Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Hellenica by Xenophon

Part 1 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Etext prepared by John Bickers, jbickers@templar.actrix.gen.nz.


By Xenophon

Translation by H. G. Dakyns

Xenophon the Athenian was born 431 B.C. He was a
pupil of Socrates. He marched with the Spartans,
and was exiled from Athens. Sparta gave him land
and property in Scillus, where he lived for many
years before having to move once more, to settle
in Corinth. He died in 354 B.C.

The Hellenica is his chronicle of the history of
the Hellenes from 411 to 359 B.C., starting as a
continuation of Thucydides, and becoming his own
brand of work from Book III onwards.


This was typed from Dakyns' series, "The Works of Xenophon," a
four-volume set. The complete list of Xenophon's works (though
there is doubt about some of these) is:

Work Number of books

The Anabasis 7
The Hellenica 7
The Cyropaedia 8
The Memorabilia 4
The Symposium 1
The Economist 1
On Horsemanship 1
The Sportsman 1
The Cavalry General 1
The Apology 1
On Revenues 1
The Hiero 1
The Agesilaus 1
The Polity of the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians 2

Text in brackets "{}" is my transliteration of Greek text into
English using an Oxford English Dictionary alphabet table. The
diacritical marks have been lost.


by Xenophon

Translation by H. G. Dakyns




B.C. 411. To follow the order of events[1]. A few days later
Thymochares arrived from Athens with a few ships, when another sea
fight between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians at once took place, in
which the former, under the command of Agesandridas, gained the victory.

[1] Lit. "after these events"; but is hard to conjecture to what
events the author refers. For the order of events and the
connection between the closing chapter of Thuc. viii. 109, and the
opening words of the "Hellenica," see introductory remarks above.
The scene of this sea-fight is, I think, the Hellespont.

Another short interval brings us to a morning in early winter, when
Dorieus, the son of Diagoras, was entering the Hellespont with
fourteen ships from Rhodes at break of day. The Athenian day-watch
descrying him, signalled to the generals, and they, with twenty sail,
put out to sea to attack him. Dorieus made good his escape, and, as he
shook himself free of the narrows,[2] ran his triremes aground off
Rhoeteum. When the Athenians had come to close quarters, the fighting
commenced, and was sustained at once from ships and shore, until at
length the Athenians retired to their main camp at Madytus, having
achieved nothing.

[2] Lit. "as he opened" {os enoige}. This is still a mariner's phrase
in modern Greek, if I am rightly informed.

Meanwhile Mindarus, while sacrificing to Athena at Ilium, had observed
the battle. He at once hastened to the sea, and getting his own
triremes afloat, sailed out to pick up the ships with Dorieus. The
Athenians on their side put out to meet him, and engaged him off
Abydos. From early morning till the afternoon the fight was kept up
close to the shore.[3] Victory and defeat hung still in even balance,
when Alcibiades came sailing up with eighteen ships. Thereupon the
Peloponnesians fled towards Abydos, where, however, Pharnabazus
brought them timely assistance.[4] Mounted on horseback, he pushed
forward into the sea as far as his horse would let him, doing battle
himself, and encouraging his troopers and the infantry alike to play
their parts. Then the Peloponnesians, ranging their ships in close-
packed order, and drawing up their battle line in proximity to the
land, kept up the fight. At length the Athenians, having captured
thirty of the enemy's vessels without their crews, and having
recovered those of their own which they had previously lost, set sail
for Sestos. Here the fleet, with the exception of forty vessels,
dispersed in different directions outside the Hellespont, to collect
money; while Thrasylus, one of the generals, sailed to Athens to
report what had happened, and to beg for a reinforcement of troops and
ships. After the above incidents, Tissaphernes arrived in the
Hellespont, and received a visit from Alcibiades, who presented him
with a single ship, bringing with him tokens of friendship and gifts,
whereupon Tissaphernes seized him and shut him up in Sardis, giving
out that the king's orders were to go to war with the Athenians.
Thirty days later Alcibiades, accompanied by Mantitheus, who had been
captured in Caria, managed to procure horses and escaped by night to

[3] The original has a somewhat more poetical ring. The author uses
the old Attic or Ionic word {eona}. This is a mark of style, of
which we shall have many instances. One might perhap produce
something of the effect here by translating: "the battle hugged
the strand."

[4] Or, "came to their aid along the shore."

B.C. 410. And now the Athenians at Sestos, hearing that Mindarus was
meditating an attack upon them with a squadron of sixty sail, gave him
the slip, and under cover of night escaped to Cardia. Hither also
Alcibiades repaired from Clazomenae, having with him five triremes and
a light skiff; but on learning that the Peloponnesian fleet had left
Abydos and was in full sail for Cyzicus, he set off himself by land to
Sestos, giving orders to the fleet to sail round and join him there.
Presently the vessels arrived, and he was on the point of putting out
to sea with everything ready for action, when Theramenes, with a fleet
of twenty ships from Macedonia, entered the port, and at the same
instant Thrasybulus, with a second fleet of twenty sail from Thasos,
both squadrons having been engaged in collecting money. Bidding these
officers also follow him with all speed, as soon as they had taken out
their large sails and cleared for action, Alcibiades set sail himself
for Parium. During the following night the united squadron, consisting
now of eighty-six vessels, stood out to sea from Parium, and reached
Proconnesus next morning, about the hour of breakfast. Here they
learnt that Mindarus was in Cyzicus, and that Pharnabazus, with a body
of infantry, was with him. Accordingly they waited the whole of this
day at Proconnesus. On the following day Alcibiades summoned an
assembly, and addressing the men in terms of encouragement, warned
them that a threefold service was expected of them; that they must be
ready for a sea fight, a land fight, and a wall fight all at once,
"for look you," said he, "we have no money, but the enemy has
unlimited supplies from the king."

Now, on the previous day, as soon as they were come to moorings, he
had collected all the sea-going craft of the island, big and little
alike, under his own control, that no one might report the number of
his squadron to the enemy, and he had further caused a proclamation to
be made, that any one caught sailing across to the opposite coast
would be punished with death. When the meeting was over, he got his
ships ready for action, and stood out to sea towards Cyzicus in
torrents of rain. Off Cyzicus the sky cleared, and the sun shone out
and revealed to him the spectacle of Mindarus's vessels, sixty in
number, exercising at some distance from the harbour, and, in fact,
intercepted by himself. The Peloponnesians, perceiving at a glance the
greatly increased number of the Athenian galleys, and noting their
proximity to the port, made haste to reach the land, where they
brought their vessels to anchor in a body, and prepared to engage the
enemy as he sailed to the attack. But Alcibiades, sailing round with
twenty of his vessels, came to land and disembarked. Seeing this,
Mindarus also landed, and in the engagement which ensued he fell
fighting, whilst those who were with him took to flight. As for the
enemy's ships, the Athenians succeeded in capturing the whole of them
(with the exception of the Syracusan vessels, which were burnt by
their crews), and made off with their prizes to Proconnesus. From
thence on the following day they sailed to attack Cyzicus. The men of
that place, seeing that the Peloponnesians and Pharnabazus had
evacuated the town, admitted the Athenians. Here Alcibiades remained
twenty days, obtaining large sums of money from the Cyzicenes, but
otherwise inflicting no sort of mischief on the community. He then
sailed back to Proconnesus, and from there to Perinthus and Selybria.
The inhabitants of the former place welcomed his troops into their
city, but the Selybrians preferred to give money, and so escape the
admission of the troops. Continuing the voyage the squadron reached
Chrysopolis in Chalcedonia,[5] where they built a fort, and
established a custom-house to collect the tithe dues which they levied
on all merchantmen passing through the Straights from the Black Sea.
Besides this, a detachment of thirty ships was left there under the
two generals, Theramenes and Eubulus, with instructions not only to
keep a look-out on the port itself and on all traders passing through
the channel, but generally to injure the enemy in any way which might
present itself. This done, the rest of the generals hastened back to
the Hellespont.

[5] This is the common spelling, but the coins of Calchedon have the
letters {KALKH}, and so the name is written in the best MSS. of
Herodotus, Xenophon, and other writers, by whom the place is
named. See "Dict. of Greek and Roman Geog." "Chalcedon."

Now a despatch from Hippocrates, Mindarus's vice-admiral,[6] had been
intercepted on its way to Lacedaemon, and taken to Athens. It ran as
follows (in broad Doric):[7] "Ships gone; Mindarus dead; the men
starving; at our wits' end what to do."

[6] "Epistoleus," i.e. secretary or despatch writer, is the Spartan
title of the officer second in command to the admiral.

[7] Reading {'Errei ta kala} (Bergk's conjecture for {kala}) =
"timbers," i.e. "ships" (a Doric word). Cf. Aristoph., "Lys."
1253, {potta kala}. The despatch continues: {Mindaros apessoua}
(al. {apessua}), which is much more racy than the simple word
"dead." "M. is gone off." I cannot find the right English or
"broad Scotch" equivalent. See Thirlwall, "Hist. Gr." IV. xxix. 88

Pharnabazus, however, was ready to meet with encouragement the
despondency which afflicted the whole Peloponnesian army and their
allies. "As long as their own bodies were safe and sound, why need
they take to heart the loss of a few wooden hulls? Was there not
timber enough and to spare in the king's territory?" And so he
presented each man with a cloak and maintenance for a couple of
months, after which he armed the sailors and formed them into a
coastguard for the security of his own seaboard.

He next called a meeting of the generals and trierarchs of the
different States, and instructed them to build just as many new ships
in the dockyards of Antandrus as they had respectively lost. He
himself was to furnish the funds, and he gave them to understand that
they might bring down timber from Mount Ida. While the ships were
building, the Syracusans helped the men of Antandrus to finish a
section of their walls, and were particularly pleasant on garrison
duty; and that is why the Syracusans to this day enjoy the privilege
of citizenship, with the title of "benefactors," at Antandrus. Having
so arranged these matters, Pharnabazus proceeded at once to the rescue
of Chalcedon.

It was at this date that the Syracusan generals received news from
home of their banishment by the democratic party. Accordingly they
called a meeting of their separate divisions, and putting forward
Hermocrates[8] as their spokesman, proceeded to deplore their
misfortune, insisting upon the injustice and the illegality of their
banishment. "And now let us admonish you," they added, "to be eager
and willing in the future, even as in the past: whatever the word of
command may be, show yourselves good men and true: let not the memory
of those glorious sea fights fade. Think of those victories you have
won, those ships you have captured by your own unaided efforts; forget
not that long list of achievements shared by yourselves with others,
in all which you proved yourselves invincible under our generalship.
It was to a happy combination of our merit and your enthusiasm,
displayed alike on land and sea, that you owe the strength and
perfection of your discipline."

[8] Hermocrates, the son of Hermon. We first hear of him in Thuc. iv.
58 foll. as the chief agent in bringing the Sicilian States
together in conference at Gela B.C. 424, with a view to healing
their differences and combining to frustrate the dangerous designs
of Athens. In 415 B.C., when the attack came, he was again the
master spirit in rendering it abortive (Thuc. vi. 72 foll.) In 412
B.C. it was he who urged the Sicilians to assist in completing the
overthrow of Athens, by sending a squadron to co-operate with the
Peloponnesian navy--for the relief of Miletus, etc. (Thuc. viii.
26, 27 foll.) At a later date, in 411 B.C., when the Peloponnesian
sailors were ready to mutiny, and "laid all their grievances to
the charge of Astyochus (the Spartan admiral), who humoured
Tissaphernes for his own gain" (Thuc. viii. 83), Hermocrates took
the men's part, and so incurred the hatred of Tissaphernes.

With these words they called upon the men to choose other commanders,
who should undertake the duties of their office, until the arrival of
their successors. Thereupon the whole assembly, and more particularly
the captains and masters of vessels and marines, insisted with loud
cries on their continuance in command. The generals replied, "It was
not for them to indulge in faction against the State, but rather it
was their duty, in case any charges were forthcoming against
themselves, at once to render an account." When, however, no one had
any kind of accusation to prefer, they yielded to the general demand,
and were content to await the arrival of their successors. The names
of these were--Demarchus, the son of Epidocus; Myscon, the son of
Mencrates; and Potamis, the son of Gnosis.

The captains, for their part, swore to restore the exiled generals as
soon as they themselves should return to Syracuse. At present with a
general vote of thanks they despatched them to their several
destinations. It particular those who had enjoyed the society of
Hermocrates recalled his virtues with regret, his thoroughness and
enthusiasm, his frankness and affability, the care with which every
morning and evening he was wont to gather in his quarters a group of
naval captains and mariners whose ability he recognised. These were
his confidants, to whom he communicated what he intended to say or do:
they were his pupils, to whom he gave lessons in oratory, now calling
upon them to speak extempore, and now again after deliberation. By
these means Hermocrates had gained a wide reputation at the council
board, where his mastery of language was no less felt than the wisdom
of his advice. Appearing at Lacedaemon as the accuser of
Tissaphernes,[9] he had carried his case, not only by the testimony of
Astyochus, but by the obvious sincerity of his statements, and on the
strength of this reputation he now betook himself to Pharnabazus. The
latter did not wait to be asked, but at once gave him money, which
enabled him to collect friends and triremes, with a view to his
ultimate recall to Syracuse. Meanwhile the successors of the
Syracusans had arrived at Miletus, where they took charge of the ships
and the army.

[9] The matter referred to is fully explained Thuc. viii. 85.

It was at this same season that a revolution occurred in Thasos,
involving the expulsion of the philo-Laconian party, with the Laconian
governor Eteonicus. The Laconian Pasippidas was charged with having
brought the business about in conjunction with Tissaphernes, and was
banished from Sparta in consequence. The naval force which he had been
collecting from the allies was handed over to Cratesippidas, who was
sent out to take his place in Chios.

About the same period, while Thrasylus was still in Athens, Agis[10]
made a foraging expedition up to the very walls of the city. But
Thrasylus led out the Athenians with the rest of the inhabitants of
the city, and drew them up by the side of the Lyceum Gymnasium, ready
to engage the enemy if they approached; seeing which, Agis beat a
hasty retreat, not however without the loss of some of his supports, a
few of whom were cut down by the Athenian light troops. This success
disposed the citizens to take a still more favourable view of the
objects for which Thrasylus had come; and they passed a decree
empowering him to call out a thousand hoplites, one hundred cavalry,
and fifty triremes.

[10] The reader will recollect that we are giving in "the Deceleian"
period of the war, 413-404 B.C. The Spartan king was in command of
the fortress of Deceleia, only fourteen miles distant from Athens,
and erected on a spot within sight of the city. See Thuc. vii. 19,
27, 28.

Meanwhile Agis, as he looked out from Deceleia, and saw vessel after
vessel laden with corn running down to Piraeus, declared that it was
useless for his troops to go on week after week excluding the
Athenians from their own land, while no one stopped the source of
their corn supply by sea: the best plan would be to send
Clearchus,[11] the son of Rhamphius, who was proxenos[12] of the
Byzantines, to Chalcedon and Byzantium. The suggestion was approved,
and with fifteen vessels duly manned from Megara, or furnished by
other allies, Clearchus set out. These were troop-ships rather than
swift-sailing men-of-war. Three of them, on reaching the Hellespont,
were destroyed by the Athenian ships employed to keep a sharp look-out
on all merchant craft in those waters. The other twelve escaped to
Sestos, and thence finally reached Byzantium in safety.

[11] Of Clearchus we shall hear more in the sequel, and in the

[12] The Proxenus answered pretty nearly to our "Consul," "Agent,"
"Resident"; but he differed in this respect, that he was always a
member of the foreign State. An Athenian represented Sparta at
Athens; a Laconian represented Athens at Sparta, and so forth. See
Liddell and Scott.

So closed the year--a year notable also for the expedition against
Sicily of the Carthaginians under Hannibal with one hundred thousand
men, and the capture, within three months, of the two Hellenic cities
of Selinus and Himera.


B.C. 409. Next year[1] . . . the Athenians fortified Thoricus; and
Thrasylus, taking the vessels lately voted him and five thousand of
his seamen armed to serve as peltasts,[2] set sail for Samos at the
beginning of summer. At Samos he stayed three days, and then continued
his voyage to Pygela, where he proceeded to ravage the territory and
attack the fortress. Presently a detachment from Miletus came to the
rescue of the men of Pygela, and attacking the scattered bands of the
Athenian light troops, put them to flight. But to the aid of the light
troops came the naval brigade of peltasts, with two companies of heavy
infantry, and all but annihilated the whole detachment from Miletus.
They captured about two hundred shields, and set up a trophy. Next day
they sailed to Notium, and from Notium, after due preparation, marched
upon Colophon. The Colophonians capitulated without a blow. The
following night they made an incursion into Lydia, where the corn
crops were ripe, and burnt several villages, and captured money,
slaves, and other booty in large quantity. But Stages, the Persian,
who was employed in this neighbourhood, fell in with a reinforcement
of cavalry sent to protect the scattered pillaging parties from the
Athenian camp, whilst occupied with their individual plunder, and took
one trooper prisoner, killing seven others. After this Thrasylus led
his troops back to the sea, intending to sail to Ephesus. Meanwhile
Tissaphernes, who had wind of this intention, began collecting a large
army and despatching cavalry with a summons to the inhabitants one and
all to rally to the defence of the goddess Artemis at Ephesus.

[1] The MSS. here give a suspected passage, which may be rendered
thus: "The first of Olympiad 93, celebrated as the year in which
the newly-added two-horse race was won by Evagorias the Eleian,
and the stadion (200 yards foot-race) by the Cyrenaean Eubotas,
when Evarchippus was ephor at Sparta and Euctemon archon at
Athens." But Ol. 93, to which these officers,and the addition of
the new race at Olympia belong, is the year 408. We must therefore
suppose either that this passage has been accidentally inserted in
the wrong place by some editor or copyist, or that the author was
confused in his dates. The "stadium" is the famous foot-race at
Olympia, 606 3/4 English feet in length, run on a course also
called the "Stadion," which was exactly a stade long.

[2] Peltasts, i.e. light infantry armed with the "pelta" or light
shield, instead of the heavy {aspis} of the hoplite or heavy
infantry soldiers.

On the seventeenth day after the incursion above mentioned Thrasylus
sailed to Ephesus. He disembarked his troops in two divisions, his
heavy infantry in the neighbourhood of Mount Coressus; his cavalry,
peltasts, and marines, with the remainder of his force, near the marsh
on the other side of the city. At daybreak he pushed forward both
divisions. The citizens of Ephesus, on their side, were not slow to
protect themselves. They had to aid them the troops brought up by
Tissaphernes, as well as two detachments of Syracusans, consisting of
the crews of their former twenty vessels and those of five new vessels
which had opportunely arrived quite recently under Eucles, the son of
Hippon, and Heracleides, the son of Aristogenes, together with two
Selinuntian vessels. All these several forces first attacked the heavy
infantry near Coressus; these they routed, killing about one hundred
of them, and driving the remainder down into the sea. They then turned
to deal with the second division on the marsh. Here, too, the
Athenians were put to flight, and as many as three hundred of them
perished. On this spot the Ephesians erected a trophy, and another at
Coressus. The valour of the Syracusans and Selinuntians had been so
conspicuous that the citizens presented many of them, both publicly
and privately, with prizes for distinction in the field, besides
offering the right of residence in their city with certain immunities
to all who at any time might wish to live there. To the Selinuntians,
indeed, as their own city had lately been destroyed, they offered full

The Athenians, after picking up their dead under a truce, set sail for
Notium, and having there buried the slain, continued their vogage
towards Lesbos and the Hellespont. Whilst lying at anchor in the
harbour of Methymna, in that island, they caught sight of the
Syracusan vessels, five-and-twenty in number, coasting along from
Ephesus. They put out to sea to attack them, and captured four ships
with their crews, and chased the remainder back to Ephesus. The
prisoners were sent by Thrasylus to Athens, with one exception. This
was an Athenian, Alcibiades, who was a cousin and fellow-exile of
Alcibiades. Him Thrasylus released.[3] From Methymna Thrasylus set
sail to Sestos to join the main body of the army, after which the
united forces crossed to Lampsacus. And now winter was approaching. It
was the winter in which the Syracusan prisoners who had been immured
in the stone quarries of Piraeus dug through the rock and escaped one
night, some to Decelia and others to Megara. At Lampsacus Alcibiades
was anxious to marshal the whole military force there collected in one
body, but the old troops refused to be incorporated with those of
Thrasylus. "They, who had never yet been beaten, with these newcomers
who had just suffered a defeat." So they devoted the winter to
fortifying Lampsacus. They also made an expedition against Abydos,
where Pharnabazus, coming to the rescue of the place, encountered them
with numerous cavalry, but was defeated and forced to flee, Alcibiades
pursuing hard with his cavalry and one hundred and twenty infantry
under the command of Menander, till darkness intervened. After this
battle the soldiers came together of their own accord, and freely
fraternised with the troops of Thrasylus. This expedition was followed
by other incursions during the winter into the interior, where they
found plenty to do ravaging the king's territory.

[3] Reading {apelusen}. Wolf's conjecture for the MSS. {katelousen} =
stoned. See Thirlwall, "Hist. Gr." IV. xxix. 93 note.

It was at this period also that the Lacedaemonians allowed their
revolted helots from Malea, who had found an asylum at Coryphasium, to
depart under a flag of truce. It was also about the same period that
the Achaeans betrayed the colonists of Heracleia Trachinia, when they
were all drawn up in battle to meet the hostile Oetaeans, whereby as
many as seven hundred of them were lost, together with the governor[4]
from Lacedaemon, Labotas. Thus the year came to its close--a year
marked further by a revolt of the Medes from Darius, the king of
Persia, followed by renewed submission to his authority.

[4] Technically {armostes} (harmost), i.e. administrator.


B.C. 408. The year following is the year in which the temple of
Athena, in Phocaea, was struck by lightning and set on fire.[1] With
the cessation of winter, in early spring, the Athenians set sail with
the whole of their force to Proconnesus, and thence advanced upon
Chalcedon and Byzantium, encamping near the former town. The men of
Chalcedon, aware of their approach, had taken the precaution to
deposit all their pillageable property with their neighbours, the
Bithynian Thracians; whereupon Alcibiades put himself at the head of a
small body of heavy infantry with the cavalry, and giving orders to
the fleet to follow along the coast, marched against the Bithynians
and demanded back the property of the Chalcedonians, threatening them
with war in case of refusal. The Bithynians delivered up the property.
Returning to camp, not only thus enriched, but with the further
satisfaction of having secured pledges of good behaviour from the
Bithynians, Alcibiades set to work with the whole of his troops to
draw lines of circumvallation round Chalcedon from sea to sea, so as
to include as much of the river as possible within his wall, which was
made of timber. Thereupon the Lacedaemonian governor, Hippocrates, let
his troops out of the city and offered battle, and the Athenians, on
their side, drew up their forces opposite to receive him; while
Pharnabazus, from without the lines of circumvallation, was still
advancing with his army and large bodies of horse. Hippocrates and
Thrasylus engaged each other with their heavy infantry for a long
while, until Alcibiades, with a detachment of infantry and the
cavalry, intervened. Presently Hippocrates fell, and the troops under
him fled into the city; at the same instant Pharnabazus, unable to
effect a junction with the Lacedaemonian leader, owing to the
circumscribed nature of the ground and the close proximity of the
river to the enemy's lines, retired to the Heracleium,[2] belonging to
the Chalcedonians, where his camp lay. After this success Alcibiades
set off to the Hellespont and the Chersonese to raise money, and the
remaining generals came to terms with Pharnabazus in respect of
Chalcedon; according to these, the Persian satrap agreed to pay the
Athenians twenty talents[3] in behalf of the town, and to grant their
ambassadors a safe conduct up country to the king. It was further
stipulated by mutual consent and under oaths provided, that the
Chalcedonians should continue the payment of their customary tribute
to Athens, being also bound to discharge all outstanding debts. The
Athenians, on their side, were bound to desist from all hostilities
until the return of their ambassadors from the king. These oaths were
not witnessed by Alcibiades, who was now in the neighbourhood of
Selybria. Having taken that place, he presently appeared before the
walls of Byzantium at the head of the men of Chersonese, who came out
with their whole force; he was aided further by troops from Thrace and
more than three hundred horse. Accordingly Pharnabazus, insisting that
he too must take the oath, decided to remain in Chalcedon, and to
await his arrival from Byzantium. Alcibiades came, but was not
prepared to bind himself by any oaths, unless Pharnabazus would, on
his side, take oaths to himself. After this, oaths were exchanged
between them by proxy. Alcibiades took them at Chrysopolis in the
presence of two representatives sent by Pharnabazus--namely,
Mitrobates and Arnapes. Pharnabazus took them at Chalcedon in the
presence of Euryptolemus and Diotimus, who represented Alcibiades.
Both parties bound themselves not only by the general oath, but also
interchanged personal pledges of good faith.

[1] The MSS. here give the words, "in the ephorate of Pantacles and
the archonship of Antigenes, two-and-twenty years from the
beginning of the war," but the twenty-second year of the war =
B.C. 410; Antigenes archon, B.C. 407 = Ol. 93, 2; the passage must
be regarded as a note mis-inserted by some editor or copyist (vide
supra, I. 11.)

[2] I.e. sacred place or temple of Heracles.

[3] Twenty talents = 4800 pounds; or, more exactly, 4875 pounds.

This done, Pharnabazus left Chalcedon at once, with injunctions that
those who were going up to the king as ambassadors should meet him at
Cyzicus. The representatives of Athens were Dorotheus, Philodices,
Theogenes, Euryptolemus, and Mantitheus; with them were two Argives,
Cleostratus and Pyrrholochus. An embassy of the Lacedaemonians was
also about to make the journey. This consisted of Pasippidas and his
fellows, with whom were Hermocrates, now an exile from Syracuse, and
his brother Proxenus. So Pharnabazus put himself at their head.
Meanwhile the Athenians prosecuted the siege of Byzantium; lines of
circumvallation were drawn; and they diversified the blockade by
sharpshooting at long range and occasional assaults upon the walls.
Inside the city lay Clearchus, the Lacedaemonian governor, and a body
of Perioci with a small detachment of Neodamodes.[4] There was also a
body of Megarians under their general Helixus, a Megarian, and another
body of Boeotians, with their general Coeratadas. The Athenians,
finding presently that they could effect nothing by force, worked upon
some of the inhabitants to betray the place. Clearchus, meanwhile,
never dreaming that any one would be capable of such an act, had
crossed over to the opposite coast to visit Pharnabazus; he had left
everything in perfect order, entrusting the government of the city to
Coeratadas and Helixus. His mission was to obtain pay for the soldiers
from the Persian satrap, and to collect vessels from various quarters.
Some were already in the Hellespont, where they had been left as
guardships by Pasippidas, or else at Antandrus. Others formed the
fleet which Agesandridas, who had formerly served as a marine[5] under
Mindarus, now commanded on the Thracian coast. Others Clearchus
purposed to have built, and with the whole united squadron to so
injure the allies of the Athenians as to draw off the besieging army
from Byzantium. But no sooner was he fairly gone than those who were
minded to betray the city set to work. Their names were Cydon,
Ariston, Anaxicrates, Lycurgus, and Anaxilaus. The last-named was
afterwards impeached for treachery in Lacedaemon on the capital
charge, and acquitted on the plea that, to begin with, he was not a
Lacedaemonian, but a Byzantine, and, so far from having betrayed the
city, he had saved it, when he saw women and children perishing of
starvation; for Clearchus had given away all the corn in the city to
the Lacedaemonian soldiers. It was for these reasons, as Anaxilaus
himself admitted, he had introduced the enemy, and not for the sake of
money, nor out of hatred to Lacedaemon.

[4] According to the constitution of Lacedaemon the whole government
was in Dorian hands. The subject population was divided into (1)
Helots, who were State serfs. The children of Helots were at times
brought up by Spartans and called "Mothakes"; Helots who had
received their liberty were called "Neodamodes" ({neodamodeis}).
After the conquest of Messenia this class was very numerous. (2)
Perioeci. These were the ancient Achaean inhabitants, living in
towns and villages, and managing their own affairs, paying
tribute, and serving in the army as heavy-armed soldiers. In 458
B.C. they were said to number thirty thousand. The Spartans
themselves were divided, like all Dorians, into three tribes,
Hylleis, Dymanes, and Pamphyli, each of which tribes was divided
into ten "obes," which were again divided into {oikoi} or families
possessed of landed properties. In 458 B.C. there were said to be
nine thousand such families; but in course of time, through
alienation of lands, deaths in war, and other causes, their
numbers were much diminished; and in many cases there was a loss
of status, so that in the time of Agis III., B.C. 244, we hear of
two orders of Spartans, the {omoioi} and the {upomeiones}
(inferiors); seven hundred Spartans (families) proper and one
hundred landed proprietors. See Mullers "Dorians," vol. ii. bk.
iii. ch. x. S. 3 (Eng. trans.); Arist. "Pol." ii. 9, 15; Plut.

[5] The greek word is {epibates}, which some think was the title of an
inferior naval officer in the Spartan service, but there is no
proof of this. Cf. Thuc. viii. 61, and Prof. Jowett's note; also
Grote, "Hist. of Greece," viii. 27 (2d ed.)

As soon as everything was ready, these people opened the gates leading
to the Thracian Square, as it is called, and admitted the Athenian
troops with Alcibiades at their head. Helixus and Coeratadas, in
complete ignorance of the plot, hastened to the Agora with the whole
of the garrison, ready to confront the danger; but finding the enemy
in occupation, they had nothing for it but to give themselves up. They
were sent off as prisoners to Athens, where Coeratadas, in the midst
of the crowd and confusion of debarkation at Piraeus, gave his guards
the slip, and made his way in safety to Decelia.


B.C. 407. Pharnabazus and the ambassadors were passing the winter at
Gordium in Phrygia, when they heard of the occurrences at Byzantium.
Continuing their journey to the king's court in the commencement of
spring, they were met by a former embassy, which was now on its return
journey. These were the Lacedaemonian ambassadors, Boeotius and his
party, with the other envoys; who told them that the Lacedaemonians
had obtained from the king all they wanted. One of the company was
Cyrus, the new governor of all the seaboard districts, who was
prepared to co-operate with the Lacedaemonians in war. He was the
bearer, moreover, of a letter with the royal seal attached. It was
addressed to all the populations of Lower Asia, and contained the
following words: "I send down Cyrus as 'Karanos'"[1]--that is to say,
supreme lord--"over all those who muster at Castolus." The ambassadors
of the Athenians, even while listening to this announcement, and
indeed after they had seen Cyrus, were still desirous, if possible, to
continue their journey to the king, or, failing that, to return home.
Cyrus, however, urged upon Pharnabazus either to deliver them up to
himself, or to defer sending them home at present; his object being to
prevent the Athenians learning what was going on. Pharnabazus, wishing
to escape all blame, for the time being detained them, telling them,
at one time, that he would presently escort them up country to the
king, and at another time that he would send them safe home. But when
three years had elapsed, he prayed Cyrus to let them go, declaring
that he had taken an oath to bring them back to the sea, in default of
escorting them up to the king. Then at last they received safe conduct
to Ariobarzanes, with orders for their further transportation. The
latter conducted them a stage further, to Cius in Mysia; and from Cius
they set sail to join their main armament.

[1] {Karanos.} Is this a Greek word, a Doric form, {karanos}, akin to
{kara} (cf. {karenon}) = chief? or is it not more likely a Persian
or native word, Karanos? and might not the title be akin
conceivably to the word {korano}, which occurs on many Indo-
Bactrian coins (see A. von Sallet, "Die Nachfolger Alexanders des
Grossen," p. 57, etc.)? or is {koiranos} the connecting link? The
words translated "that is to say, supreme lord," {to de karanon
esti kurion}, look very like a commentator's gloss.

Alcibiades, whose chief desire was to return home to Athens with the
troops, immediately set sail for Samos; and from that island, taking
twenty of the ships, he sailed to the Ceramic Gulf of Caria, where he
collected a hundred talents, and so returned to Samos.

Thrasybulus had gone Thrace-wards with thirty ships. In this quarter
he reduced various places which had revolted to Lacedaemon, including
the island of Thasos, which was in a bad plight, the result of wars,
revolutions, and famine.

Thrasylus, with the rest of the army, sailed back straight to Athens.
On his arrival he found that the Athenians had already chosen as their
general Alcibiades, who was still in exile, and Thrasybulus, who was
also absent, and as a third, from among those at home, Conon.

Meanwhile Alcibiades, with the moneys lately collected and his fleet
of twenty ships, left Samos and visited Paros. From Paros he stood out
to sea across to Gytheum,[2] to keep an eye on the thirty ships of war
which, as he was informed, the Lacedaemonians were equipping in that
arsenal. Gytheum would also be a favourable point of observation from
which to gauge the disposition of his fellow-countrymen and the
prospects of his recall. When at length their good disposition seemed
to him established, not only by his election as general, but by the
messages of invitation which he received in private from his friends,
he sailed home, and entered Piraeus on the very day of the festival of
the Plunteria,[3] when the statue of Athena is veiled and screened
from public gaze. This was a coincidence, as some thought, of evil
omen, and unpropitious alike to himself and the State, for no Athenian
would transact serious business on such a day.

[2] Gytheum, the port and arsenal of Sparta, situated near the head of
the Laconian Gulf (now Marathonisi).

[3] {ta Plunteria}, or feast of washings, held on the 25th of the
month Thargelion, when the image of the goddess Athena was
stripped in order that her clothes might be washed by the
Praxiergidae; neither assembly nor court was held on that day, and
the Temple was closed.

As he sailed into the harbour, two great crowds--one from the Piraeus,
the other from the city[4]--flocked to meet the vessels. Wonderment,
mixed with a desire to see Alcibiades, was the prevailing sentiment of
the multitude. Of him they spoke: some asserting that he was the best
of citizens, and that in his sole instance banishment had been ill-
deserved. He had been the victim of plots, hatched in the brains of
people less able than himself, however much they might excel in
pestilent speech; men whose one principle of statecraft was to look to
their private gains; whereas this man's policy had ever been to uphold
the common weal, as much by his private means as by all the power of
the State. His own choice, eight years ago, when the charge of impiety
in the matter of the mysteries was still fresh, would have been to
submit to trial at once. It was his personal foes, who had succeeded
in postponing that undeniably just procedure; who waited till his back
was turned, and then robbed him of his fatherland. Then it was that,
being made the very slave of circumstance, he was driven to court the
men he hated most; and at a time when his own life was in daily peril,
he must see his dearest friends and fellow-citizens, nay, the very
State itself, bent on a suicidal course, and yet, in the exclusion of
exile, be unable to lend a helping hand. "It is not men of this
stamp," they averred, "who desire changes in affairs and revolution:
had he not already guaranteed to him by the Democracy a position
higher than that of his equals in age, and scarcely if at all inferior
to his seniors? How different was the position of his enemies. It had
been the fortune of these, though they were known to be the same men
they had always been, to use their lately acquired power for the
destruction in the first instance of the better classes; and then,
being alone left surviving, to be accepted by their fellow-citizens in
the absence of better men."

[4] Or, "collected to meet the vessels from curiosity and a desire to
see Alcibiades."

Others, however, insisted that for all their past miseries and
misfortunes Alcibiades alone was responsible: "If more trials were
still in store for the State, here was the master mischief-maker ready
at his post to precipitate them."

When the vessels came to their moorings, close to the land,
Alcibiades, from fear of his enemies, was unwilling to disembark at
once. Mounting on the quarterdeck, he scanned the multitude,[5]
anxious to make certain of the presence of his friends. Presently his
eyes lit upon Euryptolemus, the son of Peisianax, who was his cousin,
and then on the rest of his relations and other friends. Upon this he
landed, and so, in the midst of an escort ready to put down any
attempt upon his person, made his way to the city.

[5] Or, "he looked to see if his friends were there."

In the Senate and Public Assembly[6] he made speeches, defending
himself against the charge of impiety, and asserting that he had been
the victim of injustice, with other like topics, which in the present
temper of the assembly no one ventured to gainsay.

[6] Technically the "Boule" ({Boule}) or Senate, and "Ecclesia" or
Popular Assembly.

He was then formally declared leader and chief of the State, with
irresponsible powers, as being the sole individual capable of
recovering the ancient power and prestige of Athens. Armed with this
authority, his first act was to institute anew the processional march
to Eleusis; for of late years, owing to the war, the Athenians had
been forced to conduct the mysteries by sea. Now, at the head of the
troops, he caused them to be conducted once again by land. This done,
his next step was to muster an armament of one thousand five hundred
heavy infantry, one hundred and fifty cavalry, and one hundred ships;
and lastly, within three months of his return, he set sail for Andros,
which had revolted from Athens.

The generals chosen to co-operate with him on land were Aristocrates
and Adeimantus, the son of Leucophilides. He disembarked his troops on
the island of Andros at Gaurium, and routed the Andrian citizens who
sallied out from the town to resist the invader; forcing them to
return and keep close within their walls, though the number who fell
was not large. This defeat was shared by some Lacedaemonians who were
in the place. Alcibiades erected a trophy, and after a few days set
sail himself for Samos, which became his base of operations in the
future conduct of the war.


At a date not much earlier than that of the incidents just described,
the Lacedaemonians had sent out Lysander as their admiral, in the
place of Cratesippidas, whose period of office had expired. The new
admiral first visited Rhodes, where he got some ships, and sailed to
Cos and Miletus, and from the latter place to Ephesus. At Ephesus he
waited with seventy sail, expecting the advent of Cyrus in Sardis,
when he at once went up to pay the prince a visit with the ambassadors
from Lacedaemon. And now an opportunity was given to denounce the
proceedings of Tissaphernes, and at the same time to beg Cyrus himself
to show as much zeal as possible in the prosecution of the war. Cyrus
replied that not only had he received express injunction from his
father to the same effect, but that his own views coincided with their
wishes, which he was determined to carry out to the letter. He had, he
informed them, brought with him five hundred talents;[1] and if that
sum failed, he had still the private revenue, which his father allowed
him, to fall back upon, and when this resource was in its turn
exhausted, he would coin the gold and silver throne on which he sat,
into money for their benefit.[2]

[1] About 120,000 pounds. One Euboic or Attic talent = sixty minae =
six thousand drachmae = 243 pounds 15 shillings of our money.

[2] Cf. the language of Tissaphernes, Thuc. viii. 81.

His audience thanked him for what he said, and further begged him to
fix the rate of payment for the seamen at one Attic drachma per
man,[3] explaining that should this rate of payment be adopted, the
sailors of the Athenians would desert, and in the end there would be a
saving of expenditure. Cyrus complimented them on the soundness of
their arguments, but said that it was not in his power to exceed the
injunctions of the king. The terms of agreement were precise, thirty
minae[4] a month per vessel to be given, whatever number of vessels
the Lacedaemonians might choose to maintain.

[3] About 9 3/4 pence; a drachma (= six obols) would be very high pay
for a sailor--indeed, just double the usual amount. See Thuc. vi.
8 and viii. 29, and Prof. Jowett ad loc. Tissaphernes had, in the
winter of 412 B.C., distributed one month's pay among the
Peloponnesian ships at this high rate of a drachma a day, "as his
envoy had promised at Lacedaemon;" but this he proposed to reduce
to half a drachma, "until he had asked the king's leave, promising
that if he obtained it, he would pay the entire drachma. On the
remonstrance, however, of Hermocrates, the Syracusan general, he
promised to each man a payment of somewhat more than three obols."

[4] Nearly 122 pounds; and thirty minae a month to each ship (the crew
of each ship being taken at two hundred) = three obols a day to
each man. The terms of agreement to which Cyrus refers may have
been specified in the convention mentioned above in chap. iv,
which Boeotius and the rest were so proud to have obtained. But
see Grote, "Hist. of Greece," vol. viii. p. 192 note (2d ed.)

To this rejoinder Lysander at the moment said nothing. But after
dinner, when Cyrus drank to his health, asking him "What he could do
to gratify him most?" Lysander replied, "Add an obol[5] to the
sailors' pay." After this the pay was raised to four instead of three
obols, as it hitherto had been. Nor did the liberality of Cyrus end
here; he not only paid up all arrears, but further gave a month's pay
in advance, so that, if the enthusiasm of the army had been great
before, it was greater than ever now. The Athenians when they heard
the news were proportionately depressed, and by help of Tissaphernes
despatched ambassadors to Cyrus. That prince, however, refused to
receive them, nor were the prayers of Tissaphernes of any avail,
however much he insisted that Cyrus should adopt the policy which he
himself, on the advice of Alcibiades, had persistently acted on. This
was simply not to suffer any single Hellenic state to grow strong at
the expense of the rest, but to keep them all weak alike, distracted
by internecine strife.

[5] An obol = one-sixth of a drachma; the Attic obol = rather more
than 1 1/2 pence.

Lysander, now that the organisation of his navy was arranged to his
satisfaction, beached his squadron of ninety vessels at Ephesus, and
sat with hands folded, whilst the vessels dried and underwent repairs.
Alcibiades, being informed that Thrasybulus had come south of the
Hellespont and was fortifying Phocaea, sailed across to join him,
leaving his own pilot Antiochus in command of the fleet, with orders
not to attack Lysander's fleet. Antiochus, however, was tempted to
leave Notium and sail into the harbour of Ephesus with a couple of
ships, his own and another, past the prows of Lysander's squadron. The
Spartan at first contented himself with launching a few of his ships,
and started in pursuit of the intruder; but when the Athenians came
out with other vessels to assist Antiochus, he formed his whole
squadron into line of battle, and bore down upon them, whereupon the
Athenians followed suit, and getting their remaining triremes under
weigh at Notium, stood out to sea as fast as each vessel could clear
the point.[6] Thus it befell in the engagement which ensued, that
while the enemy was in due order, the Athenians came up in scattered
detachments and without concert, and in the end were put to flight
with the loss of fifteen ships of war. Of the crews, indeed, the
majority escaped, though a certain number fell into the hands of the
enemy. Then Lysander collected his vessels, and having erected a
trophy on Cape Notium, sailed across to Ephesus, whilst the Athenians
retired to Samos.

[6] {os ekastos enoixen}, for this nautical term see above.

On his return to Samos a little later, Alcibiades put out to sea with
the whole squadron in the direction of the harbour of Ephesus. At the
mouth of the harbour he marshalled his fleet in battle order, and
tried to tempt the enemy to an engagement; but as Lysander, conscious
of his inferiority in numbers, refused to accept the challenge, he
sailed back again to Samos. Shortly after this the Lacedaemonians
captured Delphinium and Eion.[7]

[7] This should probably be Teos, in Ionia, in spite of the MSS.
{'Eiona}. The place referred to cannot at any rate be the well-
known Eion at the mouth of the Strymon in Thrace.

But now the news of the late disaster at Notium had reached the
Athenians at home, and in their indignation they turned upon
Alcibiades, to whose negligence and lack of self-command they
attributed the destruction of the ships. Accordingly they chose ten
new generals--namely Conon, Diomedon, Leon, Pericles, Erasinides,
Aristocrates, Archestratus, Protomachus, Thrasylus, and Aristogenes.
Alcibiades, who was moreover in bad odour in the camp, sailed away
with a single trireme to his private fortress in the Chersonese.

After this Conon, in obedience to a decree of the Athenian people, set
sail from Andros with the twenty vessels under his command in that
island to Samos, and took command of the whole squadron. To fill the
place thus vacated by Conon, Phanosthenes was sent to Andros with four
ships. That captain was fortunate enough to intercept and capture two
Thurian ships of war, crews and all, and these captives were all
imprisoned by the Athenians, with the exception of their leader
Dorieus. He was the Rhodian, who some while back had been banished
from Athens and from his native city by the Athenians, when sentence
of death was passed upon him and his family. This man, who had once
enjoyed the right of citizenship among them, they now took pity on and
released him without ransom.

When Conon had reached Samos he found the armament in a state of great
despondency. Accordingly his first measure was to man seventy ships
with their full complement, instead of the former hundred and odd
vessels. With this squadron he put to sea accompanied by the other
generals, and confined himself to making descents first at one point
and then at another of the enemy's territory, and to collecting

And so the year drew to its close: a year signalled further by an
invasion of Sicily by the Carthaginians, with one hundred and twenty
ships of war and a land force of one hundred and twenty thousand men,
which resulted in the capture of Agrigentum. The town was finally
reduced to famine after a siege of seven months, the invaders having
previously been worsted in battle and forced to sit down before its
walls for so long a time.


B.C. 406. In the following year--the year of the evening eclipse of
the moon, and the burning of the old temple of Athena[1] at Athens[2]
--the Lacedaemonians sent out Callicratidas to replace Lysander, whose
period of office had now expired.[3] Lysander, when surrendering the
squadron to his successor, spoke of himself as the winner of a sea
fight, which had left him in undisputed mastery of the sea, and with
this boast he handed over the ships to Callicratidas, who retorted,
"If you will convey the fleet from Ephesus, keeping Samos[4] on your
right" (that is, past where the Athenian navy lay), "and hand it over
to me at Miletus, I will admit that you are master of the sea." But
Lysander had no mind to interfere in the province of another officer.
Thus Callicratidas assumed responsibility. He first manned, in
addition to the squadron which he received from Lysander, fifty new
vessels furnished by the allies from Chios and Rhodes and elsewhere.
When all these contingents were assembled, they formed a total of one
hundred and forty sail, and with these he began making preparations
for engagement with the enemy. But it was impossible for him not to
note the strong current of opposition which he encountered from the
friends of Lysander. Not only was there lack of zeal in their service,
but they openly disseminated an opinion in the States, that it was the
greatest possible blunder on the part of the Lacedaemonians so to
change their admirals. Of course, they must from time to time get
officers altogether unfit for the post--men whose nautical knowledge
dated from yesterday, and who, moreover, had no notion of dealing with
human beings. It would be very odd if this practice of sending out
people ignorant of the sea and unknown to the folk of the country did
not lead to some catastrophe. Callicratidas at once summoned the
Lacedaemonians there present, and addressed them in the following

[1] I.e. as some think, the Erechtheion, which was built partly on the
site of the old temple of Athena Polias, destroyed by the
Persians. According to Dr. Dorpfeld, a quite separate building of
the Doric order, the site of which (S. of the Erechtheion) has
lately been discovered.

[2] The MSS. here add "in the ephorate of Pityas and the archonship of
Callias at Athens;" but though the date is probably correct (cf.
Leake, "Topography of Athens," vol. i. p. 576 foll.), the words
are almost certainly a gloss.

[3] Here the MSS. add "with the twenty-fourth year of the war,"
probably an annotator's gloss; the correct date should be twenty-
fifth. Pel. war 26 = B.C. 406. Pel. war 25 ended B.C. 407.

[4] Lit. on the left (or east) of Samos, looking south from Ephesus.

"For my part," he said, "I am content to stay at home: and if Lysander
or any one else claim greater experience in nautical affairs than I
possess, I have no desire to block his path. Only, being sent out by
the State to take command of this fleet, I do not know what is left to
me, save to carry out my instructions to the best of my ability. For
yourselves, all I beg of you, in reference to my personal ambitions
and the kind of charges brought against our common city, and of which
you are as well aware as I am, is to state what you consider to be the
best course: am I to stay where I am, or shall I sail back home, and
explain the position of affairs out here?"

No one ventured to suggest any other course than that he should obey
the authorities, and do what he was sent to do. Callicratidas then
went up to the court of Cyrus to ask for further pay for the sailors,
but the answer he got from Cyrus was that he should wait for two days.
Callicratidas was annoyed at the rebuff: to dance attendance at the
palace gates was little to his taste. In a fit of anger he cried out
at the sorry condition of the Hellenes, thus forced to flatter the
barbarian for the sake of money. "If ever I get back home," he added,
"I will do what in me lies to reconcile the Athenians and the
Lacedaemonians." And so he turned and sailed back to Miletus. From
Miletus he sent some triremes to Lacedaemon to get money, and
convoking the public assembly of the Milesians, addressed them thus:--

"Men of Miletus, necessity is laid upon me to obey the rulers at home;
but for yourselves, whose neighbourhood to the barbarians has exposed
you to many evils at their hands, I only ask you to let your zeal in
the war bear some proportion to your former sufferings. You should set
an example to the rest of the allies, and show us how to inflict the
sharpest and swiftest injury on our enemy, whilst we await the return
from Lacedaemon of my envoys with the necessary funds. Since one of
the last acts of Lysander, before he left us, was to hand back to
Cyrus the funds already on the spot, as though we could well dispense
with them. I was thus forced to turn to Cyrus, but all I got from him
was a series of rebuffs; he refused me an audience, and, for my part,
I could not induce myself to hang about his gates like a mendicant.
But I give you my word, men of Miletus, that in return for any
assistance which you can render us while waiting for these aids, I
will requite you richly. Only by God's help let us show these
barbarians that we do not need to worship them, in order to punish our

The speech was effective; many members of the assembly arose, and not
the least eagerly those who were accused of opposing him. These, in
some terror, proposed a vote of money, backed by offers of further
private contributions. Furnished with these sums, and having procured
from Chios a further remittance of five drachmas[5] a piece as outfit
for each seaman, he set sail to Methyma in Lesbos, which was in the
hands of the enemy. But as the Methymnaeans were not disposed to come
over to him (since there was an Athenian garrison in the place, and
the men at the head of affairs were partisans of Athens), he assaulted
and took the place by storm. All the property within accordingly
became the spoil of the soldiers. The prisoners were collected for
sale by Callicratidas in the market-place, where, in answer to the
demand of the allies, who called upon him to sell the Methymnaeans
also, he made answer, that as long as he was in command, not a single
Hellene should be enslaved if he could help it. The next day he set at
liberty the free-born captives; the Athenian garrison with the
captured slaves he sold.[6] To Conon he sent word:--He would put a
stop to his strumpeting the sea.[7] And catching sight of him, as he
put out to sea, at break of day, he gave chase, hoping to cut him off
from his passage to Samos, and prevent his taking refuge there.

[5] About 4d.

[6] Grote, "Hist. of Greece," vol. viii. p. 224 (2d ed.), thinks that
Callicratidas did not even sell the Athenian garrison, as if the
sense of the passage were: "The next day he set at liberty the
free-born captives with the Athenian garrison, contenting himself
with selling the captive slaves." But I am afraid that no
ingenuity of stopping will extract that meaning from the Greek
words, which are, {te d' usteraia tous men eleutherous apheke tous
de ton 'Athenaion phrourous kai ta andrapoda ta doula panta
apedoto}. To spare the Athenian garrison would have been too
extraordinary a proceeding even for Callicratidas. The idea
probably never entered his head. It was sufficiently noble for him
to refuse to sell the Methymnaeans. See the remarks of Mr. W. L.
Newman, "The Pol. of Aristotle," vol. i. p. 142.

[7] I.e. the sea was Sparta's bride.

But Conon, aided by the sailing qualities of his fleet, the rowers of
which were the pick of several ships' companies, concentrated in a few
vessels, made good his escape, seeking shelter within the harbour of
Mitylene in Lesbos, and with him two of the ten generals, Leon and
Erasinides. Callicratidas, pursuing him with one hundred and seventy
sail, entered the harbour simultaneously; and Conon thus hindered from
further or final escape by the too rapid movements of the enemy, was
forced to engage inside the harbour, and lost thirty of his ships,
though the crews escaped to land. The remaining, forty in number, he
hauled up under the walls of the town. Callicratidas, on his side,
came to moorings in the harbour; and, having command of the exit,
blocked the Athenian within. His next step was to send for the
Methymnaeans in force by land, and to transport his army across from
Chios. Money also came to him from Cyrus.

Conon, finding himself besieged by land and sea, without means of
providing himself with corn from any quarter, the city crowded with
inhabitants, and aid from Athens, whither no news of the late events
could be conveyed, impossible, launched two of the fastest sailing
vessels of his squadron. These he manned, before daybreak, with the
best rowers whom he could pick out of the fleet, stowing away the
marines at the same time in the hold of the ships and closing the port
shutters. Every day for four days they held out in this fashion, but
at evening as soon as it was dark he disembarked his men, so that the
enemy might not suspect what they were after. On the fifth day, having
got in a small stock of provisions, when it was already mid-day and
the blockaders were paying little or no attention, and some of them
even were taking their siesta, the two ships sailed out of the
harbour: the one directing her course towards the Hellespont, whilst
her companion made for the open sea. Then, on the part of the
blockaders, there was a rush to the scene of action, as fast as the
several crews could get clear of land, in bustle and confusion,
cutting away the anchors, and rousing themselves from sleep, for, as
chance would have it, they had been breakfasting on shore. Once on
board, however, they were soon in hot pursuit of the ship which had
started for the open sea, and ere the sun dipped they overhauled her,
and after a successful engagement attached her by cables and towed her
back into harbour, crew and all. Her comrade, making for the
Hellespont, escaped, and eventually reached Athens with news of the
blockade. The first relief was brought to the blockaded fleet by
Diomedon, who anchored with twelve vessels in the Mitylenaean
Narrows.[8] But a sudden attack of Callicratidas, who bore down upon
him without warning, cost him ten of his vessels, Diomedon himself
escaping with his own ship and one other.

[8] Or, "Euripus."

Now that the position of affairs, including the blockade, was fully
known at Athens, a vote was passed to send out a reinforcement of one
hundred and ten ships. Every man of ripe age,[9] whether slave or
free, was impressed for this service, so that within thirty days the
whole one hundred and ten vessels were fully manned and weighed
anchor. Amongst those who served in this fleet were also many of the
knights.[10] The fleet at once stood out across to Samos, and picked
up the Samian vessels in that island. The muster-roll was swelled by
the addition of more than thirty others from the rest of the allies,
to whom the same principle of conscription applied, as also it did to
the ships already engaged on foreign service. The actual total,
therefore, when all the contingents were collected, was over one
hundred and fifty vessels.

[9] I.e. from eighteen to sixty years.

[10] See Boeckh. "P. E. A." Bk. II. chap. xxi. p. 263 (Eng. trans.)

Callicratidas, hearing that the relief squadron had already reached
Samos, left fifty ships, under command of Eteonicus, in the harbour of
Mitylene, and setting sail with the other one hundred and twenty, hove
to for the evening meal off Cape Malea in Lesbos, opposite Mitylene.
It so happened that the Athenians on this day were supping on the
islands of Arginusae, which lie opposite Lesbos. In the night the
Spartan not only saw their watch-fires, but received positive
information that "these were the Athenians;" and about midnight he got
under weigh, intending to fall upon them suddenly. But a violent
downpour of rain with thunder and lightning prevented him putting out
to sea. By daybreak it had cleared, and he sailed towards Arginusae.
On their side, the Athenian squadron stood out to meet him, with their
left wing facing towards the open sea, and drawn up in the following
order:--Aristocrates, in command of the left wing, with fifteen ships,
led the van; next came Diomedon with fifteen others, and immediately
in rear of Aristocrates and Diomedon respectively, as their supports,
came Pericles and Erasinides. Parallel with Diomedon were the Samians,
with their ten ships drawn up in single line, under the command of a
Samian officer named Hippeus. Next to these came the ten vessels of
the taxiarchs, also in single line, and supporting them, the three
ships of the navarchs, with any other allied vessels in the squadron.
The right wing was entrusted to Protomachus with fifteen ships, and
next to him (on the extreme right) was Thrasylus with another division
of fifteen. Protomachus was supported by Lysias with an equal number
of ships, and Thrasylus by Aristogenes. The object of this formation
was to prevent the enemy from manouvring so as to break their line by
striking them amidships,[11] since they were inferior in sailing

[11] Lit. "by the diekplous." Cf. Thuc. i. 49, and Arnold's note, who
says: "The 'diecplus' was a breaking through the enemy's line in
order by a rapid turning of the vessel to strike the enemy's ship
on the side or stern, where it was most defenceless, and so to
sink it." So, it seems, "the superiority of nautical skill has
passed," as Grote (viii. p. 234) says, "to the Peloponnesians and
their allies." Well may the historian add, "How astonished would
the Athenian Admiral Phormion have been, if he could have
witnessed the fleets and the order of battle at Arginusae!" See
Thuc. iv. 11.

The Lacedaemonians, on the contrary, trusting to their superior
seamanship, were formed opposite with their ships all in single line,
with the special object of manouvring so as either to break the
enemy's line or to wheel round them. Callicratidas commanded the right
wing in person. Before the battle the officer who acted as his pilot,
the Megarian Hermon, suggested that it might be well to withdraw the
fleet as the Athenian ships were far more numerous. But Callicratidas
replied that Sparta would be no worse off even if he personally should
perish, but to flee would be disgraceful.[12] And now the fleets
approached, and for a long space the battle endured. At first the
vessels were engaged in crowded masses, and later on in scattered
groups. At length Callicratidas, as his vessel dashed her beak into
her antagonist, was hurled off into the sea and disappeared. At the
same instant Protomachus, with his division on the right, had defeated
the enemy's left, and then the flight of the Peloponnesians began
towards Chios, though a very considerable body of them made for
Phocaea, whilst the Athenians sailed back again to Arginusae. The
losses on the side of the Athenians were twenty-five ships, crews and
all, with the exception of the few who contrived to reach dry land. On
the Peloponnesian side, nine out of the ten Lacedaemonian ships, and
more than sixty belonging to the rest of the allied squadron, were

[12] For the common reading, {oikeitai}, which is ungrammatical,
various conjectures have been made, e.g.

{oikieitai} = "would be none the worse off for citizens,"
{oikesetai} = "would be just as well administered without him,"

but as the readings and their renderings are alike doubtful, I
have preferred to leave the matter vague. Cf. Cicero, "De Offic."
i. 24; Plutarch, "Lac. Apophth." p. 832.

After consultation the Athenian generals agreed that two captains of
triremes, Theramenes and Thrasybulus, accompanied by some of the
taxiarchs, should take forty-seven ships and sail to the assistance of
the disabled fleet and of the men on board, whilst the rest of the
squadron proceeded to attack the enemy's blockading squadron under
Eteonicus at Mitylene. In spite of their desire to carry out this
resolution, the wind and a violent storm which arose prevented them.
So they set up a trophy, and took up their quarters for the night. As
to Etenoicus, the details of the engagement ware faithfully reported
to him by the express despatch-boat in attendance. On receipt of the
news, however, he sent the despatch-boat out again the way she came,
with an injunction to those on board of her to sail off quickly
without exchanging a word with any one. Then on a sudden they were to
return garlanded with wreaths of victory and shouting "Callicratidas
has won a great sea fight, and the whole Athenian squadron is
destroyed." This they did, and Eteonicus, on his side, as soon as the
despatch-boat came sailing in, proceeded to offer sacrifice of
thanksgiving in honour of the good news. Meanwhile he gave orders that
the troops were to take their evening meal, and that the masters of
the trading ships were silently to stow away their goods on board the
merchant ships and make sail as fast as the favourable breeze could
speed them to Chios. The ships of war were to follow suit with what
speed they might. This done, he set fire to his camp, and led off the
land forces to Methymna. Conon, finding the enemy had made off, and
the wind had grown comparatively mild,[13] got his ships afloat, and
so fell in with the Athenian squadron, which had by this time set out
from Arginusae. To these he explained the proceedings of Eteonicus.
The squadron put into Mitylene, and from Mitylene stood across to
Chios, and thence, without effecting anything further, sailed back to

[13] Or, "had changed to a finer quarter."


All the above-named generals, with the exception of Conon, were
presently deposed by the home authorities. In addition to Conon two
new generals were chosen, Adeimantus and Philocles. Of those concerned
in the late victory two never returned to Athens: these were
Protomachus and Aristogenes. The other six sailed home. Their names
were Pericles, Diomedon, Lysias, Aristocrates, Thrasylus, and
Erasinides. On their arrival Archidemus, the leader of the democracy
at that date, who had charge of the two obol fund,[1] inflicted a fine
on Erasinides, and accused him before the Dicastery[2] of having
appropriated money derived from the Hellespont, which belonged to the
people. He brought a further charge against him of misconduct while
acting as general, and the court sentenced him to imprisonment.

[1] Reading {tes diobelais}, a happy conjecture for the MSS. {tes
diokelias}, which is inexplicable. See Grote, "Hist. of Greece,"
vol. viii. p. 244 note (2d ed.)

[2] I.e. a legal tribunal or court of law. At Athens the free citizens
constitutionally sworn and impannelled sat as "dicasts"
("jurymen," or rather as a bench of judges) to hear cases
({dikai}). Any particular board of dicasts formed a "dicastery."

These proceedings in the law court were followed by the statement of
the generals before the senate[3] touching the late victory and the
magnitude of the storm. Timocrates then proposed that the other five
generals should be put in custody and handed over to the public
assembly.[4] Whereupon the senate committed them all to prison. Then
came the meeting of the public assembly, in which others, and more
particularly Theramenes, formally accused the generals. He insisted
that they ought to show cause why they had not picked up the
shipwrecked crews. To prove that there had been no attempt on their
part to attach blame to others, he might point, as conclusive
testimony, to the despatch sent by the generals themselves to the
senate and the people, in which they attributed the whole disaster to
the storm, and nothing else. After this the generals each in turn made
a defence, which was necessarily limited to a few words, since no
right of addressing the assembly at length was allowed by law. Their
explanation of the occurrences was that, in order to be free to sail
against the enemy themselves, they had devolved the duty of picking up
the shipwrecked crews upon certain competent captains of men-of-war,
who had themselves been generals in their time, to wit Theramenes and
Tharysbulus, and others of like stamp. If blame could attach to any
one at all with regard to the duty in question, those to whom their
orders had been given were the sole persons they could hold
responsible. "But," they went on to say, "we will not, because these
very persons have denounced us, invent a lie, and say that Theramenes
and Thrasybulus are to blame, when the truth of the matter is that the
magnitude of the storm alone prevented the burial of the dead and the
rescue of the living." In proof of their contention, they produced the
pilots and numerous other witnesses from among those present at the
engagement. By these arguments they were in a fair way to persuade the
people of their innocence. Indeed many private citizens rose wishing
to become bail for the accused, but it was resolved to defer decision
till another meeting of the assembly. It was indeed already so late
that it would have been impossible to see to count the show of hands.
It was further resolved that the senate meanwhile should prepare a
measure, to be introduced at the next assembly, as to the mode in
which the accused should take their trial.

[3] This is the Senate or Council of Five Hundred. One of its chief
duties was to prepare measures for discussion in the assembly. It
had also a certain amount of judicial power, hearing complaints
and inflicting fines up to fifty drachmas. It sat daily, a
"prytany" of fifty members of each of the ten tribes in rotation
holding office for a month in turn.

[4] This is the great Public Assembly (the Ecclesia), consisting of
all genuine Athenian citizens of more than twenty years of age.

Then came the festival of the Aparturia,[5] with its family gatherings
of fathers and kinsfolk. Accordingly the party of Theramenes procured
numbers of people clad in black apparel, and close-shaven,[6] who were
to go in and present themselves before the public assembly in the
middle of the festival, as relatives, presumably, of the men who had
perished; and they persuaded Callixenus to accuse the generals in the
senate. The next step was to convoke the assembly, when the senate
laid before it the proposal just passed by their body, at the instance
of Callixenus, which ran as follows: "Seeing that both the parties to
this case, to wit, the prosecutors of the generals on the one hand,
and the accused themselves in their defence on the other, have been
heard in the late meeting of the assembly; we propose that the people
of Athens now record their votes, one and all, by their tribes; that a
couple of voting urns be placed for the convenience of each several
tribe; and the public crier in the hearing of each several tribe
proclaim the mode of voting as follows: 'Let every one who finds the
generals guilty of not rescuing the heroes of the late sea fight
deposit his vote in urn No. 1. Let him who is of the contrary opinion
deposit his vote in urn No. 2. Further, in the event of the aforesaid
generals being found guilty, let death be the penalty. Let the guilty
persons be delivered over to the eleven. Let their property be
confiscated to the State, with the exception of one tithe, which falls
to the goddess.'"

[5] An important festival held in October at Athens, and in nearly all
Ionic cities. Its objects were (1) the recognition of a common
descent from Ion, the son of Apollo Patrous; and (2) the
maintenance of the ties of clanship. See Grote, "Hist. of Greece,"
vol. viii. p. 260 foll. (2d ed.); Jebb, "Theophr." xviii. 5.

[6] I.e. in sign of mourning.

Now there came forward in the assembly a man, who said that he had
escaped drowning by clinging to a meal tub. The poor fellows perishing
around him had commissioned him, if he succeeded in saving himself, to
tell the people of Athens how bravely they had fought for their
fatherland, and how the generals had left them there to drown.

Presently Euryptolemus, the son of Peisianax, and others served a
notice of indictment on Callixenus, insisting that his proposal was
unconstitutional, and this view of the case was applauded by some
members of the assembly. But the majority kept crying out that it was
monstrous if the people were to be hindered by any stray individual
from doing what seemed to them right. And when Lysicus, embodying the
spirit of those cries, formally proposed that if these persons would
not abandon their action, they should be tried by the same vote along
with the generals: a proposition to which the mob gave vociferous
assent; and so these were compelled to abandon their summonses. Again,
when some of the Prytanes[7] objected to put a resolution to the vote
which was in itself unconstitutional, Callixenus again got up and
accused them in the same terms, and the shouting began again. "Yes,
summons all who refuse," until the Prytanes, in alarm, all agreed with
one exception to permit the voting. This obstinate dissentient was
Socrates, the son of Sophroniscus, who insisted that he would do
nothing except in accordance with the law.[8] After this Euryptolemus
rose and spoke in behalf of the generals. He said:--

[7] Prytanes--the technical term for the senators of the presiding
tribe, who acted as presidents of the assembly. Their chairman for
the day was called Epistates.

[8] For the part played by Socrates see further Xenophon's
"Memorabilia," I. i. 18; IV. iv. 2.

"I stand here, men of Athens, partly to accuse Pericles, though he is
a close and intimate connection of my own, and Diomedon, who is my
friend, and partly to urge certain considerations on their behalf, but
chiefly to press upon you what seems to me the best course for the
State collectively. I hold them to blame in that they dissuaded their
colleagues from their intention to send a despatch to the senate and
this assembly, which should have informed you of the orders given to
Theramenes and Thrasybulus to take forty-seven ships of war and pick
up the shipwrecked crews, and of the neglect of the two officers to
carry out those orders. And it follows that though the offence was
committed by one or two, the responsibility must be shared by all; and
in return for kindness in the past, they are in danger at present of
sacrificing their lives to the machinations of these very men, and
others whom I could mention. In danger, do I say, of losing their
lives? No, not so, if you will suffer me to persuade you to do what is
just and right; if you will only adopt such a course as shall enable
you best to discover the truth and shall save you from too late
repentance, when you find you have transgressed irremediably against
heaven and your own selves. In what I urge there is no trap nor plot
whereby you can be deceived by me or any other man; it is a
straightforward course which will enable you to discover and punish
the offender by whatever process you like, collectively or
individually. Let them have, if not more, at any rate one whole day to
make what defence they can for themselves; and trust to your own
unbiased judgment to guide you to the right conclusion.

"You know, men of Athens, the exceeding stringency of the decree of
Cannonus,[9] which orders that man, whosoever he be, who is guilty of
treason against the people of Athens, to be put in irons, and so to
meet the charge against him before the people. If he be convicted, he
is to be thrown into the Barathron and perish, and the property of
such an one is to be confiscated, with the exception of the tithe
which falls to the goddess. I call upon you to try these generals in
accordance with this decree. Yes, and so help me God--if it please
you, begin with my own kinsman Pericles for base would it be on my
part to make him of more account than the whole of the State. Or, if
you prefer, try them by that other law, which is directed against
robbers of temples and betrayers of their country, which says: if a
man betray his city or rob a sacred temple of the gods, he shall be
tried before a law court, and if he be convicted, his body shall not
be buried in Attica, and his goods shall be confiscated to the State.
Take your choice as between these two laws, men of Athens, and let the
prisoners be tried by one or other. Let three portions of a day be
assigned to each respectively, one portion wherein they shall listen
to their accusation, a second wherein they shall make their defence,
and a third wherein you shall meet and give your votes in due order on
the question of their guilt or innocence. By this procedure the
malefactors will receive the desert of their misdeeds in full, and
those who are innocent will owe you, men of Athens, the recovery of
their liberty, in place of unmerited destruction.[10]

[9] "There was a rule in Attic judicial procedure, called the psephism
of Kannonus (originally adopted, we do not know when, on the
proposition of a citizen of that name, as a psephism or decree for
some particular case, but since generalised into common practice,
and grown into great prescriptive reverence), which peremptorily
forbade any such collective trial or sentence, and directed that a
separate judicial vote should in all cases be taken for or against
each accused party." Grote, "Hist. of Greece," vol. viii. p. 266
(2d ed.)

[10] Reading {adikos apolountai}.

"On your side, in trying the accused by recognised legal procedure,
you will show that you obey the dictates of pious feeling, and can
regard the sanctity of an oath, instead of joining hands with our
enemies the Lacedaemonians and fighting their battles. For is it not
to fight their battles, if you take their conquerors, the men who
deprived them of seventy vessels, and at the moment of victory sent
them to perdition untried and in the teeth of the law? What are you
afraid of, that you press forward with such hot haste? Do you imagine
that you may be robbed of the power of life and death over whom you
please, should you condescend to a legal trial? but that you are safe
if you take shelter behind an illegality, like the illegality of
Callixenus, when he worked upon the senate to propose to this assembly
to deal with the accused by a single vote? But consider, you may
actually put to death an innocent man, and then repentance will one
day visit you too late. Bethink you how painful and unavailing remorse
will then be, and more particularly if your error has cost a fellow-
creature his life. What a travesty of justice it would be if in the
case of a man like Aristarchus,[11] who first tried to destroy the
democracy and then betrayed Oenoe to our enemy the Thebans, you
granted him a day for his defence, consulting his wishes, and conceded
to him all the other benefits of the law; whereas now you are
proposing to deprive of these same privileges your own generals, who
in every way conformed to your views and defeated your enemies. Do not
you, of all men, I implore you, men of Athens, act thus. Why, these
laws are your own, to them, beyond all else you owe your greatness.
Guard them jealously; in nothing, I implore you, act without their

[11] See below, II. iii; also cf. Thuc. viii. 90, 98.

"But now, turn for a moment and consider with me the actual
occurrences which have created the suspicion of misconduct on the part
of our late generals. The sea-fight had been fought and won, and the
ships had returned to land, when Diomedon urged that the whole
squadron should sail out in line and pick up the wrecks and floating
crews. Erasinides was in favour of all the vessels sailing as fast as
possible to deal with the enemy's forces at Mitylene. And Thrasylus
represented that both objects could be effected, by leaving one
division of the fleet there, and with the rest sailing against the
enemy; and if this resolution were agreed to, he advised that each of
the eight generals should leave three ships of his own division with
the ten vessels of the taxiarchs, the ten Samian vessels, and the
three belonging to the navarchs. These added together make forty-
seven, four for each of the lost vessels, twelve in number. Among the
taxiarchs left behind, two were Thrasybulus and Theramenes, the men
who in the late meeting of this assembly undertook to accuse the
generals. With the remainder of the fleet they were to sail to attack
the enemy's fleet. Everything, you must admit, was duly and admirably
planned. It was only common justice, therefore, that those whose duty
it was to attack the enemy should render an account for all
miscarriages of operations against the enemy; while those who were
commissioned to pick up the dead and dying should, if they failed to
carry out the instructions of the generals, be put on trial to explain
the reasons of the failure. This indeed I may say in behalf of both
parites. It was really the storm which, in spite of what the generals
had planned, prevented anything being done. There are witnesses ready
to attest the truth of this: the men who escaped as by a miracle, and
among these one of these very generals, who was on a sinking ship and
was saved. And this man, who needed picking up as much as anybody at
that moment, is, they insist, to be tried by one and the same vote as
those who neglected to perform their orders! Once more, I beg you, men
of Athens, to accept your victory and your good fortune, instead of
behaving like the desperate victims of misfortune and defeat.
Recognise the finger of divine necessity; do not incur the reproach of
stony-heartedness by discovering treason where there was merely
powerlessness, and condemning as guilty those who were prevented by
the storm from carrying out their instructions. Nay! you will better
satisfy the demands of justice by crowning these conquerors with
wreaths of victory than by punishing them with death at the
instigation of wicked men."

At the conclusion of his speech Euryptolemus proposed, as an
amendment, that the prisoners should, in accordance with the decree of
Cannonus, be tried each separately, as against the proposal of the
senate to try them all by a single vote.

At the show of hands the tellers gave the majority in favour of
Euryptolemus's amendment, but upon the application of Menecles, who
took formal exception[12] to this decision, the show of hands was gone
through again, and now the verdict was in favour of the resolution of
the senate. At a later date the balloting was made, and by the votes
recorded the eight generals were condemned, and the six who were in
Athens were put to death.

[12] For this matter cf. Schomann, "De Comitiis Athen." p. 161 foll.;
also Grote, "Hist. of Grece," vol. viii. p. 276 note (2d ed.)

Not long after, repentance seized the Athenians, and they passed a
decree authorising the public prosecution of those who had deceived
the people, and the appointment of proper securities for their persons
until the trial was over. Callixenus was one of those committed for
trail. There were, besides Callixenus, four others against whom true
bills were declared, and they were all five imprisoned by their
sureties. But all subsequently effected their escape before the trial,
at the time of the sedition in which Cleophon[13] was killed.
Callixenus eventually came back when the party in Piraeus returned to
the city, at the date of the amnesty,[14] but only to die of hunger,
an object of universal detestation.

[13] Cleophon, the well-known demagogue. For the occasion of his death
see Grote, "Hist. of Greece," vol. viii. pp. 166, 310 (2d ed.);
Prof. Jebb, "Attic Orators," i. 266, ii. 288. For his character,
as popularly conceived, cf. Aristoph. "Frogs," 677.

[14] B.C. 403.



To return to Eteonicus and his troops in Chios. During summer they
were well able to support themselves on the fruits of the season, or
by labouring for hire in different parts of the island, but with the
approach of winter these means of subsistence began to fail. Ill-clad
at the same time, and ill-shod, they fell to caballing and arranging
plans to attack the city of Chios. It was agreed amongst them, that in
order to guage their numbers, every member of the conspiracy should
carry a reed. Eteonicus got wind of the design, but was at a loss how
to deal with it, considering the number of these reed-bearers. To make
an open attack upon them seemed dangerous. It would probably lead to a
rush to arms, in which the conspirators would seize the city and
commence hostilities, and, in the event of their success, everything
hitherto achieved would be lost. Or again, the destruction on his part
of many fellow-creatures and allies was a terrible alternative, which
would place the Spartans in an unenviable light with regard to the
rest of Hellas, and render the soldiers ill-disposed to the cause in
hand. Accordingly he took with him fifteen men, armed with daggers,
and marched through the city. Falling in with one of the reed-bearers,
a man suffering from ophthalmia, who was returning from the surgeon's
house, he put him to death. This led to some uproar, and people asked
why the man was thus slain. By Eteonicus's orders the answer was set
afloat, "because he carried a reed." As the explanation circulated,
one reed-bearer after another threw away the symbol, each one saying
to himself, as he heard the reason given, "I have better not be seen
with this." After a while Eteonicus called a meeting of the Chians,
and imposed upon them a contribution of money, on the ground that with
pay in their pockets the sailors would have no temptation to
revolutionary projects. The Chians acquiesced. Whereupon Eteonicus
promptly ordered his crews to get on board their vessels. He then
rowed alongside each ship in turn, and addressed the men at some
length in terms of encouragement and cheery admonition, just as though
he knew nothing of what had taken place, and so distributed a month's
pay to every man on board.

After this the Chians and the other allies held a meeting in Ephesus,
and, considering the present posture of affairs, determined to send
ambassadors to Lacedaemon with a statement of the facts, and a request
that Lysander might be sent out to take command of the fleet.
Lysander's high reputation among the allies dated back to his former
period of office, when as admiral he had won the naval victory of
Notium. The ambassadors accordingly were despatched, accompanied by
envoys also from Cyrus, charged with the same message. The
Lacedaemonians responded by sending them Lysander as second in
command,[1] with Aracus as admiral, since it was contrary to their
custom that the same man should be admiral twice. At the same time the
fleet was entrusted to Lysander.[2]

[1] Epistoleus. See above.

[2] "At this date the war had lasted five-and-twenty years." So the
MSS. read. The words are probably an interpolation.

It was in this year[3] that Cyrus put Autoboesaces and Mitraeus to
death. These were sons of the sister of Dariaeus[4] (the daughter of
Xerxes, the father of Darius).[5] He put them to death for neglecting,
when they met him, to thrust their hands into the sleeve (or "kore")
which is a tribute of respect paid to the king alone. This "kore" is
longer than the ordinary sleeve, so long in fact that a man with his
hand inside is rendered helpless. In consequence of this act on the
part of Cyrus, Hieramenes[6] and his wife urged upon Dariaeus the
danger of overlooking such excessive insolence on the part of the
young prince, and Dariaeus, on the plea of sickness, sent a special
embassy to summon Cyrus to his bedside.

[3] B.C. 406.

[4] Dariaeus, i.e. Darius, but the spelling of the name is correct,
and occurs in Ctesias, though in the "Anabasis" we have the
spelling Darius.

[5] These words look like the note of a foolish and ignorant scribe.
He ought to have written, "The daughter of Artaxerxes and own
sister of Darius, commonly so called."

[6] For Hieramenes cf. Thuc. viii. 95, and Prof. Jowett ad loc.

B.C. 405. In the following year[7] Lysander arrived at Ephesus, and
sent for Eteonicus with his ships from Chios, and collected all other
vessels elsewhere to be found. His time was now devoted to refitting
the old ships and having new ones built in Antandrus. He also made a
journey to the court of Cyrus with a request for money. All Cyrus
could say was, that not only the money sent by the king was spent, but
much more besides; and he pointed out the various sums which each of
the admirals had received, but at the same time he gave him what he
asked for. Furnished with this money, Lysander appointed captains to
the different men-of-war, and remitted to the sailors their arrears of
pay. Meanwhile the Athenian generals, on their side, were devoting
their energies to the improvements of their navy at Samos.

[7] The MSS. add "during the ephorate of Archytas and the archonship
at Athens of Alexias," which, though correct enough, is probably
an interpolation.

It was now Cyrus's turn to send for Lysander. It was the moment at
which the envoy from his father had arrived with the message: "Your
father is on his sick-bed and desires your presence." The king lay at
Thamneria, in Media, near the territory of the Cadusians, against whom
he had marched to put down a revolt. When Lysander presented himself,
Cyrus was urgent with him not to engage the Athenians at sea unless he
had many more ships than they. "The king," he added, "and I have
plenty of wealth, so that, as far as money goes, you can man plenty of
vessels." He then consigned to him all the tributes from the several
cities which belonged to him personally, and gave him the ready money
which he had as a gift; and finally, reminding him of the sincere
friendship he entertained towards the state of Lacedaemon, as well as
to himself personally, he set out up country to visit his father.
Lysander, finding himself thus left with the complete control of the
property of Cyrus (during the absence of that prince, so summoned to
the bedside of his father), was able to distribute pay to his troops,
after which he set sail for the Ceramic Gulf of Caria. Here he stormed
a city in alliance with the Athenians named Cedreae, and on the
following day's assault took it, and reduced the inhabitants to
slavery. These were of a mixed Hellene and barbaric stock. From
Cedreae he continued his voyage to Rhodes. The Athenians meanwhile,
using Samos as their base of operations, were employed in devastating
the king's territory, or in swooping down upon Chios and Ephesus, and
in general were preparing for a naval battle, having but lately chosen
three new generals in addition to those already in office, whose names
were Menander, Tydeus, and Cephisodotus. Now Lysander, leaving Rhodes,
and coasting along Ionia, made his way to the Hellespont, having an
eye to the passage of vessels through the Straits, and, in a more
hostile sense, on the cities which had revolted from Sparta. The
Athenians also set sail from Chios, but stood out to open sea, since
the seaboard of Asia was hostile to them.

Lysander was again on the move; leaving Abydos, he passed up channel
to Lampsacus, which town was allied with Athens; the men of Abydos and
the rest of the troops advancing by land, under the command of the
Lacedaemonian Thorax. They then attacked and took by storm the town,
which was wealthy, and with its stores of wine and wheat and other
commodities was pillaged by the soldiery. All free-born persons,
however, were without exception released by Lysander. And now the
Athenian fleet, following close on his heels, came to moorings at
Elaeus, in the Chersonesus, one hundred and eighty sail in all. It was
not until they had reached this place, and were getting their early
meal, that the news of what had happened at Lampsacus reached them.
Then they instantly set sail again to Sestos, and, having halted long
enough merely to take in stores, sailed on further to Aegospotami, a
point facing Lampsacus, where the Hellespont is not quite two miles[8]
broad. Here they took their evening meal.

[8] Lit. fifteen stades.

The night following, or rather early next morning, with the first
streak of dawn, Lysander gave the signal for the men to take their
breakfasts and get on board their vessels; and so, having got all
ready for a naval engagement, with his ports closed and movable
bulwarks attached, he issued the order that no one was to stir from
his post or put out to sea. As the sun rose the Athenians drew up
their vessels facing the harbour, in line of battle ready for action;
but Lysander declining to come out to meet them, as the day advanced
they retired again to Aegospotami. Then Lysander ordered the swiftest
of his ships to follow the Athenians, and as soon as the crews had
disembarked, to watch what they did, sail back, and report to him.
Until these look-outs returned he would permit no disembarkation from
his ships. This performance he repeated for four successive days, and
each day the Athenians put out to sea and challenged an engagement.

But now Alcibiades, from one of his fortresses, could espy the
position of his fellow-countrymen, moored on an open beach beyond
reach of any city, and forced to send for supplies to Sestos, which
was nearly two miles distant, while their enemies were safely lodged
in a harbour, with a city adjoining, and everything within reach. The
situation did not please him, and he advised them to shift their
anchorage to Sestos, where they would have the advantage of a harbour
and a city. "Once there," he concluded, "you can engage the enemy
whenever it suits you." But the generals, and more particularly Tydeus
and Menander, bade him go about his business. "We are generals now--
not you," they said; and so he went away. And now for five days in
succession the Athenians had sailed out to offer battle, and for the
fifth time retired, followed by the same swift sailors of the enemy.
But this time Lysander's orders to the vessels so sent in pursuit
were, that as soon as they saw the enemy's crew fairly disembarked and
dispersed along the shores of the Chersonesus (a practice, it should
be mentioned, which had grown upon them from day to day owing to the
distance at which eatables had to be purchased, and out of sheer
contempt, no doubt, of Lysander, who refused to accept battle), they
were to begin their return voyage, and when in mid-channel to hoist a
shield. The orders were punctually carried out, and Lysander at once
signalled to his whole squadron to put across with all speed, while
Thorax, with the land forces, was to march parallel with the fleet
along the coast. Aware of the enemy's fleet, which he could see
bearing down upon him, Conon had only time to signal to the crews to
join their ships and rally to the rescue with all their might. But the
men were scattered far and wide, and some of the vessels had only two
out of their three banks of rowers, some only a single one, while
others again were completely empty. Conon's own ship, with seven
others in attendance on him and the "Paralus,"[9] put out to sea, a
little cluster of nine vessels, with their full complement of men; but
every one of the remaining one hundred and seventy-one vessels were
captured by Lysander on the beach. As to the men themselves, the large
majority of them were easily made prisoners on shore, a few only
escaping to the small fortresses of the neighbourhood. Meanwhile Conon
and his nine vessels made good their escape. For himself, knowing that
the fortune of Athens was ruined, he put into Abarnis, the promontory
of Lampsacus, and there picked up the great sails of Lysander's ships,
and then with eight ships set sail himself to seek refuge with
Evagoras in Cyprus, while the "Paralus" started for Athens with
tidings of what had taken place.

[9] The "Paralus"--the Athenian sacred vessel; cf. Thuc. iii. 33 et

Lysander, on his side, conveyed the ships and prisoners and all other
spoil back to Lampsacus, having on board some of the Athenian
generals, notably Philocles and Adeimantus. On the very day of these
achievements he despatched Theopompus, a Milesian privateersman, to
Lacedaemon to report what had taken place. This envoy arrived within
three days and delivered his message. Lysander's next step was to
convene the allies and bid them deliberate as to the treatment of the
prisoners. Many were the accusations here levied against the
Athenians. There was talk of crimes committed against the law of
Hellas, and of cruelties sanctioned by popular decrees; which, had
they conquered in the late sea-fight, would have been carried out;
such as the proposal to cut off the right hand of every prisoner taken
alive, and lastly the ill-treatment of two captured men-of-war, a
Corinthian and an Andrian vessel, when every man on board had been
hurled headlong down the cliff. Philocles was the very general of the
Athenians who had so ruthlessly destroyed those men. Many other tales
were told; and at length a resolution was passed to put all the
Athenian prisoners, with the exception of Adeimantus, to death. He
alone, it was pleaded, had taken exception to the proposal to cut off
the prisoners' hands. On the other hand, he was himself accused by
some people of having betrayed the fleet. As to Philocles, Lysander
put to him one question, as the officer who had thrown[10] the
Corinthians and Andrians down the cliff: What fate did the man deserve
to suffer who had embarked on so cruel a course of illegality against
Hellenes? and so delivered him to the executioner.

[10] Reading {os . . . katekremnise}.


When he had set the affairs of Lampsacus in order, Lysander sailed to
Byzantium and Chalcedon, where the inhabitants, having first dismissed
the Athenian garrison under a flag of truce, admitted him within their
walls. Those citizens of Byzantium, who had betrayed Byzantium into
the hands of Alcibiades, fled as exiles into Pontus, but subsequently
betaking themselves to Athens, became Athenian citizens. In dealing
with the Athenian garrisons, and indeed with all Athenians wheresoever
found, Lysander made it a rule to give them safe conduct to Athens,
and to Athens only, in the certainty that the larger the number
collected within the city and Piraeus, the more quickly the want of
necessaries of life would make itself felt. And now, leaving
Sthenelaus, a Laconian, as governor-general of Byzantium and
Chalcedon, he sailed back himself to Lampsacus and devoted himself to
refitting his ships.

It was night when the "Paralus" reached Athens with her evil tidings,
on receipt of which a bitter wail of woe broke forth. From Piraeus,
following the line of the long walls up to the heart of the city, it
swept and swelled, as each man to his neighbour passed on the news. On
that night no man slept. There was mourning and sorrow for those that
were lost, but the lamentation for the dead was merged in even deeper
sorrow for themselves, as they pictured the evils they were about to
suffer, the like of which they themselves had inflicted upon the men
of Melos, who were colonists of the Lacedaemonians, when they mastered
them by siege. Or on the men of Histiaea; on Scione and Torone; on the
Aeginetans, and many another Hellene city.[1] On the following day the
public assembly met, and, after debate, it was resolved to block up
all the harbours save one, to put the walls in a state of defence, to
post guards at various points, and to make all other necessary
preparations for a siege. Such were the concerns of the men of Athens.

[1] With regard to these painful recollections, see (1) for the siege
and surrender of Melos (in B.C. 416), Thuc. v. 114, 116; and cf.
Aristoph. "Birds," 186; Plut. ("Lysander," 14); (2) for the
ejection of the Histiaeans, an incident of the recovery of Euboea
in 445 B.C., see Thuc. i. 14; Plut. ("Pericles," 23); (3) for the
matter of Scione, which revolted in 423 B.C., and was for a long
time a source of disagreement between the Athenians and
Lacedaemonians, until finally captured by the former in 421 B.C.,
when the citizens were slain and the city given to the Plataeans,
see Thuc. iv. 120-122, 129-133; v. 18, 32; (4) for Torone see
Thuc. ib., and also v. 3; (5) for the expulsion of the Aeginetans
in 431 B.C. see Thuc. ii. 27.

Lysander presently left the Hellespont with two hundred sail and
arrived at Lesbos, where he established a new order of things in
Mitylene and the other cities of the island. Meanwhile he despatched
Eteonicus with a squadron of ten ships to the northern coasts,[2]
where that officer brought about a revolution of affairs which placed
the whole region in the hands of Lacedaemon. Indeed, in a moment of
time, after the sea-fight, the whole of Hellas had revolted from
Athens, with the solitary exception of the men of Samos. These, having
massacred the notables,[3] held the state under their control. After a
while Lysander sent messages to Agis at Deceleia, and to Lacedaemon,
announcing his approach with a squadron of two hundred sail.

[2] Lit. "the Thraceward districts." See above, p. 16.

[3] Or, "since they had slain their notables, held the state under
popular control." See Grote, "Hist. of Greece," vol. viii. p. 303
note 3 (2d ed.), who thinks that the incident referred to is the
violent democratic revolution in Samos described in Thuc. viii.
21, B.C. 412.

In obedience to a general order of Pausanias, the other king of
Lacedaemon, a levy in force of the Lacedaemonians and all the rest of
Peloponnesus, except the Argives, was set in motion for a campaign. As
soon as the several contingents had arrived, the king put himself at
their head and marched against Athens, encamping in the gymnasium of
the Academy,[4] as it is called. Lysander had now reached Aegina,
where, having got together as many of the former inhabitants as
possible, he formally reinstated them in their city; and what he did
in behalf of the Aeginetans, he did also in behalf of the Melians, and
of the rest who had been deprived of their countries. He then pillaged
the island of Salamis, and finally came to moorings off Piraeus with
one hundred and fifty ships of the line, and established a strict
blockade against all merchant ships entering that harbour.

[4] For this most illustrious of Athenian gymnasia, which still
retains its name, see Leake, "Topography of Athens," i. 195 foll.

The Athenians, finding themselves besieged by land and sea, were in
sore perplexity what to do. Without ships, without allies, without
provisions, the belief gained hold upon them that there was no way of
escape. They must now, in their turn, suffer what they had themselves
inflincted upon others; not in retaliation, indeed, for ills received,
but out of sheer insolence, overriding the citizens of petty states,
and for no better reason than that these were allies of the very men
now at their gates. In this frame of mind they enfranchised those who
at any time had lost their civil rights, and schooled themselves to
endurance; and, albeit many succumbed to starvation, no thought of
truce or reconciliation with their foes was breathed.[5] But when the
stock of corn was absolutely insufficient, they sent an embassage to
Agis, proposing to become allies of the Lacedaemonians on the sole
condition of keeping their fortification walls and Piraeus; and to
draw up articles of treaty on these terms. Agis bade them betake
themselves to Lacedaemon, seeing that he had no authority to act
himself. With this answer the ambassadors returned to Athens, and were
forthwith sent on to Lacedaemon. On reaching Sellasia,[6] a town in[7]
Laconian territory, they waited till they got their answer from the
ephors, who, having learnt their terms (which were identical to those
already proposed to Agis), bade them instantly to be gone, and, if
they really desired peace, to come with other proposals, the fruit of
happier reflection. Thus the ambassadors returned home, and reported
the result of their embassage, whereupon despondency fell upon all. It
was a painful reflection that in the end they would be sold into
slavery; and meanwhile, pending the return of a second embassy, many
must needs fall victims to starvation. The razing of their
fortifications was not a solution which any one cared to recommend. A
senator, Archestratus, had indeed put the question in the senate,
whether it were not best to make peace with the Lacedaemonians on such
terms as they were willing to propose; but he was thrown into prison.
The Laconian proposals referred to involved the destruction of both
long walls for a space of more than a mile. And a decree had been
passed, making it illegal to submit any such proposition about the
walls. Things having reached this pass, Theramenes made a proposal in
the public assembly as follows: If they chose to send him as an
ambassador to Lysander, he would go and find out why the
Lacedaemonians were so unyielding about the walls; whether it was they
really intended to enslave the city, or merely that they wanted a
guarantee of good faith. Despatched accordingly, he lingered on with
Lysander for three whole months and more, watching for the time when
the Athenians, at the last pinch of starvation, would be willing to
accede to any terms that might be offered. At last, in the fourth
month, he returned and reported to the public assembly that Lysander
had detained him all this while, and had ended by bidding him betake
himself to Lacedaemon, since he had no authority himself to answer his
questions, which must be addressed directly to the ephors. After this
Theramenes was chosen with nine others to go to Lacedaemon as
ambassadors with full powers. Meanwhile Lysander had sent an Athenian
exile, named Aristoteles, in company of certain Lacedaemonians, to
Sparta to report to the board of ephors how he had answered
Theramenes, that they, and they alone, had supreme authority in
matters of peace and war.

[5] Or, "they refused to treat for peace."

[6] Sellasia, the bulwark of Sparta in the valley of the Oenus.

[7] The MSS. have "in the neighbourhood of," which words are
inappropriate at this date, though they may well have been added
by some annotator after the Cleomenic war and the battle of
Sellasia, B.C. 222, when Antigonus of Macedon destroyed the place
in the interests of the Achaean League.

Theramenes and his companions presently reached Sellasia, and being
there questioned as to the reason of their visit, replied that they
had full powers to treat of peace. After which the ephors ordered them
to be summoned to their presence. On their arrival a general assembly
was convened, in which the Corinthians and Thebans more particularly,
though their views were shared by many other Hellenes also, urged the
meeting not to come to terms with the Athenians, but to destroy them.
The Lacedaemonians replied that they would never reduce to slavery a
city which was itself an integral portion of Hellas, and had performed
a great and noble service to Hellas in the most perilous of
emergencies. On the contrary, they were willing to offer peace on the
terms now specified--namely, "That the long walls and the
fortifications of Piraeus should be destroyed; that the Athenian
fleet, with the exception of twelve vessels, should be surrendered;
that the exiles should be restored; and lastly, that the Athenians
should acknowledge the headship of Sparta in peace and war, leaving to
her the choice of friends and foes, and following her lead by land and
sea." Such were the terms which Theramenes and the rest who acted with
him were able to report on their return to Athens. As they entered the
city, a vast crowd met them, trembling lest their mission have proved
fruitless. For indeed delay was no longer possible, so long already
was the list of victims daily perishing from starvation. On the day
following, the ambassadors delivered their report, stating the terms
upon which the Lacedaemonians were willing to make peace. Theramenes
acted as spokesman, insisting that they ought to obey the
Lacedaemonians and pull down the walls. A small minority raised their
voice in opposition, but the majority were strongly in favour of the
proposition, and the resolution was passed to accept the peace. After
that, Lysander sailed into the Piraeus, and the exiles were
readmitted. And so they fell to levelling the fortifications and walls
with much enthusiasm, to the accompaniment of female flute-players,
deeming that day the beginning of liberty to Greece.

Thus the year drew to its close[8]--during its middle months took
place the accession of Dionysius, the son of Hermocrates the
Syracusan, to the tyranny of Syracuse; an incident itself preceded by
a victory gained over the Carthaginians by the Syracusans; the
reduction of Agrigentum through famine by the Carthaginians
themselves; and the exodus of the Sicilian Greeks from that city.

[8] For the puzzling chronology of this paragraph see Grote, "Hist. of
Greece," vol. x. p 619 (2d ed.) If genuine, the words may perhaps
have slipt out of their natural place in chapter i. above, in
front of the words "in the following year Lysander arrived," etc.
L. Dindorf brackets them as spurious. Xen., "Hist. Gr." ed.
tertia, Lipsiae, MDCCCLXXII. For the incidents referred to see
above; Grote, "Hist. of Greece," vol. x. pp. 582, 598 (2d ed.)

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest