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Hellenica by Xenophon

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These reports threw the Lacedaemonians into a flutter of expectation
and anxiety. They summoned a meeting of the allies, and began to
deliberate as to what ought to be done. Lysander, convinced of the
enormous superiority of the Hellenic navy, and with regard to land
forces drawing an obvious inference from the exploits and final
deliverance of the troops with Cyrus, persuaded Agesilaus, to
undertake a campaign into Asia, provided the authorities would furnish
him with thirty Spartans, two thousand of the enfranchised,[2] and
contingents of the allies amounting to six thousand men. Apart from
these calculations, Lysander had a personal object: he wished to
accompany the king himself, and by his aid to re-establish the
decarchies originally set up by himself in the different cities, but
at a later date expelled through the action of the ephors, who had
issued a fiat re-establishing the old order of constitution.

[2] Technically, "neodamodes."

B.C. 396. To this offer on the part of Agesilaus to undertake such an
expedition the Lacedaemonians responded by presenting him with all he
asked for, and six months' provisions besides. When the hour of
departure came he offered all such sacrifices as are necessary, and
lastly those "before crossing the border,"[3] and so set out. This
done, he despatched to the several states[4] messengers with
directions as to the numbers to be sent from each, and the points of
rendezvous; but for himself he was minded to go and do sacrifice at
Aulis, even as Agamemnon had offered sacrifice in that place ere he
set sail for Troy. But when he had reached the place and had begun to
sacrifice, the Boeotarchs[5] being apprised of his design, sent a body
of cavalry and bade him desist from further sacrificing;[6] and
lighting upon victims already offered, they hurled them from off the
altars, scattering the fragments. Then Agesilaus, calling the gods to
witness, got on board his trireme in bitter indignation, and sailed
away. Arrived at Geraestus, he there collected as large a portion of
his troops as possible, and with the armada made sail for Ephesus.

[3] "Pol. Lac." xiii. 2 foll.

[4] Or, "To the several cities he had already despatched messengers
with directions," etc.; see Paus. III. ix. 1-3.

[5] See Freeman, "Hist. of Federal Government," ch. iv. "Constitution
of the Boeotian League," pp. 162, 163. The Boeotarchs, as
representatives of the several Boeotian cities, were the supreme
military commanders of the League, and, as it would appear, the
general administrators of Federal affairs. "The Boeotarchs of
course command at Delion, but they also act as administrative
magistrates of the League by hindering Agesilaus from sacrificing
at Aulis."

[6] Plut. "Ages." vi.; "Pelop." xxi. See Breitenb. op. cit. Praef. p.
xvi.; and below, III. v. 5; VI. iv. 23.

When he had reached that city the first move was made by Tissaphernes,
who sent asking, "With what purpose he was come thither?" And the
Spartan king made answer: "With the intention that the cities in Asia
shall be independent even as are the cities in our quarter of Hellas."
In answer to this Tissaphernes said: "If you on your part choose to
make a truce whilst I send ambassadors to the king, I think you may
well arrange the matter, and sail back home again, if so you will."
"Willing enough should I be," replied Agesilaus, "were I not persuaded
that you are cheating me." "Nay, but it is open to you," replied the
satrap, "to exact a surety for the execution of the terms . . .
'Provided always that you, Tissaphernes, carry out what you say
without deceit, we on our side will abstain from injuring your
dominion in any respect whatever during the truce.'"[7] Accordingly in
the presence of three commissioners--Herippidas, Dercylidas, and
Megillus--Tissaphernes took an oath in the words prescribed: "Verily
and indeed, I will effect peace honestly and without guile." To which
the commissioners, on behalf of Agesilaus, swore a counter-oath:
"Verily and indeed, provided Tissaphernes so acts, we on our side will
observe the truce."

[7] For this corrupt passage, see Hartman, "Anal. Xen." p. 332; also
Otto Keller's critical edition of the "Hellenica" (Lips,

Tissaphernes at once gave the lie to what he had sworn. Instead of
adhering to peace he sent up to demand a large army from the king, in
addition to what he already had. But Agesilaus, though he was fully
alive to these proceedings, adhered as rigidly as ever to the truce.

To keep quiet and enjoy leisure was his duty, in the exercise of which
he wore away the time at Ephesus. But in reference to the organisation
of the several states it was a season of vehement constitutional
disturbance in the several cities; that is to say, there were neither
democracies as in the old days of the Athenians, nor yet were there
decarchies as in the days of Lysander. But here was Lysander back
again. Every one recognised him, and flocked to him with petitions for
one favour or another, which he was to obtain for them from Agesilaus.
A crowd of suitors danced attendance on his heels, and formed so
conspicuous a retinue that Agesilaus, any one would have supposed, was
the private person and Lysander the king. All this was maddening to
Agesilaus, as was presently plain. As to the rest of the Thirty,
jealousy did not suffer them to keep silence, and they put it plainly
to Agesilaus that the super-regal splendour in which Lysander lived
was a violation of the constitution. So when Lysander took upon
himself to introduce some of his petitioners to Agesilaus, the latter
turned them a deaf ear. Their being aided and abetted by Lysander was
sufficient; he sent them away discomfited. At length, as time after
time things turned out contrary to his wishes, Lysander himself
perceived the position of affairs. He now no longer suffered that
crowd to follow him, and gave those who asked him help in anything
plainly to understand that they would gain nothing, but rather be
losers, by his intervention. But being bitterly annoyed at the
degradation put upon him, he came to the king and said to him: "Ah,
Agesilaus, how well you know the art of humbling your friends!" "Ay,
indeed," the king replied; "those of them whose one idea it is to
appear greater than myself; if I did not know how also to requite with
honour those who work for my good, I should be ashamed." And Lysander
said: "maybe there is more reason in your doings than ever guided my
conduct;" adding, "Grant me for the rest one favour, so shall I cease
to blush at the loss of my influence with you, and you will cease to
be embarrassed by my presence. Send me off on a mission somewhere;
wherever I am I will strive to be of service to you." Such was the
proposal of Lysander. Agesilaus resolved to act upon it, and
despatched Lysander to the Hellespont. And this is what befell.[8]
Lysander, being made aware of a slight which had been put upon
Spithridates the Persian by Pharnabazus, got into conversation with
the injured man, and so worked upon him that he was persuaded to bring
his children and his personal belongings, and with a couple of hundred
troops to revolt. The next step was to deposit all the goods safely in
Cyzicus, and the last to get on shipboard with Spithridates and his
son, and so to present himself with his Persian friends to Agesilaus.
Agesilaus, on his side, was delighted at the transaction, and set
himself at once to get information about Pharnabazus, his territory
and his government.

[8] See "Ages." iii. 3; "Anab." VI. v. 7.

Meanwhile Tissaphernes had waxed bolder. A large body of troops had
been sent down by the king. On the strength of that he declared war
against Agesilaus, if he did not instantly withdraw his troops from
Asia. The Lacedaemonians there[9] present, no less than the allies,
received the news with profound vexation, persuaded as they were that
Agesilaus had no force capable of competing with the king's grand
armament. But a smile lit up the face of Agesilaus as he bade the
ambassadors return to Tissaphernes and tell him that he was much in
his debt for the perjury by which he had won the enmity of Heaven and
made the very gods themselves allies of Hellas. He at once issued a
general order to the troops to equip themselves for a forward
movement. He warned the cities through which he must pass in an
advance upon Caria, to have markets in readiness, and lastly, he
despatched a message to the Ionian, Aeolian, and Hellespontine
communities to send their contingents to join him at Ephesus.

[9] I.e. at Ephesus.

Tissaphernes, putting together the facts that Agesilaus had no cavalry
and that Caria was a region unadapted to that arm, and persuaded in
his own mind also that the Spartan could not but cherish wrath against
himself personally for his chicanery, felt convinced that he was
really intending to invade Caria, and that the satrap's palace was his
final goal. Accordingly he transferred the whole of his infantry to
that province, and proceeded to lead his cavalry round into the plain
of the Maeander. Here he conceived himself capable of trampling the
Hellenes under foot with his horsemen before they could reach the
craggy districts where no cavalry could operate.

But, instead of marching straight into Caria, Agesilaus turned sharp
off in the opposite direction towards Phrygia. Picking up various
detachments of troops which met him on his march, he steadily
advanced, laying cities prostrate before him, and by the
unexpectedness of his attack reaping a golden harvest of spoil. As a
rule the march was prosecuted safely; but not far from Dascylium his
advanced guard of cavalry were pushing on towards a knoll to take a
survery of the state of things in front, when, as chance would have
it, a detachment of cavalry sent forward by Pharnabazus--the corps, in
fact, of Rhathines and his natural brother Bagaeus--just about equal
to the Hellenes in number, also came galloping up to the very knoll in
question. The two bodies found themselves face to face not one hundred
and fifty yards[10] apart, and for the first moment or two stood stock
still. The Hellenic horse were drawn up like an ordinary phalanx four
deep, the barbarians presenting a narrow front of twelve or
thereabouts, and a very disproportionate depth. There was a moment's
pause, and then the barbarians, taking the initiative, charged. There
was a hand-to-hand tussle, in which any Hellene who succeeded in
striking his man shivered his lance with the blow, while the Persian
troopers, armed with cornel-wood javelins, speedly despatched a dozen
men and a couple of horses.[11] At this point the Hellenic cavalry
turned and fled. But as Agesilaus came up to the rescue with his heavy
infantry, the Asiatics were forced in their turn to withdraw, with the
loss of one man slain. This cavalry engagement gave them pause.
Agesilaus on the day following it offered sacrifice. "Was he to
continue his advance?" But the victims proved hopeless.[12] There was
nothing for it after this manifestation but to turn and march towards
the sea. It was clear enough to his mind that without a proper cavalry
force it would be impossible to conduct a campaign in the flat
country. Cavalry, therefore, he must get, or be driven to mere
guerilla warfare. With this view he drew up a list of all the
wealthiest inhabitants belonging to the several cities of those parts.
Their duty would be to support a body of cavalry, with the proviso,
however, that any one contributing a horse, arms, and rider, up to the
standard, would be exempted from personal service. The effect was
instantaneous. The zeal with which the recipients of these orders
responded could hardly have been greater if they had been seeking
substitutes to die for them.

[10] Lit. "four plethra."

[11] See Xenophon's treatise "On Horsemanship," xii. 12.

[12] Lit. "lobeless," i.e. with a lobe of the liver wanting--a bad

B.C. 395. After this, at the first indication of spring, he collected
the whole of his army at Ephesus. But the army needed training. With
that object he proposed a series of prizes--prizes to the heavy
infantry regiments, to be won by those who presented their men in the
best condition; prizes for the cavalry regiments which could ride
best; prizes for those divisions of peltasts and archers which proved
most efficient in their respective duties. And now the gymnasiums were
a sight to see, thronged as they were, one and all, with warriors
stripping for exercise; or again, the hippodrome crowded with horses
and riders performing their evolutions; or the javelin men and archers
going through their peculiar drill. In fact, the whole city where he
lay presented under his hands a spectacle not to be forgotten. The
market-place literally teemed with horses, arms, and accoutrements of
all sorts for sale. The bronze-worker, the carpenter, the smith, the
leather-cutter, the painter and embosser, were all busily engaged in
fabricating the implements of war; so that the city of Ephesus itself
was fairly converted into a military workshop.[13] It would have done
a man's heart good to see those long lines of soldiers with Agesilaus
at their head, as they stepped gaily be-garlanded from the gymnasiums
to dedicate their wreaths to the goddess Artemis. Nor can I well
conceive of elements more fraught with hope than were here combined.
Here were reverence and piety towards Heaven; here practice in war and
military training; here discipline with habitual obedience to
authority. But contempt for one's enemy will infuse a kind of strength
in battle. So the Spartan leader argued; and with a view to its
production he ordered the quartermasters to put up the prisoners who
had been captured by his foraging bands for auction, stripped naked;
so that his Hellenic soldiery, as they looked at the white skins which
had never been bared to sun and wind, the soft limbs unused to toil
through constant riding in carriages, came to the conclusion that war
with such adversaries would differ little from a fight with women.

[13] See Plut. "Marc." (Clough, ii. 262); Polyb. "Hist." x. 20.

By this date a full year had elapsed since the embarkation of
Agesilaus, and the time had come for the Thirty with Lysander to sail
back home, and for their successors, with Herippidas, to arrive. Among
these Agesilaus appointed Xenocles and another to the command of the
cavalry, Scythes to that of the heavy infantry of the
enfranchised,[14] Herippidas to that of the Cyreians, and Migdon to
that of the contingents from the states. Agesilaus gave them to
understand that he intended to lead them forthwith by the most
expeditious route against the stronghold of the country,[15] so that
without further ceremony they might prepare their minds and bodies for
the tug of battle. Tissaphernes, however, was firmly persuaded that
this was only talk intended to deceive him; Agesilaus would this time
certainly invade Caria. Accordingly he repeated his former tactics,
transporting his infantry bodily into Caria and posting his cavalry in
the valley of the Maeander. But Agesilaus was as good as his word, and
at once invaded the district of Sardis. A three days' march through a
region denuded of the enemy threw large supplies into his hands. On
the fourth day the cavalry of the enemy approached. Their general
ordered the officer in charge of his baggage-train to cross the
Pactolus and encamp, while his troopers, catching sight of stragglers
from the Hellenic force scattered in pursuit of booty, put several of
them to the sword. Perceiving which, Agesilaus ordered his cavalry to
the rescue; and the Persians on their side, seeing their advance,
collected together in battle order to receive them, with dense
squadrons of horse, troop upon troop. The Spartan, reflecting that the
enemy had as yet no infantry to support him, whilst he had all
branches of the service to depend upon, concluded that the critical
moment had arrived at which to risk an engagement. In this mood he
sacrificed, and began advancing his main line of battle against the
serried lines of cavalry in front of him, at the same time ordering
the flower of his heavy infantry--the ten-years-service men[16]--to
close with them at a run, and the peltasts to bring up their supports
at the double. The order passed to his cavalry was to charge in
confidence that he and the whole body of his troops were close behind
them. The cavalry charge was received by the Persians without
flinching, but presently finding themselves environed by the full tide
of war they swerved. Some found a speedy grave within the river, but
the mass of them gradually made good their escape. The Hellenes
followed close on the heels of the flying foe and captured his camp.
here the peltasts not unnaturally fell to pillaging; whereupon
Agesilaus planted his troops so as to form a cordon enclosing the
property of friends and foes alike. The spoil taken was considerable;
it fetched more than seventy talents,[17] not to mention the famous
camels, subsequently brought over by Agesilaus into Hellas, which were
captured here. At the moment of the battle Tissaphernes lay in Sardis.
Hence the Persians argued that they had been betrayed by the satrap.
And the king of Persia, coming to a like conclusion himself that
Tissaphernes was to blame for the evil turn of his affairs, sent down
Tithraustes and beheaded him.[18]

[14] The neodamodes.

[15] I.e. Lydia. See Plut. "Ages." x. (Clough, iv. 11).

[16] See note to "Hell." II. iv. 32.

[17] = 17,062 pounds: 10 shillings.

[18] See Diod. xiv. 80.

This done, Tithraustes sent an embassy to Agesilaus with a message as
follows: "The author of all our trouble, yours and ours, Agesilaus,
has paid the penalty of his misdoings; the king therefore asks of you
first that you should sail back home in peace; secondly, that the
cities in Asia secured in their autonomy should continue to render him
the ancient tribute." To this proposition Agesilaus made answer that
"without the authorities at home he could do nothing in the matter."
"Then do you, at least," replied Tithraustes, "while awaiting advice
from Lacedaemon, withdraw into the territory of Pharnabazus. Have I
not avenged you of your enemy?" "While, then, I am on my way thither,"
rejoined Agesilaus, "will you support my army with provisions?" On
this wise Tithraustes handed him thirty talents,[19] which the other
took, and forthwith began his march into Phrygia (the Phrygia of
Pharnabazus). He lay in the plain district above Cyme,[20] when a
message reached him from the home authorities, giving him absolute
disposal of the naval forces,[21] with the right to appoint the
admiral of his choice. This course the Lacedaemonians were led to
adopt by the following considerations: If, they argued, the same man
were in command of both services, the land force would be greatly
strengthened through the concentration of the double force at any
point necessary; and the navy likewise would be far more useful
through the immediate presence and co-operation of the land force
where needed. Apprised of these measures, Agesilaus in the first
instance sent an order to the cities on the islands and the seaboard
to fit out as many ships of war as they severally might deem
desirable. The result was a new navy, consisting of the vessels thus
voluntarily furnished by the states, with others presented by private
persons out of courtesy to their commander, and amounting in all to a
fleet of one hundred and twenty sail. The admiral whom he selected was
Peisander, his wife's brother, a man of genuine ambition and of a
vigorous spirit, but not sufficiently expert in the details of
equipment to achieve a great naval success. Thus while Peisander set
off to attend to naval matters, Agesilaus continued his march whither
he was bound to Phrygia.

[19] = 7,312 pounds: 10 shillings.

[20] See "Cyrop." VII. i. 45.

[21] See Grote, "H. G." ix. 327, note 3; Arist. "Pol." ii. 9, 33.


But now Tithraustes seemed to have discovered in Agesilaus a
disposition to despise the fortunes of the Persian monarch--he
evidently had no intention to withdraw from Asia; on the contrary, he
was cherishing hopes vast enough to include the capture of the king
himself. Being at his wits' end how to manage matters, he resolved to
send Timocrates the Rhodian to Hellas with a gift of gold worthy fifty
silver talents,[1] and enjoined upon him to endeavour to exchange
solemn pledges with the leading men in the several states, binding
them to undertake a war against Lacedaemon. Timocrates arrived and
began to dole out his presents. In Thebes he gave gifts to
Androcleidas, Ismenias, and Galaxidorus; in Corinth to Timolaus and
Polyanthes; in Argos to Cylon and his party. The Athenians,[2] though
they took no share of the gold, were none the less eager for the war,
being of opinion that empire was theirs by right.[3] The recipients of
the moneys forthwith began covertly to attack the Lacedaemonians in
their respective states, and, when they had brought these to a
sufficient pitch of hatred, bound together the most important of them
in a confederacy.

[1] = 12,187 pounds: 10 shillings.

[2] See Paus. III. ix. 8; Plut. "Ages." xv.

[3] Reading {nomizontes auton to arkhein} with Sauppe; or if, as
Breitinbach suggests, {enomizon de oukh outon to arkhesthai},
translate "but thought it was not for them to take the

But it was clear to the leaders in Thebes that, unless some one struck
the first blow, the Lacedaemonians would never be brought to break the
truce with their allies. They therefore persuaded the Opuntian
Locrians[4] to levy moneys on a debatable district,[5] jointly claimed
by the Phocians and themselves, when the Phocians would be sure to
retaliate by an attack on Locris. These expectations were fulfilled.
The Phocians immediately invaded Locris and seized moneys on their
side with ample interest. Then Androcleidas and his friends lost no
time in persuading the Thebans to assist the Locrians, on the ground
that it was no debatable district which had been entered by the
Phocians, but the admittedly friendly and allied territory of Locris
itself. The counter-invasion of Phocis and pillage of their country by
the Thebans promptly induced the Phocians to send an embassy to
Lacedaemon. In claiming assistance they explained that the war was not
of their own seeking, but that they had attacked the Locrians in self-
defence. On their side the Lacedaemonians were glad enough to seize a
pretext for marching upon the Thebans, against whom they cherished a
long-standing bitterness. They had not forgotten the claim which the
Thebans had set up to a tithe for Apollo in Deceleia,[6] nor yet their
refusal to support Lacedaemon in the attack on Piraeus;[7] and they
accused them further of having persuaded the Corinthians not to join
that expedition. Nor did they fail to call to mind some later
proceedings of the Thebans--their refusal to allow Agesilaus to
sacrifice in Aulis;[8] their snatching the victims already offered and
hurling them from the altars; their refusal to join the same general
in a campaign directed even against Asia.[9] The Lacedaemonians
further reasoned that now, if ever, was the favourable moment to
conduct an expedition against the Thebans, and once for all to put a
stop to their insolent behaviour towards them. Affairs in Asia were
prospering under the strong arm of Agesilaus, and in Hellas they had
no other war on hand to trammel their movements. Such, therefore,
being the general view of the situation adopted at Lacedaemon, the
ephors proceeded to call out the ban. Meanwhile they despatched
Lysander to Phocis with orders to put himself at the head of the
Phocians along with the Oetaeans, Heracleotes, Melians, and
Aenianians, and to march upon Haliartus; before the walls of which
place Pausanias, the destined leader of the expedition, undertook to
present himself at the head of the Lacedaemonians and other
Peloponnesian forces by a specified date. Lysander not only carried
out his instructions to the letter, but going a little beyond them,
succeeded in detaching Orchomenus from Thebes.[10] Pausanias, on the
other hand, after finding the sacrifice for crossing the frontier
favourable, sat down at Tegea and set about despatching to and fro the
commandants of allied troops whilst contentedly awaiting the soldiers
from the provincial[11] districts of Laconia.

[4] For an alliance between Athens and the Locrians, B.C. 395, see
Hicks, 67; and below, IV. ii. 17.

[5] Lit. "the." See Paus. III. ix. 9.

[6] See Grote, "H. G." ix. 309, 403; viii. 355.

[7] "Hell." II. iv. 30, B.C. 403.

[8] See above, III. iv. 3; and below, VII. i. 34.

[9] See Paus. III. ix. 1-3.

[10] See Freeman, op. cit. p. 167, "Ill feeling between Thebes and
other towns."--"Against Thebes, backed by Sparta, resistance was
hopeless. It was not till long after that, at last [in 395 B.C.],
on a favourable opportunity during the Corinthian war, Orchomenos
openly seceded." And for the prior "state of disaffection towards
Thebes on the part of the smaller cities," see "Mem." III. v. 2,
in reference to B.C. 407.

[11] Lit. "perioecid."

And now that it was fully plain to the Thebans that the Lacedaemonians
would invade their territory, they sent ambassadors to Athens, who
spoke as follows:--

"Men of Athens, it is a mistake on your part to blame us for certain
harsh resolutions concerning Athens at the conclusion of the war.[12]
That vote was not authorised by the state of Thebes. It was the
utterance merely of one man,[13] who was at that time seated in the
congress of the allies. A more important fact is that when the
Lacedaemonians summoned us to attack Piraeus[14] the collective state
of Thebes passed a resolution refusing to join in the campaign. As
then you are to a large extent the cause of the resentment which the
Lacedaemonians feel towards us, we consider it only fair that you in
your turn should render us assistance. Still more do we demand of you,
sirs, who were of the city party at that date, to enter heart and soul
into war with the Lacedaemonians. For what were their services to you?
They first deliberately converted you into an oligarchy and placed you
in hostility to the democracy, and then they came with a great force
under guise of being your allies, and delivered you over to the
majority, so that, for any service they rendered you, you were all
dead men; and you owe your lives to our friends here, the people of

[12] See "Hell." II. ii. 19; and below, VI. v. 35.

[13] Plut. "Lys." xv. "Erianthus the Theban gave his vote to pull down
the city, and turn the country into sheep-pasture."--Clough, iii.

[14] See "Hell." II. iv. 30.

[15] See "Hell." II. iv. 38, 40, 41.

"But to pass on--we all know, men of Athens, that you would like to
recover the empire which you formerly possessed; and how can you
compass your object better than by coming to the aid yourselves of the
victims of Lacedaemonian injustice? Is it their wide empire of which
you are afraid? Let not that make cowards of you--much rather let it
embolden you as you lay to heart and ponder your own case. When your
empire was widest then the crop of your enemies was thickest. Only so
long as they found no opportunity to revolt did they keep their hatred
of you dark; but no sooner had they found a champion in Lacedaemon
than they at once showed what they really felt towards you. So too to-
day. Let us show plainly that we mean to stand shoulder to
shoulder[16] embattled against the Lacedaemonians; and haters enough
of them--whole armies--never fear, will be forthcoming. To prove the
truth of this assertion you need only to count upon your fingers. How
many friends have they left to them to-day? The Argives have been,
are, and ever will be, hostile to them. Of course. But the Eleians?
Why, the Eleians have quite lately[17] been robbed of so much
territory and so many cities that their friendship is converted into
hatred. And what shall we say of the Corinthians? the Arcadians? the
Achaeans? In the war which Sparta waged against you, there was no
toil, no danger, no expense, which those peoples did not share, in
obedience to the dulcet coaxings[18] and persuasions of that power.
The Lacedaemonians gained what they wanted, and then not one
fractional portion of empire, honour, or wealth did these faithful
followers come in for. That is not all. They have no scruple in
appointing their helots[19] as governors, and on the free necks of
their alies, in the day of their good fortune, they have planted the
tyrant's heel.

[16] Lit. "shield to shield."

[17] Lit. "to-day," "nowadays."

[18] {mala liparoumenoi}. See Thuc. i. 66 foll.; vi. 88.

[19] See "Pol. Lac." xiv.

"Then again take the case of those whom they have detached from
yourselves. In the most patent way they have cajoled and cheated them;
in place of freedom they have presented them with a twofold slavery.
The allies are tyrannised over by the governor and tyrannised over by
the ten commissioners set up by Lysander over every city.[20] And to
come lastly to the great king. In spite of all the enormous
contributions with which he aided them to gain a mastery over you, is
the lord of Asia one whit better off to-day than if he had taken
exactly the opposite course and joined you in reducing them?

[20] Grote ("H. G." ix. 323), referring to this passage, and to
"Hell." VI. iii. 8-11, notes the change in Spartan habits between
405 and 394 B.C. (i.e. between the victory of Aegospotami and the
defeat of Cnidos), when Sparta possessed a large public revenue
derived from the tribute of the dependent cities. For her earlier
condition, 432 B.C., cf. Thuc. i. 80. For her subsequent
condition, 334 B.C., cf. Arist. "Pol." ii. 6, 23.

"Is it not clear that you have only to step forward once again as the
champions of this crowd of sufferers from injustice, and you will
attain to a pinnacle of power quite unprecedented? In the days of your
old empire you were leaders of the maritime powers merely--that is
clear; but your new empire to-day will be universal. You will have at
your backs not only your former subjects, but ourselves, and the
Peloponnesians, and the king himself, with all that mighty power which
is his. We do not deny that we were serviceable allies enough to
Lacedaemon, as you will bear us witness; but this we say:--If we
helped the Lacedaemonians vigorously in the past, everything tends to
show that we shall help you still more vigorously to-day; for our
swords will be unsheathed, not in behalf of islanders, or Syracusans,
or men of alien stock, as happened in the late war, but of ourselves,
suffering under a sense of wrong. And there is another important fact
which you ought to realise: this selfish system of organised greed
which is Sparta's will fall more readily to pieces than your own late
empire. Yours was the proud assertion of naval empire over subjects
powerless by sea. Theirs is the selfish sway of a minority asserting
dominion over states equally well armed with themselves, and many
times more numerous. Here our remarks end. Do not forget, however, men
of Athens, that as far as we can understand the matter, the field to
which we invite you is destined to prove far richer in blessings to
your own state of Athens than to ours, Thebes."

With these words the speaker ended. Among the Athenians, speaker after
speaker spoke in favour of the proposition,[21] and finally a
unanimous resolution was passed voting assitance to the Thebans.
Thrasybulus, in an answer communicating the resolution, pointed out
with pride that in spite of the unfortified condition of Piraeus,
Athens would not shrink from repaying her former debt of gratitude to
Thebes with interest. "You," he added, "refused to join in a campaign
against us; we are prepared to fight your battles with you against the
enemy, if he attacks you." Thus the Thebans returned home and made
preparations to defend themselves, whilst the Athenians made ready to
assist them.

[21] For the alliance between Boeotia and Athens, B.C. 395, see
Kohler, "C. I. A." ii. 6; Hicks, op. cit. 65; Lys. "pro Man." S.
13; Jebb, "Att. Or." i. p. 247; and the two speeches of the same
orator Lysias against Alcibiades (son of the famous Alcibiades),
on a Charge of Desertion ("Or." xiv.), and on a Charge of Failure
to Serve ("Or." xv.)--Jebb, op. cit. i. p. 256 foll.

And now the Lacedaemonians no longer hesitated. Pausanias the king
advanced into Boeotia with the home army and the whole of the
Peloponnesian contingents, saving only the Corinthians, who declined
to serve. Lysander, at the head of the army supplied by Phocis and
Orchomenus and the other strong places in those parts, had already
reached Haliartus, in front of Pausanias. Being arrived, he refused to
sit down quietly and await the arrival of the army from Lacedaemon,
but at once marched with what troops he had against the walls of
Haliartus; and in the first instance he tried to persuade the citizens
to detach themselves from Thebes and to assume autonomy, but the
intention was cut short by certain Thebans within the fortress.
Whereupon Lysander attacked the place. The Thebans were made
aware,[22] and hurried to the rescue with heavy infantry and cavalry.
Then, whether it was that the army of relief fell upon Lysander
unawares, or that with clear knowledge of his approach he preferred to
await the enemy, with intent to crush him, is uncertain. This only is
clear: a battle was fought beside the walls, and a trophy still exists
to mark the victory of the townsfolk before the gates of Haliartus.
Lysander was slain, and the rest fled to the mountains, the Thebans
hotly pursuing. But when the pursuit had led them to some considerable
height, and they were fairly environed and hemmed in by difficult
ground and narrow space, then the heavy infantry turned to bay, and
greeted them with a shower of darts and missiles. First two or three
men dropped who had been foremost of the pursuers, and then upon the
rest they poured volleys of stones down the precipitous incline, and
pressed on their late pursuers with much zeal, until the Thebans
turned tail and quitted the deadly slope, leaving behind them more
than a couple of hundred corpses.

[22] See Plut. "Lys." xxviii. (Clough, iii. 137).

On this day, thereafter, the hearts of the Thebans failed them as they
counted their losses and found them equal to their gains; but the next
day they discovered that during the night the Phocians and the rest of
them had made off to their several homes, whereupon they fell to
pluming themselves highly on their achievement. But presently
Pausanias appeared at the head of the Lacedaemonian army, and once
more their dangers seemed to thicken round them. Deep, we are told,
was the silence and abasement which reigned in their host. It was not
until the third day, when the Athenians arrived[23] and were duely
drawn up beside them, whilst Pausanias neither attacked nor offered
battle, that at length the confidence of the Thebans took a larger
range. Pausanias, on his side, having summoned his generals and
commanders of fifties,[24] deliberated whether to give battle or to
content himself with picking up the bodies of Lysander and those who
fell with him, under cover of a truce.

[23] See Dem. "On the Crown," 258.

[24] Lit. "polemarchs and penteconters"--"colonels and lieutenants."
See "Pol. Lac." xi.

The considerations which weighed upon the minds of Pausanias and the
other high officers of the Lacedaemonians seem to have been that
Lysander was dead and his defeated army in retreat; while, as far as
they themselves were concerned, the Corinthian contingent was
absolutely wanting, and the zeal of the troops there present at the
lowest ebb. They further reasoned that the enemy's cavalry was
numerous and theirs the reverse; whilst, weightiest of all, there lay
the dead right under the walls, so that if they had been ever so much
stronger it would have been no easy task to pick up the bodies within
range of the towers of Haliartus. On all these grounds they determined
to ask for a flag of truce, in order to pick up the bodies of the
slain. These, however, the Thebans were not disposed to give back
unless they agreed to retire from their territory. The terms were
gladly accepted by the Lacedaemonians, who at once picked up the
corpses of the slain, and prepared to quit the territory of Boeotia.
The preliminaries were transacted, and the retreat commenced.
Despondent indeed was the demeanour of the Lacedaemonians, in contrast
with the insolent bearing of the Thebans, who visited the slightest
attempt to trespass on their private estates with blows and chased the
offenders back on to the high roads unflinchingly. Such was the
conclusion of the campaign of the Lacedaemonians.

As for Pausanias, on his arrival at home he was tried on the capital
charge. The heads of indictment set forth that he had failed to reach
Haliartus as soon as Lysander, in spite of his undertaking to be there
on the same day: that, instead of using any endeavour to pick up the
bodies of the slain by force of arms, he had asked for a flag of
truce: that at an earlier date, when he had got the popular government
of Athens fairly in his grip at Piraeus, he had suffered it to slip
through his fingers and escape. Besides this,[25] he failed to present
himself at the trial, and a sentence of death was passed upon him. He
escaped to Tegea and there died of an illness whilst still in exile.
Thus closes the chapter of events enacted on the soil of Hellas. To
return to Asia and Agesilaus.

[25] Or, add, "as a further gravamen."



B.C. 395. With the fall of the year Agesilaus reached Phrygia--the
Phrygia of Pharnabazus--and proceeded to burn and harry the district.
City after city was taken, some by force and some by voluntary
surrender. To a proposal of Spithridates to lead him into
Paphlagonia,[1] where he would introduce the king of the country to
him in conference and obtain his alliance, he readily acceded. It was
a long-cherished ambition of Agesilaus to alienate some one of the
subject nations from the Persian monarch, and he pushed forward

[1] See Hartman ("An. Xen." p. 339), who suggests {Otun auto} for {sun

On his arrival in Paphlagonia, King Otys[2] came, and an alliance was
made. (The fact was, he had been summoned by the king to Susa and had
not gone up.) More than that, through the persuasion of Spithridates
he left behind as a parting gift to Agesilaus one thousand cavalry and
a couple of thousand peltasts. Agesilaus was anxious in some way to
show his gratitude to Spithridates for such help, and spoke as
follows:--"Tell me," he said to Spithridates, "would you not like to
give your daughter to King Otys?" "Much more would I like to give
her," he answered, "than he to take her--I an outcast wanderer, and he
lord of a vast territory and forces." Nothing more was said at the
time about the marriage; but when Otys was on the point of departure
and came to bid farewell, Agesilaus, having taken care that
Spithridates should be out of the way, in the presence of the Thirty
broached the subject:[3] "Can you tell me, Otys, to what sort of
family Spithridates belongs?" "To one of the noblest in Persia,"
replied the king. Agesilaus: "Have you observed how beautiful his son
is?" Otys: "To be sure; last evening I was supping with him."
Agesilaus: "And they tell me his daughter is yet more beautiful."
Otys: "That may well be; beautiful she is." Agesilaus: "For my part,
as you have proved so good a friend to us, I should like to advise you
to take this girl to wife. Not only is she very beautiful--and what
more should a husband ask for?--but her father is of noble family, and
has a force at his back large enough to retaliate on Pharnabazus for
an injury. He has made the satrap, as you see, a fugitive and a
vagabond in his own vast territory. I need not tell you," he added,
"that a man who can so chastise an enemy is well able to benefit a
friend; and of this be assured: by such an alliance you will gain not
the connection of Spithridates alone, but of myself and the
Lacedaemonians, and, as we are the leaders of Hellas, of the rest of
Hellas also. And what a wedding yours will be! Were ever nuptials
celebrated on so grand a scale before? Was ever bride led home by such
an escort of cavalry and light-armed troops and heavy infantry, as
shall escort your wife home to your palace?" Otys asked: "Is
Spithridates of one mind with you in this proposal?" and Agesilaus
answered: "In good sooth he did not bid me make it for him. And for my
own part in the matter, though it is, I admit, a rare pleasure to
requite an enemy, yet I had far rather at any time discover some good
fortune for my friends." Otys: "Why not ask if your project pleases
Spithridates too?" Then Agesilaus, turning to Herippidas and the rest
of the Thirty, bade them go to Spithridates; "and give him such good
instruction," he added, "that he shall wish what we wish." The Thirty
rose and retired to administer their lesson. But they seemed to tarry
a long time, and Agesilaus asked: "What say you, King Otys--shall we
summon him hither ourselves? You, I feel certain, are better able to
persuade him than the whole Thirty put together." Thereupon Agesilaus
summoned Spithridates and the others. As they came forward, Herippidas
promptly delivered himself thus: "I spare you the details, Agesilaus.
To make a long story short, Spithridates says, 'He will be glad to do
whatever pleases you.'" Then Agesilaus, turning first to one and then
to the other: "What pleases me," said he, "is that you should wed a
daughter--and you a wife--so happily.[4] But," he added, "I do not see
how we can well bring home the bride by land till spring." "No, not by
land," the suitor answered, "but you might, if you chose, conduct her
home at once by sea." Thereupon they exchanged pledges to ratify the
compact; and so sent Otys rejoicing on his way.

[2] See "Ages." iii. 4, where he is called Cotys.

[3] I.e. "Spartan counsellors."

[4] Or, "and may the wedding be blest!"

Agesilaus, who had not failed to note the king's impatience, at once
fitted out a ship of war and gave orders to Callias, a Lacedaemonian,
to escort the maiden to her new home; after which he himself began his
march on Dascylium. Here was the palace of Pharnabazus. It lay in the
midst of abundant supplies. Here, too, were most fair hunting grounds,
offering the hunter choice between enclosed parks[5] and a wide
expanse of field and fell; and all around there flowed a river full of
fish of every sort; and for the sportsman versed in fowling, winged
game in abundance.

[5] Lit. "paradises." See "Anab." I. ii. 7; "Cyrop." I. iv. 11.

In these quarters the Spartan king passed the winter, collecting
supplies for the army either on the spot or by a system of forage. On
one of these occasions the troops, who had grown reckless and scornful
of the enemy through long immunity from attack, whilst engaged in
collecting supplies were scattered over the flat country, when
Pharnabazus fell upon them with two scythe-chariots and about four
hundred horse. Seeing him thus advancing, the Hellenes ran together,
mustering possibly seven hundred men. The Persian did not hesitate,
but placing his chariots in front, supported by himself and the
cavalry, he gave the command to charge. The scythe-chariots charged
and scattered the compact mass, and speedily the cavalry had laid low
in the dust about a hundred men, while the rest retreated hastily,
under cover of Agesilaus and his hoplites, who were fortunately near.

It was the third or fourth day after this that Spithridates made a
discovery: Pharnabazus lay encamped in Caue, a large village not more
than eighteen miles[6] away. This news he lost no time in reporting to
Herippidas. The latter, who was longing for some brilliant explout,
begged Agesilaus to furnish him with two thousand hoplites, an equal
number of peltasts, and some cavalry--the latter to consist of the
horsemen of Spithridates, the Paphlagonians, and as many Hellene
troopers as he might perchance persuade to follow him. Having got the
promise of them from Agesilaus, he proceeded to take the auspices.
Towards late afternoon he obtained favourable omens and broke off the
sacrifice. Thereupon he ordered the troops to get their evening meal,
after which they were to present themselves in front of the camp. But
by the time darkness had closed in, not one half of them had come out.
To abandon the project was to call down the ridicule of the rest of
the Thirty. So he set out with the force to hand, and about daylight,
falling on the camp of Pharnabazus, put many of his advanced guard of
Mysians to the sword. The men themselves made good their escape in
different directions, but the camp was taken, and with it divers
goblets and other gear such as a man like Pharnabazus would have, not
to speak of much baggage and many baggage animals. It was the dread of
being surrounded and besieged, if he should establish himself for long
at any one spot, which induced Pharnabazus to flee in gipsy fashion
from point to point over the country, carefully obliterating his
encampments. Now as the Paphlagonians and Spithridates brought back
the captured property, they were met by Herippidas with his brigadiers
and captains, who stopped them and[7] relieved them of all they had;
the object being to have as large a list as possible of captures to
deliver over to the officers who superintended the sale of booty.[8]
This treatment the Asiatics found intolerable. They deemed themselves
at once injured and insulted, got their kit together in the night, and
made off in the direction of Sardis to join Ariaeus without mistrust,
seeing that he too had revolted and gone to war with the king. On
Agesilaus himself no heavier blow fell during the whole campaign than
the desertion of Spithridates and Megabates and the Paphlagonians.

[6] Lit. "one hundred and sixty stades."

[7] Or, "captains posted to intercept them, who relieved . . ." See
"Anab." IV. i. 14.

[8] See "Pol. Lac." xiii. 11, for these officers.

Now there was a certain man of Cyzicus, Apollophanes by name; he was
an old friend of Pharnabazus, and at this time had become a friend
also of Agesilaus.[9] This man informed Agesilaus that he thought he
could bring about a meeting between him and Pharnabazus, which might
tend to friendship; and having so got ear of him, he obtained pledges
of good faith between his two friends, and presented himself with
Pharnabazus at the trysting-place, where Agesilaus with the Thirty
around him awaited their coming, reclined upon a grassy sward.
Pharnabazus presently arrived clad in costliest apparel; but just as
his attendants were about to spread at his feet the carpets on which
the Persians delicately seat themselves, he was touched with a sense
of shame at his own luxury in sight of the simplicity of Agesilaus,
and he also without further ceremony seated himself on the bare
ground. And first the two bade one another hail, and then Pharnabazus
stretched out his right hand and Agesilaus his to meet him, and the
conversation began. Pharnabazus, as the elder of the two, spoke first.
"Agesilaus," he said, "and all you Lacedaemonians here present, while
you were at war with the Athenians I was your friend and ally; it was
I who furnished the wealth that made your navy strong on sea; on land
I fought on horseback by your side, and pursued your enemies into the
sea.[10] As to duplicity like that of Tissaphernes, I challenge you to
accuse me of having played you false by word or deed. Such have I ever
been; and in return how am I treated by yourselves to-day?--in such
sort that I cannot even sup in my own country unless, like the wild
animals, I pick up the scraps you chance to leave. The beautiful
palaces which my father left me as an heirloom, the parks[11] full of
trees and beasts of the chase in which my heart rejoiced, lie before
my eyes hacked to pieces, burnt to ashes. Maybe I do not comprehend
the first principles of justice and holiness; do you then explain to
me how all this resembles the conduct of men who know how to repay a
simple debt of gratitude." He ceased, and the Thirty were ashamed
before him and kept silence.[12]

[9] "Ages." v. 4; Plut. "Ages." xi. (Clough, iv. p. 14).

[10] See "Hell." I. i. 6.

[11] Lit. "paradises."

[12] Theopompus of Chios, the historian (b. B.C. 378, fl. B.C. 333),
"in the eleventh book [of his {Suntazis Ellenikon}] borrowed
Xenophon's lively account of the interview between Agesilaus and
Pharnabazus (Apollonius apud Euseb. B, "Praep. Evang." p. 465)."
See "Hist. Lit. of Anc. Gr.," Muller and Donaldson, ii. p. 380.

At length, after some pause, Agesilaus spoke. "I think you are aware,"
he said, "Pharnabazus, that within the states of Hellas the folk of
one community contract relations of friendship and hospitality with
one another;[13] but if these states should go to war, then each man
will side with his fatherland, and friend will find himself pitted
against friend in the field of battle, and, if it so betide, the one
may even deal the other his death-blow. So too we to-day, being at war
with your sovereign lord the king, must needs regard as our enemy all
that he calls his; not but that with yourself personally we should
esteem it our high fortune to be friends. If indeed it were merely an
exchange of service--were you asked to give up your lord the king and
to take us as your masters in his stead, I could not so advise you;
but the fact is, by joining with us it is in your power to-day to bow
your head to no man, to call no man master, to reap the produce of
your own domain in freedom--freedom, which to my mind is more precious
than all riches. Not that we bid you to become a beggar for the sake
of freedom, but rather to use our friendship to increase not the
king's authority, but your own, by subduing those who are your fellow-
slaves to-day, and who to-morrow shall be your willing subjects. Well,
then, freedom given and wealth added--what more would you desire to
fill the cup of happiness to overflowing?" Pharnabazus replied: "Shall
I tell you plainly what I will do?" "That were but kind and courteous
on your part," he answered. "Thus it stands with me, then," said
Pharnabazus. "If the king should send another general, and if he
should wish to rank me under this new man's orders, I, for my part, am
willing to accept your friendship and alliance; but if he offers me
the supreme command--why, then, I plainly tell you, there is a certain
something in the very name ambition which whispers me that I shall war
against you to the best of my ability."[14] When he heard that,
Agesilaus seized the satrap's hand, exclaiming: "Ah, best of mortals,
may the day arrive which sends us such a friend! Of one thing rest
assured. This instant I leave your territory with what haste I may,
and for the future--even in case of war--as long as we can find foes
elsewhere our hands shall hold aloof from you and yours."

[13] Or, add, "we call them guest friends."

[14] Or, "so subtle a force, it seems, is the love of honour that."
Grote, "H. G." ix. 386; cf. Herod. iii. 57 for "ambition,"

And with these words he broke up the meeting. Pharnabazus mounted his
horse and rode away, but his son by Parapita, who was still in the
bloom of youth, lingered behind; then, running up to Agesilaus, he
exclaimed: "See, I choose you as my friend." "And I accept you,"
replied the king. "Remember, then," the lad answered, and with the
word presented the beautiful javelin in his hand to Agesilaus, who
received it, and unclasping a splendid trapping[15] which his
secretary, Idaeus, had round the neck of his charger, he gave it in
return to the youth; whereupon the boy leapt on his horse's back and
galloped after his father.[16] At a later date, during the absence of
Pharnabazus abroad, this same youth, the son of Parapita, was deprived
of the government by his brother and driven into exile. Then Agesilaus
took great interest in him, and as he had a strong attachment to the
son of Eualces, an Athenian, Agesilaus did all he could to have this
friend of his, who was the tallest of the boys, admitted to the two
hundred yards race at Olympia.

[15] {phalara}, bosses of gold, silver, or other metals, cast or
chased, with some appropriate device in relief, which were worn as
an ornamental trapping for horses, affixed to the head-stall or to
a throat-collar, or to a martingale over the chest.--Rich's
"Companion to Lat. Dict. and Greek Lex.," s.v.

[16] See Grote, ix. 387; Plut. "Ages." xiv. (Clough, iv. 15); "Ages."
iii. 5. The incident is idealised in the "Cyrop." I. iv. 26 foll.
See "Lyra Heroica": CXXV. A Ballad of East and West--the incident
of the "turqoise-studded rein."

B.C. 394. But to return to the actual moment. Agesilaus was as good as
his word, and at once marched out of the territory of Pharnabazus. The
season verged on spring. Reaching the plain of Thebe,[17] he encamped
in the neighbourhood of the temple of Artemis of Astyra,[18] and there
employed himself in collecting troops from every side, in addition to
those which he already had, so as to form a complete armament. These
preparations were pressed forward with a view to penetrating as far as
possible into the interior. He was persuaded that every tribe or
nation placed in his rear might be considered as alienated from the

[17] "Anab." VII. viii. 7.

[18] Vide Strab. xiii. 606, 613. Seventy stades from Thebe.


Such were the concerns and projects of Agesilaus. Meanwhile the
Lacedaemonians at home were quite alive to the fact that moneys had
been sent into Hellas, and that the bigger states were leagued
together to declare war against them. It was hard to avoid the
conclusion that Sparta herself was in actual danger, and that a
campaign was inevitable. While busy, therefore, with preparations
themselves, they lost no time in despatching Epicydidas to fetch
Agesilaus. That officer, on his arrival, explained the position of
affairs, and concluded by delivering a peremptory summons of the state
recalling him to the assistance of the fatherland without delay. The
announcement could not but come as a grievous blow to Agesilaus, as he
reflected on the vanished hopes, and the honours plucked from his
grasp. Still, he summoned the allies and announced to them the
contents of the despatch from home. "To aid our fatherland," he added,
"is an imperative duty. If, however, matters turn out well on the
other side, rely upon it, friends and allies, I will not forget you,
but I shall be back anon to carry out your wishes." When they heard
the announcement many wept, and they passed a resolution, one and all,
to assist Agesilaus in assisting Lacedaemon; if matters turned out
well there, they undertook to take him as their leader and come back
again to Asia; and so they fell to making preparations to follow him.

Agesilaus, on his side, determined to leave behind him in Asia Euxenus
as governor, and with him a garrison numbering no less than four
thousand troops, which would enable him to protect the states in Asia.
But for himself, as on the one hand he could see that the majority of
the soldiers would far rather stay behind than undertake service
against fellow-Hellenes, and on the other hand he wished to take as
fine and large an army with him as he could, he offered prizes first
to that state or city which should continue the best corps of troops,
and secondly to that captain of mercenaries who should join the
expedition with the best equipped battalion of heavy infantry,
archers, and light infantry. On the same principle he informed the
chief cavalry officers that the general who succeeded in presenting
the best accoutred and best mounted regiment would receive from
himself some victorious distinction. "The final adjudication," he
said, "would not be made until they had crossed from Asia into Europe
and had reached the Chersonese; and this with a view to impress upon
them that the prizes were not for show but for real campaigners."[1]
These consisted for the most part of infantry or cavalry arms and
accoutrements tastefully furnished, besides which there were chaplets
of gold. The whole, useful and ornamental alike, must have cost nearly
a thousand pounds,[2] but as the result of this outlay, no doubt, arms
of great value were procured for the expedition.[3] When the
Hellespont was crossed the judges were appointed. The Lacedaemonians
were represented by Menascus, Herippidas, and Orsippus, and the allies
by one member from each state. As soon as the adjudication was
complete, the army commenced its march with Agesilaus at its head,
following the very route taken by the great king when he invaded

[1] Or, "that the perfection of equipment was regarded as anticipative
of actual service in the field." Cobet suggests for {eukrinein}
{dieukrinein}; cf. "Oecon." viii. 6.

[2] Lit. "at least four talents" = 975 pounds.

[3] Or, "beyond which, the arms and material to equip the expedition
were no doubt highly costly."

Meanwhile the ephors had called out the ban, and as Agesipolis was
still a boy, the state called upon Aristodemus, who was of the royal
family and guardian of the young king, to lead the expedition; and now
that the Lacedaemonians were ready to take the field and the forces of
their opponents were duly mustered, the latter met[4] to consider the
most advantageous method of doing battle.

[4] At Corinth. See above, III. iv. 11; below, V. iv. 61, where the
victory of Nixos is described but not localised.

Timolaus of Corinth spoke: "Soldiers of the allied forces," he said,
"the growth of Lacedaemon seems to me just like that of some mighty
river--at its sources small and easily crossed, but as it farther and
farther advances, other rivers discharge themelves into its channel,
and its stream grows ever more formidable. So is it with the
Lacedaemonians. Take them at the starting-point and they are but a
single community, but as they advance and attach city after city they
grow more numerous and more resistless. I observe that when people
wish to take wasps' nests--if they try to capture the creatures on the
wing, they are liable to be attacked by half the hive; whereas, if
they apply fire to them ere they leave their homes, they will master
them without scathe themselves. On this principle I think it best to
bring about the battle within the hive itself, or, short of that, as
close to Lacedaemon as possible."[5]

[5] Or, "if not actually at Lacedaemon, then at least as near as
possible to the hornet's nest."

The arguments of the speaker were deemed sound, and a resolution was
passed in that sense; but before it could be carried out there were
various arrangements to be made. There was the question of headship.
Then, again, what was the proper depth of line to be given to the
different army corps? for if any particular state or states gave too
great a depth to their battle line they would enable the enemy to turn
their flank. Whilst they were debating these points, the
Lacedaemonians had incorporated the men of Tegea and the men of
Mantinea, and were ready to debouch into the bimarine region.[6] And
as the two armies advanced almost at the same time, the Corinthians
and the rest reached the Nemea,[7] and the Lacedaemonians and their
allies occupied Sicyon. The Lacedaemonians entered by Epieiceia, and
at first were severely handled by the light-armed troops of the enemy,
who discharged stones and arrows from the vantage-ground on their
right; but as they dropped down upon the Gulf of Corinth they advanced
steadily onwards through the flat country, felling timber and burning
the fair land. Their rivals, on their side, after a certain forward
movement,[8] paused and encamped, placing the ravine in front of them;
but still the Lacedaemonians advanced, and it was only when they were
within ten furlongs[9] of the hostile position that they followed suit
and encamped, and then they remained quiet.

[6] I.e. "the shores of the Corinthian Gulf." Or, "upon the strand or
coast road or coast land of Achaia" [aliter {ten aigialon}(?) the
Strand of the Corinthian Gulf, the old name of this part of

[7] Or, "the district of Nemea."

[8] {epelthontes}, but see Grote ("H. G." ix. 425 note), who prefers
{apelthontes} = retreated and encamped.

[9] Lit. "ten stades." For the numbers below, see Grote, "H. G." ix.
422, note 1.

And here I may state the numbers on either side. The Lacedaemonian
heavy-armed infantry levies amounted to six thousand men. Of Eleians,
Triphylians, Acroreians, and Lasionians, there must have been nearly
three thousand, with fifteen hundred Sicyonians, while Epidaurus,
Troezen, Hermione, and Halieis[10] contributed at least another three
thousand. To these heavy infantry troops must be added six hundred
Lacedaemonian cavalry, a body of Cretan archers about three hundred
strong, besides another force of slingers, at least four hundred in
all, consisting of Marganians, Letrinians, and Amphidolians. The men
of Phlius were not represented. Their plea was they were keeping "holy
truce." That was the total of the forces on the Lacedaemonian side.
There was collected on the enemy's side six thousand Athenian heavy
infantry, with about, as was stated, seven thousand Argives, and in
the absence of the men of Orchomenus something like five thousand
Boeotians. There were besides three thousand Corinthians, and again
from the whole of Euboea at least three thousand. These formed the
heavy infantry. Of cavalry the Boeotians, again in the absence of the
Orchomenians, furnished eight hundred, the Athenians[11] six hundred,
the Chalcidians of Euboea one hundred, the Opuntian Locrians[12]
fifty. Their light troops, including those of the Corinthians, were
more numerous, as the Ozolian Locrians, the Melians, and
Arcarnanians[13] helped to swell their numbers.

[10] Halieis, a seafaring people (Strabo, viii. 373) and town on the
coast of Hermionis; Herod. vii. 137; Thuc. i. 105, ii. 56, iv. 45;
Diod. xi. 78; "Hell." VI. ii. 3.

[11] For a treaty between Athens and Eretria, B.C. 395, see Hicks, 66;
and below, "Hell." IV. iii. 15; Hicks, 68, 69; Diod. xiv. 82.

[12] See above, "Hell." III. v. 3.

[13] See below, "Hell." IV. vi. 1; ib. vii. 1; VI. v. 23.

Such was the strength of the two armies. The Boeotians, as long as
they occupied the left wing, showed no anxiety to join battle, but
after a rearrangement which gave them the right, placing the Athenians
opposite the Lacedaemonians, and themselves opposite the Achaeans, at
once, we are told,[14] the victims proved favourable, and the order
was passed along the lines to prepare for immediate action. The
Boeotians, in the first place, abandoning the rule of sixteen deep,
chose to give their division the fullest possible depth, and,
moreover, kept veering more and more to their right, with the
intention of overlapping their opponent's flank. The consequence was
that the Athenians, to avoid being absolutely severed, were forced to
follow suit, and edged towards the right, though they recognised the
risk they ran of having their flank turned. For a while the
Lacedaemonians had no idea of the advance of the enemy, owing to the
rough nature of the ground,[15] but the notes of the paean at length
announced to them the fact, and without an instant's delay the
answering order "prepare for battle" ran along the different sections
of their army. As soon as their troops were drawn up, according to the
tactical disposition of the various generals of foreign brigades, the
order was passed to "follow the lead," and then the Lacedaemonians on
their side also began edging to their right, and eventually stretched
out their wing so far that only six out of the ten regimental
divisions of the Athenians confronted the Lacedaemonians, the other
four finding themselves face to face with the men of Tegea. And now
when they were less than a furlong[16] apart, the Lacedaemonians
sacrificed in customary fashion a kid to the huntress goddess,[17] and
advanced upon their opponents, wheeling round their overlapping
columns to outflank his left. As the two armies closed, the allies of
Lacedaemon were as a rule fairly borne down by their opponents. The
men of Pellene alone, steadily confronting the Thespiaeans, held their
ground, and the dead of either side strewed the position.[18] As to
the Lacedaemonians themselves: crushing that portion of the Athenian
troops which lay immediately in front of them, and at the same time
encircling them with their overlapping right, they slew man after man
of them; and, absolutely unscathed themselves, their unbroken columns
continued their march, and so passed behind the four remaining
divisions[19] of the Athenians before these latter had returned from
their own victorious pursuit. Whereby the four divisions in question
also emerged from battle intact, except for the casualties inflicted
by the Tegeans in the first clash of the engagement. The troops next
encountered by the Lacedaemonians were the Argives retiring. These
they fell foul of, and the senior polemarch was just on the point of
closing with them "breast to breast" when some one, it is said,
shouted, "Let their front ranks pass." This was done, and as the
Argives raced past, their enemies thrust at their unprotected[20]
sides and killed many of them. The Corinthians were caught in the same
way as they retired, and when their turn had passed, once more the
Lacedaemonians lit upon a portion of the Theban division retiring from
the pursuit, and strewed the field with their dead. The end of it all
was that the defeated troops in the first instance made for safety to
the walls of their city, but the Corinthians within closed the gates,
whereupon the troops took up quarters once again in their old
encampment. The Lacedaemonians on their side withdrew to the point at
which they first closed with the enemy, and there set up a trophy of
victory. So the battle ended.

[14] Or, "then they lost no time in discovering that the victims
proved favourable."

[15] See Grote, "H. G." ix. 428; cf. Lys. "pro Mant." 20.

[16] Lit. "a stade."

[17] Lit. "our Lady of the Chase." See "Pol. Lac." xiii. 8.

[18] Lit. "men on either side kept dropping at their post."

[19] Lit. "tribes."

[20] I.e. "right."


Meanwhile Agesilaus was rapidly hastening with his reinforcements from
Asia. He had reached Amphipolis when Dercylidas brought the news of
this fresh victory of the Lacedaemonians; their own loss had been
eight men, that of the enemy considerable. It was his business at the
same time to explain that not a few of the allies had fallen also.
Agesilaus asked, "Would it not be opportune, Dercylidas, if the cities
that have furnished us with contingents could hear of this victory as
soon as possible?" And Dercylidas replied: "The news at any rate is
likely to put them in better heart." Then said the king: "As you were
an eye-witness there could hardly be a better bearer of the news than
yourself." To this proposal Dercylidas lent a willing ear--to travel
abroad[1] was his special delight--and he replied, "Yes, under your
orders." "Then you have my orders," the king said. "And you may
further inform the states from myself that we have not forgotten our
promise; if all goes well over here we shall be with them again ere
long." So Dercylidas set off on his travels, in the first instance to
the Hellespont;[2] while Agesilaus crossed Macedonia, and arrived in
Thessaly. And now the men of Larissa, Crannon, Scotussa, and
Pharsalus, who were allies of the Boeotians--and in fact all the
Thessalians except the exiles for the time being--hung on his heels[3]
and did him damage.

[1] See "Pol. Lac." xiv. 4.

[2] See below, "Hell." IV. viii. 3.

[3] See "Ages." ii. 2; Grote, "H. G." ix. 420, note 2.

For some while he marched his troops in a hollow square,[4] posting
half his cavalry in front and half on his rear; but finding that the
Thessalians checked his passage by repeated charges from behind, he
strengthened his rearguard by sending round the cavalry from his van,
with the exception of his own personal escort.[5] The two armies stood
confronted in battle order; but the Thessalians, not liking the notion
of a cavalry engagement with heavy infantry, turned, and step by step
retreated, while the others followed them with considerable caution.
Agesilaus, perceiving the error under which both alike laboured, now
sent his own personal guard of stalwart troopers with orders that both
they and the rest of the horsemen should charge at full gallop,[6] and
not give the enemy the chance to recoil. The Thessalians were taken
aback by this unexpected onslaught, and half of them never thought of
wheeling about, whilst those who did essay to do so presented the
flanks of their horses to the charge,[7] and were made prisoners.
Still Polymarchus of Pharsalus, the general in command of their
cavalry, rallied his men for an instant, and fell, sword in hand, with
his immediate followers. This was the signal for a flight so
precipitate on the part of the Thessalians, that their dead and dying
lined the road, and prisoners were taken; nor was any halt made until
they reached Mount Narthacius. Here, then, midway between Pras and
Narthacius, Agesilaus set up a trophy, halting for the moment, in
unfeigned satisfaction at the exploit. It was from antagonists who
prided themselves on their cavalry beyond everything that he had
wrested victory, with a body of cavalry of his own mustering. Next day
he crossed the mountains of Achaea Phthiotis, and for the future
continued his march through friendly territory until he reached the
confines of Boeotia.

[4] See Rustow and Kochly, S. 187 foll.

[5] See Thuc. v. 72; Herod. vi. 56, viii. 124.

[6] Lit. "and bids them pass the order to the others and themselves to
charge," etc.

[7] See "Horsemanship," vii. 16; Polyb. iv. 8.

Here, at the entrance of that territory, the sun (in partial
eclipse)[8] seemed to appear in a crescent shape, and the news reached
him of the defeat of the Lacedaemonians in a naval engagement, and the
death of the admiral Peisander. Details of the disaster were not
wanting. The engagement of the hostile fleets took place off Cnidus.
Pharnabazus, the Persian admiral, was present with the Phoenician
fleet, and in front of him were ranged the ships of the Hellenic
squadron under Conon. Peisander had ventured to draw out his squadron
to meet the combined fleets, though the numerical inferiority of his
fleet to that of the Hellenic navy under Conon was conspicuous, and he
had the mortification of seeing the allies who formed his left wing
take to flight immediately. He himself came to close quarters with the
enemy, and was driven on shore, on board his trireme, under pressure
of the hostile rams. The rest, as many as were driven to shore,
deserted their ships and sought safety as best they could in the
territory of Cnidus. The admiral alone stuck to his ship, and fell
sword in hand.

[8] B.C. 394, August 14.

It was impossible for Agesilaus not to feel depressed by those tidings
at first; on further reflection, however, it seemed to him that the
moral quality of more than half his troops well entitled them to share
in the sunshine of success, but in the day of trouble, when things
looked black, he was not bound to take them into his confidence.
Accordingly he turned round and gave out that he had received news
that Peisander was dead, but that he had fallen in the arms of victory
in a sea-fight; and suiting his action to the word, he proceeded to
offer sacrifice in return for good tidings,[9] distributing portions
of the victims to a large number of recipients. So it befell that in
the first skirmish with the enemy the troops of Agesilaus gained the
upper hand, in consequence of the report that the Lacedaemonians had
won a victory by sea.

[9] "Splendide mendax." For the ethics of the matter, see "Mem." IV.
ii. 17; "Cyrop." I. vi. 31.

To confront Agesilaus stood an army composed of the Boeotians,
Athenians, Argives, Corinthians, Aenianians, Euboeans, and both
divisions of the Locrians. Agesilaus on his side had with him a
division[10] of Lacedaemonians, which had crossed from Corinth, also
half the division from Orchomenus; besides which there were the
neodamodes[11] from Lacedaemon, on service with him already; and in
addition to these the foreign contingent under Herippidas;[12] and
again the quota furnished by the Hellenic cities in Asia, with others
from the cities in Europe which he had brought over during his
progress; and lastly, there were additional levies from the spot--
Orchomenian and Phocian heavy infantry. In light-armed troops, it must
be admitted, the numbers told heavily in favour of Agesilaus, but the
cavalry[13] on both sides were fairly balanced.

[10] Lit. "a mora"; for the numbers, see "Ages." ii. 6; Plut. "Ages."
17; Grote, "H. G." ix. 433.

[11] I.e. "enfranchised helots."

[12] See "Ages." ii. 10, 11; and above, "Hell." III. iv. 20.

[13] See Hicks, op. cit. 68.

Such were the forces of either party. I will describe the battle
itself, if only on account of certain features which distinguish it
from the battles of our time. The two armies met on the plain of
Coronea--the troops of Agesilaus advancing from the Cephisus, the
Thebans and their allies from the slopes of Helicon. Agesilaus
commanded his own right in person, with the men of Orchomenus on his
extreme left. The Thebans formed their own right, while the Argives
held their left. As they drew together, for a while deep silence
reigned on either side; but when they were not more than a furlong[14]
apart, with the loud hurrah[15] the Thebans, quickening to a run,
rushed furiously[16] to close quarters; and now there was barely a
hundred yards[17] breadth between the two armies, when Herippidas with
his foreign brigade, and with them the Ionians, Aeolians, and
Hellespontines, darted out from the Spartans' battle-lines to greet
their onset. One and all of the above played their part in the first
rush forward; in another instant they were[18] within spear-thrust of
the enemy, and had routed the section immediately before them. As to
the Argives, they actually declined to receive the attack of
Agesilaus, and betook themselves in flight to Helicon. At this moment
some of the foreign division were already in the act of crowning
Agesilaus with the wreath of victory, when some one brought him word
that the Thebans had cut through the Orchomenians and were in among
the baggage train. At this the Spartan general immediately turned his
army right about and advanced against them. The Thebans, on their
side, catching sight of their allies withdrawn in flight to the base
of the Helicon, and anxious to get across to their own friends, formed
in close order and tramped forward stoutly.

[14] Lit. "a stade."

[15] Lit. "Alalah."

[16] Like a tornado.

[17] Lit. "about three plethra."

[18] Or, "All these made up the attacking columns . . . and coming
within . . . routed . . ."

At this point no one will dispute the valour of Agesilaus, but he
certainly did not choose the safest course. It was open to him to make
way for the enemy to pass, which done, he might have hung upon his
heels and mastered his rear. This, however, he refused to do,
preferring to crash full front against the Thebans. Thereupon, with
close interlock of shield wedged in with shield, they shoved, they
fought, they dealt death,[19] they breathed out life, till at last a
portion of the Thebans broke their way through towards Helicon, but
paid for that departure by the loss of many lives. And now the victory
of Agesilaus was fairly won, and he himself, wounded, had been carried
back to the main line, when a party of horse came galloping up to tell
him that something like eighty of the enemy, under arms, were
sheltering under the temple, and they asked what they ought to do.
Agesilaus, though he was covered with wounds, did not, for all that,
forget his duty to God. He gave orders to let them retire unscathed,
and would not suffer any injury to be done to them. And now, seeing it
was already late, they took their suppers and retired to rest.

[19] Or, "they slew, they were slain." In illustration of this famous
passage, twice again worked up in "Ages." ii. 12, and "Cyrop."
VII. i. 38, commented on by Longinus, {peri upsous}, 19, and
copied by Dio Cassius, 47, 45, I venture to quote a passage from
Mr. Rudyard Kipling, "With the Main Guard," p. 57, Mulvaney
loquitur: "The Tyrone was pushin' an' pushin' in, an' our men was
sweerin' at thim, an' Crook was workin' away in front av us all,
his sword-arm swingin' like a pump-handle an' his revolver
spittin' like a cat. But the strange thing av ut was the quiet
that lay upon. 'Twas like a fight in a dhrame--excipt for thim
that wus dead."

But with the morning Gylis the polemarch received orders to draw up
the troops in battle order, and to set up a trophy, every man crowned
with a wreath in honour of the god, and all the pipers piping. Thus
they busied themselves in the Spartan camp. On their side the Thebans
sent heralds asking to bury their dead, under a truce; and in this
wise a truce was made. Agesilaus withdrew to Delphi, where on arrival
he offered to the god a tithe of the produce of his spoils--no less
than a hundred talents.[20] Gylis the polemarch meanwhile withdrew
into Phocis at the head of his troops, and from that district made a
hostile advance into Locris. Here nearly a whole day was spent by the
men in freely helping themselves to goods and chattels out of the
villages and pillaging the corn;[21] but as it drew towards evening
the troops began to retire, with the Lacedaemonians in the rear. The
Locrians hung upon their heels with a heavy pelt of stones and
javelins. Thereupon the Lacedaemonians turned short round and gave
chase, laying some of their assailants low. Then the Locrians ceased
clinging to their rear, but continued their volleys from the vantage-
ground above. The Lacedaemonians again made efforts to pursue their
persistent foes even up the slope. At last darkness descended on them,
and as they retired man after man dropped, succumbing to the sheer
difficulty of the ground; some in their inability to see what lay in
front, or else shot down by the enemy's missiles. It was then that
Gylis the polemarch met his end, as also Pelles, who was on his
personal staff, and the whole of the Spartans present without
exception--eighteen or thereabouts--perished, either crushed by stones
or succumbing to other wounds. Indeed, except for timely aid brought
from the camp where the men were supping, the chances are that not a
man would have escaped to tell the tale.

[20] = 25,000 pounds nearly.

[21 Or, "not to speak of provisions."


This incident ended the campaign. The army as a whole was disbanded,
the contingents retiring to their several cities, and Agesilaus home
across the Gulf by sea.

B.C. 393. Subsequently[1] the war between the two parties recommenced.
The Athenians, Boeotians, Argives, and the other allies made Corinth
the base of their operations; the Lacedaemonians and their allies held
Sicyon as theirs. As to the Corinthians, they had to face the fact
that, owing to their proximity to the seat of war, it was their
territory which was ravaged and their people who perished, while the
rest of the allies abode in peace and reaped the fruits of their lands
in due season. Hence the majority of them, including the better class,
desired peace, and gathering into knots they indoctrinated one another
with these views.

[1] B.C. 393. See Grote, ix. p. 455, note 2 foll.; "Hell." IV. viii.

B.C. 392.[2] On the other hand, it could hardly escape the notice of
the allied powers, the Argives, Athenians, and Boeotians, as also
those of the Corinthians themselves who had received a share of the
king's moneys, or for whatever reason were most directly interested in
the war, that if they did not promptly put the peace party out of the
way, ten chances to one the old laconising policy would again hold the
field. It seemed there was nothing for it but the remedy of the knife.
There was a refinement of wickedness in the plan adopted. With most
people the life even of a legally condemned criminal is held sacred
during a solemn season, but these men deliberately selected the last
day of the Eucleia,[3] when they might reckon on capturing more
victims in the crowded market-place, for their murderous purposes.
Their agents were supplied with the names of those to be gotten rid
of, the signal was given, and then, drawing their daggers, they fell
to work. Here a man was struck down standing in the centre of a group
of talkers, and there another seated; a third while peacably enjoying
himself at the play; a fourth actually whilst officiating as a judge
at some dramatic contest.[4] When what was taking place became known,
there was a general flight on the part of the better classes. Some
fled to the images of the gods in the market-place, others to the
altars; and here these unhallowed miscreants, ringleaders and
followers alike, utterly regardless of duty and law, fell to
butchering their victims even within the sacred precincts of the gods;
so that even some of those against whom no hand was lifted--honest,
law-abiding folk--were filled with sore amazement at sight of such
impiety. In this way many of the elder citizens, as mustering more
thickly in the market-place, were done to death. The younger men,
acting on a suspicion conceived by one of their number, Pasimelus, as
to what was going to take place, kept quiet in the Kraneion;[5] but
hearing screams and shouting and being joined anon by some who had
escaped from the affair, they took the hint, and, running up along the
slope of the Acrocorinthus, succeeded in repelling an attack of the
Argives and the rest. While they were still deliberating what they
ought to do, down fell a capital from its column--without assignable
cause, whether of earthquake or wind. Also, when they sacrificed, the
aspect of the victims was such that the soothsayers said it was better
to descend from that position.

[2] Others assign the incidents of this whole chapter iv. to B.C. 393.

[3] The festival of Artemis Eucleia.

[4] See Diod. xiv. 86.

[5] See Paus. II. ii. 4.

So they retired, in the first instance prepared to go into exile
beyond the territory of Corinth. It was only upon the persuasion of
their friends and the earnest entreaties of their mothers and sisters
who came out to them, supported by the solemn assurance of the men in
power themselves, who swore to guarantee them against evil
consequences, that some of them finally consented to return home.
Presented to their eyes was the spectacle of a tyranny in full
exercise, and to their minds the consciousness of the obliteration of
their city, seeing that boundaries were plucked up and the land of
their fathers had come to be re-entitled by the name of Argos instead
of Corinth; and furthermore, compulsion was put upon them to share in
the constitution in vogue at Argos, for which they had ltitle
appetite, while in their own city they wielded less power than the
resident aliens. So that a party sprang up among them whose creed was,
that life was not worth living on such terms: their endeavour must be
to make their fatherland once more the Corinth of old days--to restore
freedom to their city, purified from the murderer and his pollution
and fairly rooted in good order and legality.[6] It was a design worth
the venture: if they succeeded they would become the saviours of their
country; if not--why, in the effort to grasp the fairest flower of
happiness, they would but overreach, and find instead a glorious
termination to existence.

[6] {eunomia}. See "Pol. Ath." i. 8; Arist. "Pol." iv. 8, 6; iii. 9,
8; v. 7, 4.

It was in furtherance of this design that two men--Pasimelus and
Alcimenes--undertook to creep through a watercourse and effect a
meeting with Praxitas the polemarch of the Lacedaemonians, who was on
garrison duty with his own division in Sicyon. They told him they
could give him ingress at a point in the long walls leading to
Lechaeum. Praxitas, knowing from previous experience that the two men
might be relied upon, believed their statement; and having arranged
for the further detention in Sicyon of the division which was on the
point of departure, he busied himself with plans for the enterprise.
When the two men, partly by chance and partly by contrivance, came to
be on guard at the gate where the tophy now stands, without further
ado Praxitas presented himself with his division, taking with him also
the men of Sicyon and the whole of the Corinthian exiles.[7] Having
reached the gate, he had a qualm of misgiving, and hesitated to step
inside until he had first sent in a man on whom he could rely to take
a look at things within. The two Corinthians introduced him, and made
so simple and straightforward a representation[8] that the visitor was
convinced, and reported everything as free of pitfalls as the two had
asserted. Then the polemarch entered, but owing to the wide space
between the double walls, as soon as they came to form in line within,
the intruders were impressed by the paucity of their numbers. They
therefore erected a stockade, and dug as good a trench as they could
in front of them, pending the arrival of reinforcements from the
allies. In their rear, moreover, lay the guard of the Boeotians in the
harbour. Thus they passed the whole day which followed the night of
ingress without striking a blow.

[8] Or, "showed him the place in so straightforward a manner."

On the next day, however, the Argive troops arrived in all haste,
hurrying to the rescue, and found the enemy duly drawn up. The
Lacedaemonians were on their own right, the men of Sicyon next, and
leaning against the eastern wall the Corinthian exiles, one hundred
and fifty strong.[9] Their opponents marshalled their lines face to
face in correspondence: Iphicrates with his mercenaries abutting on
the eastern wall; next to them the Argives, whilst the Corinthians of
the city held their left. In the pride inspired by numbers they began
advancing at once. They overpowered the Sicyonians, and tearing
asunder the stockade, pursued them to the sea and here slew numbers of
them. At that instant Pasimachus, the cavalry general, at the head of
a handful of troopers, seeing the Sicyonians sore presed, made fast
the horses of his troops to the trees, and relieving the Sicyonians of
their heavy infantry shields, advanced with his volunteers against the
Argives. The latter, seeing the Sigmas on the shields and taking them
to be "Sicyonians," had not the slightest fear. Whereupon, as the
story goes, Pasimachus, exclaiming in his broad Doric, "By the twin
gods! these Sigmas will cheat you, you Argives," came to close
quarters, and in that battle of a handful against a host, was slain
himself with all his followers. In another quarter of the field,
however, the Corinthian exiles had got the better of their opponents
and worked their way up, so that they were now touching the city
circumvallation walls.

[9] See Grote, ix. p. 333 foll.

The Lacedaemonians, on their side, perceiving the discomfiture of the
Sicyonians, sprang out with timely aid, keeping the palisade-work on
their left. But the Argives, discovering that the Lacedaemonians were
behind them, wheeled round and came racing back, pouring out of the
palisade at full speed. Their extreme right, with unprotected flanks
exposed, fell victims to the Lacedaemonians; the rest, hugging the
wall, made good their retreat in dense masses towards the city. Here
they encountered the Corinthian exiles, and discovering that they had
fallen upon foes, swerved aside in the reverse direction. In this
predicament some mounted by the ladders of the city wall, and, leaping
down from its summit, were destroyed;[10] others yielded up their
lives, thrust through, as they jostled at the foot of the steps;
others again were literally trampled under one another's feet and

[10] Or, "plunged from its summit into perdition." See Thuc. ii. 4.

The Lacedaemonians had no difficulty in the choice of victims; for at
that instant a work was assigned to them to do,[11] such as they could
hardly have hoped or prayed for. To find delivered into their hands a
mob of helpless enemies, in an ecstasy of terror, presenting their
unarmed sides in such sort that none turned to defend himself, but
each victim rather seemed to contribute what he could towards his own
destruction--if that was not divine interposition, I know now what to
call it. Miracle or not, in that little space so many fell, and the
corpses lay piled so thick, that eyes familiar with the stacking of
corn or wood or piles of stones were called upon to gaze at layers of
human bodies. Nor did the guard of the Boeotians in the port
itself[12] escape death; some were slain upon the ramparts, others on
the roofs of the dock-houses, which they had scaled for refuge.
Nothing remained but for the Corinthians and Argives to carry away
their dead under cover of a truce; whilst the allies of Lacedaemon
poured in their reinforcements. When these were collected, Praxitas
decided in the first place to raze enough of the walls to allow a free
broadway for an army on march. This done, he put himself at the head
of his troops and advanced on the road to Megara, taking by assault,
first Sidus and next Crommyon. Leaving garrisons in these two
fortresses, he retraced his steps, and finally fortifying Epieiceia as
a garrison outpost to protect the territory of the allies, he at once
disbanded his troops and himself withdrew to Lacedaemon.

[11] Or, "Heaven assigned to them a work . . ." Lit. "The God . . ."

[12] I.e. "of Lechaeum."

B.C. 392-391.[13] After this the great armaments of both belligerents
had ceased to exist. The states merely furnished garrisons--the one
set at Corinth, the other set at Sicyon--and were content to guard the
walls. Though even so, a vigorous war was carried on by dint of the
mercenary troops with which both sides were furnished.

[13] So Grote and Curtius; al. B.C. 393.

A signal incident in the period was the invasion of Phlius by
Iphicrates. He laid an ambuscade, and with a small body of troops
adopting a system of guerilla war, took occasion of an unguarded sally
of the citizens of Phlius to inflict such losses on them, that though
they had never previously received the Lacedaemonians within their
walls, they received them now. They had hitherto feared to do so lest
it might lead to the restoration of the banished members of their
community, who gave out that they owed their exile to their
Lacedaemonian sympathies;[14] but they were now in such abject fear of
the Corinthian party that they sent to fetch the Lacedaemonians, and
delivered the city and citadel to their safe keeping. These latter,
however, well disposed to the exiles of Phlius, did not, at the time
they held the city, so much as breathe the thought of bringing back
the exiles; on the contrary, as soon as the city seemed to have
recovered its confidence, they took their departure, leaving city and
laws precisely as they had found them on their entry.

[14] Lit. "laconism."

To return to Iphicrates and his men: they frequently extended their
incursions even into Arcadia in many directions,[15] following their
usual guerilla tactics, but also making assaults on fortified posts.
The heavy infantry of the Arcadians positively refused to face them in
the field, so profound was the terror in which they held these light
troops. In compensation, the light troops themselves entertained a
wholesome dread of the Lacedaemonians, and did not venture to approach
even within javelin-range of their heavy infantry. They had been
taught a lesson when, within that distance, some of the younger
hoplites had made a dash at them, catching and putting some of them to
the sword. But however profound the contempt of the Lacedaemonians for
these light troops, their contempt for their own allies was deeper.
(On one occasion[16] a reinforcement of Mantineans had sallied from
the walls between Corinth and Lechaeum to engage the peltasts, and had
no sooner come under attack than they swerved, losing some of their
men as they made good their retreat. The Lacedaemonians were unkind
enough to poke fun at these unfortunates. "Our allies," they said,
"stand in as much awe of these peltasts as children of the bogies and
hobgoblins of their nurses." For themselves, starting from Lechaeum,
they found no difficulty in marching right round the city of Corinth
with a single Lacedaemonian division and the Corinthian exiles.)[17]

[15] See Thuc. ii. 4.

[16] See Grote, ix. 472 note. Lechaeum was not taken by the
Lacedaemonians until the Corinthian long walls had been rebuilt by
the Athenians. Possibly the incidents in this section (S. 17)
occurred after the capture of Lechaeum. The historian introduces
them parenthetically, as it were, in illustration of his main
topic--the success of the peltasts.

[17] Or, adopting Schneider's conjecture, {estratopedeuonto}, add "and

The Athenians, on their side, who felt the power of the Lacedaemonians
to be dangerously close, now that the walls of Corinth had been laid
open, and even apprehended a direct attack upon themselves, determined
to rebuild the portion of the wall severed by Praxitas. Accordingly
they set out with their whole force, including a suite of stonelayers,
masons, and carpenters, and within a few days erected a quite splendid
wall on the side facing Sicyon towards the west,[18] and then
proceeded with more leisure to the completion of the eastern portion.

[18] See Thuc. vi. 98.

To turn once more to the other side: the Lacedaemonians, indignant at
the notion that the Argives should be gathering the produce of their
lands in peace at home, as if war were a pastime, marched against
them. Agesilaus commanded the expedition, and after ravaging their
territory from one end to the other, crossed their frontier at
Tenea[19] and swooped down upon Corinth, taking the walls which had
been lately rebuilt by the Athenians. He was supported on the sea side
by his brother Teleutias[20] with a naval force of about twelve
triremes, and the mother of both was able to congratulate herself on
the joint success of both her sons; one having captured the enemy's
walls by land and the other his ships and naval arsenal by sea, on the
same day. These achievements sufficed Agesilaus for the present; he
disbanded the army of the allies and led the state troops home.

[19] Reading {Tenean}, Koppen's emendation for {tegean}. In the
parallel passage ("Ages." ii. 17) the text has {kata ta stena}.
See Grote, "H. G." ix. 471.

[20] See below, IV. viii. 11.


B.C. 390.[1] Subsequently the Lacedaemonians made a second expedition
against Corinth. They heard from the exiles that the citizens
contrived to preserve all their cattle in Peiraeum; indeed, large
numbers derived their subsistence from the place. Agesilaus was again
in command of the expedition. In the first instance he advanced upon
the Isthmus. It was the month of the Isthmian games,[2] and here he
found the Argives engaged in conducting the sacrifice to Poseidon, as
if Corinth were Argos. So when they perceived the approach of
Agesilaus, the Argives and their friends left the offerings as they
lay, including the preparations for the breakfast, and retired with
undisguised alarm into the city by the Cenchrean road.[3] Agesilaus,
though he observed the movement, refrained from giving chase, but
taking up his quarters in the temple, there proceeded to offer victims
to the god himself, and waited until the Corinthian exiles had
celebrated the sacrifice to Poseidon, along with the games. But no
sooner had Agesilaus turned his back and retired, than the Argives
returned and celebrated the Isthmian games afresh; so that in this
particular year there were cases in which the same competitors were
twice defeated in this or that contest, or conversely, the same man
was proclaimed victor twice over.

[1] Al. B.C. 392. The historian omits the overtures for peace, B.C.
391 (or 391-390) referred to in Andoc. "De Pace." See Jebb, "Att.
Or." i. 83, 108; Grote, "H. G." ix. 474; Curtius, "H. G." Eng. tr.
iv. 261.

[2] Grote and Curtius believe these to be the Isthmian games of 390
B.C., not of 392 B.C., as Sauppe and others suppose. See Peter,
"Chron. Table," p. 89, note 183; Jowett, "Thuc." ii. 468, note on
VIII. 9, 1.

[3] Lit. "road to Cenchreae."

On the fourth day Agesilaus led his troops against Peiraeum, but
finding it strongly defended, he made a sudden retrograde march after
the morning meal in the direction of the capital, as though he
calculated on the betrayal of the city. The Corinthians, in
apprehension of some such possible catastrophe, sent to summon
Iphicrates with the larger portion of his light infantry. These passed
by duly in the night, not unobserved, however, by Agesilaus, who at
once turned round at break of day and advanced on Piraeum. He himself
kept to the low ground by the hot springs,[4] sending a division to
scale the top of the pass. That night he encamped at the hot springs,
while the division bivouacked in the open, in possession of the pass.
Here Agesilaus distinguished himself by an invention as seasonable as
it was simple. Among those who carried provisions for the division not
one had thought of bringing fire. The altitude was considerable; there
had been a fall of rain and hail towards evening and the temperature
was low; besides which, the scaling party were clad in thin garments
suited to the summer season. There they sat shivering in the dark,
with scarcely heart to attack their suppers, when Agesilaus sent up to
them as many as ten porters carrying fire in earthen pots. One found
his way up one way, one another, and presently there were many
bonfires blazing--magnificently enough, since there was plenty of wood
to hand; so that all fell to oiling themselves and many supped over
again. The same night the sky was lit up by the blaze of the temple of
Poseidon--set on fire no one knows how.

[4] Near mod. Lutraki.

When the men in Piraeum perceived that the pass was occupied, they at
once abandoned all thought of self-defence and fled for refuge to the
Heraion[5]--men and women, slaves and free-born, with the greater part
of their flocks and herds. Agesilaus, with the main body, meanwhile
pursued his march by the sea-shore, and the division, simultaneously
descending from the heights, captured the fortified position of Oenoe,
appropriating its contents. Indeed, all the troops on that day reaped
a rich harvest in the supplies they brought in from various
farmsteads. Presently those who had escaped into the Heraion came out,
offering to leave it to Agesilaus to decide what he would do with
them. He decided to deliver up to the exiles all those concerned with
the late butchery, and that all else should be sold. And so from the
Heraion streamed out a long line of prisoners, whilst from other sides
embassies arrived in numbers; and amongst these a deputation from the
Boeotians, anxious to learn what they should do to obtain peace. These
latter Agesilaus, with a certain loftiness of manner, affected not
even to see, although Pharax,[6] their proxenus, stood by their side
to introduce them. Seated in a circular edifice on the margin of the
lake,[7] he surveyed the host of captives and valuables as they were
brought out. Beside the prisoners, to guard them, stepped the
Lacedaemonian warriors from the camp, carrying their spears--and
themselves plucked all gaze their way, so readily will success and the
transient fortune of the moment rivet attention. But even while
Agesilaus was still thus seated, wearing a look betokening
satisfaction at some great achievement, a horseman came galloping up;
the flanks of his charger streamed with sweat. To the many inquiries
what news he brought, the rider responded never a word; but being now
close beside Agesilaus, he leaped from his horse, and running up to
him with lowering visage narrated the disaster of the Spartan
division[8] at Lechaeum. At these tidings the king sprang instantly
from his seat, clutching his spear, and bade his herald summon to a
meeting the generals, captains of fifties, and commanders of foreign
brigades.[9] When these had rapidly assembled he bade them, seeing
that the morning meal had not yet been tasted, to swallow hastily what
they could, and with all possible speed to overtake him. But for
himself, he, with the officers of the royal staff,[10] set off at once
without breakfast. His bodyguard, with their heavy arms, accompanied
him with all speed--himself in advance, the officers following behind.
In this fashion he had already passed beyond the warm springs, and was
well within the plateau of Lechaeum, when three horsemen rode up with
further news: the dead bodies had been picked up. On receipt of these
tidings he commanded the troops to order arms, and having rested them
a little space, led them back again to the Heraion. The next day he
spent in disposing of the captured property.[11]

[5] Or, "Heraeum," i.e. sanctuary of Hera, on a promontory so called.
See Leake, "Morea," iii. 317.

[6] See "Hell." III. ii. 12, if the same.

[7] Or, "on the round pavilion by the lake" (mod. Vuliasmeni).

[8] Technically "mora."

[9] Lit. the polemarchs, penteconters, and xenagoi.

[10] See "Pol. Lac." xiii. 1.

[11] See Grote, "H. G." ix. 480, in reference to "Ages." vii. 6.

The ambassadors of the Boeotians were then summoned, and, being asked
to explain the object of their coming, made no further mention of the
word "peace," but replied that, if there was nothing to hinder it,
they wished to have a pass to their own soldiers within the capital.
The king answered with a smile: "I know your desire is not so much to
see your soldiers as to feast your eyes on the good fortune of your
friends, and to measure its magnitude. Wait then, I will conduct you
myself; with me you will be better able to discover the true value of
what has taken place." And he was as good as his word. Next day he
sacrificed, and led his army up to the gates of Corinth. The trophy he
respected, but not one tree did he leave standing--chopping and
burning, as proof positive that no one dared to face him in the field.
And having so done, he encamped about Lechaeum; and as to the Theban
ambassadors, in lieu of letting them pass into the city, he sent them
off by sea across to Creusis.

But in proportion to the unwontedness of such a calamity befalling
Lacedaemonians, a widespread mourning fell upon the whole Laconian
army, those alone excepted whose sons or fathers or brothers had died
at their post. The bearing of these resembled that of conquerors,[12]
as with bright faces they moved freely to and fro, glorying in their
domestic sorrow. Now the tragic fate which befell the division was on
this wise: It was the unvaried custom of the men of Amyclae to return
home at the Hyacinthia,[13] to join in the sacred paean, a custom not
to be interrupted by active service or absence from home or for any
other reason. So, too, on this occasion, Agesilaus had left behind all
the Amyclaeans serving in any part of his army at Lechaeum. At the
right moment the general in command of the garrison at that place had
posted the garrison troops of the allies to guard the walls during his
absence, and put himself at the head of his division of heavy infantry
with that of the cavalry,[14] and led the Amyclaeans past the walls of
Corinth. Arrived at a point within three miles or so[15] of Sicyon,
the polemarch turned back himself in the direction of Lechaeum with
his heavy infantry regiment, six hundred strong, giving orders to the
cavalry commandant to escort the Amyclaeans with his division as far
as they required, and then to turn and overtake him. It cannot be said
that the Lacedaemonians were ignorant of the large number of light
troops and heavy infantry inside Corinth, but owing to their former
successes they arrogantly presumed that no one would attack them.
Within the capital of the Corinthians, however, their scant numbers--a
thin line of heavy infantry unsupported by light infantry or cavalry--
had been noted; and Callias, the son of Hipponicus,[16] who was in
command of the Athenian hoplites, and Iphicrates at the head of his
peltasts, saw no risk in attacking with the light brigade. Since if
the enemy continued his march by the high road, he would be cut up by
showers of javelins on his exposed right flank; or if he were tempted
to take the offensive, they with their peltasts, the nimblest of all
light troops, would easily slip out of the grasp of his hoplites.

[12] See Grote, "H. G." ix. 488.

[13] Observed on three days of the month Hecatombaeus (= July). See
Muller's "Dorians," ii. 360. For Amyclae, see Leake, "Morea," i.
ch. iv. p. 145 foll.; Baedeker's "Greece," p. 279.

[14] See below, "Hell." VI. iv. 12; and "Pol. Lac." xi. 4, xiii. 4.

[15] Lit. "twenty or thirty stades."

[16] See Cobet, "Prosop. Xen." p. 67 foll.

With this clearly-conceived idea they led out their troops; and while
Callias drew up his heavy infantry in line at no great distance from
the city, Iphicrates and his peltasts made a dash at the returning

The Lacedaemonians were presently within range of the javelins.[17]
Here a man was wounded, and there another dropped, not to rise again.
Each time orders were given to the attendant shield-bearers[18] to
pick up the men and bear them into Lechaeum; and these indeed were the
only members of the mora who were, strictly speaking, saved. Then the
polemarch ordered the ten-years-service men[19] to charge and drive
off their assailants. Charge, however, as they might, they took
nothing by their pains--not a man could they come at within javelin
range. Being heavy infantry opposed to light troops, before they could
get to close quarters the enemy's word of command sounded "Retire!"
whilst as soon as their own ranks fell back, scattered as they were in
consequence of a charge where each man's individual speed had told,
Iphicrates and his men turned right about and renewed the javelin
attack, while others, running alongside, harassed their exposed flank.
At the very first charge the assailants had shot down nine or ten,
and, encouraged by this success, pressed on with increasing audacity.
These attacks told so severely that the polemarch a second time gave
the order (and this time for the fifteen-years-service men) to charge.
The order was promptly obeyed, but on retiring they lost more men than
on the first occasion, and it was not until the pick and flower of the
division had succumbed that they were joined by their returning
cavalry, in whose company they once again attempted a charge. The
light infantry gave way, but the attack of the cavalry was feebly
enforced. Instead of pressing home the charge until at least they had
sabred some of the enemy, they kept their horses abreast of their
infantry skirmishers,[20] charging and wheeling side by side.

[17] See Grote, "H. G." ix. 467, note on the improvements of

[18] Grote, "H. G." ix. 484; cf. "Hell." IV. viii. 39; "Anab." IV. ii.
20; Herod. ix. 10-29.

[19] Youngest rank and file, between eighteen and twenty-eight years
of age, who formed the first line. The Spartan was liable to
service at the age of eighteen. From twenty-eight to thirty-three
he would belong to the fifteen-years-service division (the second
line); and so on. See below, IV. vi. 10.

[20] See Thuc. iv. 125.

Again and again the monotonous tale of doing and suffering repeated
itself, except that as their own ranks grew thinner and their courage
ebbed, the courage of their assailants grew bolder and their numbers
increased. In desperation they massed compactly upon the narrow slope
of a hillock, distant a couple of furlongs[21] or so from the sea, and
a couple of miles[22] perhaps from Lechaeum. Their friends in
Lechaeum, perceiving them, embarked in boats and sailed round until
they were immediately under the hillock. And now, in the very slough
of despair, being so sorely troubled as man after man dropped dead,
and unable to strike a blow, to crown their distress they saw the
enemy's heavy infantry advancing. Then they took to flight; some of
them threw themselves into the sea; others--a mere handful--escaped
with the cavalry into Lechaeum. The death-roll, including those who
fell in the second fight and the final flight, must have numbered two
hundred and fifty slain, or thereabouts.[23] Such is the tale of the
destruction of the Lacedaemonian mora.

[21] Lit. "two stades."

[22] Lit. "sixteen or seventeen stades."

[23] See Grote, "H. G." ix. 486.

Subsequently, with the mutilated fragment of the division, Agesilaus
turned his back upon Lechaeum, leaving another division behind to
garrison that port. On his passage homewards, as he wound his way
through the various cities, he made a point of arriving at each as
late in the day as possible, renewing his march as early as possible
next morning. Leaving Orchomenus at the first streak of dawn, he
passed Mantinea still under cover of darkness. The spectacle of the
Mantineans rejoicing at their misfortune would have been too severe an
ordeal for his soldiers.

But Iphicrates had not yet reached the summit of his good fortune.
Success followed upon success. Lacedaemonian garrisons had been placed
in Sidus and Crommyon by Praxitas when he took these fortresses, and
again in Oenoe, when Peiraeum was taken quite lately by Agesilaus. One
and all of these now fell into the hands of Iphicrates. Lechaeum still
held out, garrisoned as it was by the Lacedaemonians and their allies;
while the Corinthian exiles, unable since[24] the disaster of the mora
any longer to pass freely by land from Sicyon, had the sea passage
still open to them, and using Lechaeum as their base,[25] kept up a
game of mutual annoyance with the party in the capital.

[24] Lit. "owing to."

[25] The illustrative incidents narrated in chapter iv. 17 may belong
to this period.


B.C. 390-389.[1] At a later date the Achaeans, being in possession of
Calydon, a town from old times belonging to Aetolia, and having
further incorporated the Calydonians as citizens,[2] were under the
necessity of garrisoning their new possession. The reason was, that
the Arcarnanians were threatening the place with an army, and were
aided by contingents from Athens and Boeotia, who were anxious to help
their allies.[3] Under the strain of this combined attack the Achaeans
despatched ambassadors to Lacedaemon, who on arrival complained of the
unfair conduct of Lacedaemon towards themselves. "We, sirs," they
said, "are ever ready to serve in your armies, in obedience to
whatever orders you choose to issue; we follow you whithersoever you
think fit to lead; but when it comes to our being beleaguered by the
Acarnanians, with their allies the Athenians and Boeotians, you show
not the slightest concern. Understand, then, that if things go on thus
we cannot hold out; but either we must give up all part in the war in
Peloponnesus and cross over in full force to engage the Arcarnanians,
or we must make peace with them on whatever terms we can." This
language was a tacit threat that if they failed to obtain the
assistance they felt entitled to from Lacedaemon they would quit the

[1] According to others (who suppose that the Isthmia and the events
recorded in chapter v. 1-19 above belong to B.C. 392), we have now
reached B.C. 391.

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