that the good which you have, and the ills that you complain of, would be better preserved and cured by quiet than by war; that peace has its honours and splendours of a less perilous kind, not to mention the numerous other blessings that one might dilate on, with the not less numerous miseries of war? These considerations should teach you not to disregard my words, but rather to look in them every one for his own safety. If there be any here who feels certain either by right or might to effect his object, let not this surprise be to him too severe a disappointment. Let him remember that many before now have tried to chastise a wrongdoer, and failing to punish their enemy have not even saved themselves; while many who have trusted in force to gain an advantage, instead of gaining anything more, have been doomed to lose what they had. Vengeance is not necessarily successful because wrong has been done, or strength sure because it is confident; but the incalculable element in the future exercises the widest influence, and is the most treacherous, and yet in fact the most useful of all things, as it frightens us all equally, and thus makes us consider before attacking each other.
"Let us therefore now allow the undefined fear of this unknown future, and the immediate terror of the Athenians' presence, to produce their natural impression, and let us consider any failure to carry out the programmes that we may each have sketched out for ourselves as sufficiently accounted for by these obstacles, and send away the intruder from the country; and if everlasting peace be impossible between us, let us at all events make a treaty for as long a term as possible, and put off our private differences to another day. In fine, let us recognize that the adoption of my advice will leave us each citizens of a free state, and as such arbiters of our own destiny, able to return good or bad offices with equal effect; while its rejection will make us dependent on others, and thus not only impotent to repel an insult, but on the most favourable supposition, friends to our direst enemies, and at feud with our natural friends.
"For myself, though, as I said at first, the representative of a great city, and able to think less of defending myself than of attacking others, I am prepared to concede something in prevision of these dangers. I am not inclined to ruin myself for the sake of hurting my enemies, or so blinded by animosity as to think myself equally master of my own plans and of fortune which I cannot command; but I am ready to give up anything in reason. I call upon the rest of you to imitate my conduct of your own free will, without being forced to do so by the enemy. There is no disgrace in connections giving way to one another, a Dorian to a Dorian, or a Chalcidian to his brethren; above and beyond this we are neighbours, live in the same country, are girt by the same sea, and go by the same name of Sicilians. We shall go to war again, I suppose, when the time comes, and again make peace among ourselves by means of future congresses; but the foreign invader, if we are wise, will always find us united against him, since the hurt of one is the danger of all; and we shall never, in future, invite into the island either allies or mediators. By so acting we shall at the present moment do for Sicily a double service, ridding her at once of the Athenians, and of civil war, and in future shall live in freedom at home, and be less menaced from abroad."
Such were the words of Hermocrates. The Sicilians took his advice, and came to an understanding among themselves to end the war, each keeping what they had—the Camarinaeans taking Morgantina at a price fixed to be paid to the Syracusans—and the allies of the Athenians called the officers in command, and told them that they were going to make peace and that they would be included in the treaty. The generals assenting, the peace was concluded, and the Athenian fleet afterwards sailed away from Sicily. Upon their arrival at Athens, the Athenians banished Pythodorus and Sophocles, and fined Eurymedon for having taken bribes to depart when they might have subdued Sicily. So thoroughly had the present prosperity persuaded the citizens that nothing could withstand them, and that they could achieve what was possible and impracticable alike, with means ample or inadequate it mattered not. The secret of this was their general extraordinary success, which made them confuse their strength with their hopes.
The same summer the Megarians in the city, pressed by the hostilities of the Athenians, who invaded their country twice every year with all their forces, and harassed by the incursions of their own exiles at Pegae, who had been expelled in a revolution by the popular party, began to ask each other whether it would not be better to receive back their exiles, and free the town from one of its two scourges. The friends of the emigrants, perceiving the agitation, now more openly than before demanded the adoption of this proposition; and the leaders of the commons, seeing that the sufferings of the times had tired out the constancy of their supporters, entered in their alarm into correspondence with the Athenian generals, Hippocrates, son of Ariphron, and Demosthenes, son of Alcisthenes, and resolved to betray the town, thinking this less dangerous to themselves than the return of the party which they had banished. It was accordingly arranged that the Athenians should first take the long walls extending for nearly a mile from the city to the port of Nisaea, to prevent the Peloponnesians coming to the rescue from that place, where they formed the sole garrison to secure the fidelity of Megara; and that after this the attempt should be made to put into their hands the upper town, which it was thought would then come over with less difficulty.
The Athenians, after plans had been arranged between themselves and their correspondents both as to words and actions, sailed by night to Minoa, the island off Megara, with six hundred heavy infantry under the command of Hippocrates, and took post in a quarry not far off, out of which bricks used to be taken for the walls; while Demosthenes, the other commander, with a detachment of Plataean light troops and another of Peripoli, placed himself in ambush in the precinct of Enyalius, which was still nearer. No one knew of it, except those whose business it was to know that night. A little before daybreak, the traitors in Megara began to act. Every night for a long time back, under pretence of marauding, in order to have a means of opening the gates, they had been used, with the consent of the officer in command, to carry by night a sculling boat upon a cart along the ditch to the sea, and so to sail out, bringing it back again before day upon the cart, and taking it within the wall through the gates, in order, as they pretended, to baffle the Athenian blockade at Minoa, there being no boat to be seen in the harbour. On the present occasion the cart was already at the gates, which had been opened in the usual way for the boat, when the Athenians, with whom this had been concerted, saw it, and ran at the top of their speed from the ambush in order to reach the gates before they were shut again, and while the cart was still there to prevent their being closed; their Megarian accomplices at the same moment killing the guard at the gates. The first to run in was Demosthenes with his Plataeans and Peripoli, just where the trophy now stands; and he was no sooner within the gates than the Plataeans engaged and defeated the nearest party of Peloponnesians who had taken the alarm and come to the rescue, and secured the gates for the approaching Athenian heavy infantry.
After this, each of the Athenians as fast as they entered went against the wall. A few of the Peloponnesian garrison stood their ground at first, and tried to repel the assault, and some of them were killed; but the main body took fright and fled; the night attack and the sight of the Megarian traitors in arms against them making them think that all Megara had gone over to the enemy. It so happened also that the Athenian herald of his own idea called out and invited any of the Megarians that wished, to join the Athenian ranks; and this was no sooner heard by the garrison than they gave way, and, convinced that they were the victims of a concerted attack, took refuge in Nisaea. By daybreak, the walls being now taken and the Megarians in the city in great agitation, the persons who had negotiated with the Athenians, supported by the rest of the popular party which was privy to the plot, said that they ought to open the gates and march out to battle. It had been concerted between them that the Athenians should rush in, the moment that the gates were opened, while the conspirators were to be distinguished from the rest by being anointed with oil, and so to avoid being hurt. They could open the gates with more security, as four thousand Athenian heavy infantry from Eleusis, and six hundred horse, had marched all night, according to agreement, and were now close at hand. The conspirators were all ready anointed and at their posts by the gates, when one of their accomplices denounced the plot to the opposite party, who gathered together and came in a body, and roundly said that they must not march out—a thing they had never yet ventured on even when in greater force than at present—or wantonly compromise the safety of the town, and that if what they said was not attended to, the battle would have to be fought in Megara. For the rest, they gave no signs of their knowledge of the intrigue, but stoutly maintained that their advice was the best, and meanwhile kept close by and watched the gates, making it impossible for the conspirators to effect their purpose.
The Athenian generals seeing that some obstacle had arisen, and that the capture of the town by force was no longer practicable, at once proceeded to invest Nisaea, thinking that, if they could take it before relief arrived, the surrender of Megara would soon follow. Iron, stone-masons, and everything else required quickly coming up from Athens, the Athenians started from the wall which they occupied, and from this point built a cross wall looking towards Megara down to the sea on either side of Nisaea; the ditch and the walls being divided among the army, stones and bricks taken from the suburb, and the fruit-trees and timber cut down to make a palisade wherever this seemed necessary; the houses also in the suburb with the addition of battlements sometimes entering into the fortification. The whole of this day the work continued, and by the afternoon of the next the wall was all but completed, when the garrison in Nisaea, alarmed by the absolute want of provisions, which they used to take in for the day from the upper town, not anticipating any speedy relief from the Peloponnesians, and supposing Megara to be hostile, capitulated to the Athenians on condition that they should give up their arms, and should each be ransomed for a stipulated sum; their Lacedaemonian commander, and any others of his countrymen in the place, being left to the discretion of the Athenians. On these conditions they surrendered and came out, and the Athenians broke down the long walls at their point of junction with Megara, took possession of Nisaea, and went on with their other preparations.
Just at this time the Lacedaemonian Brasidas, son of Tellis, happened to be in the neighbourhood of Sicyon and Corinth, getting ready an army for Thrace. As soon as he heard of the capture of the walls, fearing for the Peloponnesians in Nisaea and the safety of Megara, he sent to the Boeotians to meet him as quickly as possible at Tripodiscus, a village so called of the Megarid, under Mount Geraneia, and went himself, with two thousand seven hundred Corinthian heavy infantry, four hundred Phliasians, six hundred Sicyonians, and such troops of his own as he had already levied, expecting to find Nisaea not yet taken. Hearing of its fall (he had marched out by night to Tripodiscus), he took three hundred picked men from the army, without waiting till his coming should be known, and came up to Megara unobserved by the Athenians, who were down by the sea, ostensibly, and really if possible, to attempt Nisaea, but above all to get into Megara and secure the town. He accordingly invited the townspeople to admit his party, saying that he had hopes of recovering Nisaea.
However, one of the Megarian factions feared that he might expel them and restore the exiles; the other that the commons, apprehensive of this very danger, might set upon them, and the city be thus destroyed by a battle within its gates under the eyes of the ambushed Athenians. He was accordingly refused admittance, both parties electing to remain quiet and await the event; each expecting a battle between the Athenians and the relieving army, and thinking it safer to see their friends victorious before declaring in their favour.
Unable to carry his point, Brasidas went back to the rest of the army. At daybreak the Boeotians joined him. Having determined to relieve Megara, whose danger they considered their own, even before hearing from Brasidas, they were already in full force at Plataea, when his messenger arrived to add spurs to their resolution; and they at once sent on to him two thousand two hundred heavy infantry, and six hundred horse, returning home with the main body. The whole army thus assembled numbered six thousand heavy infantry. The Athenian heavy infantry were drawn up by Nisaea and the sea; but the light troops being scattered over the plain were attacked by the Boeotian horse and driven to the sea, being taken entirely by surprise, as on previous occasions no relief had ever come to the Megarians from any quarter. Here the Boeotians were in their turn charged and engaged by the Athenian horse, and a cavalry action ensued which lasted a long time, and in which both parties claimed the victory. The Athenians killed and stripped the leader of the Boeotian horse and some few of his comrades who had charged right up to Nisaea, and remaining masters of the bodies gave them back under truce, and set up a trophy; but regarding the action as a whole the forces separated without either side having gained a decisive advantage, the Boeotians returning to their army and the Athenians to Nisaea.
After this Brasidas and the army came nearer to the sea and to Megara, and taking up a convenient position, remained quiet in order of battle, expecting to be attacked by the Athenians and knowing that the Megarians were waiting to see which would be the victor. This attitude seemed to present two advantages. Without taking the offensive or willingly provoking the hazards of a battle, they openly showed their readiness to fight, and thus without bearing the burden of the day would fairly reap its honours; while at the same time they effectually served their interests at Megara. For if they had failed to show themselves they would not have had a chance, but would have certainly been considered vanquished, and have lost the town. As it was, the Athenians might possibly not be inclined to accept their challenge, and their object would be attained without fighting. And so it turned out. The Athenians formed outside the long walls and, the enemy not attacking, there remained motionless; their generals having decided that the risk was too unequal. In fact most of their objects had been already attained; and they would have to begin a battle against superior numbers, and if victorious could only gain Megara, while a defeat would destroy the flower of their heavy soldiery. For the enemy it was different; as even the states actually represented in his army risked each only a part of its entire force, he might well be more audacious. Accordingly, after waiting for some time without either side attacking, the Athenians withdrew to Nisaea, and the Peloponnesians after them to the point from which they had set out. The friends of the Megarian exiles now threw aside their hesitation, and opened the gates to Brasidas and the commanders from the different states—looking upon him as the victor and upon the Athenians as having declined the battle—and receiving them into the town proceeded to discuss matters with them; the party in correspondence with the Athenians being paralysed by the turn things had taken.
Afterwards Brasidas let the allies go home, and himself went back to Corinth, to prepare for his expedition to Thrace, his original destination. The Athenians also returning home, the Megarians in the city most implicated in the Athenian negotiation, knowing that they had been detected, presently disappeared; while the rest conferred with the friends of the exiles, and restored the party at Pegae, after binding them under solemn oaths to take no vengeance for the past, and only to consult the real interests of the town. However, as soon as they were in office, they held a review of the heavy infantry, and separating the battalions, picked out about a hundred of their enemies, and of those who were thought to be most involved in the correspondence with the Athenians, brought them before the people, and compelling the vote to be given openly, had them condemned and executed, and established a close oligarchy in the town—a revolution which lasted a very long while, although effected by a very few partisans.
Eighth and Ninth Years of the War—Invasion of Boeotia—Fall of Amphipolis—Brilliant Successes of Brasidas
The same summer the Mitylenians were about to fortify Antandrus, as they had intended, when Demodocus and Aristides, the commanders of the Athenian squadron engaged in levying subsidies, heard on the Hellespont of what was being done to the place (Lamachus their colleague having sailed with ten ships into the Pontus) and conceived fears of its becoming a second Anaia-the place in which the Samian exiles had established themselves to annoy Samos, helping the Peloponnesians by sending pilots to their navy, and keeping the city in agitation and receiving all its outlaws. They accordingly got together a force from the allies and set sail, defeated in battle the troops that met them from Antandrus, and retook the place. Not long after, Lamachus, who had sailed into the Pontus, lost his ships at anchor in the river Calex, in the territory of Heraclea, rain having fallen in the interior and the flood coming suddenly down upon them; and himself and his troops passed by land through the Bithynian Thracians on the Asiatic side, and arrived at Chalcedon, the Megarian colony at the mouth of the Pontus.
The same summer the Athenian general, Demosthenes, arrived at Naupactus with forty ships immediately after the return from the Megarid. Hippocrates and himself had had overtures made to them by certain men in the cities in Boeotia, who wished to change the constitution and introduce a democracy as at Athens; Ptoeodorus, a Theban exile, being the chief mover in this intrigue. The seaport town of Siphae, in the bay of Crisae, in the Thespian territory, was to be betrayed to them by one party; Chaeronea (a dependency of what was formerly called the Minyan, now the Boeotian, Orchomenus) to be put into their hands by another from that town, whose exiles were very active in the business, hiring men in Peloponnese. Some Phocians also were in the plot, Chaeronea being the frontier town of Boeotia and close to Phanotis in Phocia. Meanwhile the Athenians were to seize Delium, the sanctuary of Apollo, in the territory of Tanagra looking towards Euboea; and all these events were to take place simultaneously upon a day appointed, in order that the Boeotians might be unable to unite to oppose them at Delium, being everywhere detained by disturbances at home. Should the enterprise succeed, and Delium be fortified, its authors confidently expected that even if no revolution should immediately follow in Boeotia, yet with these places in their hands, and the country being harassed by incursions, and a refuge in each instance near for the partisans engaged in them, things would not remain as they were, but that the rebels being supported by the Athenians and the forces of the oligarchs divided, it would be possible after a while to settle matters according to their wishes.
Such was the plot in contemplation. Hippocrates with a force raised at home awaited the proper moment to take the field against the Boeotians; while he sent on Demosthenes with the forty ships above mentioned to Naupactus, to raise in those parts an army of Acarnanians and of the other allies, and sail and receive Siphae from the conspirators; a day having been agreed on for the simultaneous execution of both these operations. Demosthenes on his arrival found Oeniadae already compelled by the united Acarnanians to join the Athenian confederacy, and himself raising all the allies in those countries marched against and subdued Salynthius and the Agraeans; after which he devoted himself to the preparations necessary to enable him to be at Siphae by the time appointed.
About the same time in the summer, Brasidas set out on his march for the Thracian places with seventeen hundred heavy infantry, and arriving at Heraclea in Trachis, from thence sent on a messenger to his friends at Pharsalus, to ask them to conduct himself and his army through the country. Accordingly there came to Melitia in Achaia Panaerus, Dorus, Hippolochidas, Torylaus, and Strophacus, the Chalcidian proxenus, under whose escort he resumed his march, being accompanied also by other Thessalians, among whom was Niconidas from Larissa, a friend of Perdiccas. It was never very easy to traverse Thessaly without an escort; and throughout all Hellas for an armed force to pass without leave through a neighbour's country was a delicate step to take. Besides this the Thessalian people had always sympathized with the Athenians. Indeed if instead of the customary close oligarchy there had been a constitutional government in Thessaly, he would never have been able to proceed; since even as it was, he was met on his march at the river Enipeus by certain of the opposite party who forbade his further progress, and complained of his making the attempt without the consent of the nation. To this his escort answered that they had no intention of taking him through against their will; they were only friends in attendance on an unexpected visitor. Brasidas himself added that he came as a friend to Thessaly and its inhabitants, his arms not being directed against them but against the Athenians, with whom he was at war, and that although he knew of no quarrel between the Thessalians and Lacedaemonians to prevent the two nations having access to each other's territory, he neither would nor could proceed against their wishes; he could only beg them not to stop him. With this answer they went away, and he took the advice of his escort, and pushed on without halting, before a greater force might gather to prevent him. Thus in the day that he set out from Melitia he performed the whole distance to Pharsalus, and encamped on the river Apidanus; and so to Phacium and from thence to Perrhaebia. Here his Thessalian escort went back, and the Perrhaebians, who are subjects of Thessaly, set him down at Dium in the dominions of Perdiccas, a Macedonian town under Mount Olympus, looking towards Thessaly.
In this way Brasidas hurried through Thessaly before any one could be got ready to stop him, and reached Perdiccas and Chalcidice. The departure of the army from Peloponnese had been procured by the Thracian towns in revolt against Athens and by Perdiccas, alarmed at the successes of the Athenians. The Chalcidians thought that they would be the first objects of an Athenian expedition, not that the neighbouring towns which had not yet revolted did not also secretly join in the invitation; and Perdiccas also had his apprehensions on account of his old quarrels with the Athenians, although not openly at war with them, and above all wished to reduce Arrhabaeus, king of the Lyncestians. It had been less difficult for them to get an army to leave Peloponnese, because of the ill fortune of the Lacedaemonians at the present moment. The attacks of the Athenians upon Peloponnese, and in particular upon Laconia, might, it was hoped, be diverted most effectually by annoying them in return, and by sending an army to their allies, especially as they were willing to maintain it and asked for it to aid them in revolting. The Lacedaemonians were also glad to have an excuse for sending some of the Helots out of the country, for fear that the present aspect of affairs and the occupation of Pylos might encourage them to move. Indeed fear of their numbers and obstinacy even persuaded the Lacedaemonians to the action which I shall now relate, their policy at all times having been governed by the necessity of taking precautions against them. The Helots were invited by a proclamation to pick out those of their number who claimed to have most distinguished themselves against the enemy, in order that they might receive their freedom; the object being to test them, as it was thought that the first to claim their freedom would be the most high-spirited and the most apt to rebel. As many as two thousand were selected accordingly, who crowned themselves and went round the temples, rejoicing in their new freedom. The Spartans, however, soon afterwards did away with them, and no one ever knew how each of them perished. The Spartans now therefore gladly sent seven hundred as heavy infantry with Brasidas, who recruited the rest of his force by means of money in Peloponnese.
Brasidas himself was sent out by the Lacedaemonians mainly at his own desire, although the Chalcidians also were eager to have a man so thorough as he had shown himself whenever there was anything to be done at Sparta, and whose after-service abroad proved of the utmost use to his country. At the present moment his just and moderate conduct towards the towns generally succeeded in procuring their revolt, besides the places which he managed to take by treachery; and thus when the Lacedaemonians desired to treat, as they ultimately did, they had places to offer in exchange, and the burden of war meanwhile shifted from Peloponnese. Later on in the war, after the events in Sicily, the present valour and conduct of Brasidas, known by experience to some, by hearsay to others, was what mainly created in the allies of Athens a feeling for the Lacedaemonians. He was the first who went out and showed himself so good a man at all points as to leave behind him the conviction that the rest were like him.
Meanwhile his arrival in the Thracian country no sooner became known to the Athenians than they declared war against Perdiccas, whom they regarded as the author of the expedition, and kept a closer watch on their allies in that quarter.
Upon the arrival of Brasidas and his army, Perdiccas immediately started with them and with his own forces against Arrhabaeus, son of Bromerus, king of the Lyncestian Macedonians, his neighbour, with whom he had a quarrel and whom he wished to subdue. However, when he arrived with his army and Brasidas at the pass leading into Lyncus, Brasidas told him that before commencing hostilities he wished to go and try to persuade Arrhabaeus to become the ally of Lacedaemon, this latter having already made overtures intimating his willingness to make Brasidas arbitrator between them, and the Chalcidian envoys accompanying him having warned him not to remove the apprehensions of Perdiccas, in order to ensure his greater zeal in their cause. Besides, the envoys of Perdiccas had talked at Lacedaemon about his bringing many of the places round him into alliance with them; and thus Brasidas thought he might take a larger view of the question of Arrhabaeus. Perdiccas however retorted that he had not brought him with him to arbitrate in their quarrel, but to put down the enemies whom he might point out to him; and that while he, Perdiccas, maintained half his army it was a breach of faith for Brasidas to parley with Arrhabaeus. Nevertheless Brasidas disregarded the wishes of Perdiccas and held the parley in spite of him, and suffered himself to be persuaded to lead off the army without invading the country of Arrhabaeus; after which Perdiccas, holding that faith had not been kept with him, contributed only a third instead of half of the support of the army.
The same summer, without loss of time, Brasidas marched with the Chalcidians against Acanthus, a colony of the Andrians, a little before vintage. The inhabitants were divided into two parties on the question of receiving him; those who had joined the Chalcidians in inviting him, and the popular party. However, fear for their fruit, which was still out, enabled Brasidas to persuade the multitude to admit him alone, and to hear what he had to say before making a decision; and he was admitted accordingly and appeared before the people, and not being a bad speaker for a Lacedaemonian, addressed them as follows:
"Acanthians, the Lacedaemonians have sent out me and my army to make good the reason that we gave for the war when we began it, viz., that we were going to war with the Athenians in order to free Hellas. Our delay in coming has been caused by mistaken expectations as to the war at home, which led us to hope, by our own unassisted efforts and without your risking anything, to effect the speedy downfall of the Athenians; and you must not blame us for this, as we are now come the moment that we were able, prepared with your aid to do our best to subdue them. Meanwhile I am astonished at finding your gates shut against me, and at not meeting with a better welcome. We Lacedaemonians thought of you as allies eager to have us, to whom we should come in spirit even before we were with you in body; and in this expectation undertook all the risks of a march of many days through a strange country, so far did our zeal carry us. It will be a terrible thing if after this you have other intentions, and mean to stand in the way of your own and Hellenic freedom. It is not merely that you oppose me yourselves; but wherever I may go people will be less inclined to join me, on the score that you, to whom I first came—an important town like Acanthus, and prudent men like the Acanthians—refused to admit me. I shall have nothing to prove that the reason which I advance is the true one; it will be said either that there is something unfair in the freedom which I offer, or that I am in insufficient force and unable to protect you against an attack from Athens. Yet when I went with the army which I now have to the relief of Nisaea, the Athenians did not venture to engage me although in greater force than I; and it is not likely they will ever send across sea against you an army as numerous as they had at Nisaea. And for myself, I have come here not to hurt but to free the Hellenes, witness the solemn oaths by which I have bound my government that the allies that I may bring over shall be independent; and besides my object in coming is not by force or fraud to obtain your alliance, but to offer you mine to help you against your Athenian masters. I protest, therefore, against any suspicions of my intentions after the guarantees which I offer, and equally so against doubts of my ability to protect you, and I invite you to join me without hesitation.
"Some of you may hang back because they have private enemies, and fear that I may put the city into the hands of a party: none need be more tranquil than they. I am not come here to help this party or that; and I do not consider that I should be bringing you freedom in any real sense, if I should disregard your constitution, and enslave the many to the few or the few to the many. This would be heavier than a foreign yoke; and we Lacedaemonians, instead of being thanked for our pains, should get neither honour nor glory, but, contrariwise, reproaches. The charges which strengthen our hands in the war against the Athenians would on our own showing be merited by ourselves, and more hateful in us than in those who make no pretensions to honesty; as it is more disgraceful for persons of character to take what they covet by fair-seeming fraud than by open force; the one aggression having for its justification the might which fortune gives, the other being simply a piece of clever roguery. A matter which concerns us thus nearly we naturally look to most jealously; and over and above the oaths that I have mentioned, what stronger assurance can you have, when you see that our words, compared with the actual facts, produce the necessary conviction that it is our interest to act as we say?
"If to these considerations of mine you put in the plea of inability, and claim that your friendly feeling should save you from being hurt by your refusal; if you say that freedom, in your opinion, is not without its dangers, and that it is right to offer it to those who can accept it, but not to force it on any against their will, then I shall take the gods and heroes of your country to witness that I came for your good and was rejected, and shall do my best to compel you by laying waste your land. I shall do so without scruple, being justified by the necessity which constrains me, first, to prevent the Lacedaemonians from being damaged by you, their friends, in the event of your nonadhesion, through the moneys that you pay to the Athenians; and secondly, to prevent the Hellenes from being hindered by you in shaking off their servitude. Otherwise indeed we should have no right to act as we propose; except in the name of some public interest, what call should we Lacedaemonians have to free those who do not wish it? Empire we do not aspire to: it is what we are labouring to put down; and we should wrong the greater number if we allowed you to stand in the way of the independence that we offer to all. Endeavour, therefore, to decide wisely, and strive to begin the work of liberation for the Hellenes, and lay up for yourselves endless renown, while you escape private loss, and cover your commonwealth with glory."
Such were the words of Brasidas. The Acanthians, after much had been said on both sides of the question, gave their votes in secret, and the majority, influenced by the seductive arguments of Brasidas and by fear for their fruit, decided to revolt from Athens; not however admitting the army until they had taken his personal security for the oaths sworn by his government before they sent him out, assuring the independence of the allies whom he might bring over. Not long after, Stagirus, a colony of the Andrians, followed their example and revolted.
Such were the events of this summer. It was in the first days of the winter following that the places in Boeotia were to be put into the hands of the Athenian generals, Hippocrates and Demosthenes, the latter of whom was to go with his ships to Siphae, the former to Delium. A mistake, however, was made in the days on which they were each to start; and Demosthenes, sailing first to Siphae, with the Acarnanians and many of the allies from those parts on board, failed to effect anything, through the plot having been betrayed by Nicomachus, a Phocian from Phanotis, who told the Lacedaemonians, and they the Boeotians. Succours accordingly flocked in from all parts of Boeotia, Hippocrates not being yet there to make his diversion, and Siphae and Chaeronea were promptly secured, and the conspirators, informed of the mistake, did not venture on any movement in the towns.
Meanwhile Hippocrates made a levy in mass of the citizens, resident aliens, and foreigners in Athens, and arrived at his destination after the Boeotians had already come back from Siphae, and encamping his army began to fortify Delium, the sanctuary of Apollo, in the following manner. A trench was dug all round the temple and the consecrated ground, and the earth thrown up from the excavation was made to do duty as a wall, in which stakes were also planted, the vines round the sanctuary being cut down and thrown in, together with stones and bricks pulled down from the houses near; every means, in short, being used to run up the rampart. Wooden towers were also erected where they were wanted, and where there was no part of the temple buildings left standing, as on the side where the gallery once existing had fallen in. The work was begun on the third day after leaving home, and continued during the fourth, and till dinnertime on the fifth, when most of it being now finished the army removed from Delium about a mile and a quarter on its way home. From this point most of the light troops went straight on, while the heavy infantry halted and remained where they were; Hippocrates having stayed behind at Delium to arrange the posts, and to give directions for the completion of such part of the outworks as had been left unfinished.
During the days thus employed the Boeotians were mustering at Tanagra, and by the time that they had come in from all the towns, found the Athenians already on their way home. The rest of the eleven Boeotarchs were against giving battle, as the enemy was no longer in Boeotia, the Athenians being just over the Oropian border, when they halted; but Pagondas, son of Aeolidas, one of the Boeotarchs of Thebes (Arianthides, son of Lysimachidas, being the other), and then commander-in-chief, thought it best to hazard a battle. He accordingly called the men to him, company after company, to prevent their all leaving their arms at once, and urged them to attack the Athenians, and stand the issue of a battle, speaking as follows:
"Boeotians, the idea that we ought not to give battle to the Athenians, unless we came up with them in Boeotia, is one which should never have entered into the head of any of us, your generals. It was to annoy Boeotia that they crossed the frontier and built a fort in our country; and they are therefore, I imagine, our enemies wherever we may come up with them, and from wheresoever they may have come to act as enemies do. And if any one has taken up with the idea in question for reasons of safety, it is high time for him to change his mind. The party attacked, whose own country is in danger, can scarcely discuss what is prudent with the calmness of men who are in full enjoyment of what they have got, and are thinking of attacking a neighbour in order to get more. It is your national habit, in your country or out of it, to oppose the same resistance to a foreign invader; and when that invader is Athenian, and lives upon your frontier besides, it is doubly imperative to do so. As between neighbours generally, freedom means simply a determination to hold one's own; and with neighbours like these, who are trying to enslave near and far alike, there is nothing for it but to fight it out to the last. Look at the condition of the Euboeans and of most of the rest of Hellas, and be convinced that others have to fight with their neighbours for this frontier or that, but that for us conquest means one frontier for the whole country, about which no dispute can be made, for they will simply come and take by force what we have. So much more have we to fear from this neighbour than from another. Besides, people who, like the Athenians in the present instance, are tempted by pride of strength to attack their neighbours, usually march most confidently against those who keep still, and only defend themselves in their own country, but think twice before they grapple with those who meet them outside their frontier and strike the first blow if opportunity offers. The Athenians have shown us this themselves; the defeat which we inflicted upon them at Coronea, at the time when our quarrels had allowed them to occupy the country, has given great security to Boeotia until the present day. Remembering this, the old must equal their ancient exploits, and the young, the sons of the heroes of that time, must endeavour not to disgrace their native valour; and trusting in the help of the god whose temple has been sacrilegiously fortified, and in the victims which in our sacrifices have proved propitious, we must march against the enemy, and teach him that he must go and get what he wants by attacking someone who will not resist him, but that men whose glory it is to be always ready to give battle for the liberty of their own country, and never unjustly to enslave that of others, will not let him go without a struggle."
By these arguments Pagondas persuaded the Boeotians to attack the Athenians, and quickly breaking up his camp led his army forward, it being now late in the day. On nearing the enemy, he halted in a position where a hill intervening prevented the two armies from seeing each other, and then formed and prepared for action. Meanwhile Hippocrates at Delium, informed of the approach of the Boeotians, sent orders to his troops to throw themselves into line, and himself joined them not long afterwards, leaving about three hundred horse behind him at Delium, at once to guard the place in case of attack, and to watch their opportunity and fall upon the Boeotians during the battle. The Boeotians placed a detachment to deal with these, and when everything was arranged to their satisfaction appeared over the hill, and halted in the order which they had determined on, to the number of seven thousand heavy infantry, more than ten thousand light troops, one thousand horse, and five hundred targeteers. On their right were the Thebans and those of their province, in the centre the Haliartians, Coronaeans, Copaeans, and the other people around the lake, and on the left the Thespians, Tanagraeans, and Orchomenians, the cavalry and the light troops being at the extremity of each wing. The Thebans formed twenty-five shields deep, the rest as they pleased. Such was the strength and disposition of the Boeotian army.
On the side of the Athenians, the heavy infantry throughout the whole army formed eight deep, being in numbers equal to the enemy, with the cavalry upon the two wings. Light troops regularly armed there were none in the army, nor had there ever been any at Athens. Those who had joined in the invasion, though many times more numerous than those of the enemy, had mostly followed unarmed, as part of the levy in mass of the citizens and foreigners at Athens, and having started first on their way home were not present in any number. The armies being now in line and upon the point of engaging, Hippocrates, the general, passed along the Athenian ranks, and encouraged them as follows:
"Athenians, I shall only say a few words to you, but brave men require no more, and they are addressed more to your understanding than to your courage. None of you must fancy that we are going out of our way to run this risk in the country of another. Fought in their territory the battle will be for ours: if we conquer, the Peloponnesians will never invade your country without the Boeotian horse, and in one battle you will win Boeotia and in a manner free Attica. Advance to meet them then like citizens of a country in which you all glory as the first in Hellas, and like sons of the fathers who beat them at Oenophyta with Myronides and thus gained possession of Boeotia."
Hippocrates had got half through the army with his exhortation, when the Boeotians, after a few more hasty words from Pagondas, struck up the paean, and came against them from the hill; the Athenians advancing to meet them, and closing at a run. The extreme wing of neither army came into action, one like the other being stopped by the water-courses in the way; the rest engaged with the utmost obstinacy, shield against shield. The Boeotian left, as far as the centre, was worsted by the Athenians. The Thespians in that part of the field suffered most severely. The troops alongside them having given way, they were surrounded in a narrow space and cut down fighting hand to hand; some of the Athenians also fell into confusion in surrounding the enemy and mistook and so killed each other. In this part of the field the Boeotians were beaten, and retreated upon the troops still fighting; but the right, where the Thebans were, got the better of the Athenians and shoved them further and further back, though gradually at first. It so happened also that Pagondas, seeing the distress of his left, had sent two squadrons of horse, where they could not be seen, round the hill, and their sudden appearance struck a panic into the victorious wing of the Athenians, who thought that it was another army coming against them. At length in both parts of the field, disturbed by this panic, and with their line broken by the advancing Thebans, the whole Athenian army took to flight. Some made for Delium and the sea, some for Oropus, others for Mount Parnes, or wherever they had hopes of safety, pursued and cut down by the Boeotians, and in particular by the cavalry, composed partly of Boeotians and partly of Locrians, who had come up just as the rout began. Night however coming on to interrupt the pursuit, the mass of the fugitives escaped more easily than they would otherwise have done. The next day the troops at Oropus and Delium returned home by sea, after leaving a garrison in the latter place, which they continued to hold notwithstanding the defeat.
The Boeotians set up a trophy, took up their own dead, and stripped those of the enemy, and leaving a guard over them retired to Tanagra, there to take measures for attacking Delium. Meanwhile a herald came from the Athenians to ask for the dead, but was met and turned back by a Boeotian herald, who told him that he would effect nothing until the return of himself the Boeotian herald, and who then went on to the Athenians, and told them on the part of the Boeotians that they had done wrong in transgressing the law of the Hellenes. Of what use was the universal custom protecting the temples in an invaded country, if the Athenians were to fortify Delium and live there, acting exactly as if they were on unconsecrated ground, and drawing and using for their purposes the water which they, the Boeotians, never touched except for sacred uses? Accordingly for the god as well as for themselves, in the name of the deities concerned, and of Apollo, the Boeotians invited them first to evacuate the temple, if they wished to take up the dead that belonged to them.
After these words from the herald, the Athenians sent their own herald to the Boeotians to say that they had not done any wrong to the temple, and for the future would do it no more harm than they could help; not having occupied it originally in any such design, but to defend themselves from it against those who were really wronging them. The law of the Hellenes was that conquest of a country, whether more or less extensive, carried with it possession of the temples in that country, with the obligation to keep up the usual ceremonies, at least as far as possible. The Boeotians and most other people who had turned out the owners of a country, and put themselves in their places by force, now held as of right the temples which they originally entered as usurpers. If the Athenians could have conquered more of Boeotia this would have been the case with them: as things stood, the piece of it which they had got they should treat as their own, and not quit unless obliged. The water they had disturbed under the impulsion of a necessity which they had not wantonly incurred, having been forced to use it in defending themselves against the Boeotians who first invaded Attica. Besides, anything done under the pressure of war and danger might reasonably claim indulgence even in the eye of the god; or why, pray, were the altars the asylum for involuntary offences? Transgression also was a term applied to presumptuous offenders, not to the victims of adverse circumstances. In short, which were most impious—the Boeotians who wished to barter dead bodies for holy places, or the Athenians who refused to give up holy places to obtain what was theirs by right? The condition of evacuating Boeotia must therefore be withdrawn. They were no longer in Boeotia. They stood where they stood by the right of the sword. All that the Boeotians had to do was to tell them to take up their dead under a truce according to the national custom.
The Boeotians replied that if they were in Boeotia, they must evacuate that country before taking up their dead; if they were in their own territory, they could do as they pleased: for they knew that, although the Oropid where the bodies as it chanced were lying (the battle having been fought on the borders) was subject to Athens, yet the Athenians could not get them without their leave. Besides, why should they grant a truce for Athenian ground? And what could be fairer than to tell them to evacuate Boeotia if they wished to get what they asked? The Athenian herald accordingly returned with this answer, without having accomplished his object.
Meanwhile the Boeotians at once sent for darters and slingers from the Malian Gulf, and with two thousand Corinthian heavy infantry who had joined them after the battle, the Peloponnesian garrison which had evacuated Nisaea, and some Megarians with them, marched against Delium, and attacked the fort, and after divers efforts finally succeeded in taking it by an engine of the following description. They sawed in two and scooped out a great beam from end to end, and fitting it nicely together again like a pipe, hung by chains a cauldron at one extremity, with which communicated an iron tube projecting from the beam, which was itself in great part plated with iron. This they brought up from a distance upon carts to the part of the wall principally composed of vines and timber, and when it was near, inserted huge bellows into their end of the beam and blew with them. The blast passing closely confined into the cauldron, which was filled with lighted coals, sulphur and pitch, made a great blaze, and set fire to the wall, which soon became untenable for its defenders, who left it and fled; and in this way the fort was taken. Of the garrison some were killed and two hundred made prisoners; most of the rest got on board their ships and returned home.
Soon after the fall of Delium, which took place seventeen days after the battle, the Athenian herald, without knowing what had happened, came again for the dead, which were now restored by the Boeotians, who no longer answered as at first. Not quite five hundred Boeotians fell in the battle, and nearly one thousand Athenians, including Hippocrates the general, besides a great number of light troops and camp followers.
Soon after this battle Demosthenes, after the failure of his voyage to Siphae and of the plot on the town, availed himself of the Acarnanian and Agraean troops and of the four hundred Athenian heavy infantry which he had on board, to make a descent on the Sicyonian coast. Before however all his ships had come to shore, the Sicyonians came up and routed and chased to their ships those that had landed, killing some and taking others prisoners; after which they set up a trophy, and gave back the dead under truce.
About the same time with the affair of Delium took place the death of Sitalces, king of the Odrysians, who was defeated in battle, in a campaign against the Triballi; Seuthes, son of Sparadocus, his nephew, succeeding to the kingdom of the Odrysians, and of the rest of Thrace ruled by Sitalces.
The same winter Brasidas, with his allies in the Thracian places, marched against Amphipolis, the Athenian colony on the river Strymon. A settlement upon the spot on which the city now stands was before attempted by Aristagoras, the Milesian (when he fled from King Darius), who was however dislodged by the Edonians; and thirty-two years later by the Athenians, who sent thither ten thousand settlers of their own citizens, and whoever else chose to go. These were cut off at Drabescus by the Thracians. Twenty-nine years after, the Athenians returned (Hagnon, son of Nicias, being sent out as leader of the colony) and drove out the Edonians, and founded a town on the spot, formerly called Ennea Hodoi or Nine Ways. The base from which they started was Eion, their commercial seaport at the mouth of the river, not more than three miles from the present town, which Hagnon named Amphipolis, because the Strymon flows round it on two sides, and he built it so as to be conspicuous from the sea and land alike, running a long wall across from river to river, to complete the circumference.
Brasidas now marched against this town, starting from Arne in Chalcidice. Arriving about dusk at Aulon and Bromiscus, where the lake of Bolbe runs into the sea, he supped there, and went on during the night. The weather was stormy and it was snowing a little, which encouraged him to hurry on, in order, if possible, to take every one at Amphipolis by surprise, except the party who were to betray it. The plot was carried on by some natives of Argilus, an Andrian colony, residing in Amphipolis, where they had also other accomplices gained over by Perdiccas or the Chalcidians. But the most active in the matter were the inhabitants of Argilus itself, which is close by, who had always been suspected by the Athenians, and had had designs on the place. These men now saw their opportunity arrive with Brasidas, and having for some time been in correspondence with their countrymen in Amphipolis for the betrayal of the town, at once received him into Argilus, and revolted from the Athenians, and that same night took him on to the bridge over the river; where he found only a small guard to oppose him, the town being at some distance from the passage, and the walls not reaching down to it as at present. This guard he easily drove in, partly through there being treason in their ranks, partly from the stormy state of the weather and the suddenness of his attack, and so got across the bridge, and immediately became master of all the property outside; the Amphipolitans having houses all over the quarter.
The passage of Brasidas was a complete surprise to the people in the town; and the capture of many of those outside, and the flight of the rest within the wall, combined to produce great confusion among the citizens; especially as they did not trust one another. It is even said that if Brasidas, instead of stopping to pillage, had advanced straight against the town, he would probably have taken it. In fact, however, he established himself where he was and overran the country outside, and for the present remained inactive, vainly awaiting a demonstration on the part of his friends within. Meanwhile the party opposed to the traitors proved numerous enough to prevent the gates being immediately thrown open, and in concert with Eucles, the general, who had come from Athens to defend the place, sent to the other commander in Thrace, Thucydides, son of Olorus, the author of this history, who was at the isle of Thasos, a Parian colony, half a day's sail from Amphipolis, to tell him to come to their relief. On receipt of this message he at once set sail with seven ships which he had with him, in order, if possible, to reach Amphipolis in time to prevent its capitulation, or in any case to save Eion.
Meanwhile Brasidas, afraid of succours arriving by sea from Thasos, and learning that Thucydides possessed the right of working the gold mines in that part of Thrace, and had thus great influence with the inhabitants of the continent, hastened to gain the town, if possible, before the people of Amphipolis should be encouraged by his arrival to hope that he could save them by getting together a force of allies from the sea and from Thrace, and so refuse to surrender. He accordingly offered moderate terms, proclaiming that any of the Amphipolitans and Athenians who chose, might continue to enjoy their property with full rights of citizenship; while those who did not wish to stay had five days to depart, taking their property with them.
The bulk of the inhabitants, upon hearing this, began to change their minds, especially as only a small number of the citizens were Athenians, the majority having come from different quarters, and many of the prisoners outside had relations within the walls. They found the proclamation a fair one in comparison of what their fear had suggested; the Athenians being glad to go out, as they thought they ran more risk than the rest, and further, did not expect any speedy relief, and the multitude generally being content at being left in possession of their civic rights, and at such an unexpected reprieve from danger. The partisans of Brasidas now openly advocated this course, seeing that the feeling of the people had changed, and that they no longer gave ear to the Athenian general present; and thus the surrender was made and Brasidas was admitted by them on the terms of his proclamation. In this way they gave up the city, and late in the same day Thucydides and his ships entered the harbour of Eion, Brasidas having just got hold of Amphipolis, and having been within a night of taking Eion: had the ships been less prompt in relieving it, in the morning it would have been his.
After this Thucydides put all in order at Eion to secure it against any present or future attack of Brasidas, and received such as had elected to come there from the interior according to the terms agreed on. Meanwhile Brasidas suddenly sailed with a number of boats down the river to Eion to see if he could not seize the point running out from the wall, and so command the entrance; at the same time he attempted it by land, but was beaten off on both sides and had to content himself with arranging matters at Amphipolis and in the neighbourhood. Myrcinus, an Edonian town, also came over to him; the Edonian king Pittacus having been killed by the sons of Goaxis and his own wife Brauro; and Galepsus and Oesime, which are Thasian colonies, not long after followed its example. Perdiccas too came up immediately after the capture and joined in these arrangements.
The news that Amphipolis was in the hands of the enemy caused great alarm at Athens. Not only was the town valuable for the timber it afforded for shipbuilding, and the money that it brought in; but also, although the escort of the Thessalians gave the Lacedaemonians a means of reaching the allies of Athens as far as the Strymon, yet as long as they were not masters of the bridge but were watched on the side of Eion by the Athenian galleys, and on the land side impeded by a large and extensive lake formed by the waters of the river, it was impossible for them to go any further. Now, on the contrary, the path seemed open. There was also the fear of the allies revolting, owing to the moderation displayed by Brasidas in all his conduct, and to the declarations which he was everywhere making that he sent out to free Hellas. The towns subject to the Athenians, hearing of the capture of Amphipolis and of the terms accorded to it, and of the gentleness of Brasidas, felt most strongly encouraged to change their condition, and sent secret messages to him, begging him to come on to them; each wishing to be the first to revolt. Indeed there seemed to be no danger in so doing; their mistake in their estimate of the Athenian power was as great as that power afterwards turned out to be, and their judgment was based more upon blind wishing than upon any sound prevision; for it is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy. Besides the late severe blow which the Athenians had met with in Boeotia, joined to the seductive, though untrue, statements of Brasidas, about the Athenians not having ventured to engage his single army at Nisaea, made the allies confident, and caused them to believe that no Athenian force would be sent against them. Above all the wish to do what was agreeable at the moment, and the likelihood that they should find the Lacedaemonians full of zeal at starting, made them eager to venture. Observing this, the Athenians sent garrisons to the different towns, as far as was possible at such short notice and in winter; while Brasidas sent dispatches to Lacedaemon asking for reinforcements, and himself made preparations for building galleys in the Strymon. The Lacedaemonians however did not send him any, partly through envy on the part of their chief men, partly because they were more bent on recovering the prisoners of the island and ending the war.
The same winter the Megarians took and razed to the foundations the long walls which had been occupied by the Athenians; and Brasidas after the capture of Amphipolis marched with his allies against Acte, a promontory running out from the King's dike with an inward curve, and ending in Athos, a lofty mountain looking towards the Aegean Sea. In it are various towns, Sane, an Andrian colony, close to the canal, and facing the sea in the direction of Euboea; the others being Thyssus, Cleone, Acrothoi, Olophyxus, and Dium, inhabited by mixed barbarian races speaking the two languages. There is also a small Chalcidian element; but the greater number are Tyrrheno-Pelasgians once settled in Lemnos and Athens, and Bisaltians, Crestonians, and Edonians; the towns being all small ones. Most of these came over to Brasidas; but Sane and Dium held out and saw their land ravaged by him and his army.
Upon their not submitting, he at once marched against Torone in Chalcidice, which was held by an Athenian garrison, having been invited by a few persons who were prepared to hand over the town. Arriving in the dark a little before daybreak, he sat down with his army near the temple of the Dioscuri, rather more than a quarter of a mile from the city. The rest of the town of Torone and the Athenians in garrison did not perceive his approach; but his partisans knowing that he was coming (a few of them had secretly gone out to meet him) were on the watch for his arrival, and were no sooner aware of it than they took it to them seven light-armed men with daggers, who alone of twenty men ordered on this service dared to enter, commanded by Lysistratus an Olynthian. These passed through the sea wall, and without being seen went up and put to the sword the garrison of the highest post in the town, which stands on a hill, and broke open the postern on the side of Canastraeum.
Brasidas meanwhile came a little nearer and then halted with his main body, sending on one hundred targeteers to be ready to rush in first, the moment that a gate should be thrown open and the beacon lighted as agreed. After some time passed in waiting and wondering at the delay, the targeteers by degrees got up close to the town. The Toronaeans inside at work with the party that had entered had by this time broken down the postern and opened the gates leading to the market-place by cutting through the bar, and first brought some men round and let them in by the postern, in order to strike a panic into the surprised townsmen by suddenly attacking them from behind and on both sides at once; after which they raised the fire-signal as had been agreed, and took in by the market gates the rest of the targeteers.
Brasidas seeing the signal told the troops to rise, and dashed forward amid the loud hurrahs of his men, which carried dismay among the astonished townspeople. Some burst in straight by the gate, others over some square pieces of timber placed against the wall (which has fallen down and was being rebuilt) to draw up stones; Brasidas and the greater number making straight uphill for the higher part of the town, in order to take it from top to bottom, and once for all, while the rest of the multitude spread in all directions.
The capture of the town was effected before the great body of the Toronaeans had recovered from their surprise and confusion; but the conspirators and the citizens of their party at once joined the invaders. About fifty of the Athenian heavy infantry happened to be sleeping in the market-place when the alarm reached them. A few of these were killed fighting; the rest escaped, some by land, others to the two ships on the station, and took refuge in Lecythus, a fort garrisoned by their own men in the corner of the town running out into the sea and cut off by a narrow isthmus; where they were joined by the Toronaeans of their party.
Day now arrived, and the town being secured, Brasidas made a proclamation to the Toronaeans who had taken refuge with the Athenians, to come out, as many as chose, to their homes without fearing for their rights or persons, and sent a herald to invite the Athenians to accept a truce, and to evacuate Lecythus with their property, as being Chalcidian ground. The Athenians refused this offer, but asked for a truce for a day to take up their dead. Brasidas granted it for two days, which he employed in fortifying the houses near, and the Athenians in doing the same to their positions. Meanwhile he called a meeting of the Toronaeans, and said very much what he had said at Acanthus, namely, that they must not look upon those who had negotiated with him for the capture of the town as bad men or as traitors, as they had not acted as they had done from corrupt motives or in order to enslave the city, but for the good and freedom of Torone; nor again must those who had not shared in the enterprise fancy that they would not equally reap its fruits, as he had not come to destroy either city or individual. This was the reason of his proclamation to those that had fled for refuge to the Athenians: he thought none the worse of them for their friendship for the Athenians; he believed that they had only to make trial of the Lacedaemonians to like them as well, or even much better, as acting much more justly: it was for want of such a trial that they were now afraid of them. Meanwhile he warned all of them to prepare to be staunch allies, and for being held responsible for all faults in future: for the past, they had not wronged the Lacedaemonians but had been wronged by others who were too strong for them, and any opposition that they might have offered him could be excused.
Having encouraged them with this address, as soon as the truce expired he made his attack upon Lecythus; the Athenians defending themselves from a poor wall and from some houses with parapets. One day they beat him off; the next the enemy were preparing to bring up an engine against them from which they meant to throw fire upon the wooden defences, and the troops were already coming up to the point where they fancied they could best bring up the engine, and where place was most assailable; meanwhile the Athenians put a wooden tower upon a house opposite, and carried up a quantity of jars and casks of water and big stones, and a large number of men also climbed up. The house thus laden too heavily suddenly broke down with a loud crash; at which the men who were near and saw it were more vexed than frightened; but those not so near, and still more those furthest off, thought that the place was already taken at that point, and fled in haste to the sea and the ships.
Brasidas, perceiving that they were deserting the parapet, and seeing what was going on, dashed forward with his troops, and immediately took the fort, and put to the sword all whom he found in it. In this way the place was evacuated by the Athenians, who went across in their boats and ships to Pallene. Now there is a temple of Athene in Lecythus, and Brasidas had proclaimed in the moment of making the assault that he would give thirty silver minae to the man first on the wall. Being now of opinion that the capture was scarcely due to human means, he gave the thirty minae to the goddess for her temple, and razed and cleared Lecythus, and made the whole of it consecrated ground. The rest of the winter he spent in settling the places in his hands, and in making designs upon the rest; and with the expiration of the winter the eighth year of this war ended.
In the spring of the summer following, the Lacedaemonians and Athenians made an armistice for a year; the Athenians thinking that they would thus have full leisure to take their precautions before Brasidas could procure the revolt of any more of their towns, and might also, if it suited them, conclude a general peace; the Lacedaemonians divining the actual fears of the Athenians, and thinking that after once tasting a respite from trouble and misery they would be more disposed to consent to a reconciliation, and to give back the prisoners, and make a treaty for the longer period. The great idea of the Lacedaemonians was to get back their men while Brasidas's good fortune lasted: further successes might make the struggle a less unequal one in Chalcidice, but would leave them still deprived of their men, and even in Chalcidice not more than a match for the Athenians and by no means certain of victory. An armistice was accordingly concluded by Lacedaemon and her allies upon the terms following:
1. As to the temple and oracle of the Pythian Apollo, we are agreed that whosoever will shall have access to it, without fraud or fear, according to the usages of his forefathers. The Lacedaemonians and the allies present agree to this, and promise to send heralds to the Boeotians and Phocians, and to do their best to persuade them to agree likewise.
2. As to the treasure of the god, we agree to exert ourselves to detect all malversators, truly and honestly following the customs of our forefathers, we and you and all others willing to do so, all following the customs of our forefathers. As to these points the Lacedaemonians and the other allies are agreed as has been said.
3. As to what follows, the Lacedaemonians and the other allies agree, if the Athenians conclude a treaty, to remain, each of us in our own territory, retaining our respective acquisitions: the garrison in Coryphasium keeping within Buphras and Tomeus: that in Cythera attempting no communication with the Peloponnesian confederacy, neither we with them, nor they with us: that in Nisaea and Minoa not crossing the road leading from the gates of the temple of Nisus to that of Poseidon and from thence straight to the bridge at Minoa: the Megarians and the allies being equally bound not to cross this road, and the Athenians retaining the island they have taken, without any communication on either side: as to Troezen, each side retaining what it has, and as was arranged with the Athenians.
4. As to the use of the sea, so far as refers to their own coast and to that of their confederacy, that the Lacedaemonians and their allies may voyage upon it in any vessel rowed by oars and of not more than five hundred talents tonnage, not a vessel of war.
5. That all heralds and embassies, with as many attendants as they please, for concluding the war and adjusting claims, shall have free passage, going and coming, to Peloponnese or Athens by land and by sea.
6. That during the truce, deserters whether bond or free shall be received neither by you, nor by us.
7. Further, that satisfaction shall be given by you to us and by us to you according to the public law of our several countries, all disputes being settled by law without recourse to hostilities.
The Lacedaemonians and allies agree to these articles; but if you have anything fairer or juster to suggest, come to Lacedaemon and let us know: whatever shall be just will meet with no objection either from the Lacedaemonians or from the allies. Only let those who come come with full powers, as you desire us. The truce shall be for one year.
Approved by the people.
The tribe of Acamantis had the prytany, Phoenippus was secretary, Niciades chairman. Laches moved, in the name of the good luck of the Athenians, that they should conclude the armistice upon the terms agreed upon by the Lacedaemonians and the allies. It was agreed accordingly in the popular assembly that the armistice should be for one year, beginning that very day, the fourteenth of the month of Elaphebolion; during which time ambassadors and heralds should go and come between the two countries to discuss the bases of a pacification. That the generals and prytanes should call an assembly of the people, in which the Athenians should first consult on the peace, and on the mode in which the embassy for putting an end to the war should be admitted. That the embassy now present should at once take the engagement before the people to keep well and truly this truce for one year.
On these terms the Lacedaemonians concluded with the Athenians and their allies on the twelfth day of the Spartan month Gerastius; the allies also taking the oaths. Those who concluded and poured the libation were Taurus, son of Echetimides, Athenaeus, son of Pericleidas, and Philocharidas, son of Eryxidaidas, Lacedaemonians; Aeneas, son of Ocytus, and Euphamidas, son of Aristonymus, Corinthians; Damotimus, son of Naucrates, and Onasimus, son of Megacles, Sicyonians; Nicasus, son of Cecalus, and Menecrates, son of Amphidorus, Megarians; and Amphias, son of Eupaidas, an Epidaurian; and the Athenian generals Nicostratus, son of Diitrephes, Nicias, son of Niceratus, and Autocles, son of Tolmaeus. Such was the armistice, and during the whole of it conferences went on on the subject of a pacification.
In the days in which they were going backwards and forwards to these conferences, Scione, a town in Pallene, revolted from Athens, and went over to Brasidas. The Scionaeans say that they are Pallenians from Peloponnese, and that their first founders on their voyage from Troy were carried in to this spot by the storm which the Achaeans were caught in, and there settled. The Scionaeans had no sooner revolted than Brasidas crossed over by night to Scione, with a friendly galley ahead and himself in a small boat some way behind; his idea being that if he fell in with a vessel larger than the boat he would have the galley to defend him, while a ship that was a match for the galley would probably neglect the small vessel to attack the large one, and thus leave him time to escape. His passage effected, he called a meeting of the Scionaeans and spoke to the same effect as at Acanthus and Torone, adding that they merited the utmost commendation, in that, in spite of Pallene within the isthmus being cut off by the Athenian occupation of Potidaea and of their own practically insular position, they had of their own free will gone forward to meet their liberty instead of timorously waiting until they had been by force compelled to their own manifest good. This was a sign that they would valiantly undergo any trial, however great; and if he should order affairs as he intended, he should count them among the truest and sincerest friends of the Lacedaemonians, and would in every other way honour them.
The Scionaeans were elated by his language, and even those who had at first disapproved of what was being done catching the general confidence, they determined on a vigorous conduct of the war, and welcomed Brasidas with all possible honours, publicly crowning him with a crown of gold as the liberator of Hellas; while private persons crowded round him and decked him with garlands as though he had been an athlete. Meanwhile Brasidas left them a small garrison for the present and crossed back again, and not long afterwards sent over a larger force, intending with the help of the Scionaeans to attempt Mende and Potidaea before the Athenians should arrive; Scione, he felt, being too like an island for them not to relieve it. He had besides intelligence in the above towns about their betrayal.
In the midst of his designs upon the towns in question, a galley arrived with the commissioners carrying round the news of the armistice, Aristonymus for the Athenians and Athenaeus for the Lacedaemonians. The troops now crossed back to Torone, and the commissioners gave Brasidas notice of the convention. All the Lacedaemonian allies in Thrace accepted what had been done; and Aristonymus made no difficulty about the rest, but finding, on counting the days, that the Scionaeans had revolted after the date of the convention, refused to include them in it. To this Brasidas earnestly objected, asserting that the revolt took place before, and would not give up the town. Upon Aristonymus reporting the case to Athens, the people at once prepared to send an expedition to Scione. Upon this, envoys arrived from Lacedaemon, alleging that this would be a breach of the truce, and laying claim to the town upon the faith of the assertion of Brasidas, and meanwhile offering to submit the question to arbitration. Arbitration, however, was what the Athenians did not choose to risk; being determined to send troops at once to the place, and furious at the idea of even the islanders now daring to revolt, in a vain reliance upon the power of the Lacedaemonians by land. Besides the facts of the revolt were rather as the Athenians contended, the Scionaeans having revolted two days after the convention. Cleon accordingly succeeded in carrying a decree to reduce and put to death the Scionaeans; and the Athenians employed the leisure which they now enjoyed in preparing for the expedition.
Meanwhile Mende revolted, a town in Pallene and a colony of the Eretrians, and was received without scruple by Brasidas, in spite of its having evidently come over during the armistice, on account of certain infringements of the truce alleged by him against the Athenians. This audacity of Mende was partly caused by seeing Brasidas forward in the matter and by the conclusions drawn from his refusal to betray Scione; and besides, the conspirators in Mende were few, and, as I have already intimated, had carried on their practices too long not to fear detection for themselves, and not to wish to force the inclination of the multitude. This news made the Athenians more furious than ever, and they at once prepared against both towns. Brasidas, expecting their arrival, conveyed away to Olynthus in Chalcidice the women and children of the Scionaeans and Mendaeans, and sent over to them five hundred Peloponnesian heavy infantry and three hundred Chalcidian targeteers, all under the command of Polydamidas.
Leaving these two towns to prepare together against the speedy arrival of the Athenians, Brasidas and Perdiccas started on a second joint expedition into Lyncus against Arrhabaeus; the latter with the forces of his Macedonian subjects, and a corps of heavy infantry composed of Hellenes domiciled in the country; the former with the Peloponnesians whom he still had with him and the Chalcidians, Acanthians, and the rest in such force as they were able. In all there were about three thousand Hellenic heavy infantry, accompanied by all the Macedonian cavalry with the Chalcidians, near one thousand strong, besides an immense crowd of barbarians. On entering the country of Arrhabaeus, they found the Lyncestians encamped awaiting them, and themselves took up a position opposite. The infantry on either side were upon a hill, with a plain between them, into which the horse of both armies first galloped down and engaged a cavalry action. After this the Lyncestian heavy infantry advanced from their hill to join their cavalry and offered battle; upon which Brasidas and Perdiccas also came down to meet them, and engaged and routed them with heavy loss; the survivors taking refuge upon the heights and there remaining inactive. The victors now set up a trophy and waited two or three days for the Illyrian mercenaries who were to join Perdiccas. Perdiccas then wished to go on and attack the villages of Arrhabaeus, and to sit still no longer; but Brasidas, afraid that the Athenians might sail up during his absence, and of something happening to Mende, and seeing besides that the Illyrians did not appear, far from seconding this wish was anxious to return.
While they were thus disputing, the news arrived that the Illyrians had actually betrayed Perdiccas and had joined Arrhabaeus; and the fear inspired by their warlike character made both parties now think it best to retreat. However, owing to the dispute, nothing had been settled as to when they should start; and night coming on, the Macedonians and the barbarian crowd took fright in a moment in one of those mysterious panics to which great armies are liable; and persuaded that an army many times more numerous than that which had really arrived was advancing and all but upon them, suddenly broke and fled in the direction of home, and thus compelled Perdiccas, who at first did not perceive what had occurred, to depart without seeing Brasidas, the two armies being encamped at a considerable distance from each other. At daybreak Brasidas, perceiving that the Macedonians had gone on, and that the Illyrians and Arrhabaeus were on the point of attacking him, formed his heavy infantry into a square, with the light troops in the centre, and himself also prepared to retreat. Posting his youngest soldiers to dash out wherever the enemy should attack them, he himself with three hundred picked men in the rear intended to face about during the retreat and beat off the most forward of their assailants, Meanwhile, before the enemy approached, he sought to sustain the courage of his soldiers with the following hasty exhortation:
"Peloponnesians, if I did not suspect you of being dismayed at being left alone to sustain the attack of a numerous and barbarian enemy, I should just have said a few words to you as usual without further explanation. As it is, in the face of the desertion of our friends and the numbers of the enemy, I have some advice and information to offer, which, brief as they must be, will, I hope, suffice for the more important points. The bravery that you habitually display in war does not depend on your having allies at your side in this or that encounter, but on your native courage; nor have numbers any terrors for citizens of states like yours, in which the many do not rule the few, but rather the few the many, owing their position to nothing else than to superiority in the field. Inexperience now makes you afraid of barbarians; and yet the trial of strength which you had with the Macedonians among them, and my own judgment, confirmed by what I hear from others, should be enough to satisfy you that they will not prove formidable. Where an enemy seems strong but is really weak, a true knowledge of the facts makes his adversary the bolder, just as a serious antagonist is encountered most confidently by those who do not know him. Thus the present enemy might terrify an inexperienced imagination; they are formidable in outward bulk, their loud yelling is unbearable, and the brandishing of their weapons in the air has a threatening appearance. But when it comes to real fighting with an opponent who stands his ground, they are not what they seemed; they have no regular order that they should be ashamed of deserting their positions when hard pressed; flight and attack are with them equally honourable, and afford no test of courage; their independent mode of fighting never leaving any one who wants to run away without a fair excuse for so doing. In short, they think frightening you at a secure distance a surer game than meeting you hand to hand; otherwise they would have done the one and not the other. You can thus plainly see that the terrors with which they were at first invested are in fact trifling enough, though to the eye and ear very prominent. Stand your ground therefore when they advance, and again wait your opportunity to retire in good order, and you will reach a place of safety all the sooner, and will know for ever afterwards that rabble such as these, to those who sustain their first attack, do but show off their courage by threats of the terrible things that they are going to do, at a distance, but with those who give way to them are quick enough to display their heroism in pursuit when they can do so without danger."
With this brief address Brasidas began to lead off his army. Seeing this, the barbarians came on with much shouting and hubbub, thinking that he was flying and that they would overtake him and cut him off. But wherever they charged they found the young men ready to dash out against them, while Brasidas with his picked company sustained their onset. Thus the Peloponnesians withstood the first attack, to the surprise of the enemy, and afterwards received and repulsed them as fast as they came on, retiring as soon as their opponents became quiet. The main body of the barbarians ceased therefore to molest the Hellenes with Brasidas in the open country, and leaving behind a certain number to harass their march, the rest went on after the flying Macedonians, slaying those with whom they came up, and so arrived in time to occupy the narrow pass between two hills that leads into the country of Arrhabaeus. They knew that this was the only way by which Brasidas could retreat, and now proceeded to surround him just as he entered the most impracticable part of the road, in order to cut him off.