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Hellenica by Xenophon

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Corinth had become her most faithful ally; Argos, unable longer to
avail herself of the subterfuge of a movable calendar, was humbled to
the dust; Athens was isolated; and, lastly, those of her own allies
who displayed a hostile feeling towards her had been punished; so
that, to all outward appearance, the foundations of her empire were at
length absolutely well and firmly laid.


Abundant examples might be found, alike in Hellenic and in foreign
history, to prove that the Divine powers mark what is done amiss,
winking neither at impiety nor at the commission of unhallowed acts;
but at present I confine myself to the facts before me.[1] The
Lacedaemonians, who had pledged themselves by oath to leave the states
independent, had laid violent hands on the acropolis of Thebes, and
were eventually punished by the victims of that iniquity single-handed
--the Lacedaemonians, be it noted, who had never before been mastered
by living man; and not they alone, but those citizens of Thebes who
introduced them to their acropolis, and who wished to enslave their
city to Lacedaemon, that they might play the tyrant themselves--how
fared it with them? A bare score of the fugitives were sufficient to
destroy their government. How this happened I will now narrate in

[1] Or, "it is of my own subject that I must now speak." For the
"peripety," or sudden reversal of circumstances, on which the plot
of the "Hellenica" hinges, see Grote, "H. G." x. 100-108. Cf.
Soph. "Oed. Tyr." 450; "Antig." 1066; Thuc. v. 116; "Hellenica
Essays," "Xenophon," p. 382 foll. This passage is perhaps the key
to the historian's position.

There was a man named Phyllidas--he was secretary to Archias, that is,
to the polemarchs.[2] Beyond his official duties, he had rendered his
chief other services, and all apparently in an exemplary fashion. A
visit to Athens in pursuance of some business brought this man into
contact with a former acquaintance of his, Melon, one of the exiles
who had fled for safety to Athens. Melon had various questions to ask
touching the sort of tyranny practised by Archias in the exercise of
the polemarchy, and by Philip. He soon discovered that affairs at home
were still more detestable to Phyllidas than to himself. It only
remained to exchange pledges, and to arrange the details of what was
to be done. After a certain interval Melon, accompanied by six of the
trustiest comrades he could find among his fellow-exiles, set off for
Thebes. They were armed with nothing but daggers, and first of all
crept into the neighbourhood under cover of night. The whole of the
next day they lay concealed in a desert place, and drew near to the
city gates in the guise of labourers returning home with the latest
comers from the fields. Having got safely within the city, they spent
the whole of that night at the house of a man named Charon, and again
the next day in the same fashion. Phyllidas meanwhile was busily taken
up with the concerns of the polemarchs, who were to celebrate a feast
of Aphrodite on going out of office. Amongst other things, the
secretary was to take this opportunity of fulfilling an old
undertaking, which was the introduction of certain women to the
polemarchs. They were to be the most majestic and the most beautiful
to be found in Thebes. The polemarchs, on their side (and the
character of the men is sufficiently marked), were looking forward to
the pleasures of the night with joyful anticipation. Supper was over,
and thanks to the zeal with which the master of the ceremonies
responded to their mood, they were speedily intoxicated. To their oft-
repeated orders to introduce their mistresses, he went out and fetched
Melon and the rest, three of them dressed up as ladies and the rest as
their attendant maidens. Having brought them into the treasury of the
polemarchs' residence,[3] he returned himself and announced to Archias
and his friends that the women would not present themselves as long as
any of the attendants remained in the room; whereupon they promptly
bade all withdraw, and Phyllidas, furnishing the servants with a stoup
of wine, sent them off to the house of one of them. And now at last he
introduced the mistresses, and led them to their seats beside their
respective lords. It was preconcerted that as soon as they were seated
they were to throw aside their veils and strike home. That is one
version of the death of the polemarchs.[4] According to another, Melon
and his friends came in as revellers, and so despatched their victims.

[2] Lit. "to Archias and his (polemarchs)"; but the Greek phrase does
not, as the English would, imply that there were actually more
than two polemarchs, viz. Archias and Philippus. Hypates and
Leontiades belonged to the faction, but were neither of them

[3] Lit. "Polemarcheion."

[4] Or, "and so, according to the prevalent version of the matter, the
polemarchs were slain. But some say that . . ."

That over, Phyllidas, with three of the band, set off to the house of
Leontiades. Arrived there, he knocked on the door, and sent in word
that he had a message from the polemarchs. Leontiades, as chance
befell, was still reclining in privacy after dinner, and his wife was
seated beside him working wools. The fidelity of Phyllidas was well
known to him, and he gave orders to admit him at once. They entered,
slew Leontiades, and with threats silenced his wife. As they went out
they ordered the door to be shut, threatening that if they found it
open they would kill every one in the house. And now that this deed
was done, Phyllidas, with two of the band, presented himself at the
prison, telling the gaoler he had brought a man from the polemarchs to
be locked up. The gaoler opened the door, and was at once despatched,
and the prisoners were released. These they speedily supplied with
arms taken from the armoury in the stoa, and then led them to the
Ampheion,[5] and bade them take up a position there, after which they
at once made a proclamation calling on all Thebans to come out, horse
and foot, seeing that the tyrants were dead. The citizens, indeed, as
long as it was night, not knowing whom or what to trust, kept quiet,
but when day dawned and revealed what had occurred, the summons was
responded to with alacrity, heavy infantry and cavalry under arms
alike sallying forth. Horsemen were also despatched by the now
restored exiles to the two Athenian generals on the frontier; and
they, being aware of the object of the mesage [promptly responded].[6]

[5] See plan of Thebes, "Dict. Geog."; Arrian, "Anab." i. 8; Aesch.
"Sept. c. Theb." 528.

[6] Supply {epeboethoun}. There is a lacuna in the MSS. at this point.

On the other hand, the Lacedaemonian governor in the citadel, as soon
as that night's proclamation reached his ears, was not slow to send to
Plataeae[7] and Thespiae for reinforcements. The approach of the
Plataeans was perceived by the Theban cavalry, who met them and killed
a score of them and more, and after that achievement returned to the
city, to find the Athenians from the frontier already arrived. Then
they assaulted the acropolis. The troops within recognised the paucity
of their own numbers, whilst the zeal of their opponents (one and all
advancing to the attack) was plainly visible, and loud were the
proclamations, promising rewards to those who should be first to scale
the walls. All this so worked upon their fears that they agreed to
evacuate the place if the citizens would allow them a safe-conduct to
retire with their arms. To this request the others gladly yielded, and
they made a truce. Oaths were taken on the terms aforesaid, and the
citizens dismissed their adversaries. For all that, as the garrison
retired, those of them who were recognised as personal foes were
seized and put to death. Some were rescued through the good offices of
the Athenian reinforcements from the frontier, who smuggled them
across and saved them. The Thebans were not content with putting the
men to death; if any of them had children, these also were sacrificed
to their vengeance.

[7] This city had been refounded in B.C. 386 (Isocr. "Plat." 20, 21).
See Freeman, op. cit. ch. iv. p. 170: "Its restoration implied not
only a loss of Theban supremacy, but the actual loss of that
portion of the existing Theban territory which had formerly formed
the Plataian district."

B.C. 378. When the news of these proceedings reached Sparta the first
thing the Lacedaemonians did was to put to death the governor, who had
abandoned the Cadmeia instead of awaiting reinforcements, and the next
was to call out the ban against Thebes. Agesilaus had little taste to
head the expedition; he pointed out that he had seen more than forty
years' service,[8] and that the exemption from foreign duty applicable
to others at that age was applicable on the same principle to the
king. Such were the ostensible grounds on which he excused himself
from the present expedition, but his real objections lay deeper. He
felt certain that if he led the expedition his fellow-citizens would
say: "Agesilaus caused all this trouble to the state in order to aid
and abet tyrants." Therefore he preferred to leave his countrymen to
settle the matter themselves as they liked. Accordingly the ephors,
instructed by the Theban exiles who had escaped the late massacres,
despatched Cleombrotus. He had not commanded before, and it was the
depth of winter.

[8] And was therefore more than fifty-eight years old at this date.
See "Ages." i. 6.

Now while Chabrias, with a body of Athenian peltasts, kept watch and
ward over the road through Eleutherae, Cleombrotus made his way up by
the direct route to Plataeae. His column of light infantry, pushing
forward in advance, fell upon the men who had been released from the
Theban prison, guarding the summit, to the number of about one hundred
and fifty. These, with the exception of one or two who escaped, were
cut down by the peltasts, and Cleombrotus descended in person upon
Plataeae, which was still friendly to Sparta. Presently he reached
Thespiae, and that was the base for an advance upon Cynoscephalae,
where he encamped on Theban territory. Here he halted sixteen days,
and then again fell back upon Thespiae. At this latter place he now
left Sphodrias as governor, with a third portion of each of the
contingents of the allies, handing over to him all the moneys he had
brought with him from home, with directions to supplement his force
with a contingent of mercenaries.

While Sphodrias was so employed, Cleombrotus himself commenced his
homeward march, following the road through Creusis at the head of his
own moiety of the troops, who indeed were in considerable perplexity
to discover whether they were at war with the Thebans or at peace,
seeing that the general had led his army into Theban territory, had
inflicted the minimum of mischief, and again retired. No sooner,
however, was his back turned than a violent wind storm assailed him in
his rear, which some construed as an omen clearly significant of what
was about to take place. Many a blow this assailant dealt them, and as
the general and his army, crossing from Creusis, scaled that face of
the mountain[9] which stretches seaward, the blast hurled headlong
from the precipices a string of asses, baggage and all: countless arms
were wrested from the bearers' grasp and whirled into the sea;
finally, numbers of the men, unable to march with their arms,
deposited them at different points of the pass, first filling the
hollow of their shields with stones. For the moment, then, they halted
at Aegosthena, on Megarian soil, and supped as best they could. Next
day they returned and recovered their arms. After this adventure the
contingents lost no time in returning to their several homes, as
Cleombrotus disbanded them.

[9] I.e. "Cithaeron."

Meanwhile at Athens and Thebes alike fear reigned. To the Athenians
the strength of the Lacedaemonians was unmistakable: the war was
plainly no longer confined to Corinth; on the contrary, the
Lacedaemonians had ventured to skirt Athenian territory and to invade
Thebes. They were so worked upon by their alarm that the two generals
who had been privy to the insurrection of Melon against Leontiades and
his party had to suffer: the one was formally tried and put to death;
the other, refusing to abide his trial, was banished.

The apprehensions of the Thebans were of a different sort: their fear
was rather lest they should find themselves in single-handed war with
Lacedaemon. To prevent this they hit upon the following expedient.
They worked upon Sphodrias,[10] the Spartan governor left in Thespiae,
by offering him, as at least was suspected, a substantial sum, in
return for which he was to make an incursion into Attica; their great
object being to involve Athens and Lacedaemon in hostilities.
Sphodrias lent a willing ear, and, pretending that he could easily
capture Piraeus in its present gateless condition, gave his troops an
early evening meal and marched out of Thespiae, saying that he would
reach Piraeus before daybreak. As a matter of fact day overtook him at
Thria, nor did he take any pains even to draw a veil over his
intentions; on the contrary, being forced to turn aside, he amused
himself by recklessly lifting cattle and sacking houses. Meanwhile
some who chanced upon him in the night had fled to the city and
brought news to the men of Athens that a large body of troops was
approaching. It needs no saying with what speed the cavalry and heavy
infantry armed themselves and stood on guard to protect the city. As
chance befell, there were some Lacedaemonian ambassadors in Athens at
the moment, at the house of Callias their proxenos; their names were
Etymocles, Aristolochus, and Ocyllus. Immediately on receipt of the
news the Athenians seized these three and imprisoned them, as not
improbably concerned in the plot. Utterly taken aback by the affair
themselves, the ambassadors pleaded that, had they been aware of an
attempt to seize Piraeus, they would hardly have been so foolish as to
put themselves into the power of the Athenians, or have selected the
house of their proxenos for protection, where they were so easily to
be found. It would, they further urged, soon be plain to the Athenians
themselves that the state of Lacedaemon was quite as little cognisant
of these proceedings as they. "You will hear before long"--such was
their confident prediction--"that Sphodrias has paid for his behaviour
by his life." On this wise the ambassadors were acquitted of all
concern in the matter and dismissed. Sphodrias himself was recalled
and indicted by the ephors on the capital charge, and, in spite of his
refusal to face the trial, he was acquitted. This miscarriage of
justice, as it seemed to many, who described it as unprecedented in
Lacedaemon, has an explanation.

[10] See Plut. "Pel." xiv. (Clough, ii. p. 214).

Sphodrias had a son named Cleonymus. He was just at the age when youth
emerges from boyhood, very handsome and of high repute among his
fellows. To this youth Archidamus, the son of Agesilaus, was
passionately attached. Now the friends of Cleombrotus, as comrades of
Sphodrias, were disposed to acquit him; but they feared Agesilaus and
his friends, not to mention the intermediate party, for the enormity
of his proceeding was clear. So when Sphodrias addressed his son
Cleonymus: "You have it in your power, my son, to save your father, if
you will, by begging Archidamus to dispose Agesilaus favourably to me
at my trial." Thus instructed, the youth did not shrink from visiting
Archidamus, and implored him for his sake to save his father. Now when
Archidamus saw how Cleonymus wept, he too was melted to tears as he
stood beside him, but to his petition he made answer thus: "Nay,
Cleonymus, it is the bare truth I tell you, I cannot so much as look
my father in the face;[11] if I wished anything transacted for me in
the city I would beg assistance from the whole world sooner than from
my father. Still, since it is you who bid me, rest assured I will do
my best to bring this about for you as you desire." He then left the
common hall[12] and retired home to rest, but with dawn he arose and
kept watch that his father might not go out without his knowledge.
Presently, when he saw him ready to go forth, first some citizen was
present, and then another and another; and in each case he stepped
aside, while they held his father in conversation. By and by a
stranger would come, and then another; and so it went on until he even
found himself making way for a string of petitioning attendants. At
last, when his father had turned his back on the Eurotas, and was
entering his house again, he was fain to turn his back also and be
gone without so much as accosting him. The next day he fared no
better: all happened as on the previous day. Now Agesilaus, although
he had his suspicions why his son went to and fro in this way, asked
no questions, but left him to take his own course. Archidamus, on his
side, was longing, as was natural, to see his friend Cleonymus; but
how he was to visit him, without having held the desired conversation
with his father, he knew not. The friends of Sphodrias, observing that
he who was once so frequent a visitor had ceased coming, were in
agony; he must surely have been deterred by the reproaches of his
father. At last, however, Archidamus dared to go to his father, and
said, "Father, Cleonymus bids me ask you to save his father; grant me
this boon, if possible, I beg you." He answered: "For yourself, my
son, I can make excuse, but how shall my city make excuse for me if I
fail to condemn that man who, for his own base purpose, traffics to
the injury of the state?" For the moment the other made no reply, but
retired crestfallen before the verdict of justice. Afterwards, whether
the thought was his own or that he was prompted by some other, he came
and said, "Father, if Sphodrias had done no wrong you would have
released him, that I know; but now, if he has done something wrong,
may he not be excused by you for our sakes?" And the father answered:
"If it can be done without loss of honour on our parts, so shall it
be." At that word the young man, in deep despondency, turned and went.
Now one of the friends of Sphodrias, conversing with Etymocles,
remarked to him: "You are all bent on putting Sphodrias to death, I
take it, you friends of Agesilaus?" And Etymocles replied: "If that be
so, we all are bent on one thing, and Agesilaus on another, since in
all his conversations he still harps upon one string: that Sphodrias
has done a wrong there is no denying, yet Sphodrias is a man who, from
boyhood to ripe manhood,[13] was ever constant to the call of honour.
To put such a man as that to death is hard; nay, Sparta needs such
soldiers." The other accordingly went off and reported what he had
just heard to Cleonymus; and he in the joy of his heart went
straightway to Archidamus and said: "Now we know that you care for us;
rest assured, Archidamus, that we in turn will take great pains that
you shall never have cause to blush for our friendship." Nor did his
acts belie his words; but so long as he lived he was ever faithful to
the code of Spartan chivalry; and at Leuctra, fighting in front of the
king side by side with Deinon the polemarch, thrice fell or ever he
yielded up his breath--foremost of the citizens amidst the foe. And
so, albeit he caused his friend the bitterest sorrow, yet to that
which he had promised he was faithful, seeing he wrought Archidamus no
shame, but contrariwise shed lustre on him.[14] In this way Sphodrias
obtained his acquittal.

[11] See "Cyrop." I. iv. 12.

[12] Lit. "the Philition." See "Pol. Lac." iii. 6.

[13] Lit. "who, whether as child, boy, or young man"; and for the
three stages of growth, see "Pol. Lac." ii. iii. iv.

[14] I.e. both in life and in death.

At Athens the friends of Boeotia were not slow to instruct the people
that his countrymen, so far from punishing Sphodrias, had even
applauded him for his designs on Athens; and in consequence of this
the Athenians not only furnished Piraeus with gates, but set to work
to build a fleet, and displayed great zeal in sending aid to the
Boeotians.[15] The Lacedaemonians, on their side, called out the ban
against the Thebans; and being persuaded that in Agesilaus they would
find a more prudent general than Cleombrotus had proved, they begged
the former to undertake the expedition.[16] He, replying that the wish
of the state was for him law, began making preparations to take the

[15] For the new Athenian confederacy of Delos of this year, B.C. 378,
see "Pol. Lac." xiv. 6; "Rev." v. 6; Diod. xv. 28-30; Plut.
"Pelop." xv.; Hicks, 78, 81; and for an alliance between Athens
and Chalcis in Euboea, see Hicks, 79; and for a treaty with Chios,
Hicks, 80.

[16] See "Ages." ii. 22.

Now he had come to the conclusion that without the occupation of Mount
Cithaeron any attack on Thebes would be difficult. Learning then that
the men of Cleitor were just now at war with the men of
Orchomenus,[17] and were maintaing a foreign brigade, he came to an
understanding with the Cleitorians that in the event of his needing
it, this force would be at his service; and as soon as the sacrifices
for crossing the frontier proved favourable, he sent to the commander
of the Cleitorian mercenaries, and handing him a month's pay, ordered
him to occupy Cithaeron with his men. This was before he himself
reached Tegea. Meanwhile he sent a message to the men of Orchomenus
that so long as the campaign lasted they must cease from war. If any
city during his campaign abroad took on itself to march against
another city, his first duty, he declared, would be to march against
such offending city in accordance with a decree of the allies.

[17] In Arcadia. See Busolt, "Die Lak." 120 foll.

Thus crossing Cithaeron he reached Thespiae,[18] and from that base
made the territory of Thebes his objective. Finding the great plain
fenced round with ditch and palisade, as also the most valuable
portions of the country, he adopted the plan of shifting his
encampment from one place to another. Regularly each day, after the
morning meal, he marched out his troops and ravaged the territory,
confining himself to his own side of the palisadings and trench. The
appearance of Agesilaus at any point whatever was a signal to the
enemy, who within the circuit of his entrenchment kept moving in
parallel line to the invader, and was ever ready to defend the
threatened point. On one occasion, the Spartan king having retired and
being well on the road back to camp, the Theban cavalry, hitherto
invisible, suddenly dashed out, following one of the regularly
constructed roads out of the entrenchment. Taking advantage of the
enemy's position--his light troops breaking off to supper or busily
preparing the meal, and the cavalry, some of them on their legs
just[19] dismounted, and others in the act of mounting--on they rode,
pressing the charge home. Man after man of the light troops was cut
down; and three cavalry troopers besides--two Spartans, Cleas and
Epicydidas by name, and the third a provincial[20] named Eudicus, who
had not had time to mount their horses, and whose fate was shared by
some Theban[21] exiles. But presently Agesilaus wheeled about and
advanced with his heavy infantry to the succour; his cavalry dashed at
the enemy's cavalry, and the flower of the heavy infantry, the ten-
years-service men, charged by their side. The Theban cavalry at that
instant looked like men who had been imbibing too freely in the
noontide heat--that is to say, they awaited the charge long enough to
hurl their spears; but the volley sped without effect, and wheeling
about within that distance they left twelve of their number dead upon
the field.

[18] By Cynoscephalae. See "Ages." ii. 22.

[19] Read, after Courier, {arti} for the vulg. {eti}; or, better
still, adopt Hartman's emendation (op. cit. p. 379), {ton men ede
katabebekoton ton de katabainonton}, and translate "some--already
dismounted, and others dismounting."

[20] Lit. "one of the perioeci."

[21] Reading {Thebaion} after Dind. for {'Athenaion}.

Agesilaus had not failed to note with what regularity the enemy
presented himself after the morning meal. Turning the observation to
account, he offered sacrifice with day's dawn, and marched with all
possible speed, and so crossed within the palisadings, through what
might have been a desert, as far as defence or sign of living being
went. Once well inside, he proceeded to cut down and set on fire
everything up to the city gates. After this exploit he beat a retreat,
retiring into Thespiae, where he fortified their citadel for them.
Here he left Phoebidas as governor, while he himself crossed the
passes back into Megara. Arrived here he disbanded the allies, and led
the city troops homewards.

After the departure of Agesilaus, Phoebidas devoted himself to
harrying the Thebans by sending out robber bands, and laid waste their
land by a system of regular incursions. The Thebans, on their side,
desiring to retaliate, marched out with their whole force into the
territory of Thespiae. But once well inside the district they found
themselves closely beset by Phoebidas and his light troops, who would
not give them the slightest chance to scatter from their main body, so
that the Thebans, heartily vexed at the turn their foray had taken,
beat a retreat quicker than they had come. The muleteers threw away
with their own hands the fruits they had captured, in their anxiety to
get home as quickly as possible; so dire a dread had fallen upon the
invading army. This was the chance for the Spartan to press home his
attack boldly, keeping his light division in close attendance on
himself, and leaving the heavy infantry under orders to follow him in
battle order. He was in hopes even that he might put the enemy to
complete rout, so valiantly did he lead the advance, encouraging the
light troops to "come to a close grip with the invadors," or summoning
the heavy infantry of the Thespiaeans to "bring up their supports."
Presently the Theban cavalry as they retired found themselves face to
face with an impassable glen or ravine, where in the first instance
they collected in a mob, and next wheeled right-about-face in sheer
resourcelessness where to cross. The handful of light troops who
formed the Spartan vanguard took fright at the Thebans and fled, and
the Theban horsemen seeing this put in practice the lesson of attack
which the fugitives taught them. As for Phoebidas himself, he and two
or three with him fell sword in hand, whereupon his mercenary troops
all took to their heels.

When the stream of fugitives reached the Thespiaean heavy infantry
reserves, they too, in spite of much boasting beforehand that they
would never yield to Thebans, took to flight, though there was now
absolutely no pursuit whatever, for it was now late. The number slain
was not large, but, for all that, the men of Thespiae did not come to
a standstill until they found themselves safe inside their walls. As a
sequel, the hopes and spirits of the Thebans were again kindled into
new life, and they made campaigns against Thespiae and the other
provincial cities of Boeotia.[22] It must be admitted that in each
case the democratical party retired from these cities to Thebes; since
absolute governments had been established in all of them on the
pattern previously adopted at Thebes; and the result was that the
friends of Lacedaemon in these cities also needed her assistance.[23]
After the death of Phoebidas the Lacedaemonians despatched a polemarch
with a division by sea to form the garrison of Thespiae.

[22] Lit. "their other perioecid cities." For the significance of this
title as applied by the Thebans (and perhaps commonly) to the
other cities of Boeotia, see Freeman, op. cit. ch. iv. pp. 157,
173 foll.

[23] See Grote, "H. G." x. 174; Freeman, op. cit. iv. 171, 172.

B.C. 377. With the advent of spring[24] the ephors again called out
the ban against Thebes, and requested Agesilaus to lead the
expedition, as on the former campaign. He, holding to his former
theory with regard to the invasion, even before sacrificing the
customary frontier sacrifice, sent a despatch to the polemarch at
Thespiae, with orders to seize the pass which commands the road over
Cithaeron, and to guard it against his arrival. Then, having once more
crossed the pass and reached Plataeae, he again made a feint of
marching first into Thespiae, and so sent a despatch ordering supplies
to be in readiness, and all embassies to be waiting his arrival there;
so that the Thebans concentrated their attention on the approaches
from Thespiae, which they strongly guarded. Next morning, however,
Agesilaus sacrificed at daybreak and set out on the road to
Erythrae,[25] and completing in one day what was a good two days'
march for an army, gave the Thebans the slip, and crossed their
palisade-work at Scolus before the enemy had arrived from the closely-
guarded point at which he had effected his entrance formerly. This
done he proceeded to ravage the eastward-facing districts of the city
of Thebes as far as the territory of Tanagra, for at that date Tanagra
was still in the hands of Hypatodorus and his party, who were friends
of the Lacedaemonians. After that he turned to retire, keeping the
walls of Thebes on his left. But the Thebans, who had stolen, as it
were, upon the scene, drew up at the spot called "The Old Wife's
Breast,"[26] keeping the trench and palisading in their rear: they
were persuaded that here, if anywhere, lay their chance to risk a
decisive engagement, the ground at this point being somewhat narrow
and difficult to traverse. Agesilaus, however, in view of the
situation, refused to accept the challenge. Instead of marching upon
them he turned sharp off in the direction of the city; and the
Thebans, in alarm for the city in its undefended state, abandoned the
favourable ground on which they were drawn up in battle line, and
retired at the double towards the city along the road to Potniae,
which seemed the safer route. This last move of Agesilaus may be
described as a stroke of genius:[27] while it allowed him to retire to
a distance, it forced the enemy themselves to retreat at the double.
In spite of this, however, one or two of the polemarchs, with their
divisions, charged the foe as he raced past. But again the Thebans,
from the vantage-ground of their heights, sent volleys of spears upon
the assailants, which cost one of the polemarchs, Alypetus, his life.
He fell pierced by a spear. But again from this particular crest the
Thebans on their side were forced to turn in flight; so much so that
the Sciritae, with some of the cavalry, scaled up and speedily cut
down the rearmost ranks of the Thebans as they galloped past into the
city. When, however, they were close under cover of their walls the
Thebans turned, and the Sciritae seeing them retreated at more than a
steady walking pace. No one, it is true, was slain; but the Thebans
all the same set up a trophy in record of the incident at the point
where the scaling party had been forced to retreat.

[24] See for affairs of Delos, never actually named by Xenophon,
between B.C. 377 and 374, the Sandwich Marble in Trinity College,
Cambridge; Boeckh, "C. I. G" 158, and "P. E. A." ii. p. 78 foll.;
Hicks, 82.

[25] Erythrae (Redlands) stands between Hysiae and Scolus, east of
Katzula.--Leake, "N. Gr." ii. 329. See Herod. ix. 15, 25; Thuc.
iii. 24; Paus. IX. ii. 1; Strab. IX. ii.

[26] Lit. "Graos Stethos."

[27] Or, "and this move of Agesilaus was regarded as a very pretty

And now, since the hour was come, Agesilaus fell back and encamped on
the very site on which he had seen the enemy drawn up in battle array.
Next day he retired by the road to Thespiae. The light troops, who
formed a free corps in the pay of the Thebans, hung audaciously at his
heels. Their shouts could be heard calling out to Chabrias[28] for not
bringing up his supports; when the cavalry of the Olynthians (who now
contributed a contingent in accordance with their oaths)[29] wheeled
round on them, caught the pursuers in the heat of their pursuit, and
drove them uphill, putting large numbers of them to the sword--so
quickly are infantry overhauled by cavalry on steep ground which can
be ridden over. Being arrived within the walls of Thespiae, Agesilaus
found the citizens in a state of party feud, the men of Lacedaemonian
proclivities desiring to put their political opponents, one of whom
was Menon, to death[30]--a proceeding which Agesilaus would not
sanction. After having healed their differences and bound them over by
solemn oath to keep the peace with one another, he at once retired,
taking his old route across Cithaeron to Megara. Here once more he
disbanded the allies, and at the head of the city troops himself
marched back to Sparta.

[28] For the exploits of Chabrias, who commanded a division of mixed
Athenians and mercenaries (see above, S. 14), see Dem. "c. Lept."
479; Polyaen. ii. 1, 2; Diod. xv. 32, 33, who gives interesting
details; Grote, "H. G." x. 172 foll.

[29] See above, "Hell." V. iii. 26.

[30] Or, "under the pretext of furthering Laconian interests there was
a desire to put political opponents to death." For "Menon," Diod.
conj. "Melon."

The Thebans had not gathered in the fruits of their soil for two years
now, and began to be sorely pinched for want of corn; they therefore
sent a body of men on board a couple of triremes to Pagasae, with ten
talents[31] in hand for the purchase of corn. But while these
commissioners were engaged in effecting their purchases, Alcetas, the
Lacedaemonian who was garrisoning Oreus,[32] fitted out three
triremes, taking precautions that no rumour of his proceedings should
leak out. As soon as the corn was shipped and the vessels under weigh,
he captured not only the corn but the triremes, escort and all,
numbering no less than three hundred men. This done he locked up his
prisoners in the citadel, where he himself was also quartered. Now
there was a youth, the son of a native of Oreus, fair of mien and of
gentle breeding,[33] who danced attendance on the commandant: and the
latter must needs leave the citadel and go down to busy himself with
this youth. This was a piece of carelessness which the prisoners did
not fail to observe, and turned to good account by seizing the
citadel, whereupon the town revolted, and the Thebans experienced no
further difficulty in obtaining corn supplies.

[31] = 2,437 pounds: 10 shillings.

[32] Oreus, formerly called Histiaea, in the north of Euboea. See
Thuc. vii. 57, viii. 95; Diod. xv. 30; Grote, "H. G." ix. 263. For
Pagasae at the north extremity of the Pagasaean Gulf, "the cradle
of Greek navigation," see Tozer, "Geog. Gr." vi. p. 124; Strab.
IX. v. 15.

[33] Or, "beautiful and brave if ever youth was."

B.C. 376. At the return of spring Agesilaus lay sick--a bedridden
invalid. The history of the case is this: During the withdrawal of his
army from Thebes the year before, when at Megara, while mounting from
the Aphrodision[34] to the Government house he ruptured a vein or
other vessel of the body. This was followed by a rush of blood to his
sound leg. The knee was much swelled, and the pain intolerable, until
a Syracusan surgeon made an incision in the vein near the ankle. The
blood thus let flowed night and day; do what they could to stop the
discharge, all failed, till the patient fainted away; then it ceased.
In this plight Agesilaus was conveyed home on a litter to Lacedaemon,
and remained an invalid the rest of that summer and throughout the

[34] Pausanius (I. xi. 6) mentions a temple of Aphrodite
{'Epistrophoa} (Verticordia), on the way up to the Carian
Acropolis of Megara.

But to resume: at the first burst of spring the Lacedaemonians again
called out the ban, and gave orders to Cleombrotus to lead the
expedition. The king found himself presently with his troops at the
foot of Cithaeron, and his light infantry advanced to occupy the pass
which commands the road. But here they found a detachment of Thebans
and Athenians already in occupation of the desired height, who for a
while suffered them to approach; but when they were close upon them,
sprang from their position and charged, putting about forty to the
sword. This incident was sufficient to convince Cleombrotus that to
invade Thebes by this mountain passage was out of the question, and in
this faith he led back and disbanded his troops.

The allies met in Lacedaemon, and arguments were adduced on the part
of the allies to show that faintheartedness would very soon lead to
their being absolutely worn out by the war. They had got it in their
power, it was urged, to fit out a fleet far outnumbering that of
Athens, and to reduce that city by starvation; it was open to them, in
the self-same ships, to carry an army across into Theban territory,
and they had a choice of routes--the road into Phocis, or, if they
preferred, by Creusis. After thus carefully considering the matter
they manned a fleet of sixty triremes, and Pollis was appointed
admiral in command. Nor indeed were their expectations altogether
belied. The Athenians were soon so closely blockaded that their corn
vessels could get no farther than Geraestus;[35] there was no inducing
them to coast down father south, with a Lacedaemonian navy hovering
about Aegina and Ceos and Andros. The Athenians, making a virtue of
necessity, manned their ships in person, gave battle to Pollis under
the leadership of Chabrias, and came out of the sea-fight[36]

[35] The promontory at the southern extremity of Euboea.

[36] Battle of Naxos, B.C. 376. For interesting details, see Diod. xv.
35, 35.

B.C. 375. Then the corn supplies flowed freely into Athens. The
Lacedaemonians, on their side, were preparing to transport an army
across the water into Boeotia, when the Thebans sent a request to the
Athenians urging them to despatch an armament round Peloponnesus,
under the persuasion that if this were done the Lacedaemonians would
find it impossible at once to guard their own or the allied territory
in that part of the world, and at the same time to convery an army of
any size to operate against Thebes. The proposals fell in with the
present temper of the Athenians, irritated with Lacedaemon on account
of the exploit of Sphodrias. Accordingly they eagerly manned a fleet
of sixty vessels, appointing Timotheus as admiral in command, and
despatched it on a cruise round Peloponnesus.

The Thebans, seeing that there had been no hostile invasion of their
territory for so long (neither during the campaign of Cleombrotus nor
now,[37] whilst Timotheus prosecuted his coasting voyage), felt
emboldened to carry out a campaign on their own account against the
provincial cities;[38] and one by one they again recovered them.

[37] Lit. "nor at the date of Timotherus's periplus." To the historian
writing of the events of this period several years later, the
coasting voyage of Timotheus is a single incident ({periepleuse}),
and as Grote ("H. G." x. 185, note 3) observes, the words may
"include not simply the time which Timotheus took in actually
circumnavigating Peloponnesos, but the year which he spent
afterwards in the Ionian sea, and the time which he occupied in
performing his exploits near Korkyra, Leukas, and the
neighbourhood generally." For the character and exploits of
Timotheus, son of Conon, see Isocr. "Or." xv. "On the Antidosis,"
SS. 101-139; Jebb, "Att. Or." ii. p. 140 foll.; Rehdantz, "Vit.
Iphicr. Chabr. Timoth. Atheniensium."

[38] Or, "the cities round about their territory," lit. "the perioecid
cities." For the import of the epithet, see V. iv. 46; Freeman,
op. cit. iv. 173, note 1, in reference to Grote, "H. G." x. 183,
note 4. For the battle of Tegyra see Grote, ib. 182; Plut.
"Pelop." 17; Diod. xv. 57 ("evidently this battle," Grote);
Callisthenes, fr. 3, ed. Did. Cf. Steph. Byz., {Tegura}.

Timotheus in his cruise reached Corcyra, and reduced it at a blow.
That done, he neither enslaved the inhabitants nor drove them into
exile, nor changed their laws. And of this conduct he reaped the
benefit of the increased cordiality[39] of all the cities of those
parts. The Lacedaemonians thereupon fitted out and despatched a
counter fleet, with Nicolochus in command, an officer of consummate
boldness. This admiral no sooner caught sight of Timotheus's fleet
than without hesitation, and in spite of the absence of six Ambraciot
vessels which formed part of his squadron, he gave battle, with
fifty-five ships to the enemy's sixty. The result was a defeat at the
moment, and Timotheus set up a trophy at Alyzia. But as soon as the
six missing Ambraciot vessels had reinforced him--the ships of
Timotheus meanwhile being docked and undergoing repairs--he bore down
upon Alyzia in search of the Athenian, and as Timotheus refused to put
out to meet him, the Lacedaemonian in turn set up a trophy on the
nearest group of islands.

[39] The Corcyraeans, Acarnanians, and Cephallenians join the alliance
B.C. 375; see Hicks, 83. "This decree dates from the autumn of
B.C. 375, immediately after Timotheos's visit to Korkyra (Xen.
'Hell.' V. iv. 64). The result was that the names of Korkyra,
Kephallenia, and Akarnania were inscribed upon the list (No. 81),
and an alliance was made with them." See "C. I. A." ii. p. 399
foll.; Hicks, loc. cit.; "Hell." VI. v. 23); "C. I. A." ii. 14.
The tablet is in the Asclepeian collection at the entrance of the
Acropolis at Athens. See Milchofer, "Die Museum Athens," 1881, p.

B.C. 374. Timotheus, after repairing his original squadron and manning
more vessels from Corcyra, found himself at the head of more than
seventy ships. His naval superiority was undisputed, but he was forced
to send to Athens for moneys, seeing his fleet was large and his wants
not trifling.



B.C. 374. The Athenians and Lacedaemonians were thus engaged. But to
return to the Thebans. After the subjugation of the cities in Boeotia,
they extended the area of aggression and marched into Phocis. The
Phocians, on their side, sent an embassy to Lacedaemon, and pleaded
that without assistance from that power they must inevitably yield to
Thebes. The Lacedaemonians in response conveyed by sea into the
territory of Phocis their king Cleombrotus, at the head of four
regiments and the contingents of the allies.

About the same time Polydamus of Pharsalus arrived from Thessaly to
address the general assembly[1] of Lacedaemon. He was a man of high
repute throughout the whole of Thessaly, while in his native city he
was regarded as so true a gentleman that the faction-ridden
Pharsalians were content to entrust the citadel to his keeping, and to
allow their revenues to pass through his hands. It was his privilege
to disburse the money needed for sacred rites or other expenditure,
within the limits of their written law and constitution. Out of these
moneys this faithful steward of the state was able to garrison and
guard in safety for the citizens their capital. Every year he rendered
an account of his administration in general. If there was a deficit he
made it up out of his own pocket, and when the revenues expanded he
paid himself back. For the rest, his hospitality to foreigners and his
magnificence were on a true Thessalian scale. Such was the style and
character of the man who now arrived in Lacedaemon and spoke as

[1] {pros to koinon}, "h.e. vel ad ad senatum vel ad ephoros vel ad
concionem."--Sturz, "Lex. Xen." s.v.

"Men of Lacedaemon, it is in my capacity as 'proxenos' and
'benefactor' (titles borne by my ancestry from time immemorial) that I
claim, or rather am bound, in case of any difficulty to come to you,
and, in case of any complication dangerous to your interests in
Thessaly, to give you warning. The name of Jason, I feel sure, is not
unknown to Lacedaemonian ears. His power as a prince is sufficiently
large, and his fame widespread. It is of Jason I have to speak. Under
cover of a treaty of peace he has lately conferred with me, and this
is the substance of what he urged: 'Polydamas,' he said, 'if I chose I
could lay your city at my feet, even against its will, as the
following considerations will prove to you. See,' he went on, 'the
majority and the most important of the states of Thessaly are my
allies. I subdued them in campaigns in which you took their side in
opposition to myself. Again, you do not need to be told that I have
six thousand mercenaries who are a match in themselves, I take it, for
any single state. It is not the mere numbers on which I insist. No
doubt as large an army could be raised in other quarters; but these
citizen armies have this defect--they include men who are already
advanced in years, with others whose beards are scarcely grown. Again,
it is only a fraction of the citizens who attend to bodily training in
a state, whereas with me no one takes mercenary service who is not as
capable of endurance as myself.'

"And here, Lacedaemonians, I must tell you what is the bare truth.
This Jason is a man stout of limb and robust of body, with an
insatiable appetite for toil. Equally true is it that he tests the
mettle of those with him day by day. He is always at their head,
whether on a field-day under arms, or in the gymnasium, or on some
military expedition. The weak members of the corps he weeds out, but
those whom he sees bear themselves stout-heartedly in the face of war,
like true lovers of danger and of toil, he honours with double,
treble, and quadruple pay, or with other gifts. On the bed of sickness
they will not lack attendance, nor honour in their graves. Thus every
foreigner in his service knows that his valour in war may obtain for
him a livelihood--a life replete at once with honour and abundance.[2]

[2] Or, "a life satisfying at once to soul and body."

"Then with some parade he pointed out to me what I knew before, that
the Maracians, and the Dolopians, and Alcetas the hyparch[3] in
Epirus, were already subject to his sway; 'so that I may fairly ask
you, Polydamas,' he proceeded, 'what I have to apprehend that I should
not look on your future subjugation as mere child's play. Perhaps some
one who did not know me, and what manner of man I am, might put it to
me: "Well! Jason, if all you say be true, why do you hesitate? why do
you not march at once against Pharsalia?" For the good reason, I
reply, that it suits me better to win you voluntarily than to annex
you against your wills. Since, if you are forced, you will always be
planning all the mischief you can against me, and I on my side shall
be striving to diminish your power; whereas if you throw in your lot
with mine trustfully and willingly, it is certain we shall do what we
can to help each other. I see and know, Polydamas, that your country
fixes her eyes on one man only, and that is yourself: what I guarantee
you, therefore, is that, if you will dispose her lovingly to myself, I
on my side will raise you up to be the greatest man in Hellas next to
me. Listen, while I tell you what it is in which I offer you the
second prize. Listen, and accept nothing which does not approve itself
as true to your own reasoning. First, is it not plain to us both, that
with the adhesion of Pharsalus and the swarm of pettier states
dependent on yourselves, I shall with infinite ease become Tagos[4] of
all the Thessalians; and then the corollary--Thessaly so united--
sixteen thousand cavalry and more than ten thousand heavy infantry
leap into life. Indeed, when I contemplate the physique and proud
carriage of these men, I cannot but persuade myself that, with proper
handling, there is not a nation or tribe of men to which Thessalians
would deign to yield submission. Look at the broad expanse of Thessaly
and consider: when once a Tagos is established here, all the tribes in
a circle round will lie stilled in subjection; and almost every member
of each of these tribes is an archer born, so that in the light
infantry division of the service our power must needs excel.
Furthermore, the Boeotians and all the rest of the world in arms
against Lacedaemon are my allies; they clamour to follow my banner, if
only I will free them from Sparta's yoke. So again the Athenians, I
make sure, will do all they can to gain our alliance; but with them I
do not think we will make friends, for my persuasion is that empire by
sea will be even easier to acquire than empire by land; and to show
you the justice of this reasoning I would have you weigh the following
considerations. With Macedonia, which is the timber-yard[5] of the
Athenian navy, in our hands we shall be able to construct a far larger
fleet than theirs. That stands to reason. And as to men, which will be
the better able to man vessels, think you--Athens, or ourselves with
our stalwart and numerous Penestae?[6] Which will better support
mariners--a nation which, like our own, out of her abundance exports
her corn to foriegn parts, or Athens, which, but for foreign
purchases, has not enough to support herself? And so as to wealth in
general it is only natural, is it not, that we, who do not look to a
string of little islands for supplies, but gather the fruits of
continental peoples, should find our resources more copious? As soon
as the scattered powers of Thessaly are gathered into a principality,
all the tribes around, I repeat, will become our tributaries. I need
not tell you that the king of Persia reaps the fruits, not of islands,
but of a continent, and he is the wealthiest of men! But the reduction
of Persia will be still more practicable, I imagine, than that of
Hellas, for there the men, save one, are better versed in slavery than
in prowess. Nor have I forgotten, during the advance of Cyrus, and
afterwards under Agesilaus, how scant the force was before which the
Persian quailed.'

[3] Or, "his underlord in Epirus." By hyparch, I suppose, is implied
that Alcetas regarded Jason as his suzerain. Diodorus (xv. 13, 36)
speaks of him as "king" of the Molossians.

[4] Or, "Prince," and below, "Thessaly so converted into a
Principality." "The Tagos of Thessaly was not a King, because his
office was not hereditary or even permanent; neither was he
exactly a Tyrant, because his office had some sort of legal
sanction. But he came much nearer to the character either of a
King or of a Tyrant than to that of a Federal President like the
General of the Achaians. . . . Jason of Pherai acts throughout
like a King, and his will seems at least as uncontrolled as that
of his brother sovereign beyond the Kambunian hills. Even Jason
seems to have been looked upon as a Tyrant (see below, 'Hell.' VI.
iv. 32); possibly, like the Athenian Demos, he himself did not
refuse the name" (cf. Arist. "Pol." iii. 4, 9).--Freeman, "Hist.
Fed. Gov." "No True Federation in Thessaly," iv. pp. 152 foll.

[5] See above, and Hicks, 74.

[6] Or, "peasantry."

"Such, Lacedaemonians, were the glowing arguments of Jason. In answer
I told him that what he urged was well worth weighing, but that we,
the friends of Lacedaemon, should so, without a quarrel, desert her
and rush into the arms of her opponents, seemed to me sheer madness.
Whereat he praised me, and said that now must he needs cling all the
closer to me if that were my disposition, and so charged me to come to
you and tell you the plain truth, which is, that he is minded to march
against Pharsalus if we will not hearken to him. Accordingly he bade
me demand assistance from you; 'and if they suffer you,'[7] he added,
'so to work upon them that they will send you a force sufficient to do
battle with me, it is well: we will abide by war's arbitrament, nor
quarrel with the consequence; but if in your eyes that aid is
insufficient, look to yourself. How shall you longer be held blameless
before that fatherland which honours you and in which you fare so

[7] Or, reading {theoi}, after Cobet; translate "if providentially
they should send you."

[8] Reading {kai e su pratteis}, after Cobet. The chief MSS. give {ouk
ede anegkletos an dikaios eies en te patridi e se tima kai su
prattois ta kratista}, which might be rendered either, "and how be
doing best for yourself?" [lit. "and you would not be doing best
for yourself," {ouk an} carried on from previous clause], or
(taking {prattois} as pure optative), "may you be guided to adopt
the course best for yourself!" "may the best fortune attend you!
Farewell." See Otto Keller, op. cit. ad loc. for various

"These are the matters," Polydamas continued, "which have brought me
to Lacedaemon. I have told you the whole story; it is based partly on
what I see to be the case, and partly on what I have heard from yonder
man. My firm belief is, men of Lacedaemon, that if you are likely to
despatch a force sufficient, not in my eyes only, but in the eyes of
all the rest of Thessaly, to cope with Jason in war, the states will
revolt from him, for they are all in alarm as to the future
development of the man's power; but if you think a company of newly-
enfranchised slaves and any amateur general will suffice, I advise you
to rest in peace. You may take my word for it, you will have a great
power to contend against, and a man who is so prudent a general that,
in all he essays to do, be it an affair of secrecy, or speed, or
force, he is wont to hit the mark of his endeavours: one who is
skilled, should occasion serve, to make the night of equal service to
him with the day;[9] or, if speed be needful, will labour on while
breakfasting or taking an evening meal. And as for repose, he thinks
that the time for it has come when the goal is reached or the business
on hand accomplished. And to this same practice he has habituated
those about him. Right well he knows how to reward the expectations of
his soldiers, when by the extra toil which makes the difference they
have achieved success; so that in his school all have laid to heart
that maxim, 'Pain first and pleasure after.'[10] And in regard to
pleasure of the senses, of all men I know, he is the most continent;
so that these also are powerless to make him idle at the expense of
duty. You must consider the matter then and tell me, as befits you,
what you can and will do."

[9] See "Cyrop." III. i. 19.

[10] For this sentiment, see "Mem." II. i. 20 et passim.

Such were the representations of Polydamas. The Lacedaemonians, for
the time being, deferred their answer; but after calculating the next
day and the day following how many divisions[11] they had on foreign
service, and how many ships on the coast of Laconia to deal with the
foreign squadron of the Athenians, and taking also into account the
war with their neighbours, they gave their answer to Polydamas: "For
the present they would not be able to send him sufficient aid: under
the circumstances they advised him to go back and make the best
settlement he could of his own affairs and those of his city." He,
thanking the Lacedaemonians for their straightforwardness, withdrew.

[11] Lit. "morai."

The citadel of Pharsalus he begged Jason not to force him to give up:
his desire was to preserve it for those who had entrusted it to his
safe keeping; his own sons Jason was free to take as hostages, and he
would do his best to procure for him the voluntary adhesion of his
city by persuasion, and in every way to further his appointment as
Tagos of Thessaly. Accordingly, after interchange of solemn assurances
between the pair, the Pharsalians were let alone and in peace, and ere
long Jason was, by general consent, appointed Tagos of all the
Thessalians. Once fairly vested with that authority, he drew up a list
of the cavalry and heavy infantry which the several states were
capable of furnishing as their quota, with the result that his
cavalry, inclusive of allies, numbered more than eight thousand, while
his infantry force was computed at not less than twenty thousand; and
his light troops would have been a match for those of the whole world
--the mere enumeration of their cities would be a labour in
itself.[12] His next act was a summons to all the dwellers round[13]
to pay tribute exactly the amount imposed in the days of Scopas.[14]
And here in this state of accomplishment we may leave these matters. I
return to the point reached when this digression into the affairs of
Jason began.

[12] See "Cyrop." I. i. 5.

[13] Lit. perioeci.

[14] It is conjectured that the Scopadae ruled at Pherae and Cranusa
in the earlier half of the fifth century B.C.; see, for the change
of dynasty, what is said of Lycophron of Pherae in "Hell." II.
iii. 4. There was a famous Scopas, son of Creon, to whom Simonides
addressed his poem--

{Andr' agathon men alatheos genesthai
khalepon khersin te kai posi kai noo tetragonon, aneu psogou tetugmenon.}

a sentiment criticised by Plato, "Protag." 359 A. "Now Simonides
says to Scopas, the son of Creon, the Thessalian:

'Hardly on the one hand can a man become truly good; built
four-square in hands and feet and mind, a work without a flaw.'

Do you know the poem?"--Jowett, "Plat." i. 153. But whether this
Scopas is the Scopas of our text and a hero of Jason's is not clear.


B.C. 374. The Lacedaemonians and their allies were collecting in
Phocia, and the Thebans, after retreating into their own territory,
were guarding the approaches. At this juncture the Athenians, seeing
the Thebans growing strong at their expense without contributing a
single penny to the maintenance of the fleet, while they themselves,
what with money contributions, and piratical attacks from Aegina, and
the garrisoning of their territory, were being pared to the bone,
conceived a desire to cease from war. In this mood they sent an
embassy to Lacedaemon and concluded peace.[1]

[1] See Curtius, "H. G." vol. iv. p. 376 (Eng. trans.)

B.C. 374-373. This done, two of the ambassadors, in obedience to a
decree of the state, set sail at once from Laconian territory, bearing
orders to Timotheus to sail home, since peace was established. That
officer, while obeying his orders, availed himself of the homeward
voyage to land certain Zacynthian exiles[2] on their native soil,
whereupon the Zacynthian city party sent to Lacedaemon and complained
of the treatment they had received from Timotheus; and the
Lacedaemonians, without further consideration, decided that the
Athenians were in the wrong, and proceeded to equip another navy, and
at length collected from Laconia itself, from Corinth, Leucas,[3]
Ambracia, Elis, Zacynthus, Achaia, Epidaurus, Troezen, Hermione, and
Halieis, a force amounting to sixty sail. In command of this squadron
they appointed Mnasippus admiral, with orders to attack Corcyra, and
in general to look after their interests in those seas. They,
moreover, sent an embassy to Dionysius, instructing him that his
interests would be advanced by the withdrawal of Corcyra from Athenian

[2] See Hicks, 81, p. 142.

[3] Ibid. 81, 86.

B.C. 373. Accordingly Mnasippus set sail, as soon as his squadron was
ready, direct to Corcyra; he took with him, besides his troops from
Lacedaemon, a body of mercenaries, making a total in all of no less
than fifteen hundred men. His disembarked, and soon became master of
the island, the country district falling a prey to the spoiler. It was
in a high state of cultivation, and rich with fruit-trees, not to
speak of magnificent dwelling-houses and wine-cellars fitted up on the
farms: so that, it was said, the soldiers reached such a pitch of
luxury that they refused to drink wine which had not a fine bouquet. A
crowd of slaves, too, and fat beasts were captured on the estates.

The general's next move was to encamp with his land forces about
three-quarters of a mile[4] from the city district, so that any
Corcyraean who attempted to leave the city to go into the country
would certainly be cut off on that side. The fleet he stationed on the
other side of the city, at a point where he calculated on detecting
and preventing the approach of convoys. Besides which he established a
blockade in front of the harbour when the weather permitted. In this
way the city was completely invested.

[4] Lit. "five stades."

The Corcyraeans, on their side, were in the sorest straits. They could
get nothing from their soil owing to the vice in which they were
gripped by land, whilst owing to the predominance of the enemy at sea
nothing could be imported. Accordingly they sent to the Athenians and
begged for their assistance. They urged upon them that it would be a
great mistake if they suffered themselves to be robbed of Corcyra. If
they did so, they would not only throw away a great advantage to
themselves, but add a considerable strength to their enemy; since,
with the exception of Athens, no state was capable of furnishing a
larger fleet or revenue. Moreover, Corcyra lay favourably[5] for
commanding the Corinthian gulf and the cities which line its shores;
it was splendidly situated for injuring the rural districts of
Laconia, and still more splendidly in relation to the opposite shores
of the continent of Epirus, and the passage between Peloponnesus and

[5] See Thuc. i. 36.

This appeal did not fall on deaf ears. The Athenians were persuaded
that the matter demanded their most serious attention, and they at
once despatched Stesicles as general,[6] with about six hundred
peltasts. They also requested Alcetas to help them in getting their
troops across. Thus under cover of night the whole body were conveyed
across to a point in the open country, and found their way into the
city. Nor was that all. The Athenians passed a decree to man sixty
ships of war, and elected[7] Timotheus admiral. The latter, being
unable to man the fleet on the spot, set sail on a cruise to the
islands and tried to make up the complements of his crews from those
quarters. He evidently looked upon it as no light matter to sail round
Peloponnesus as if on a voyage of pleasure, and to attack a fleet in
the perfection of training.[8] To the Athenians, however, it seemed
that he was wasting the precious time seasonable for the coastal
voyage, and they were not disposed to condone such an error, but
deposed him, appointing Iphicrates in his stead. The new general was
no sooner appointed than he set about getting his vessels manned with
the utmost activity, putting pressure on the trierarchs. He further
procured from the Athenians for his use not only any vessels cruising
on the coast of Attica, but the Paralus and Salaminia[9] also,
remarking that, if things turned out well yonder, he would soon send
them back plenty of ships. Thus his numbers grew to something like
seventy sail.

[6] The name of the general was Ctesicles, according to Diod. xv. 47.
Read {strategon} for {tagon}, with Breitenbach, Cobet, etc. For
Alcetas, see above, "Hell." VI. i. 7.

[7] I.e. by show of hands, {ekheirotonoun}.

[8] See Jowett, note to Thuc. VIII. xcv. 2, ii. p. 525.

[9] The two sacred galleys. See Thuc. iii. 33; Aristoph. "Birds," 147

Meanwhile the Corcyraeans were sore beset with famine: desertion
became every day more frequent, so much so that Mnasippus caused
proclamation to be made by herald that all deserters would be sold
there and then;[10] and when that had no effect in lessening the
stream of runaways, he ended by driving them back with the lash. Those
within the walls, however, were not disposed to receive these
miserable slaves within the lines, and numbers died outside.
Mnasippus, not blind to what was happening, soon persuaded himself
that he had as good as got the city into his possession: and he began
to try experiments on his mercenaries. Some of them he had already
paid off;[11] others still in his service had as much as two months'
pay owing to them by the general, who, if report spoke true, had no
lack of money, since the majority of the states, not caring for a
campaign across the seas, sent him hard cash instead of men. But now
the beleaguered citizens, who could espy from their towers that the
outposts were less carefully guarded than formerly, and the men
scattered about the rural districts, made a sortie, capturing some and
cutting down others. Mnasippus, perceiving the attack, donned his
armour, and, with all the heavy troops he had, rushed to the rescue,
giving orders to the captains and brigadiers[12] to lead out the
mercenaries. Some of the captains answered that it was not so easy to
command obedience when the necessaries of life were lacking; whereat
the Spartan struck one man with his staff, and another with the butt
of his spear. Without spirit and full of resentment against their
general, the men mustered--a condition very unfavourable to success in
battle. Having drawn up the troops, the general in person repulsed the
division of the enemy which was opposite the gates, and pursued them
closely; but these, rallying close under their walls, turned right
about, and from under cover of the tombs kept up a continuous
discharge of darts and other missiles; other detachments, dashing out
at other gates, meanwhile fell heavily on the flanks of the enemy. The
Lacedaemonians, being drawn up eight deep, and thinking that the wing
of their phalanx was of inadeqate strength, essayed to wheel around;
but as soon as they began the movement the Corcyraeans attacked them
as if they were fleeing, and they were then unable to recover
themselves,[13] while the troops next in position abandoned themselves
to flight. Mnasippus, unable to succour those who were being pressed
owing to the attack of the enemy immediately in front, found himself
left from moment to moment with decreasing numbers. At last the
Corcyraeans collected, and with one united effort made a final rush
upon Mnasippus and his men, whose numbers were now considerably
reduced. At the same instant the townsmen,[14] eagerly noticing the
posture of affairs, rushed out to play their part. First Mnasippus was
slain, and then the pursuit became general; nor could the pursuers
well have failed to capture the camp, barricade and all, had they not
caught sight of the mob of traffickers with a long array of attendants
and slaves, and thinking that here was a prize indeed, desisted from
further chase.

[10] Or, "he would knock them all down to the hammer."

[11] Or, "cut off from their pay."

[12] Lit. "lochagoi and taxiarchs."

[13] Or, "to retaliate"; or, "to complete the movement."

[14] Reading, after Dindorf, {oi politai}, or, if with the MSS., {oi
oplitai}; translate "the heavy-armed among the assailants saw
their advantage and pressed on."

The Corcyraeans were well content for the moment to set up a trophy
and to give back the enemy's dead under a flag of truce; but the
after-consequences were even more important to them in the revival of
strength and spirits which were sunk in despondency. The rumour spread
that Iphicrates would soon be there--he was even at the doors; and in
fact the Corcyraeans themselves were manning a fleet. So Hypermenes,
who was second in command to Mnasippus and the bearer of his
despatches, manned every vessel of the fleet as full as it would hold,
and then sailing round to the entrenched camp, filled all the
transports with prisoners and valuables and other stock, and sent them
off. He himself, with his marines and the survivors of his troops,
kept watch over the entrenchments; but at last even this remnant in
the excess of panic and confusion got on board the men-of-war and
sailed off, leaving behind them vast quantities of corn and wine, with
numerous prisoners and invalided soldiers. The fact was, they were
sorely afraid of being caught by the Athenians in the island, and so
they made safely off to Leucas.

Meanwhile Iphicrates had commenced his voyage of circumnavigation,
partly voyaging and partly making every preparation for an engagement.
He at once left his large sails behind him, as the voyage was only to
be the prelude of a battle; his flying jibs, even if there was a good
breeze, were but little used, since by making his progres depend on
sheer rowing, he hoped at once to improve the physique of his men and
the speed of his attack. Often when the squadron was about to put into
shore for the purpose of breakfast or supper, he would seize the
moment, and draw back the leading wing of the column from the land off
the point in question; and then facing round again with the triremes
posted well in line, prow for prow, at a given signal let loose the
whole fleet in a stoutly contested race for the shore. Great was the
triumph in being the first to take in water or whatever else they
might need, or the first to breakfast; just as it was a heavy penalty
on the late-comers, not only to come short in all these objects of
desire, but to have to put out to sea with the rest as soon as the
signal was given; since the first-comers had altogether a quiet time
of it, whilst the hindmost must get through the whole business in hot
haste. So again, in the matter of outposts, if he chanced to be
getting the morning meal on hostile territory, pickets would be
posted, as was right and proper, on the land; but, apart from these,
he would raise his masts and keep look-out men on the maintops. These
commanded of course a far wider prospect from their lofty perches than
the outposts on the level ground. So too, when he dined or slept he
had no fires burning in the camp at night, but only a beacon kindled
in front of the encampment to prevent any unseen approach; and
frequently in fine weather he put out to sea immediately after the
evening meal, when, if the breeze favoured, they ran along and took
their rest simultaneously, or if they depended on oars he gave his
mariners repose by turns. During the voyage in daytime he would at one
time signal to "sail in column," and at another signal "abreast in
line." So that whilst they prosecuted the voyage they at the same time
became (both as to theory and practice) well versed in all the details
of an engagement before they reached the open sea--a sea, as they
imagined, occupied by their foes. For the most part they breakfasted
and dined on hostile territory; but as he confined himelf to bare
necessaries he was always too quick for the enemy. Before the hostile
reinforcement would come up he had finished his business and was out
to sea again.

At the date of Mnasippus's death he chanced to be off Sphagiae in
Laconian territory. Reaching Elis, and coasting past the mouth of the
Alpheus, he came to moorings under Cape Ichthus,[15] as it is called.
The next day he put out from that port for Cephallenia, so drawing up
his line and conducting the voyage that he might be prepared in every
detail to engage if necessary. The tale about Mnasippus and his demise
had reached him, but he had not heard it from an eye-witness, and
suspected that it might have been invented to deceive him and throw
him off his guard. He was therefore on the look-out. It was, in fact,
only on arrival in Cephallenia that he learned the news in an explicit
form, and gave his troops rest.

[15] Cape Fish, mod. Cape Katakolon, protecting harbour of Pyrgos in

I am well aware that all these details of practice and manouvring are
customary in anticipation of a sea-fight, but what I single out for
praise in the case before us is the skill with which the Athenian
admiral attained a twofold object. Bearing in mind that it was his
duty to reach a certain point at which he expected to fight a naval
battle without delay, it was a happy discovery on his part not to
allow tactical skill, on the one hand, to be sacrificed to the pace of
sailing,[16] nor, on the other, the need of training to interfere with
the date of arrival.

[16] Lit. "the voyage."

After reducing the towns of Cephallenia, Iphicrates sailed to Corcyra.
There the first news he heard was that the triremes sent by Dionysius
were expected to relieve the Lacedaemonians. On receipt of this
information he set off in person and surveyed the country, in order to
find a spot from which it would be possible to see the vessels
approaching and to signal to the city. Here he stationed his look-out
men. A code of signals was agreed upon to signify "vessels in sight,"
"mooring," etc.; which done he gave his orders to twenty of his
captains of men-of-war who were to follow him at a given word of
command. Any one who failed to follow him must not grumble at the
penalty; that he warned them. Presently the vessels were signalled
approaching; the word of command was given, and then the enthusiasm
was a sight to see--every man of the crews told off for the expedition
racing to join his ship and embark. Sailing to the point where the
enemy's vessels lay, he had no difficulty in capturing the crews, who
had disembarked from all the ships with one exception. The exception
was that of Melanippus the Rhodian, who had advised the other captains
not to stop at this point, and had then manned his own vessel and
sailed off. Thus he encountered the ships of Iphicrates, but contrived
to slip through his fingers, while the whole of the Syracusan vessels
were captured, crews and all.

Having cut the beaks off the prows, Iphicrates bore down into the
harbour of Corcyra with the captured triremes in tow. With the captive
crews themselves he came to an agreement that each should pay a fixed
sum as ransom, with one exception, that of Crinippus, their commander.
Him he kept under guard, with the intention apparently of exacting a
handsome sum in his case or else of selling him. The prisoner,
however, from vexation of spirit, put an end to his own life. The rest
were sent about their business by Iphicrates, who accepted the
Corcyraeans as sureties for the money. His own sailors he supported
for the most part as labourers on the lands of the Corcyraeans, while
at the head of his light infantry and the hoplites of the contingent
he crossed over into Acarnania, and there lent his aid to any friendly
state that needed his services; besides which he went to war with the
Thyrians,[17] a sturdy race of warriors in possession of a strong

[17] Thyreum (or Thyrium), in Acarnania, a chief city at the time of
the Roman wars in Greece; and according to Polybius (xxxviii. 5),
a meeting-place of the League on one occasion. See "Dict. Anct.
Geog." s.v.; Freeman, op. cit. iv. 148; cf. Paus. IV. xxvi. 3, in
reference to the Messenians and Naupactus; Grote, "H. G." x. 212.

B.C. 372. Having attached to his squadron the navy also of Corcyra,
with a fleet numbering now about ninety ships he set sail, in the
first instance to Cephallenia, where he exacted money--which was in
some cases voluntarily paid, in others forcibly extorted. In the next
place he began making preparations partly to harass the territory of
the Lacedaemonians, and partly to win over voluntarily the other
states in that quarter which were hostile to Athens; or in case of
refusal to go to war with them.

The whole conduct of the campaign reflects, I think, the highest
credit on Iphicrates. If his strategy was admirable, so too was the
instinct which led him to advise the association with himself of two
such colleagues as Callistratus and Chabrias--the former a popular
orator but no great friend of himself politically,[18] the other a man
of high military reputation. Either he looked upon them as men of
unusual sagacity, and wished to profit by their advice, in which case
I commend the good sense of the arrangement, or they were, in his
belief, antagonists, in which case the determination to approve
himself a consummate general, neither indolent nor incautious, was
bold, I admit, but indicative of a laudable self-confidence. Here,
however, we must part with Iphicrates and his achievements to return
to Athens.

[18] Reading with the MSS. {ou mala epitedeion onta}. See Grote, "H.
G." x. 206. Boeckh ("P. E. A.," trans. Cornewall Lewis, p. 419)
wished to read {eu mala} for {ou mala k.t.l.}, in which case
translate "the former a popular orator, and a man of singular
capacity"; and for {epitedeion} in that sense, see "Hipparch." i.
8; for {eu mala}, see "Hipparch." i. 25. For details concerning
Callistratus, see Dindorf, op. cit. note ad. loc.; Curtius, "H.
G." iv. 367, 381 foll., v. 90. For Chabrias, Rehdantz, op. cit. In
the next sentence I have again adhered to the reading of the MSS.,
but the pasage is commonly regarded as corrupt; see Otto Keller,
op. cit. p. 215 for various emendations.


The Athenians, forced to witness the expatriation from Boeotia of
their friends the Plataeans (who had sought an asylum with
themselves), forced also to listen to the supplications of the
Thespiaeans (who begged them not to suffer them to be robbed of their
city), could no longer regard the Thebans with favour;[1] though, when
it came to a direct declaration of war, they were checked in part by a
feeling of shame, and partly by considerations of expediency. Still,
to go hand in hand with them, to be a party to their proceedings, this
they absolutely refused, now that they saw them marching against time-
honoured friends of the city like the Phocians, and blotting out
states whose loyalty in the great Persian war was conspicuous no less
than their friendship to Athens. Accordingly the People passed a
decree to make peace; but in the first instance they sent an embassy
to Thebes, inviting that state to join them if it pleased them on an
embassy which they proposed to send to Lacedaemon to treat of peace.
In the next place they despatched such an embassy on their own
account. Among the commissioners appointed were Callias the son of
Hipponicus, Autocles the son of Strombichides, Demostratus the son of
Aristophon, Aristocles, Cephisodotus,[2] Melanopus, and Lycaethus.

[1] Plataea destroyed in B.C. 373. See Jowett, "Thuc." ii. 397.

[2] See below, "Hell." VII. i. 12; Hicks, 87.

B.C. 371. [These were formally introduced to the Deputies of the
Lacedaemonians and the allies.[3]] Nor ought the name of Callistratus
to be omitted. That statesman and orator was present. He had obtained
furlough from Iphicrates on an undertaking either to send money for
the fleet or to arrange a peace. Hence his arrival in Athens and
transactions in behalf of peace. After being introduced to the
assembly[4] of the Lacedaemonians and to the allies, Callias,[5] who
was the dadouchos (or torch-holder) in the mysteries, made the first
speech. He was a man just as well pleased to praise himself as to hear
himself praised by others. He opened the proceedings as follows:

[3] The bracketed words read like an annotator's comment, or possibly
they are a note by the author.

[4] See above, "Hell." II. iv. 38.

[5] See above, "Hell." IV. v. 13; Cobet, "Prosop. Xen." p. 67 foll.;
Xen. "Symp."; Plat. "Protag."; Andoc. "de Myst." If this is one
and the same person he must have been an elderly man at this date,
371 B.C.

"Lacedaemonians, the duty of representing you as proxenos at Athens is
a privilege which I am not the first member of my family to enjoy; my
father's father held it as an heirloom of our family and handed it
down as a heritage to his descendants. If you will permit me, I should
like to show you the disposition of my fatherland towards yourselves.
If in times of war she chooses us as her generals, so when her heart
is set upon quiet she sends us out as her messengers of peace. I
myself have twice already[6] stood here to treat for conclusion of
war, and on both embassies succeeded in arranging a mutually agreeable
peace. Now for the third time I am come, and I flatter myself that to-
day again I shall obtain a reconciliation, and on grounds
exceptionally just. My eyes bear witness that our hearts are in
accord; you and we alike are pained at the effacement of Plataeae and
Thespiae. Is it not then reasonable that out of agreement should
spring concord rather than discord? It is never the part, I take it,
of wise men to raise the standard of war for the sake of petty
differences; but where there is nothing but unanimity they must be
marvellous folk who refuse the bond of peace. But I go further. It
were just and right on our parts even to refuse to bear arms against
each other; since, as the story runs, the first strangers to whom our
forefather Triptolemus showed the unspeakable mystic rites of Demeter
and Core, the mother and the maiden, were your ancestors;--I speak of
Heracles, the first founder of your state, and of your two citizens,
the great twin sons of Zeus--and to Peloponnesus first he gave as a
gift the seed of Demeter's corn-fruits. How, then, can it be just or
right either that you should come and ravage the corn crops of those
from whom you got the sacred seed of corn, or that we should not
desire that they to whom the gift was given should share abundantly of
this boon? But if, as it would seem, it is a fixed decree of heaven
that war shall never cease among men, yet ought we--your people and
our people--to be as slow as possible to begin it, and being in it, as
swift as possible to bring it to an end."

[6] B.C. 387 and 374; see Curtius, "H. G." vol. iv. p. 376 (Eng. ed.)

After him Autocles[7] spoke: he was of repute as a versatile lawyer
and orator, and addressed the meeting as follows: "Lacedaemonians, I
do not conceal from myself that what I am about to say is not
calculated to please you, but it seems to me that, if you wish the
friendship which we are cementing to last as long as possible, we are
wise to show each other the underlying causes of our wars. Now, you
are perpetually saying that the states ought to be independent; but it
is you yourselves who most of all stand in the way of independence--
your first and last stipulation with the allied states being that they
should follow you whithersoever you choose to lead; and yet what has
this principle of follow-my-leader got to do with independent
action?[8] Again, you pick quarrels without consulting your allies,
and lead them against those whom you account enemies; so that in many
cases, with all their vaunted independence, they are forced to march
against their greatest friends; and, what is still more opposed to
independence than all else, you are for ever setting up here your
decarchies and there your thirty commissioners, and your chief aim in
appointing these officers and governors seems to be, not that they
should fulfil their office and govern legally, but that they should be
able to keep the cities under their heels by sheer force. So that it
looks as if you delighted in despotisms rather than free
constitutions. Let us go back to the date[9] at which the Persian king
enjoined the independence of the states. At that time you made no
secret of your conviction that the Thebans, if they did not suffer
each state to govern itself and to use the laws of its own choice,
would be failing to act in the spirit of the king's rescript. But no
sooner had you got hold of Cadmeia than you would not suffer the
Thebans themselves to be independent. Now, if the maintenance of
friendship be an object, it is no use for people to claim justice from
others while they themselves are doing all they can to prove the
selfishness of their aims."

[7] For the political views of Autocles, see Curtius, "H. G." iv. 387,
v. 94 (Eng. tr.); see also Grote, "H. G." x. 225.

[8] Or, "what consistency is there between these precepts of yours and
political independence?"

[9] Sixteen years before--B.C. 387. See "Pol. Lac." xiv. 5.

These remarks were received in absolute silence, yet in the hearts of
those who were annoyed with Lacedaemon they stirred pleasure. After
Autocles spoke Callistratus: "Trespasses, men of Lacedaemon, have been
committed on both sides, yours and ours, I am free to confess; but
still it is not my view that because a man has done wrong we can never
again have dealings with him. Experience tells me that no man can go
very far without a slip, and it seems to me that sometimes the
transgressor by reason of his transgression becomes more tractable,
especially if he be chastened through the error he has committed, as
has been the case with us. And so on your own case I see that
ungenerous acts have sometimes reaped their own proper reward: blow
has been met by counter-blow; and as a specimen I take the seizure of
the Cadmeia in Thebes. To-day, at any rate, the very cities whose
independence you strove for have, since your unrighteous treatment of
Thebes, fallen one and all of them again into her power.[10] We are
schooled now, both of us, to know that grasping brings not gain. We
are prepared, I hope, to be once more moderate under the influence of
a mutual friendship. Some, I know, in their desire to render our
peace[11] abortive accuse us falsely, as though we were come hither,
not seeking friendship, but because we dread the arrival of some[12]
Antalcidas with moneys from the king. But consider, what arrant
nonsense they talk! Was it not, pray, the great king who demanded that
all the states in Hellas should be independent? and what have we
Athenians, who are in full agreement with the king, both in word and
deed, to fear from him? Or is it conceivable that he prefers spending
money in making others great to finding his favourite projects
realised without expense?

[10] Reading, with Breitenbach and Hartman, {as} instead of {os
espoudasate k.t.l.}

[11] Or, more lit. "to avert the peace" as an ill-omened thing.

[12] Without inserting {tis}, as Hartman proposes ("An. Xen." p. 387),
that, I think, is the sense. Antalcidas is the arch-diplomat--a
name to conjure with, like that of Bismarck in modern European
politics. But see Grote, "H. G." x. 213, note 2.

"Well! what is it really that has brought us here? No especial need or
difficulty in our affairs. That you may discover by a glance at our
maritime condition, or, if you prefer, at the present posture of our
affairs on land. Well, then, how does the matter stand? It is obvious
that some of our allies please us no better than they please you;[13]
and, possibly, in return for your former preservation of us, we may be
credited with a desire to point out to you the soundness of our

[13] See, for this corrupt passage, Otto Keller, op. cit. p. 219;
Hartman, op. cit. p. 387; and Breitenbach, n. ad loc. In the next
sentence I should like to adopt Hartman's emendation (ib.) {on
orthos egnote} for the MSS. {a orthos egnomen}, and translate "we
may like to prove to you the soundness of your policy at the
time." For the "preservation" referred to, see below, VI. v. 35,
and above, II. ii. 20.

"But, to revert once more to the topic of expediency and common
interests. It is admitted, I presume, that, looking at the states
collectively, half support your views, half ours; and in every single
state one party is for Sparta and another for Athens. Suppose, then,
we were to shake hands, from what quarter can we reasonably anticipate
danger and trouble? To put the case in so many words, so long as you
are our friends no one can vex us by land; no one, whilst we are your
supports, can injure you by sea. Wars like tempests gather and grow to
a head from time to time, and again they are dispelled. That we all
know. Some future day, if not to-day, we shall crave, both of us, for
peace. Why, then, need we wait for that moment, holding on until we
expire under the multitude of our ills, rather than take time by the
forelock and, before some irremediable mischief betide, make peace? I
cannot admire the man who, because he has entered the lists and has
scored many a victory and obtained to himself renown, is so eaten up
with the spirit of rivalry that he must needs go on until he is beaten
and all his training is made futile. Nor again do I praise the gambler
who, if he makes one good stroke of luck, insists on doubling the
stakes. Such conduct in the majority of cases must end in absolute
collapse. Let us lay the lesson of these to heart, and forbear to
enter into any such lists as theirs for life or death; but, while we
are yet in the heyday of our strength and fortune, shake hands in
mutual amity. So assuredly shall we through you and you through us
attain to an unprecedented pinnacle of glory throughout Hellas."

The arguments of the speakers were approved, and the Lacedaemonians
passed a resolution to accept peace on a threefold basis: the
withdrawal of the governors from the cities,[14] the disbanding of
armaments naval and military, and the guarantee of independence to the
states. "If any state transgressed these stipulations, it lay at the
option of any power whatsoever to aid the states so injured, while,
conversely, to bring such aid was not compulsory on any power against
its will." On these terms the oaths were administered and accepted by
the Lacedaemonians on behalf of themselves and their allies, and by
the Athenians and their allies separately state by state. The Thebans
had entered their individual name among the states which accepted the
oaths, but their ambassadors came the next day with instructions to
alter the name of the signatories, substituting for Thebans
Boeotians.[15] But Agesilaus answered to this demand that he would
alter nothing of what they had in the first instance sworn to and
subscribed. If they did not wish to be included in the treaty, he was
willing to erase their name at their bidding. So it came to pass that
the rest of the world made peace, the sole point of dispute being
confined to the Thebans; and the Athenians came to the conclusion that
there was a fair prospect of the Thebans being now literally
decimated.[16] As to the Thebans themselves, they retired from Sparta
in utter despondency.

[14] Grote ("H. G." x. 236) thinks that Diod. xv. 38 ({exagogeis})
belongs to this time, not to the peace between Athens and Sparta
in 374 B.C.

[15] See, for a clear explanation of the matter, Freeman, "Hist. Red.
Gov." iv. p. 175, note 3, in reference to Grote, ib. x. 231 note,
and Paus. IX. xiii. 2; Plut. "Ages." 28; Thirlwall, "H. G." v. p
69 note.

[16] Or, "as the saying is, taken and tithed." See below, VI. v. 35,
and for the origin of the saying, Herod. vii. 132.


In consequence of the peace the Athenians proceeded to withdraw their
garrisons from the different sates, and sent to recall Iphicrates with
his fleet; besides which they forced him to restore eveything captured
subsequently to the late solemn undertaking at Lacedaemon. The
Lacedaemonians acted differently. Although they withdrew their
governors and garrisons from the other states, in Phocis they did not
do so. Here Cleombrotus was quartered with his army, and had sent to
ask directions from the home authorities. A speaker, Prothous,
maintained that their business was to disband the army in accordance
with their oaths, and then to send round invitations to the states to
contribute what each felt individually disposed, and lay such sum in
the temple of Apollo; after which, if any attempt to hinder the
independence of the states on any side were manifested, it would be
time enough then again to invite all who cared to protect the
principle of autonomy to march against its opponents. "In this way,"
he added, "I think the goodwill of heaven will be secured, and the
states will suffer least annoyance." But the Assembly, on hearing
these views, agreed that this man was talking nonsense. Puppets in the
hands of fate![1] An unseen power, it would seem, was already driving
them onwards; so they sent instructions to Cleombrotus not to disband
the army, but to march straight against the Thebans if they refused to
recognise the autonomy of the states. [Cleombrotus, it is understood,
had, on hearing the news of the establishment of peace, sent to the
ephorate to ask for guidance; and then they sent him the above
instructions, bidding him under the circumstances named to march upon

[1] See Grote, "H. G." x. 237: "The miso-Theban impulse now drove them
on with a fury which overcame all other thoughts . . . a
misguiding inspiration sent by the gods--like that of the Homeric

[2] This passage reads like an earlier version for which the above was
substituted by the author.

The Spartan king soon perceived that, so far from leaving the Boeotian
states their autonomy, the Thebans were not even preparing to disband
their army, clearly in view of a general engagement; he therefore felt
justified in marching his troops into Boeotia. The point of ingress
which he adopted was not that which the Thebans anticipated from
Phocis, and where they were keeping guard at a defile; but, marching
through Thisbae by a mountainous and unsuspected route, he arrived
before Creusis, taking that fortress and capturing twelve Theban war-
vessels besides. After this achievement he advanced from the seaboard
and encamped in Leuctra on Thespian territory. The Thebans encamped in
a rising ground immediately opposite at no great distance, and were
supported by no allies except the Boeotians.

At this juncture the friends of Cleombrotus came to him and urged upon
him strong reasons for delivering battle. "If you let the Thebans
escape without a battle," they said, "you will run great risks of
suffering the extreme penalty at the hands of the state. People will
call to mind against you the time when you reached Cynoscephelae and
did not ravage a square foot of Theban territory; and again, a
subsequent expedition when you were driven back foiled in your attempt
to make an entry into the enemy's country--while Agesilaus on each
occasion found his entry by Mount Cithaeron. If then you have any care
for yourself, or any attachment to your fatherland, march you against
the enemy." That was what his friends urged. As to his opponents, what
they said was, "Now our fine friend will show whether he really is so
concerned on behalf of the Thebans as he is said to be."

Cleombrotus, with these words ringing in his ears, felt driven[3] to
join battle. On their side the leaders of Thebes calculated that, if
they did not fight, their provincial cities[4] would hold aloof from
them and Thebes itself would be besieged; while, if the commonalty of
Thebes failed to get supplies, there was every prospect that the city
itself would turn against them; and, seeing that many of them had
already tasted the bitterness of exile, they came to the conclusion
that it was better for them to die on the field of battle than to
renew that experience. Besides this they were somewhat encouraged by
the recital of an oracle which predicted that the Lacedaemonians would
be defeated on the spot where the monument of the maidens stood, who,
as the story goes, being violated by certain Lacedaemonians, had slain
themselves.[5] This sepulchral monument the Thebans decked with
ornaments before the battle. Furthermore, tidings were brought them
from the city that all the temples had opened of their own accord; and
the priestesses asserted that the gods revealed victory. Again, from
the Heracleion men said that the arms had disappeared, as though
Heracles himself had sallied forth to battle. It is true that another
interpretation[6] of these marvels made them out to be one and all the
artifices of the leaders of Thebes. However this may be, everything in
the battle turned out adverse to the Lacedaemonians; while fortune
herself lent aid to the Thebans and crowned their efforts with
success. Cleombrotus held his last council "whether to fight or not,"
after the morning meal. In the heat of noon a little goes a long way;
and the people said that it took a somewhat provocative effect on
their spirits.[7]

[3] Or, "was provoked."

[4] Lit. "perioecid." See Thuc. iv. 76, Arnold's note, and "Hell." V.
iv. 46, 63.

[5] See Diod. xv. 54; Paus. IX. xiii. 3; Plut. "Pelop." xx.

[6] Or, "it is true that some people made out these marvels."

[7] Or, "they were somewhat excited by it."

Both sides were now arming, and there was the unmistakeable signs of
approaching battle, when, as the first incident, there issued from the
Boeotian lines a long train bent on departure--these were the
furnishers of the market, a detachment of baggage bearers, and in
general such people as had no inclination to join in the fight. These
were met on their retreat and attacked by the mercenary troops under
Hiero, who got round them by a circular movement.[8] The mercenaries
were supported by the Phocian light infantry and some squadrons of
Heracleot and Phliasian cavalry, who fell upon the retiring train and
turned them back, pursuing them and driving them into the camp of the
Boeotians. The immediate effect was to make the Boeotian portion of
the army more numerous and closer packed than before. The next feature
of the combat was that in consequence of the flat space of plain[9]
between the opposing armies, the Lacedaemonians posted their cavalry
in front of their squares of infantry, and the Thebans followed suit.
Only there was this difference--the Theban cavalry was in a high state
of training and efficiency, owing to their war with the Orchomenians
and again their war with Thespiae, whilst the cavalry of the
Lacedaemonians was at its worst at this period.[10] The horses were
reared and kept by the wealthiest members of the state; but whenever
the ban was called out, an appointed trooper appeared who took the
horse with any sort of arms which might be presented to him, and set
off on the expedition at a moment's notice. Moreover, these troopers
were the least able-bodied of the men: raw recruits set simply astride
their horses, and devoid of soldierly ambition. Such was the cavalry
of either antagonist.

[8] Or, "surrounded them."

[9] See Rustow and Kochly, op. cit. p. 173.

[10] See "Hipparch." ix. 4; also "Cyrop." VIII. viii.

The heavy infantry of the Lacedaemonians, it is said, advanced by
sections three files abreast,[11] allowing a total depth to the whole
line of not more than twelve. The Thebans were formed in close order
of not less than fifty shields deep, calculating that victory gained
over the king's division of the army implied the easy conquest of the

[11] It would appear that the "enomoty" (section) numbered thirty-six
files. See "Pol. Lac." xi. 4; xiii. 4. For further details as to
the tactical order of the Thebans, see Diod. xv. 55; Plut.
"Pelop." xxiii.

Cleombrotus had hardly begun to lead his division against the foe
when, before in fact the troops with him were aware of his advance,
the cavalry had already come into collision, and that of the
Lacedaemonians was speedily worsted. In their flight they became
involved with their own heavy infantry; and to make matters worse, the
Theban regiments were already attacking vigorously. Still strong
evidence exists for supposing that Cleombrotus and his division were,
in the first instance, victorious in the battle, if we consider the
fact that they could never have picked him up and brought him back
alive unless his vanguard had been masters of the situation for the

When, however, Deinon the polemarch and Sphodrias, a member of the
king's council, with his son Cleonymus,[12] had fallen, then it was
that the cavalry and the polemarch's adjutants,[13] as they are
called, with the rest, under pressure of the mass against them, began
retreating; and the left wing of the Lacedaemonians, seeing the right
borne down in this way, also swerved. Still, in spite of the numbers
slain, and broken as they were, as soon as they had crossed the trench
which protected their camp in front, they grounded arms on the
spot[14] whence they had rushed to battle. This camp, it must be borne
in mind, did not lie at all on the level, but was pitched on a
somewhat steep incline. At this juncture there were some of the
Lacedaemonians who, looking upon such a disaster as intolerable,
maintained that they ought to prevent the enemy from erecting a
trophy, and try to recover the dead not under a flag of truce but by
another battle. The polemarchs, however, seeing that nearly a thousand
men of the total Lacedaemonian troops were slain; seeing also that of
the seven hundred Spartans themselves who were on the field something
like four hundred lay dead;[15] aware, further, of the despondency
which reigned among the allies, and the general disinclination on
their parts to fight longer (a frame of mind not far removed in some
instances from positive satisfaction at what had taken place)--under
the circumstances, I say, the polemarchs called a council of the
ablest representatives of the shattered army[16] and deliberated as to
what should be done. Finally the unanimous opinion was to pick up the
dead under a flag of truce, and they sent a herald to treat for terms.
The Thebans after that set up a trophy and gave back the bodies under
a truce.

[12] See above, V. iv. 33.

[13] {sumphoreis}. For the readings of this corrupt passage see Otto

[14] Or, "in orderly way." See Curt. "H. G." iv. 400.

[15] See "Ages." ii. 24.

[16] {tous epikairiotatous}. See above, III. iii. 10; "Cyrop." VII.
iv. 4; VIII. iv. 32, vi. 2.

After these events, a messenger was despatched to Lacedaemon with news
of the calamity. He reached his destination on the last day of the
gymnopaediae,[17] just when the chorus of grown men had entered the
theatre. The ephors heard the mournful tidings not without grief and
pain, as needs they must, I take it; but for all that they did not
dismiss the chorus, but allowed the contest to run out its natural
course. What they did was to deliver the names of those who had fallen
to their friends and families, with a word of warning to the women not
to make any loud lamentations but to bear their sorrow in silence; and
the next day it was a striking spectacle to see those who had
relations among the slain moving to and fro in public with bright and
radiant looks, whilst of those whose friends were reported to be
living barely a man was to be seen, and these flitted by with lowered
heads and scowling brows, as if in humiliation.

[17] The festival was celebrated annually about midsummer. See Herod.
vi. 67; Thuc. v. 82, and Arnold's note; Pollux. iv. 105; Athen.
xiv. 30, xv. 22; Muller, "Dorians," ii. 389.

After this the ephors proceeded to call out the ban, including the
forty-years-service men of the two remaining regiments;[18] and they
proceeded further to despatch the reservces of the same age belonging
to the six regiments already on foreign service. Hitherto the Phocian
campaign had only drawn upon the thirty-five-years-service list.
Besides these they now ordered out on active service the troops
retained at the beginning of the campaign in attendance on the
magistrates at the government offices. Agesilaus being still disabled
by his infirmity, the city imposed the duty of command upon his son
Archidamus. The new general found eager co-operators in the men of
Tegea. The friends of Stasippus at this date were still living,[19]
and they were stanch in their Lacedaemonian proclivities, and wielded
considerable power in their state. Not less stoutly did the Mantineans
from their villages under their aristocratic form of government flock
to the Spartan standard. Besides Tegea and Mantinea, the Corinthians
and Sicyonians, the Phliasians and Achaeans were equally enthusiastic
to joining the campaign, whilst other states sent out soldiers. Then
came the fitting out and manning of ships of war on the part of the
Lacedaemonians themselves and of the Corinthians, whilst the
Sicyonians were requested to furnish a supply of vessels on board of
which it was proposed to transport the army across the gulf. And so,
finally, Archidamus was able to offer the sacrifices usual at the
moment of crossing the frontier. But to return to Thebes.

[18] I.e. every one up to fifty-eight years of age.

[19] See below, VI. v. 9.

Imediately after the battle the Thebans sent a messenger to Athens
wearing a chaplet. Whilst insisting on the magnitude of the victory
they at the same time called upon the Athenians to send them aid, for
now the opportunity had come to wreak vengeance on the Lacedaemonians
for all the evil they had done to Athens. As it chanced, the senate of
the Athenians was holding a session on the Acropolis. As soon as the
news was reported, the annoyance caused by its announcement was
unmistakeable. They neither invited the herald to accept of
hospitality nor sent back one word in reply to the request for
assistance. And so the herald turned his back on Athens and departed.

But there was Jason still to look to, and he was their ally. To him
then the Thebans sent, and earnestly besought his aid, their thoughts
running on the possible turn which events might take. Jason on his
side at once proceeded to man a fleet, with the apparent intention of
sending assistance by sea, besides which he got together his foreign
brigade and his own cavalry; and although the Phocians and he were
implacable enemies,[20] he marched through their territory to Boeotia.
Appearing like a vision to many of the states before his approach was
even announced--at any rate before levies could be mustered from a
dozen different points--he had stolen a march upon them and was a long
way ahead, giving proof that expedition is sometimes a better tool to
work with than sheer force.

[20] Or, "though the Phocians maintained a war 'a outrance' with him."

When he arrived in Boeotia the Thebans urged upon him that now was the
right moment to attack the Lacedaemonians: he with his foreign brigade
from the upper ground, they face to face in front; but Jason dissuaded
them from their intention. He reminded them that after a noble
achievement won it was not worth their while to play for so high a
stake, involving a still greater achievement or else the loss of
victory already gained. "Do you not see," he urged, "that your success
followed close on the heels of necessity? You ought then to reflect
that the Lacedaemonians in their distress, with a choice between life
and death, will fight it out with reckless desperation. Providence, as
it seems, ofttimes delights to make the little ones great and the
great ones small."[21]

[21] Cf. "Anab." III. ii. 10.

By such arguments he diverted the Thebans from the desperate
adventure. But for the Lacedaemonians also he had words of advice,
insisting on the difference between an army defeated and an army
flushed with victory. "If you are minded," he said, "to forget this
disaster, my advice to you is to take time to recover breath and
recruit your energies. When you have grown stronger then give battle
to these unconquered veterans.[22] At present," he continued, "you
know without my telling you that among your own allies there are some
who are already discussing terms of friendship with your foes. My
advice is this: by all means endeavour to obtain a truce. This," he
added, "is my own ambition: I want to save you, on the ground of my
father's friendship with yourselves, and as being myself your
representative."[23] Such was the tenor of his speech, but the secret
of action was perhaps to be found in a desire to make these mutual
antagonists put their dependence on himself alone. Whatever his
motive, the Lacedaemonians took his advice, and commissioned him to
procure a truce.

[22] Or, "the invincibles."

[23] Lit. "your proxenos."

As soon as the news arrived that the terms were arranged, the
polemarchs passed an order round: the troops were to take their
evening meal, get their kit together, and be ready to set off that
night, so as to scale the passes of Cithaeron by next morning. After
supper, before the hour of sleep, the order to march was given, and
with the generals at their head the troops advanced as the shades of
evening fell, along the road to Creusis, trusting rather to the chance
of their escaping notice, than to the truce itself. It was weary
marching in the dead of night, making their retreat in fear, and along
a difficult road, until they fell in with Archidamus's army of relief.
At this point, then, Archidamus waited till all the allies had
arrived, and so led the whole of the united armies back to Corinth,
from which point he dismissed the allies and led his fellow-citizens

Jason took his departure from Boeotia through Phocis, where he
captured the suburbs of Hyampolis[24] and ravaged the country
districts, putting many to the sword. Content with this, he traversed
the rest of Phocis without meddling or making. Arrived at
Heraclea,[25] he knocked down the fortress of the Heracleots, showing
that he was not troubled by any apprehension lest when the pass was
thrown open somebody or other might march against his own power at
some future date. Rather was he haunted by the notion that some one or
other might one day seize Heraclea, which commanded the pass, and bar
his passage into Hellas--should Hellas ever be his goal.[26] At the
moment of his return to Thessaly he had reached the zenith of his
greatness. He was the lawfully constituted Prince[27] of Thessaly, and
he had under him a large mercenary force of infantry and cavalry, and
all in the highest perfection of training. For this twofold reason he
might claim the title great. But he was still greater as the head of a
vast alliance. Those who were prepared to fight his battles were
numerous, and he might still count upon the help of many more eager to
do so; but I call Jason greatest among his contemporaries, because not
one among them could afford to look down upon him.[28]

[24] An ancient town in Phocis (see Hom. "Il." ii. 521) on the road
leading from Orchomenus to Opus, and commanding a pass from Locris
into Phocis and Boeotia. See Herod. viii. 28; Paus. ix. 35, S. 5;
Strab. ix. 424; "Dict. of Geog." s.v.

[25] Or, "Heracleia Trachinia," a fortress city founded (as a colony)
by the Lacedaemonians in B.C. 426, to command the approach to
Thermopylae from Thessaly, and to protect the Trachinians and the
neighbouring Dorians from the Oetean mountaineers. See "Dict. of
Geog." "Trachis"; Thuc. iii. 92, 93, v. 51, 52; Diod. xii. 59.

[26] B.C. 370. The following sections 28-37 form an episode concerning
Thessalian affairs between B.C. 370 and B.C. 359.

[27] Lit. "Tagos."

[28] For a similar verbal climax see below, VI. v. 47.

B.C. 370. The Pythian games were now approaching, and an order went
round the cities from Jason to make preparation for the solemn
sacrifice of oxen, sheep and goats, and swine. It was reported that
although the requisitions upon the several cities were moderate, the
number of beeves did not fall short of a thousand, while the rest of
the sacrificial beasts exceeded ten times that number. He issued a
proclamation also to this effect: a golden wreath of victory should be
given to whichever city could produce the best-bred bull to head the
procession in honour of the god. And lastly there was an order issued
to all the Thessalians to be ready for a campaign at the date of the
Pythian games. His intention, as people said, was to act as manager of
the solemn assembly and games in person. What the thought was that
passed through his mind with reference to the sacred money, remains to
this day uncertain; only, a tale is rife to the effect that in answer
to the inquiry of the Delphians, "What ought we to do, if he takes any
of the treasures of the god?" the god made answer, "He would see to
that himself." This great man, his brain teeming with vast designs of
this high sort, came now to his end. He had ordered a military
inspection. The cavalry of the Pheraeans were to pass muster before
him. He was already seated, delivering answers to all petitioners,
when seven striplings approached, quarrelling, as it seemed, about
some matter. Suddenly by these seven the Prince was despatched; his
throat gashed, his body gored with wounds. Stoutly his guard rushed to
the rescue with their long spears, and one of the seven, while still
in the act of aiming a blow at Jason, was thrust through with a lance
and died; a second, in the act of mounting his horse, was caught, and
dropped dead, the recipient of many wounds. The rest leaped on the
horses which they had ready waiting and escaped. To whatever city of
Hellas they came honours were almost universally accorded them. The
whole incident proves clearly that the Hellenes stood in much alarm of
Jason. They looked upon him as a tyrant in embryo.

So Jason was dead; and his brothers Polydorus and Polyphron were
appointed princes[29] in his place. But of these twain, as they
journeyed together to Larissa, Polydorus was slain in the night, as he
slept, by his brother Polyphron, it was thought; since a death so
sudden, without obvious cause, could hardly be otherwise accounted

[29] Lit. "Tagoi."

Polyphron governed for a year, and by the year's end he had
refashioned his princedom into the likeness of a tyranny. In Pharsalus
he put to death Polydamas[30] and eight other of the best citizens;
and from Larissa he drove many into exile. But while he was thus
employed, he, in his turn, was done to death by Alexander, who slew
him to avenge Polydorus and to destroy the tyranny. This man now
assumed the reins of office, and had no sooner done so than he showed
himself a harsh prince to the Thessalians: harsh too and hostile to
the Thebans and Athenians,[31] and an unprincipled freebooter
everywhere by land and by sea. But if that was his character, he too
was doomed to perish shortly. The perpetrators of the deed were his
wife's brothers.[32] The counsellor of it and the inspiring soul was
the wife herself. She it was who reported to them that Alexander had
designs against them; who hid them within the house a whole day; who
welcomed home her husband deep in his cups and laid him to rest, and
then while the lamp still burned brought out the prince's sword. It
was she also who, perceiving her brothers shrank bank, fearing to go
in and attack Alexander, said to them, "If you do not be quick and do
the deed, I will wake him up!" After they had gone in, she, too, it
was who caught and pulled to the door, clinging fast to the knocker
till the breath was out of her husband's body.[33] Her fierce hatred
against the man is variously explained. By some it was said to date

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