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Title: History of Greece, v. 6 (of 12)
Author: Grote, Georges
Language: English
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  * Italics are denoted by underscores as in _italics_.
  * Small caps are represented in upper case as in SMALL CAPS.
  * Letter spaced Greek text is enclosed in tildes as in ~καὶ τὰ λοιπά~.
  * Obvious printer errors have been silently corrected, after
    comparison with a later edition of this work. Greek text has
    also been corrected after checking with this later edition and
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  * Original spelling, hyphenation and punctuation have been kept,
    but variant spellings were made consistent when a predominant
    usage was found.



  VOL. VI.










  Personal activity now prevalent among the Athenian
  citizens—empire of Athens again exclusively maritime, after
  the Thirty years’ truce.—Chios, Samos, and Lesbos, were now
  the only free allies of Athens, on the same footing as the
  original confederates of Delos—the rest were subject and
  tributary.—Athens took no pains to inspire her allies with the
  idea of a common interest—nevertheless, the allies were gainers
  by the continuance of her empire.—Conception of Periklês—Athens,
  an imperial city, owing protection to the subject-allies;
  who, on their part, owed obedience and tribute.—Large amount
  of revenue laid by and accumulated by Athens, during the
  years preceding the Peloponnesian war.—Pride felt by Athenian
  citizens in the imperial power of their city.—Numerous Athenian
  citizens planted out as kleruchs by Periklês.—Chersonesus
  of Thrace. Sinôpê.—Active personal and commercial relations
  between Athens and all parts of the Ægean.—Amphipolis in Thrace
  founded by Athens.—Agnon is sent out as Œkist.—Situation
  and importance of Amphipolis.—Foundation, by the Athenians,
  of Thurii, on the southern coast of Italy.—Conduct of the
  refugee inhabitants of the ruined Sybaris—their encroachments
  in the foundation of Thurii: they are expelled, and Thurii
  reconstituted.—Herodotus and Lysias—both domiciliated as
  citizens at Thurii. Few Athenian citizens settled there as
  colonists.—Period from 445-431 B.C. Athens at peace. Her
  political condition. Rivalry of Periklês with Thucydidês son
  of Melêsias.—Points of contention between the two parties: 1.
  Peace with Persia. 2. Expenditure of money for the decoration of
  Athens.—Defence of Periklês perfectly good against his political
  rivals.—Pan-Hellenic schemes and sentiment of Periklês.—Bitter
  contention of parties at Athens—vote of ostracism—Thucydidês
  is ostracized about 443 B.C.—New works undertaken at Athens.
  Third Long Wall. Docks in Peiræus—which is newly laid out
  as a town, by the architect Hippodamus.—Odeon, Parthenon,
  Propylæa. Other temples. Statues of Athênê.—Illustrious
  artists and architects—Pheidias, Iktînus, Kallikratês.—Effect
  of these creations of art and architecture upon the minds of
  contemporaries.—Attempt of Periklês to convene a general congress
  at Athens, of deputies from all the Grecian states.—Revolt of
  Samos from the Athenians.—Athenian armament against Samos,
  under Periklês, Sophoklês the tragedian, etc.—Doubtful and
  prolonged contest—great power of Samos—it is at last reconquered,
  disarmed, and dismantled.—None of the other allies of Athens,
  except Byzantium, revolted at the same time.—Application of
  the Samians to Sparta for aid against Athens—it is refused,
  chiefly through the Corinthians.—Government of Samos after the
  reconquest—doubtful whether the Athenians renewed the democracy
  which they had recently established.—Funeral oration pronounced
  by Periklês upon the Athenian citizens slain in the Samian
  war.—Position of the Athenian empire—relation of Athens to her
  subject allies—their feelings towards her generally were those
  of indifference and acquiescence, not of hatred.—Particular
  grievances complained of in the dealing of Athens with her
  allies.—Annual tribute—changes made in its amount. Athenian
  officers and inspectors throughout the empire.—Disputes and
  offences in and among the subject-allies, were brought for
  trial before the dikasteries at Athens. Productive of some
  disadvantages, but of preponderance of advantage to the
  subject-allies themselves.—Imperial Athens compared with imperial
  Sparta.—Numerous Athenian citizens spread over the Ægean—the
  allies had no redress against them, except through the Athenian
  dikasteries.—The dikasteries afforded protection against
  misconduct both of Athenian citizens and Athenian officers.—The
  dikasteries, defective or not, were the same tribunals under
  which every Athenian held his own security.—Athenian empire was
  affected for the worse by the circumstances of the Peloponnesian
  war: more violence was introduced into it by that war than had
  prevailed before.—The subject-allies of Athens had few practical
  grievances to complain of.—The Grecian world was now divided into
  two great systems; with a right supposed to be vested in each,
  of punishing its own refractory members.—Policy of Corinth, from
  being pacific, becomes warlike.—Disputes arise between Corinth
  and Korkyra—case of Epidamnus.—The Epidamnians apply for aid
  in their distress to Korkyra; they are refused—the Corinthians
  send aid to the place.—The Korkyræans attack Epidamnus—armament
  sent thither by Corinth.—Remonstrance of the Korkyræans with
  Corinth and the Peloponnesians.—Hostilities between Corinth and
  Korkyra—naval victory of the latter.—Large preparations made
  by Corinth for renewing the war.—Application of the Korkyræans
  to be received among the allies of Athens.—Address of the
  Korkyræan envoys to the Athenian public assembly. Principal
  topics upon which it insists, as given in Thucydidês.—Envoys
  from Corinth address the Athenian assembly in reply.—Decision
  of the Athenians—a qualified compliance with the request of
  Korkyra. The Athenian triremes sent to Korkyra.—Naval combat
  between the Corinthians and Korkyræans: rude tactics on both
  sides.—The Korkyræans are defeated.—Arrival of a reinforcement
  from Athens—the Corinthian fleet retires, carrying off numerous
  Korkyræan prisoners.—Hostilities not yet professedly begun
  between Athens and Corinth.—Hatred conceived by the Corinthians
  towards Athens.—They begin to stir up revolt among the Athenian
  allies—Potidæa, colony of Corinth, but ally of Athens.—Relations
  of Athens with Perdikkas king of Macedonia, his intrigues along
  with Corinth against her—he induces the Chalkidians to revolt
  from her—increase of Olynthus.—Revolt of Potidæa—armament
  sent thither from Athens.—Combat near Potidæa, between the
  Athenian force and the allied Corinthians. Potidæans, and
  Chalkidians.—Victory of the Athenians.—Potidæa placed in blockade
  by the Athenians.                                                 1-75



  State of feeling in Greece between the Thirty years’ truce and
  the Peloponnesian war—recognized probability of war—Athens
  at that time not encroaching—decree interdicting trade with
  the Megarians.—Zealous importunity of the Corinthians in
  bringing about a general war, for the purpose of preserving
  Potidæa.—Relations of Sparta with her allies—they had a
  determining vote, whether they would or would not approve of a
  course of policy which had been previously revived by Sparta
  separately.—Assembly of the Spartans separately addressed
  by envoys of the allied powers, complaining that Athens had
  violated the truce.—The Corinthian envoys address the assembly
  last, after the envoys of the other allies have inflamed it
  against Athens.—International customs of the time, as bearing
  upon the points in dispute between Athens and Corinth.—Athens
  in the right.—Tenor of the Corinthian address—little allusion
  to recent wrong—strong efforts to raise hatred and alarm
  against Athens.—Remarkable picture drawn of Athens by her
  enemies.—Reply made by an Athenian envoy, accidentally present
  in Sparta.—His account of the empire of Athens—how it had been
  acquired, and how it was maintained.—He adjures them not to
  break the truce, but to adjust all differences by that pacific
  appeal which the truce provided.—The Spartans exclude strangers,
  and discuss the point among themselves in the assembly.—Most
  Spartan speakers are in favor of war. King Archidamus opposes
  war. His speech.—The speech of Archidamus is ineffectual.
  Short, but warlike appeal of the Ephor Stheneläidas.—Vote of
  the Spartan assembly in favor of war.—The Spartans send to
  Delphi—obtain an encouraging reply.—General congress of allies
  at Sparta. Second speech of the Corinthian envoys, enforcing
  the necessity and propriety of war.—Vote of the majority of
  the allies in favor of war, B.C. 432.—Views and motives of
  the opposing powers.—The hopes and confidence, on the side of
  Sparta; the fears, on the side of Athens. Heralds sent from
  Sparta to Athens with complaints and requisitions meanwhile
  the preparations for war go on.—Requisitions addressed by
  Sparta to Athens—demand for the expulsion of the Alkmæonidæ
  as impious—aimed at Periklês.—Position of Periklês at
  Athens: bitter hostility of his political opponents: attacks
  made upon him.—Prosecution of Aspasia. Her character and
  accomplishments.—Family relations of Periklês—his connection
  with Aspasia. License of the comic writers in their attacks upon
  both.—Prosecution of Anaxagoras the philosopher as well as of
  Aspasia—Anaxagoras retires from Athens—Periklês defends Aspasia
  before the dikastery, and obtains her acquittal.—Prosecution
  of the sculptor Pheidias for embezzlement—instituted by the
  political opponents of Periklês.—Charge of peculation against
  Periklês himself.—Probability that Periklês was never even tried
  for peculation, certainly that he was never found guilty of
  it.—Requisition from the Lacedæmonians, for the banishment of
  Periklês—arrived when Periklês was thus pressed by his political
  enemies—rejected.—Counter-requisition sent by the Athenians to
  Sparta, for expiation of sacrilege.—Fresh requisitions sent from
  Sparta to Athens—to withdraw the troops from Potidæa—to leave
  Ægina free—to readmit the Megarians to Athenian harbors.—Final
  and peremptory requisition of Sparta—public assembly held at
  Athens on the whole subject of war and peace.—Great difference of
  opinion in the assembly—important speech of Periklês.—Periklês
  strenuously urges the Athenians not to yield.—His review of
  the comparative forces, and probable chances of success or
  defeat, in the war.—The assembly adopts the recommendation of
  Periklês—firm and determined reply sent to Sparta.—Views of
  Thucydidês respecting the grounds, feelings, and projects of the
  two parties now about to embark in war.—Equivocal period—war
  not yet proclaimed—first blow struck, not by Athens, but by
  her enemies.—Open violation of the truce by the Thebans—they
  surprise Platæa in the night.—The gates of Platæa are opened by
  an oligarchical party within—a Theban detachment are admitted
  into the agora at night—at first apparently successful,
  afterwards overpowered and captured.—Large force intended to
  arrive from Thebes to support the assailants early in the
  morning—they are delayed by the rain and the swelling of the
  Asôpus—they commence hostilities against the Platæan persons
  and property without the walls.—Parley between the Platæans and
  the Theban force without—the latter evacuate the territory—the
  Theban prisoners in Platæa are slain.—Messages from Platæa to
  Athens—answer.—Grecian feeling, already predisposed to the war,
  was wound up to the highest pitch by the striking incident at
  Platæa.—Preparations for war on the part of Athens—intimations
  sent round to her allies—Akarnanians recently acquired by
  Athens as allies—recent capture of the Amphilochian Argos by
  the Athenian Phormio.—Strength and resources of Athens and her
  allies—military and naval means—treasure.—Ample grounds for the
  confidence expressed by Periklês in the result.—Position and
  power of Sparta and the Peloponnesian allies—they are full of
  hope and confidence of putting down Athens speedily.—Efforts
  of Sparta to get up a naval force.—Muster of the combined
  Peloponnesian force at the isthmus of Corinth, under Archidamus,
  to invade Attica.—Last envoy sent to Athens—he is dismissed
  without being allowed to enter the town.—March of Archidamus into
  Attica—his fruitless siege of Œnoê.—Expectation of Archidamus
  that Athens would yield at the last moment.—Difficulty of
  Periklês in persuading the Athenians to abandon their territory
  and see it all ravaged.—Attica deserted—the population flock
  within the walls of Athens. Hardships, privations, and distress
  endured.—March of Archidamus into Attica.—Archidamus advances
  to Acharnæ, within seven miles of Athens.—Intense clamor within
  the walls of Athens—eagerness to go forth and fight.—Trying
  position, firmness, and sustained ascendency, of Periklês, in
  dissuading them from going forth.—The Athenians remain within
  their walls: partial skirmishes only, no general action.—Athenian
  fleet is despatched to ravage the coasts of Peloponnesus—first
  notice of the Spartan Brasidas—operations of the Athenians in
  Akarnania, Kephallênia, etc.—The Athenians expel the Æginetans
  from Ægina, and people the island with Athenian kleruchs. The
  Æginetans settle at Thyrea in Peloponnesus.—The Athenians invade
  and ravage the Megarid: sufferings of the Megarians.—Measures
  taken by Athens for permanent defence.—Sum put by in the
  acropolis, against urgent need, not to be touched unless under
  certain defined dangers.—Capital punishment against any who
  should propose otherwise.—Remarks on this decree.—Blockade
  of Potidæa—Sitalkês king of the Odrysian Thracians—alliance
  made between him and Athens.—Periklês is chosen orator to
  deliver the funeral discourse over the citizens slain during
  the year.—Funeral oration of Periklês.—Sketch of Athenian
  political constitution, and social life, as conceived by
  Periklês.—Eulogy upon Athens and the Athenian character.—Mutual
  tolerance of diversity of tastes and pursuits in Athens.—It
  is only true partially and in some memorable instances that
  the state interfered to an exorbitant degree with individual
  liberty in Greece.—Free play of individual taste and impulse in
  Athens—importance of this phenomenon in society.—Extraordinary
  and many-sided activity of Athens.—Peculiar and interesting
  moment at which the discourse of Periklês was delivered. Athens
  now at the maximum of her power—declining tendency commences soon
  afterwards.                                                     75-153



  Barren results of the operations during the first year of
  war.—Second invasion of Attica by the Peloponnesians—more
  spreading and ruinous than the first.—Commencement of the
  pestilence or epidemic at Athens.—Description of the epidemic by
  Thucydidês—his conception of the duty of exactly observing and
  recording.—Extensive and terrible suffering of Athens.—Inefficacy
  of remedies—despair and demoralization of the Athenians.—Lawless
  recklessness of conduct engendered.—Great loss of life among
  the citizens—blow to the power of Athens.—Athenian armament
  sent first against Peloponnesus, next, against Potidæa—it is
  attacked and ruined by the epidemic.—Irritation of the Athenians
  under their sufferings and losses—they become incensed against
  Periklês—his unshaken firmness in defending himself.—Athenian
  public assembly—last speech of Periklês—his high tone of
  self-esteem against the public discontent. Powerful effect of his
  address—new resolution shown for continuing the war—nevertheless,
  the discontent against Periklês still continues. He is accused
  and condemned in a fine.—Old age of Periklês—his family
  misfortunes and suffering. He is reëlected stratêgus—restored
  to power and to the confidence of the people.—Last moments
  and death of Periklês. His life and character.—Judgment of
  Thucydidês respecting Periklês.—Earlier and later political life
  of Periklês—how far the one differed from the other.—Accusation
  against Periklês of having corrupted the Athenian people—untrue,
  and not believed by Thucydidês.—Great progress and improvement
  of the Athenians under Periklês.—Periklês is not to blame
  for the Peloponnesian war.—Operations of war languid, under
  the pressure of the epidemic.—Attack of the Ambrakiots on
  the Amphilochian Argos: the Athenian Phormio is sent with a
  squadron to Naupaktus.—Injury done to Athenian commerce by
  Peloponnesian privateers—The Lacedæmonians put to death all
  their prisoners taken at sea, even neutrals.—Lacedæmonian
  envoys seized in their way to Persia and put to death by
  the Athenians.—Surrender of Potidæa—indulgent capitulation
  granted by the Athenian generals.—Third year of the war—king
  Archidamus marches to Platæa—no invasion of Attica.—Remonstrance
  of the Platæans to Archidamus—his reply—he summons Platæa
  in vain.—The Platæans resolve to stand out and defy the
  Lacedæmonian force.—Invocation and excuse of Archidamus on
  hearing the refusal of the Platæans.—Commencement of the siege
  of Platæa.—Operations of attack and defence—the besiegers
  make no progress, and are obliged to resort to blockade.—Wall
  of circumvallation built round Platæa—the place completely
  beleaguered and a force left to maintain the blockade.—Athenian
  armament sent to Potidæa and Chalkidic Thrace—it is defeated and
  returns.—Operations on the coast of Akarnania.—Joint attack upon
  Akarnania, by land and sea, concerted between the Ambrakiots and
  Peloponnesians.—Assemblage of the Ambrakiots, Peloponnesians,
  and Epirotic allies—divisions of Epirots.—They march to attack
  the Akarnanian town of Stratus.—Rashness of the Epirots—defeat
  and repulse of the army.—The Peloponnesian fleet comes from
  Corinth to Akarnania—movements of the Athenian Phormio to oppose
  it.—Naval battle between Phormio and the Peloponnesian fleet—his
  complete victory.—Reflections upon these two defeats of the
  Peloponnesians.—Indignation of the Lacedæmonians at the late
  naval defeat: they collect a larger fleet under Knêmus to act
  against Phormio.—Inferior numbers of Phormio—his manœuvring.—The
  Peloponnesian fleet forces Phormio to a battle on the line
  of coast near Naupaktus. Dispositions and harangues on both
  sides.—Battle near Naupaktus. The Peloponnesian fleet at first
  successful, but afterwards defeated.—Retirement of the defeated
  Peloponnesian fleet.—Phormio is reinforced—his operations in
  Akarnania—he returns to Athens.—Attempt of Knêmus and Brasidas
  to surprise Peiræus, starting from Corinth.—Alliance of the
  Athenians with the Odrysian king Sitalkês.—Power of the Odrysians
  in Thrace—their extensive dominion over the other Thracian
  tribes.—Sitalkês, at the instigation of Athens, undertakes to
  attack Perdikkas and the Chalkidians of Thrace.—His vast and
  multifarious host of Thracians and other barbarians.—He invades
  and ravages Macedonia and Chalkidikê.—He is forced to retire
  by the severity of the season and want of Athenian coöperation.



  Fourth year of the war—internal suffering at Athens.—Renewed
  invasion of Attica.—Revolt of Mitylênê and most part of Lesbos
  from Athens.—Proceedings of Athens—powerful condition of
  Mitylênê—Athenian fleet sent thither under Kleïppidês.—Kleïppidês
  fails in surprising Mitylênê—carries on an imperfect blockade.—He
  receives reinforcements, and presses the siege with greater
  vigor—want of resolution on the part of the Mitylenæans.—The
  Mitylenæan envoys address themselves to the Spartans at the
  Olympic festival, entreating aid.—Tone and topics of their
  address.—Practical grounds of complaint on the part of the
  Mitylenæans against Athens few or none.—The Peloponnesians
  promise assistance to Mitylênê—energetic demonstrations of the
  Athenians.—Asôpius son of Phormio in Akarnania.—The accumulated
  treasure of Athens exhausted by her efforts—necessity for her
  to raise a direct contribution.—Outbreak of the Platæans from
  their blockaded town.—Their plan of escape—its extraordinary
  difficulty and danger. Half of the garrison of Platæa escapes to
  Athens.—Blockade of Mitylênê closely carried on by the Athenian
  general Pachês—the Mitylenæans are encouraged to hold out by
  the Lacedæmonians, who send thither Salæthus.—Mitylênê holds
  out till provisions are exhausted—Salæthus arms all the people
  of Mitylênê for a general sally—the people refuse to join—the
  city is surrendered to Athens, at discretion.—The Peloponnesian
  fleet under Alkidas arrives off the coast of Ionia—astonishment
  and alarm which its presence creates.—Pachês, after the
  capture of Mitylênê, pursues the fleet of Alkidas, which
  returns to Peloponnesus without having done anything.—Pachês
  at Notium—he captures the place—his perfidy towards Hippias,
  the leader of the garrison.—Notium recolonized from Athens
  as a separate town.—Pachês sends to Athens about a thousand
  Mitylenæan prisoners, the persons chiefly concerned in the
  late revolt, together with Salæthus.—Important debate in the
  Athenian assembly upon the treatment of the prisoners.—First
  mention of Kleon by Thucydidês—new class of politicians to
  which he belonged.—Eukratês, Kleon, Lysiklês, Hyperbolus,
  etc.—Character of Kleon.—Indignation of the Athenians against
  Mitylênê—proposition of Kleon to put to death the whole male
  population of military age is carried and passed.—Repentance
  of the Athenians after the decree is passed. A fresh assembly
  is convened to reconsider the decree.—Account of the second
  assembly given by Thucydidês—speech of Kleon in support of the
  resolution already passed.—Remarks on the speech of Kleon.—Speech
  of Diodotus in opposition to Kleon—second decree mitigating
  the former. Rapid voyage of the trireme which carries the
  second decree to Mitylênê—it arrives just in time to prevent
  the execution of the first.—Those Mitylenæans whom Pachês had
  sent to Athens are put to death—treatment of Mitylênê by the
  Athenians.—Enormities committed by Pachês at Mitylênê—his
  death before the Athenian dikastery.—Surrender of Platæa to
  the Lacedæmonians.—The Platæan captive garrison are put upon
  their trial before Lacedæmonian judges.—Speech of the Platæan
  deputies to these judges on behalf of themselves and their
  comrades.—Reply of the Thebans.—The Platæans are sentenced to
  death by the Lacedæmonian judges, and all slain.—Reason of the
  severity of the Lacedæmonians—cases of Platæa and Mitylênê
  compared.—Circumstances of Korkyra—the Korkyræan captives are
  sent back from Corinth, under agreement to effect a revolution in
  the government and foreign politics of the island.—Their attempts
  to bring about a revolution—they prosecute the democratical
  leader Peithias—he prosecutes five of them in revenge—they
  are found guilty.—They assassinate Peithias and several other
  senators, and make themselves masters of the government—they
  decree neutrality—their unavailing mission to Athens.—The
  oligarchical party at Korkyra attack the people—obstinate battle
  in the city—victory of the people—arrival of the Athenian admiral
  Nikostratus.—Moderation of Nikostratus—proceedings of the people
  towards the vanquished oligarchs.—Arrival of the Lacedæmonian
  admiral Alkidas, with a fleet of fifty-three triremes. Renewed
  terror and struggle in the island.—Naval battle off Korkyra
  between Nikostratus and Alkidas.—Confusion and defenceless
  state of Korkyra—Alkidas declines to attack it—arrival of the
  Athenian fleet under Eurymedon—flight of Alkidas.—Vengeance
  of the victorious Demos in Korkyra against the prostrate
  oligarchs—fearful bloodshed.—Lawless and ferocious murders—base
  connivance of Eurymedon.—Band of oligarchical fugitives escape to
  the mainland—afterwards land again on the island and establish
  themselves on Mount Istônê.—Political reflections introduced by
  Thucydidês on occasion of the Korkyræan massacre.—The political
  enormities of Korkyra were the worst that occurred in the whole
  war.—How these enormities began and became exaggerated. Conduct
  of the opposing parties.—Contrast between the bloody character
  of revolutions at Korkyra and the mild character of analogous
  phenomena at Athens.—Bad morality of the rich and great men
  throughout the Grecian cities.                                 221-285



  Capture of Minôa, opposite Megara, by the Athenians under
  Nikias.—Nikias—his first introduction, position, and
  character.—Varying circumstances and condition of the
  oligarchical party at Athens.—Points of analogy between Nikias
  and Periklês—material differences.—Care of Nikias in maintaining
  his popularity and not giving offence; his very religious
  character.—His diligence in increasing his fortune—speculations
  in the mines of Laurium—letting out of slaves for hire.—Nikias
  first opposed to Kleon—next to Alkibiadês.—Oligarchical
  clubs, or Hetæries, at Athens, for political and judicial
  purposes.—Kleon—his real function that of opposition—real
  power inferior to Nikias.—Revival of the epidemic distemper
  at Athens for another year—atmospheric and terrestrial
  disturbances in Greece. Lacedæmonian invasion of Attica
  suspended for this year.—Foundation of the colony of Herakleia
  by the Lacedæmonians, near Thermopylæ—its numerous settlers,
  great promise, and unprosperous career.—Athenian expedition
  against Melos, under Nikias.—Proceedings of the Athenians under
  Demosthenês in Akarnania.—Expedition of Demosthenês against
  Ætolia—his large plans.—March of Demosthenês—impracticability
  of the territory of Ætolia.—rudeness and bravery of the
  inhabitants.—He is completely beaten and obliged to retire with
  loss.—Attack of Ætolians and Peloponnesians under Eurylochus
  upon Naupaktus.—Naupaktus is saved by Demosthenês and the
  Akarnanians.—Eurylochus, repulsed from Naupaktus, concerts
  with the Ambrakiots an attack on Argos.—Demosthenês and the
  Athenians, as well as the Akarnanians, come to the protection
  of Argos.—March of Eurylochus across Akarnania to join the
  Ambrakiots.—Their united army is defeated by Demosthenês at
  Olpæ—Eurylochus slain.—The surviving Spartan commander makes
  a separate capitulation for himself and the Peloponnesians,
  deserting the Ambrakiots.—The Ambrakiots sustain much loss in
  their retreat.—Another large body of Ambrakiots, coming from the
  city as a reinforcement, is intercepted by Demosthenês at Idomenê
  and cut to pieces.—Despair of the Ambrakiot herald on seeing
  the great number of slain.—Defenceless and feeble condition of
  Ambrakia after this ruinous loss.—Attempt to calculate the loss
  of the Ambrakiots.—Convention concluded between Ambrakia on one
  side, and the Akarnanians and Amphilochians on the other.—Return
  of Demosthenês in triumph to Athens.—Purification of Delos by the
  Athenians. Revival of the Delian festival with peculiar splendor.



  Seventh year of the war—invasion of Attica.—Distress in Korkyra
  from the attack of the oligarchical exiles. A Peloponnesian fleet
  and an Athenian fleet are both sent thither.—Demosthenês goes
  on board the Athenian fleet with a separate command.—He fixes
  upon Pylus in Laconia for the erection of a fort. Locality of
  Pylus and Sphakteria.—Eurymedon the admiral of the fleet insists
  upon going on to Korkyra, without stopping at Pylus. The fleet
  are driven into Pylus by a storm.—Demosthenês fortifies the
  place, through the voluntary zeal of the soldiers. He is left
  there with a garrison while the fleet goes on to Korkyra.—Slow
  march of the Lacedæmonians to recover Pylus.—Preparations of
  Demosthenês to defend Pylus against them.—Proceedings of the
  Lacedæmonian army—they send a detachment to occupy the island
  of Sphakteria, opposite Pylus.—They attack the place by sea
  and land—gallant conduct of Brasidas in the attack on the
  sea-side.—Return of Eurymedon and the Athenian fleet to Pylus.—He
  defeats the Lacedæmonian fleet in the harbor of Pylus.—The
  Lacedæmonian detachment is blocked up by the Athenian fleet in
  the island of Sphakteria—armistice concluded at Pylus.—Mission
  of Lacedæmonian envoys to Athens, to propose peace and solicit
  the release of their soldiers in Sphakteria.—The Athenians,
  at the instance of Kleon, require the restoration of Nisæa,
  Pegæ, Trœzen, and Achaia, as conditions of giving up the men
  in Sphakteria and making peace.—The envoys will not consent to
  these demands—Kleon prevents negotiation—they are sent back
  to Pylus without any result.—Remarks on this assembly and on
  the conduct of Athens.—The armistice is terminated, and war
  resumed at Pylus. Eurymedon keeps possession of the Lacedæmonian
  fleet.—Blockade of Sphakteria by the Athenian fleet—difficulty
  and hardships to the sea men of the fleet.—Protracted duration
  and seeming uncertainty of the blockade—Demosthenês sends to
  Athens for reinforcements to attack the island.—Proceedings in
  the Athenian assembly on receiving this news—proposition of
  Kleon—manœuvre of his political enemies to send him against his
  will as general to Pylus.—Reflections upon this proceeding and
  upon the conduct of parties at Athens.—Kleon goes to Pylus with
  a reinforcement—condition of the island of Sphakteria—numbers
  and positions of the Lacedæmonians in it.—Kleon and Demosthenês
  land their forces in the island, and attack it.—Numerous light
  troops of Demosthenês employed against the Lacedæmonians in
  Sphakteria.—Distress of the Lacedæmonians—their bravery and
  long resistance. They retreat to their last redoubt at the
  extremity of the island. They are surrounded and forced to
  surrender.—Astonishment caused throughout Greece by the
  surrender of Lacedæmonian hoplites—diminished lustre of Spartan
  arms.—Judgment pronounced by Thucydidês himself—reflections
  upon it.—Prejudice of Thucydidês in regard to Kleon. Kleon
  displayed sound judgment and decision, and was one of the
  essential causes of the success.—Effect produced at Athens
  by the arrival of the Lacedæmonian prisoners.—The Athenians
  prosecute the war with increased hopefulness and vigor.
  The Lacedæmonians make new advances for peace without
  effect.—Remarks upon the policy of Athens—her chance was now
  universally believed to be most favorable in prosecuting the
  war.—Fluctuations in Athenian feeling for or against the war:
  there were two occasions on which Kleon contributed to influence
  them towards it.—Expedition of Nikias against the Corinthian
  territory.—He reëmbarks—ravages Epidaurus—establishes a post
  on the peninsula of Methana.—Eurymedon with the Athenian fleet
  goes to Korkyra. Defeat and captivity of the Korkyræan exiles in
  the island.—The captives are put to death—cruelty and horrors
  in the proceeding.—Capture of Anaktorium by the Athenians
  and Akarnanians.—Proceedings of the Athenians at Chios and
  Lesbos.—The Athenians capture Artaphernes, a Persian envoy, on
  his way to Sparta.—Succession of Persian kings—Xerxes, Artaxerxes
  Longimanus, etc., Darius Nothus.                               313-363



  Important operations of the eighth year of the war.—Capture
  of Kythêra by the Athenians. Nikias ravages the Laconian
  coast.—Capture of Thyrea—all the Æginetans resident there
  are either slain in the attack or put to death afterwards as
  prisoners.—Alarm and depression among the Lacedæmonians—their
  insecurity in regard to the Helots.—They entrap, and cause to
  be assassinated, two thousand of the bravest Helots.—Request
  from the Chalkidians and Perdikkas that Spartan aid may be sent
  to them under Brasidas.—Brasidas is ordered to go thither,
  with Helot and Peloponnesian hoplites.—Elate and enterprising
  dispositions prevalent at Athens. Plan formed against Megara.
  Condition of Megara.—The Athenians, under Hippokratês and
  Demosthenês, attempt to surprise Nisæa and Megara.—Conspirators
  within open the gate, and admit them into the Megarian Long
  Walls. They master the whole line of the Long Walls.—The
  Athenians march to the gates of Megara—failure of the scheme
  of the party within to open them.—The Athenians attack
  Nisæa—the place surrenders to them.—Dissension of parties in
  Megara—intervention of Brasidas.—Brasidas gets together an
  army, and relieves Megara—no battle takes place—the Athenians
  retire.—Revolution at Megara—return of the exiles from Pegæ,
  under pledge of amnesty—they violate their oaths, and effect a
  forcible oligarchical revolution.—Combined plan by Hippokratês
  and Demosthenês for the invasion of Bœotia on three sides at
  once.—Demosthenês, with an Akarnanian force, makes a descent
  on Bœotia at Siphæ in the Corinthian gulf—his scheme fails and
  he retires.—Disappointment of the Athenian plans—no internal
  movements take place in Bœotia. Hippokratês marches with the
  army from Athens to Delium in Bœotia.—Hippokratês fortifies
  Delium, after which the army retires homeward.—Gathering
  of the Bœotian military force at Tanagra. Pagondas, the
  Theban bœotarch, determines them to fight.—Marshalling of
  the Bœotian army—great depth of the Theban hoplites—special
  Theban band of Three Hundred.—Order of battle of the Athenian
  army.—Battle of Delium—vigorously contested—advantage derived
  from the depth of the Theban phalanx.—Defeat and flight of
  the Athenians—Hippokratês, with one thousand hoplites, is
  slain.—Interchange of heralds—remonstrance of the Bœotians
  against the Athenians for desecrating the temple of Delium—they
  refuse permission to bury the slain except on condition of
  quitting Delium.—Answer of the Athenian herald—he demands
  permission to bury the bodies of the slain.—The Bœotians
  persist in demanding the evacuation of Delium as a condition
  for granting permission to bury the dead. Debate on the
  subject. Remarks on the debate.—Siege and capture of Delium
  by the Bœotians.—Sokratês and Alkibiadês, personally engaged
  at Delium.—March of Brasidas through Thessaly to Thrace and
  Macedonia. Rapidity and address with which he gets through
  Thessaly.—Relations between Brasidas and Perdikkas—Brasidas
  enters into an accommodation with Arrhibæus—Perdikkas is
  offended.—Brasidas marches against Akanthus. State of parties
  in the town.—He is admitted personally into the town to explain
  his views—his speech before the Akanthian assembly.—Debate in
  the Akanthian assembly, and decision of the majority voting
  secretly to admit him, after much opposition.—Reflections upon
  this proceeding—good political habits of the Akanthians.—Evidence
  which this proceeding affords, that the body of citizens (among
  the Athenian allies) did not hate Athens, and were not anxious
  to revolt.—Brasidas establishes intelligences in Argilus. He
  lays his plan for the surprise of Amphipolis.—Night-march of
  Brasidas from Arnê, through Argilus to the river Strymon and
  Amphipolis.—He becomes master of the lands round Amphipolis,
  but is disappointed in gaining admission into the town.—He
  offers to the citizens the most favorable terms of capitulation,
  which they accept.—Amphipolis capitulates.—Thucydidês arrives
  at Eion from Thasus with his squadron—not in time to preserve
  Amphipolis—he preserves Eion.—Alarm and dismay produced at
  Athens by the capture of Amphipolis—increased hopes among her
  enemies.—Extraordinary personal glory, esteem, and influence
  acquired by Brasidas.—Inaction and despondency of Athens after
  the battle of Delium, especially in reference to arresting
  the conquests of Brasidas in Thrace.—Loss of Amphipolis was
  caused by the negligence of the Athenian commanders—Euklês,
  and the historian Thucydidês.—The Athenians banish Thucydidês
  on the proposition of Kleon.—Sentence of banishment passed on
  Thucydidês by the Athenians—grounds of that sentence.—He justly
  incurred their verdict of guilty.—Preparations of Brasidas
  in Amphipolis for extended conquest—his operations against
  the Aktê, or promontory of Athos.—He attacks Torônê in the
  Sithonian peninsula—he is admitted into the town by an internal
  party—surprises and takes it.—Some part of the population, with
  the small Athenian garrison, retire to the separate citadel
  called Lêkythus.—Conciliating address of Brasidas to the assembly
  at Torônê.—He attacks Lêkythus and takes it by storm.—Personal
  ability and conciliatory efficiency of Brasidas.               363-425



  Eighth year of the war—began with most favorable promise for
  Athens—closed with great reverses to her.—Desire of Spartans to
  make peace in order to regain the captives—they decline sending
  reinforcements to Brasidas.—King Pleistoanax at Sparta—eager for
  peace—his special reasons—his long banishment recently terminated
  by recall.—Negotiations during the winter of 424-423 B.C. for
  peace.—Truce for one year concluded, in March 423 B.C.—Conditions
  of the truce.—Resolution to open negotiations for a definitive
  treaty.—New events in Thrace—revolt of Skiônê from Athens to
  Brasidas, two days after the truce was sworn.—Brasidas crosses
  over to Skiônê—his judicious conduct—enthusiastic admiration
  for him there.—Brasidas brings across reinforcements to
  Skiônê—he conveys away the women and children into a place of
  safety.—Commissioners from Sparta and Athens arrive in Thrace, to
  announce to Brasidas the truce just concluded. Dispute respecting
  Skiônê. The war continues in Thrace, but is suspended everywhere
  else.—Revolt of Mendê from Athens—Brasidas receives the offers
  of the Mendæans—engages to protect them and sends to them a
  garrison against Athens. He departs upon an expedition against
  Arrhibæus in the interior of Macedonia.—Nikias and Nikostratus
  arrive with an Athenian armament in Pallênê. They attack Mendê.
  The Lacedæmonian garrison under Polydamidas at first repulses
  them.—Dissensions among the citizens of Mendê—mutiny of the Demos
  against Polydamidas—the Athenians are admitted into the town.—The
  Athenians besiege and blockade Skiônê. Nikias leaves a blockading
  force there, and returns to Athens.—Expedition of Brasidas
  along with Perdikkas into Macedonia against Arrhibæus.—Retreat
  of Brasidas and Perdikkas before the Illyrians.—Address of
  Brasidas to his soldiers before the retreat.—Contrast between
  Grecian and barbaric military feeling.—Appeal of Brasidas to
  the right of conquest or superior force.—The Illyrians attack
  Brasidas in his retreat, but are repulsed.—Breach between
  Brasidas and Perdikkas: the latter opens negotiations with the
  Athenians.—Relations between Athens and the Peloponnesians—no
  progress made towards definitive peace—Lacedæmonian reinforcement
  on its way to Brasidas, prevented from passing through
  Thessaly.—Incidents in Peloponnesus—the temple of Hêrê near Argos
  accidentally burnt.—War in Arcadia—battle between Mantineia and
  Tegea.—Bœotians at peace _de facto_, though not parties to the
  truce.—Hard treatment of the Thespians by Thebes.—Expiration of
  the truce for one year. Disposition of both Sparta and Athens
  at that time towards peace; but peace impossible in consequence
  of the relations of parties in Thrace.—No actual resumption
  of hostilities, although the truce had expired, from the
  month of March to the Pythian festival in August.—Alteration
  in the language of statesmen at Athens—instances of Kleon
  and his partisans to obtain a vigorous prosecution of the
  war in Thrace.—Brasidas—an opponent of peace—his views and
  motives.—Kleon—an opponent of peace—his views and motives
  as stated by Thucydidês. Kleon had no personal interest in
  war.—To prosecute the war vigorously in Thrace was at this
  time the real political interest of Athens.—Question of peace
  or war, as it stood between Nikias and Kleon, in March 422
  B.C., after the expiration of the truce for one year.—Kleon’s
  advocacy of war at this moment perfectly defensible—unjust
  account of his motive given by Thucydidês.—Kleon at this time
  adhered more closely than any other Athenian public man to the
  foreign policy of Periklês.—Dispositions of Nikias and the
  peace-party in reference to the reconquest of Amphipolis.—Kleon
  conducts an expedition against Amphipolis—he takes Torônê.—He
  arrives at Eion—sends envoys to invite Macedonian and Thracian
  auxiliaries.—Dissatisfaction of his own troops with his
  inaction while waiting for these auxiliaries.—He is forced
  by these murmurs to make a demonstration—he marches from
  Eion along the walls of Amphipolis to reconnoitre the top
  of the hill—apparent quiescence in Amphipolis.—Brasidas, at
  first on Mount Kerdylium—presently moves into the town across
  the bridge.—His exhortation to his soldiers.—Kleon tries to
  effect his retreat.—Brasidas sallies out upon the army in
  its retreat—the Athenians are completely routed—Brasidas and
  Kleon both slain.—Profound sorrow in Thrace for the death of
  Brasidas—funeral honors paid him in Amphipolis.—The Athenian
  armament, much diminished by its loss in the battle, returns
  home.—Remarks on the battle of Amphipolis—wherein consisted
  the faults of Kleon.—Disgraceful conduct of the Athenian
  hoplites—the defeat of Amphipolis arose partly from political
  feeling hostile to Kleon.—Important effect of the death of
  Brasidas, in reference to the prospects of the war—his admirable
  character and efficiency.—Feelings of Thucydidês towards Brasidas
  and Kleon.—Character of Kleon—his foreign policy. Internal
  policy of Kleon as a citizen in constitutional life.—Picture
  in the Knights of Aristophanês.—Unfairness of judging Kleon
  upon such evidence.—Picture of Sokratês by Aristophanês is
  noway resembling.—The vices imputed by Aristophanês to Kleon
  are not reconcilable one with the other.—Kleon—a man of strong
  and bitter opposition talents—frequent in accusation—often on
  behalf of poor men suffering wrong.—Necessity for voluntary
  accusers at Athens—general danger and obloquy attending the
  function.—We have no evidence to decide in what proportion of
  cases he accused wrongfully.—Private dispute between Kleon
  and Aristophanês.—Negotiations for peace during the winter
  following the battle of Amphipolis.—Peace called the Peace of
  Nikias—concluded in March 421 B.C.—Conditions of peace.—The peace
  is only partially accepted by the allies of Sparta.—The Bœotians,
  Megarians, and Corinthians, all repudiate it.                  426-494






The judicial alterations effected at Athens by Periklês and
Ephialtês, described in the preceding chapter, gave to a large
proportion of the citizens direct jury functions and an active
interest in the constitution, such as they had never before enjoyed;
the change being at once a mark of previous growth of democratical
sentiment during the past, and a cause of its farther development
during the future. The Athenian people were at this time ready for
personal exertion in all directions: military service on land or
sea was not less conformable to their dispositions than attendance
in the ekklesia or in the dikastery at home. The naval service
especially was prosecuted with a degree of assiduity which brought
about continual improvement in skill and efficiency, and the poorer
citizens, of whom it chiefly consisted, were more exact in obedience
and discipline than any of the more opulent persons from whom the
infantry or the cavalry were drawn.[1] The maritime multitude, in
addition to self-confidence and courage, acquired by this laborious
training an increased skill, which placed the Athenian navy every
year more and more above the rest of Greece: and the perfection of
this force became the more indispensable as the Athenian empire
was now again confined to the sea and seaport towns; the reverses
immediately preceding the thirty years truce having broken up
all Athenian land ascendency over Megara, Bœotia, and the other
continental territories adjoining to Attica.

  [1] Xenophon, Memorab. iii, 5, 18.

The maritime confederacy,—originally commenced at Delos, under
the headship of Athens, but with a common synod and deliberative
voice on the part of each member,—had now become transformed into a
confirmed empire on the part of Athens, over the remaining states as
foreign dependencies; all of them rendering tribute except Chios,
Samos, and Lesbos. These three still remained on their original
footing of autonomous allies, retaining their armed force, ships, and
fortifications, with the obligation of furnishing military and naval
aid when required, but not of paying tribute: the discontinuance of
the deliberative synod, however, had deprived them of their original
security against the encroachments of Athens. I have already stated
generally the steps, we do not know them in detail, whereby this
important change was brought about, gradually and without any violent
revolution,—for even the transfer of the common treasure from Delos
to Athens, which was the most palpable symbol and evidence of the
change, was not an act of Athenian violence, since it was adopted
on the proposition of the Samians. The change resulted in fact
almost inevitably from the circumstances of the case, and from the
eager activity of the Athenians contrasted with the backwardness
and aversion to personal service on the part of the allies. We must
recollect that the confederacy, even in its original structure, was
contracted for permanent objects, and was permanently binding by
the vote of its majority, like the Spartan confederacy, upon every
individual member:[2] it was destined to keep out the Persian fleet,
and to maintain the police of the Ægean. Consistently with these
objects, no individual member could be allowed to secede from the
confederacy, and thus to acquire the benefit of protection at the
cost of the remainder: so that when Naxos and other members actually
did secede, the step was taken as a revolt, and Athens only did her
duty as president of the confederacy in reducing them. By every
such reduction, as well as by that exchange of personal service for
money-payment, which most of the allies voluntarily sought, the
power of Athens increased, until at length she found herself with an
irresistible navy in the midst of disarmed tributaries, none of whom
could escape from her constraining power,—and mistress of the sea,
the use of which was indispensable to them. The synod of Delos, even
if it had not before become partially deserted, must have ceased at
the time when the treasure was removed to Athens,—probably about 460
B.C., or shortly afterwards.

  [2] Thucyd. v. 30: about the Spartan confederacy,—εἰρημένον,
  κύριον εἶναι, ὅ,τι ἂν τὸ πλῆθος τῶν ξυμμάχων ψηφίσηται, ἢν μή τι
  θεῶν ἢ ἡρώων κώλυμα ᾖ.

The relations between Athens and her allies were thus materially
changed by proceedings which gradually evolved themselves and
followed one upon the other without any preconcerted plan: she became
an imperial or despot city, governing an aggregate of dependent
subjects, all without their own active concurrence, and in many
cases doubtless contrary to their own sense of political right. It
was not likely that they should conspire unanimously to break up
the confederacy, and discontinue the collection of contribution
from each of the members: nor would it have been at all desirable
that they should do so: for while Greece generally would have been
a great loser by such a proceeding, the allies themselves would
have been the greatest losers of all, inasmuch as they would have
been exposed without defence to the Persian and Phenician fleets.
But the Athenians committed the capital fault of taking the whole
alliance into their own hands, and treating the allies purely as
subjects, without seeking to attach them by any form of political
incorporation or collective meeting and discussion,—without taking
any pains to maintain community of feeling with the idea of a joint
interest,—without admitting any control, real or even pretended,
over themselves as managers. Had they attempted to do this, it might
have proved difficult to accomplish,—so powerful was the force of
geographical dissemination, the tendency to isolated civic life, and
the repugnance to any permanent extramural obligations, in every
Grecian community: but they do not appear to have ever made the
attempt. Finding Athens exalted by circumstances to empire, and the
allies degraded into subjects, the Athenian statesmen grasped at
the exaltation as a matter of pride as well as profit:[3] nor did
even Periklês, the most prudent and far-sighted of them, betray any
consciousness that an empire without the cement of some all-pervading
interest or attachment, must have a natural tendency to become more
and more burdensome and odious, and ultimately to crumble in pieces.
Such was the course of events which, if the judicious counsels of
Periklês had been followed, might have been postponed but could not
have been averted.

  [3] Thucyd. ii, 63. τῆς τε πόλεως ὑμᾶς εἰκὸς τῷ τιμωμένῳ ἀπὸ τοῦ
  ἄρχειν, ᾧπερ ἅπαντες ἀγάλλεσθε, βοηθεῖν, καὶ μὴ φεύγειν τοὺς
  πόνους, ἢ μηδὲ τὰς τιμὰς διώκειν, etc.

Instead of trying to cherish or restore the feelings of equal
alliance, Periklês formally disclaimed it. He maintained that Athens
owed to her subject allies no account of the money received from
them, so long as she performed her contract by keeping away the
Persian enemy, and maintaining the safety of the Ægean waters.[4]
This was, as he represented, the obligation which Athens had
undertaken; and, provided it were faithfully discharged, the allies
had no right to ask questions or institute control. That it was
faithfully discharged no one could deny: no ship of war except that
of Athens and her allies was ever seen between the eastern and
western shores of the Ægean. An Athenian fleet of sixty triremes was
kept on duty in these waters, chiefly manned by Athenian citizens,
and beneficial as well from the protection afforded to commerce as
for keeping the seaman in constant pay and training.[5] And such was
the effective superintendence maintained, that in the disastrous
period preceding the thirty years’ truce, when Athens lost Megara and
Bœotia, and with difficulty recovered Eubœa, none of her numerous
maritime subjects took the opportunity to revolt.

  [4] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 12.

  [5] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 11.

The total of these distinct tributary cities is said to have amounted
to one thousand, according to a verse of Aristophanês,[6] which
cannot be under the truth, though it may well be, and probably is,
greatly above the truth. The total annual tribute collected at
the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, and probably also for the
years preceding it, is given by Thucydidês at about six hundred
talents; of the sums paid by particular states, however, we have
little or no information.[7] It was placed under the superintendence
of the Hellenotamiæ; originally officers of the confederacy, but
now removed from Delos to Athens, and acting altogether as an
Athenian treasury-board. The sum total of the Athenian revenue,[8]
from all sources, including this tribute, at the beginning of the
Peloponnesian war, is stated by Xenophon at one thousand talents:
customs, harbor, and market dues, receipts from the silver-mines at
Laurium, rents of public property, fines from judicial sentences,
a tax per head upon slaves, the annual payment made by each metic,
etc., may have made up a larger sum than four hundred talents; which
sum, added to the six hundred talents from tribute, would make the
total named by Xenophon. But a verse of Aristophanês,[9] during the
ninth year of the Peloponnesian war, B.C. 422, gives the general
total of that time as “nearly two thousand talents:” this is in all
probability much above the truth, though we may well imagine that
the amount of tribute-money levied upon the allies may have been
augmented during the interval: I think that the alleged duplication
of the tribute by Alkibiadês, which Thucydidês nowhere notices, is
not borne out by any good evidence, nor can I believe that it ever
reached the sum of twelve hundred talents.[10] Whatever may have
been the actual magnitude of the Athenian budget, however, prior to
the Peloponnesian war, we know that during the larger part of the
administration of Periklês, the revenue, including tribute, was so
managed as to leave a large annual surplus; insomuch that a treasure
of coined money was accumulated in the acropolis during the years
preceding the Peloponnesian war,—which treasure, when at its maximum,
reached the great sum of nine thousand seven hundred talents (equal
to two million two hundred and thirty thousand pounds), and was still
at six thousand talents, after a serious drain for various purposes,
at the moment when that war began.[11] This system of public economy,
constantly laying by a considerable sum year after year,—in which
Athens stood alone, since none of the Peloponnesian states had any
public reserve whatever,[12]—goes far of itself to vindicate Periklês
from the charge of having wasted the public money in mischievous
distributions for the purpose of obtaining popularity; and also to
exonerate the Athenian Demos from that reproach of a greedy appetite
for living by the public purse which it is common to ascribe
to them. After the death of Kimon, no farther expeditions were
undertaken against the Persians, and even for some years before his
death, not much appears to have been done: so that the tribute-money
remained unexpended, though it was the duty of Athens to hold it in
reserve against future attack, which might at any time be renewed.

  [6] Aristophan. Vesp. 707.

  [7] The island of Kythêra was conquered by the Athenians from
  Sparta in 425 B.C., and the annual tribute then imposed upon
  it was four talents (Thucyd. iv, 57). In the Inscription No.
  143, ap. Boeckh, Corp. Inscr., we find some names enumerated of
  tributary towns, with the amount of tribute opposite to each,
  but the stone is too much damaged to give us much information.
  Tyrodiza, in Thrace, paid one thousand drachms: some other towns,
  or junctions of towns, not clearly discernible, are rated at one
  thousand, two thousand, three thousand drachms, one talent, and
  even ten talents. This inscription must be anterior to 415 B.C.,
  when the tribute was converted into a five per cent. duty upon
  imports and exports: see Boeckh, Public Econ. of Athens, and his
  Notes upon the above-mentioned Inscription.

  It was the practice of Athens not always to rate each tributary
  city separately, but sometimes to join several in one collective
  rating; probably each responsible for the rest. This seems to
  have provoked occasional remonstrances from the allies, in some
  of which the rhetor, Antipho, was employed to furnish the speech
  which the complainants pronounced before the dikastery: see
  Antipho ap. Harpokration, v. Ἀπόταξις—Συντελεῖς. It is greatly
  to be lamented that the orations composed by Antipho, for the
  Samothrakians and Lindians,—the latter inhabiting one of the
  three separate towns in the island of Rhodes,—have not been

  [8] Xenophon, Anab. vii, 1, 27. οὐ μεῖον χιλίων ταλάντων: compare
  Boeckh, Public Econ. of Athens, b. iii, ch. 7, 15, 19.

  [9] Aristophan. Vesp. 660. τάλαντ᾽ ἐγγὺς δισχίλια.

  [10] Very excellent writers on Athenian antiquity (Boeckh, Public
  Econ. of Athens, c. 15, 19, b. iii; Schömann, Antiq. J. P. Att.
  sect. lxxiv; K. F. Hermann, Gr. Staatsalterthümer, sect. 157:
  compare, however, a passage in Boeckh, ch. 17, p. 421, Eng.
  transl., where he seems to be of an opposite opinion) accept
  this statement, that the tribute levied by Athenians upon her
  allies was doubled some years after the commencement of the
  Peloponnesian war,—at which time it was six hundred talents,—and
  that it came to amount to twelve hundred talents. Nevertheless,
  I cannot follow them, upon the simple authority of Æschinês, and
  the Pseudo-Andokidês (Æschin. De Fals. Legat. c. 54, p. 301;
  Andokidês, De Pace, c. 1, and the same orator cont. Alkibiad.
  c. 4). For we may state pretty confidently, that neither of the
  two orations here ascribed to Andokidês is genuine: the oration
  against Alkibiadês most decidedly not genuine. There remains,
  therefore, as an original evidence, only the passage of Æschinês,
  which has, apparently, been copied by the author of the Oration
  De Pace, ascribed to Andokidês. Now the chapter of Æschinês,
  which professes to furnish a general but brief sketch of Athenian
  history for the century succeeding the Persian invasion, is so
  full of historical and chronological inaccuracies, that we can
  hardly accept it, when standing alone, as authority for any
  matter of fact. In a note on the chapter immediately preceding,
  I have already touched upon its extraordinary looseness of
  statement,—pointed out by various commentators, among them
  particularly by Mr. Fynes Clinton: see above, chap. xlv, note 2,
  pp. 409-411, in the preceding volume.

  The assertion, therefore, that the tribute from the Athenian
  allies was raised to the sum of twelve hundred talents annually,
  comes to us only from the orator Æschinês as an original
  witness: and in him it forms part of a tissue of statements
  alike confused and incorrect. But against it we have a powerful
  negative argument,—the perfect silence of Thucydidês. Is it
  possible that that historian would have omitted all notice of
  a step so very important in its effects, if Athens had really
  adopted it? He mentions to us the commutation by Athens of the
  tribute from her allies into a duty of five per cent. payable
  by them on their exports and imports (vii, 28)—this was in the
  nineteenth year of the war, 413 B.C. But anything like the
  duplication of the tribute all at once, would have altered much
  more materially the relations between Athens and her allies and
  would have constituted in the minds of the latter a substantive
  grievance, such as to aggravate the motive for revolt in a
  manner which Thucydidês could hardly fail to notice. The orator
  Æschinês refers the augmentation of the tribute, up to twelve
  hundred talents, to the time succeeding the peace of Nikias: M.
  Boeckh (Public Econ. of Athens, b. iii, ch. 15-19, pp. 400-434)
  supposes it to have taken place earlier than the representation
  of the Vespæ of Aristophanês, that is, about three years before
  that peace, or 423 B.C. But this would have been just before the
  time of the expedition of Brasidas into Thrace, and his success
  in exciting revolt among the dependencies of Athens: if Athens
  had doubled her tribute upon all the allies, just before that
  expedition, Thucydidês could not have omitted to mention it, as
  increasing the chances of success to Brasidas, and helping to
  determine the resolutions of the Akanthians and others, which
  were by no means adopted unanimously or without hesitation, to

  In reference to the oration called that of Andokidês against
  Alkibiadês, I made some remarks in the fourth volume of this
  History (vol. iv, ch. xxxi, p. 151), tending to show it to be
  spurious and of a time considerably later than that to which
  it purports to belong. I will here add one other remark, which
  appears to me decisive, tending to the same conclusion.

  The oration professes to be delivered in a contest of ostracism
  between Nikias, Alkibiadês, and the speaker: one of the three,
  he says, must necessarily be ostracized, and the question is,
  to determine which of the three: accordingly, the speaker
  dwells upon many topics calculated to raise a bad impression of
  Alkibiadês, and a favorable impression of himself.

  Among the accusations against Alkibiadês, one is, that after
  having recommended, in the assembly of the people, that the
  inhabitants of Melos should be sold as slaves, he had himself
  purchased a Melian woman among the captives, and had had a son by
  her: it was criminal, argues the speaker, to beget offspring by
  a woman whose relations he had contributed to cause to be put to
  death, and whose city he had contributed to ruin (c. 8).

  Upon this argument I do not here touch, any farther than to bring
  out the point of chronology. The speech, if delivered at all,
  must have been delivered, at the earliest, nearly a year after
  the capture of Melos by the Athenians: it may be of later date,
  but it _cannot possibly be earlier_.

  Now Melos surrendered in the winter immediately preceding the
  great expedition of the Athenians to Sicily in 415 B.C., which
  expedition sailed about midsummer (Thucyd. v, 116; vi, 30).
  Nikias and Alkibiadês both went as commanders of that expedition:
  the latter was recalled to Athens for trial on the charge of
  impiety about three months afterwards, but escaped in the way
  home, was condemned and sentenced to banishment in his absence,
  and did not return to Athens until 407 B.C., long after the death
  of Nikias, who continued in command of the Athenian armament in
  Sicily, enjoying the full esteem of his countrymen, until its
  complete failure and ruin before Syracuse,—and perished himself
  afterwards as a Syracusan prisoner.

  Taking these circumstances together, it will at once be seen that
  there never can have been any time, ten months or more after the
  capture of Melos, when Nikias and Alkibiadês _could_ have been
  exposed to a vote of ostracism at Athens. The thing is absolutely
  impossible: and the oration in which such historical and
  chronological incompatibilities are embodied, must be spurious:
  furthermore, it must have been composed long after the pretended
  time of delivery, when the chronological series of events had
  been forgotten.

  I may add that the story of this duplication of the tribute by
  Alkibiadês is virtually contrary to the statement of Plutarch,
  probably borrowed from Æschinês, who states that the demagogues
  _gradually_ increased (κατὰ μικρὸν) the tribute to thirteen
  hundred talents (Plutarch, Aristeid. c. 24).

  [11] Thucyd. ii, 13.

  [12] Thucyd. i, 80. The foresight of the Athenian people, in
  abstaining from immediate use of public money and laying it up
  for future wants, would be still more conspicuously demonstrated,
  if the statement of Æschinês, the orator, were true, that they
  got together seven thousand talents between the peace of Nikias
  and the Sicilian expedition. M. Boeckh believes this statement,
  and says: “It is not impossible that one thousand talents might
  have been laid by every year, as the amount of tribute received
  was so considerable.” (Public Economy of Athens, ch. xx. p. 446,
  Eng. Trans.) I do not believe the statement: but M. Boeckh and
  others, who do admit it, ought in fairness to set it against the
  many remarks which they pass in condemnation of the democratical

Though we do not know the exact amount of the other sources of
Athenian revenue, however, we know that the tribute received from
the allies was by far the largest item in it.[13] And altogether the
exercise of empire abroad became a prominent feature in Athenian
life, and a necessity to Athenian sentiment, not less than democracy
at home. Athens was no longer, as she had been once, a single city,
with Attica for her territory: she was a capital or imperial city,—a
despot city, was the expression used by her enemies, and even
sometimes by her own citizens,[14]—with many dependencies attached
to her, and bound to follow her orders. Such was the manner in which
not merely Periklês and the other leading statesmen, but even the
humblest Athenian citizen, conceived the dignity of Athens; and the
sentiment was one which carried with it both personal pride and
stimulus to active patriotism. To establish Athenian interests among
the dependent territories, was one important object in the eyes of
Periklês, and while he discountenanced all distant[15] and rash
enterprises, such as invasions of Egypt or Cyprus, he planted out
many kleruchies and colonies of Athenian citizens, intermingled with
allies, on islands, and parts of the coast. He conducted one thousand
citizens to the Thracian Chersonese, five hundred to Naxos, and two
hundred and fifty to Andros. In the Chersonese, he farther repelled
the barbarous Thracian invaders from without, and even undertook
the labor of carrying a wall of defence across the isthmus, which
connected the peninsula with Thrace; since the barbarous Thracian
tribes, though expelled some time before by Kimon,[16] had still
continued to renew their incursions from time to time. Ever since the
occupation of the elder Miltiadês, about eighty years before, there
had been in this peninsula many Athenian proprietors, apparently
intermingled with half-civilized Thracians: the settlers now acquired
both greater numerical strength and better protection, though it
does not appear that the cross-wall was permanently maintained.
The maritime expeditions of Periklês even extended into the Euxine
sea, as far as the important Greek city of Sinôpê, then governed by
a despot named Timesilaus, against whom a large proportion of the
citizens were in active discontent. He left Lamachus with thirteen
Athenian triremes to assist in expelling the despot, who was driven
into exile along with his friends and party: the properties of
these exiles were confiscated, and assigned to the maintenance of
six hundred Athenian citizens, admitted to equal fellowship and
residence with the Sinôpeans. We may presume that on this occasion
Sinôpê became a member of the Athenian tributary alliance, if it had
not been so before: but we do not know whether Kotyôra and Trapezus,
dependencies of Sinôpê, farther eastward, which the ten thousand
Greeks found on their retreat fifty years afterwards, existed in the
time of Periklês or not. Moreover, the numerous and well-equipped
Athenian fleet, under the command of Periklês, produced an imposing
effect upon the barbarous princes and tribes along the coast,[17]
contributing certainly to the security of Grecian trade, and probably
to the acquisition of new dependent allies.

  [13] Thucyd. i. 122-143; ii, 13. The πεντηκοστὴ, or duty of two
  per cent. upon imports and exports at the Peiræus, produced to
  the state a revenue of thirty-six talents in the year in which
  it was farmed by Andokidês, somewhere about 400 B.C., after
  the restoration of the democracy at Athens from its defeat and
  subversion at the close of the Peloponnesian war (Andokidês de
  Mysteriis, c. 23, p. 65). This was at a period of depression in
  Athenian affairs, and when trade was doubtless not near so good
  as it had been during the earlier part of the Peloponnesian war.

  It seems probable that this must have been the most considerable
  permanent source of Athenian revenue next to the tribute; though
  we do not know what rate of customs-duty was imposed at the
  Peiræus during the Peloponnesian war. Comparing together the two
  passages of Xenophon (Republ. Ath. 1, 17, and Aristophan. Vesp.
  657), we may suppose that the regular and usual rate of duty
  was one per cent. or one ἑκατοστὴ,—while in case of need this
  may have been doubled or tripled.—τὰς πολλὰς ἑκατοστάς, (see
  Boeckh, b. iii, chs. 1-4, pp. 298-318, Eng. Trans.) The amount of
  revenue derived even from this source, however, can have borne no
  comparison to the tribute.

  [14] By Periklês, Thucyd. ii, 63. By Kleon, Thucyd. iii, 37. By
  the envoys at Melos, v, 89. By Euphemus, vi, 85. By the hostile
  Corinthians, i, 124 as a matter of course.

  [15] Plutarch, Periklês. c. 20.

  [16] Plutarch, Kimon. c. 14.

  [17] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 19, 20.

It was by successive proceedings of this sort that many detachments
of Athenian citizens became settled in various portions of the
maritime empire of the city,—some rich, investing their property
in the islands as more secure—from the incontestable superiority
of Athens at sea—even than Attica, which, since the loss of
the Megarid, could not be guarded against a Peloponnesian land
invasion,[18]—others poor, and hiring themselves out as laborers.[19]
The islands of Lemnos, Imbros, and Skyros, as well as the territory
of Estiæa, on the north of Eubœa, were completely occupied by
Athenian proprietors and citizens,—other places partially so
occupied. And it was doubtless advantageous to the islanders to
associate themselves with Athenians in trading enterprises, since
they thereby obtained a better chance of the protection of the
Athenian fleet. It seems that Athens passed regulations occasionally
for the commerce of her dependent allies, as we see by the fact, that
shortly before the Peloponnesian war, she excluded the Megarians
from all their ports. The commercial relations between Peiræus and
the Ægean reached their maximum during the interval immediately
preceding the Peloponnesian war: nor were these relations confined to
the country east and north of Attica: they reached also the western
regions. The most important settlements founded by Athens during this
period were Amphipolis in Thrace, and Thurii in Italy.

  [18] Xenophon, Rep. Ath. ii, 16. τὴν μὲν οὐσίαν ταῖς νήσοις
  παρατίθενται, πιστεύοντες τῇ ἀρχῇ τῇ κατὰ θάλασσαν· τὴν δὲ
  Ἀττικὴν γῆν περιορῶσι τεμνομένην, γιγνώσκοντες ὅτι εἰ αὐτὴν
  ἐλεήσουσιν, ἑτέρων ἀγαθῶν μειζόνων στερήσονται.

  Compare also Xenophon (Memorabil. ii, 8, 1, and Symposion, iv,

  [19] See the case of the free laborer and the husbandman at
  Naxos, Plato, Euthyphro, c. 3.

Amphipolis was planted by a colony of Athenians and other Greeks,
under the conduct of the Athenian Agnon, in 437 B.C. It was situated
near the river Strymon, in Thrace, on the eastern bank, and at the
spot where the Strymon resumes its river-course after emerging
from the lake above. It was originally a township or settlement
of the Edonian Thracians, called Ennea Hodoi, or Nine Ways,—in a
situation doubly valuable, both as being close upon the bridge over
the Strymon, and as a convenient centre for the ship-timber and gold
and silver mines of the neighboring region,—and distant about three
English miles from the Athenian settlement of Eion at the mouth of
the river. The previous unsuccessful attempts to form establishments
at Ennea Hodoi have already been noticed,—first, that of Histiæus
the Milesian, followed up by his brother Aristagoras (about 497-496
B.C.), next, that of the Athenians about 465 B.C., under Leagrus
and others,—on both these occasions the intruding settlers had
been defeated and expelled by the native Thracian tribes, though
on the second occasion the number sent by Athens was not less than
ten thousand.[20] So serious a loss deterred the Athenians for a
long time from any repetition of the attempt: though it is highly
probable that individual citizens from Eion and from Thasus connected
themselves with powerful Thracian families, and became in this
manner actively engaged in mining, to their own great profit,—as
well as to the profit of the city collectively, since the property
of the kleruchs, or Athenian citizens occupying colonial lands,
bore its share in case of direct taxes being imposed on Athenian
property generally. Among such fortunate adventurers we may number
the historian Thucydidês himself; seemingly descended from Athenian
parents intermarrying with Thracians, and himself married to a wife
either Thracian or belonging to a family of Athenian colonists in
that region, through whom he became possessed of a large property in
the mines, as well as of great influence in the districts around.[21]
This was one of the various ways in which the collective power of
Athens enabled her chief citizens to enrich themselves individually.

  [20] Thucyd. i. 100.

  [21] Thucyd. iv, 105; Marcellinus, Vit. Thucyd. c. 19. See
  Rotscher, Leben des Thukydides, ch. i, 4, p. 96, who gives a
  genealogy of Thucydidês, as far as it can be made out with any
  probability. The historian was connected by blood with Miltiadês
  and Kimon, as well as with Olorus, king of one of the Thracian
  tribes, whose daughter Hegesipylê was wife of Miltiadês, the
  conqueror of Marathon. In this manner, therefore, he belonged to
  one of the ancient heroic families of Athens, and even of Greece,
  being an Ækid through Ajax and Philæus (Marcellin. c. 2).

The colony under Agnon, despatched from Athens in the year 437 B.C.,
appears to have been both numerous and well sustained, inasmuch as
it conquered and maintained the valuable position of Ennea Hodoi in
spite of those formidable Edonian neighbors who had baffled the two
preceding attempts. Its name of Ennea Hodoi was exchanged for that of
Amphipolis,—the hill on which the new town was situated being bounded
on three sides by the river. The settlers seem to have been of mixed
extraction, comprising no large proportion of Athenians: some were of
Chalkidic race, others came from Argilus, a Grecian city colonized
from Andros, which possessed the territory on the western bank of
the Strymon, immediately opposite to Amphipolis,[22] and which was
included among the subject allies of Athens. Amphipolis, connected
with the sea by the Strymon and the port of Eion, became the most
important of all the Athenian dependencies in reference to Thrace and

  [22] Thucyd. iv, 102; v, 6.

The colony of Thurii on the coast of the gulf of Tarentum in
Italy, near the site and on the territory of the ancient Sybaris,
was founded by Athens about seven years earlier than Amphipolis,
not long after the conclusion of the thirty years’ truce with
Sparta, B.C. 443. Since the destruction of the old Sybaris by the
Krotoniates, in 509 B.C., its territory had for the most part
remained unappropriated: the descendants of the former inhabitants,
dispersed at Laus and in other portions of the territory, were not
strong enough to establish any new city; nor did it suit the views
of the Krotoniates themselves to do so. After an interval of more
than sixty years, however, during which one unsuccessful attempt
at occupation had been made by some Thessalian settlers, these
Sybarites at length prevailed upon the Athenians to undertake and
protect the recolonization; the proposition having been made in
vain to the Spartans. Lampon and Xenokritus, the former a prophet
and interpreter of oracles, were sent by Periklês with ten ships as
chiefs of the new colony of Thurii, founded under the auspices of
Athens. The settlers were collected from all parts of Greece, and
included Dorians, Ionians, islanders, Bœotians, as well as Athenians.
But the descendants of the ancient Sybarites procured themselves to
be treated as privileged citizens, and monopolized for themselves
the possession of political powers, as well as the most valuable
lands in the immediate vicinity of the walls; while their wives also
assumed an offensive preëminence over the other women of the city
in the public religious processions. Such spirit of privilege and
monopoly appears to have been a frequent manifestation among the
ancient colonies, and often fatal either to their tranquillity or
to their growth; sometimes to both. In the case of Thurii, founded
under the auspices of the democratical Athens, it was not likely
to have any lasting success: and we find that after no very long
period, the majority of the colonists rose in insurrection against
the privileged Sybarites, either slew or expelled them, and divided
the entire territory of the city, upon equal principles, among the
colonists of every different race. This revolution enabled them to
make peace with the Krotoniates, who had probably been unfriendly
so long as their ancient enemies, the Sybarites, were masters of
the city, and likely to turn its powers to the purpose of avenging
their conquered ancestors. And the city from this time forward,
democratically governed, appears to have flourished steadily and
without internal dissension for thirty years, until the ruinous
disasters of the Athenians before Syracuse occasioned the overthrow
of the Athenian party at Thurii. How miscellaneous the population
of Thurii was, we may judge from the denominations of the ten
tribes,—such was the number of tribes established, after the model
of Athens,—Arkas, Achaïs, Eleia, Bœotia, Amphiktyonis, Doris, Ias,
Athenaïs, Euboïs, Nesiôtis. From this mixture of race they could not
agree in recognizing or honoring an Athenian œkist, or indeed any
œkist except Apollo.[23] The Spartan general, Kleandridas, banished a
few years before for having suffered himself to be bribed by Athens
along with king Pleistoanax, removed to Thurii, and was appointed
general of the citizens in their war against Tarentum. That war
was ultimately adjusted by the joint foundation of the new city of
Herakleia, half-way between the two,—in the fertile territory called

  [23] Diodor. xii, 35.

  [24] Diodor. xii, 11, 12; Strabo. vi, 264: Plutarch, Periklês, c.

The most interesting circumstance respecting Thurii is, that the
rhetor Lysias, and the historian Herodotus, were both domiciliated
there as citizens. The city was connected with Athens, yet seemingly
only by a feeble tie; nor was it numbered among the tributary subject
allies.[25] From the circumstance that so large a proportion of the
settlers at Thurii were not native Athenians, we may infer that
there were not many of the latter at that time who were willing to
put themselves so far out of connection with Athens,—even though
tempted by the prospect of lots of land in a fertile and promising
territory. And Periklês was probably anxious that those poor citizens
for whom emigration was desirable should become kleruchs in some
of the islands or ports of the Ægean, where they would serve—like
the colonies of Rome—as a sort of garrison for the insurance of the
Athenian empire.[26]

  [25] The Athenians pretended to no subject allies beyond the
  Ionian gulf, Thucyd. vi, 14: compare vi, 45, 104; vii, 34.
  Thucydidês does not even mention Thurii, in his catalogue of
  the allies of Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war
  (Thucyd. ii, 15).

  [26] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 11.

The fourteen years between the thirty years’ truce and the breaking
out of the Peloponnesian war, are a period of full maritime empire
on the part of Athens,—partially indeed resisted, but never with
success. They are a period of peace with all cities extraneous to
her own empire; and of splendid decorations to the city itself,
from the genius of Pheidias and others, in sculpture as well as in
architecture. Since the death of Kimon, Periklês had become more and
more the first citizen in the commonwealth: his qualities told for
more the longer they were known, and even the disastrous reverses
which preceded the thirty years’ truce had not overthrown him,
since he had protested against that expedition of Tolmidês into
Bœotia out of which they first arose. But if the personal influence
of Periklês had increased, the party opposed to him seems also to
have become stronger and better organized than it had been before;
and to have acquired a leader in many respects more effective
than Kimon,—Thucydidês, son of Melêsias. The new chief was a near
relative of Kimon, but of a character and talents more analogous to
that of Periklês: a statesman and orator rather than a general,
though competent to both functions if occasion demanded, as every
leading man in those days was required to be. Under Thucydidês, the
political and parliamentary opposition against Periklês assumed
a constant character and an organization such as Kimon, with his
exclusively military aptitudes, had never been able to establish.
The aristocratical party in the commonwealth,—the “honorable and
respectable” citizens, as we find them styled, adopting their
own nomenclature,—now imposed upon themselves the obligation of
undeviating regularity in their attendance on the public assembly,
sitting together in a particular section, so as to be conspicuously
parted from the Demos. In this manner, their applause and dissent,
their mutual encouragement to each other, their distribution of parts
to different speakers, was made more conducive to the party purposes
than it had been before, when these distinguished persons had been
intermingled with the mass of citizens.[27] Thucydidês himself was
eminent as a speaker, inferior only to Periklês,—perhaps hardly
inferior even to him. We are told that in reply to a question put to
him by Archidamus, whether Periklês or he were the better wrestler,
Thucydidês replied: “Even when I throw him, he denies that he has
fallen, gains his point, and talks over those who have actually seen
him fall.”[28]

  [27] Compare the speech of Nikias, in reference to the younger
  citizens and partisans of Alkibiadês sitting together near the
  latter in the assembly,—οὓς ἐγὼ ὁρῶν νῦν ἐνθάδε τῷ αὐτῷ ἀνδρὶ
  ~παρακελευστοὺς καθημένους~ φοβοῦμαι, καὶ τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις
  ἀντιπαρακελεύομαι μὴ καταισχυνθῆναι, εἴ τῴ τις παρακάθηται τῶνδε,
  etc. (Thucyd. vi, 13.) See also Aristophanês, Ekklesiaz. 298,
  _seq._, about partisans sitting near together.

  [28] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 8. Ὅταν ἐγὼ καταβάλω παλαίων, ἐκεῖνος
  ἀντιλέγων ὡς οὐ πέπτωκε, νικᾷ, καὶ μεταπείθει τοὺς ὁρῶντας.

Such an opposition made to Periklês, in all the full license which a
democratical constitution permitted, must have been both efficient
and embarrassing; but the pointed severance of the aristocratical
chiefs, which Thucydidês, son of Melêsias, introduced, contributed
probably at once to rally the democratical majority round Periklês,
and to exasperate the bitterness of party-conflict.[29] As far as
we can make out the grounds of the opposition, it turned partly
upon the pacific policy of Periklês towards the Persians, partly
upon his expenditure for home ornament. Thucydidês contended that
Athens was disgraced in the eyes of the Greeks, by having drawn the
confederate treasure from Delos to her own acropolis, under pretence
of greater security, and then employing it, not in prosecuting war
against the Persians,[30] but in beautifying Athens by new temples
and costly statues. To this Periklês replied, that Athens had
undertaken the obligation, in consideration of the tribute-money, to
protect her allies and keep off from them every foreign enemy,—that
she had accomplished this object completely at the present, and
retained a reserve sufficient to guarantee the like security for
the future;—that, under such circumstances, she owed no account to
her allies of the expenditure of the surplus, but was at liberty
to expend it for purposes useful and honorable to the city. In
this point of view it was an object of great public importance to
render Athens imposing in the eyes both of the allies and of Hellas
generally, by improved fortifications,—by accumulated ornaments,
sculptural and architectural,—and by religious festivals,—frequent,
splendid, musical, and poetical.

  [29] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 11. ἡ δ᾽ ἐκείνων ἅμιλλα καὶ φιλοτιμία
  τῶν ἀνδρῶν βαθυτάτην τομὴν τεμοῦσα τῆς πόλεως, τὸ μὲν δῆμον, τὸ
  δ᾽ ὀλίγους ἐποίησε καλεῖσθαι.

  [30] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 12. διέβαλλον ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις
  βοῶντες, ὡς ὁ μὲν δῆμος ἀδοξεῖ καὶ κακῶς ἀκούει τὰ κοινὰ τῶν
  Ἑλλήνων χρήματα πρὸς αὑτὸν ἐκ Δήλου μεταγαγών, ἣ δ᾽ ἔνεστιν αὐτῷ
  πρὸς τοὺς ἐγκαλοῦντας εὐπρεπεστάτη τῶν προφάσεων, δείσαντα τοὺς
  βαρβάρους ἐκεῖθεν ἀνελέσθαι καὶ φυλάττειν ἐν ὀχυρῷ τὰ κοινά,
  ταύτην ἀνῄρηκε Περικλῆς, etc.

  Compare the speech of the Lesbians, and their complaints against
  Athens, at the moment of their revolt in the fourth year of the
  Peloponnesian war (Thucyd. iii, 10); where a similar accusation
  is brought forward,—ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἑωρῶμεν αὐτοὺς (the Athenians)
  τὴν μὲν τοῦ Μήδου ἔχθραν ἀνιέντας, τὴν δὲ τῶν ξυμμάχων δούλωσιν
  ἐπαγομένους, etc.

Such was the answer made by Periklês in defence of his policy
against the opposition headed by Thucydidês. And as far as we can
make out the ground taken by both parties, the answer was perfectly
satisfactory. For when we look at the very large sum which Periklês
continually kept in reserve in the treasury, no one could reasonably
complain that his expenditure for ornamental purposes was carried so
far as to encroach upon the exigences of defence. What Thucydidês and
his partisans appear to have urged, was, that this common fund should
still continue to be spent in aggressive warfare against the Persian
king, in Egypt and elsewhere,—conformably to the projects pursued
by Kimon during his life.[31] But Periklês was right in contending
that such outlay would have been simply wasteful; of no use either
to Athens or her allies, though risking all the chances of distant
defeat, such as had been experienced a few years before in Egypt.
The Persian force was already kept away, both from the waters of the
Ægean and the coast of Asia, either by the stipulations of the treaty
of Kallias, or—if that treaty be supposed apocryphal—by a conduct
practically the same as those stipulations would have enforced. The
_allies_, indeed, might have had some ground of complaint against
Periklês, either for not reducing the amount of tribute required from
them, seeing that it was more than sufficient for the legitimate
purposes of the confederacy, or for not having collected their
positive sentiment as to the disposal of it. But we do not find that
this was the argument adopted by Thucydidês and his party, nor was it
calculated to find favor either with aristocrats or democrats, in the
Athenian assembly.

  [31] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 20.

Admitting the injustice of Athens—an injustice common to both the
parties in that city, not less to Kimon than to Periklês—in acting
as despot instead of chief, and in discontinuing all appeal to the
active and hearty concurrence of her numerous allies, we shall
find that the schemes of Periklês were at the same time eminently
Pan-Hellenic. In strengthening and ornamenting Athens, in developing
the full activity of her citizens, in providing temples, religious
offerings, works of art, solemn festivals, all of surpassing
attraction,—he intended to exalt her into something greater than an
imperial city with numerous dependent allies. He wished to make her
the centre of Grecian feeling, the stimulus of Grecian intellect,
and the type of strong democratical patriotism combined with full
liberty of individual taste and aspiration. He wished not merely
to retain the adherence of the subject states, but to attract the
admiration and spontaneous deference of independent neighbors, so
as to procure for Athens a moral ascendency much beyond the range
of her direct power. And he succeeded in elevating the city to a
visible grandeur,[32] which made her appear even much stronger than
she really was,—and which had the farther effect of softening to the
minds of the subjects the humiliating sense of obedience; while it
served as a normal school, open to strangers from all quarters, of
energetic action even under full license of criticism,—of elegant
pursuits economically followed,—and of a love for knowledge without
enervation of character. Such were the views of Periklês in regard
to his country, during the years which preceded the Peloponnesian
war, as we find them recorded in his celebrated Funeral Oration,
pronounced in the first year of that war,—an exposition forever
memorable of the sentiment and purpose of Athenian democracy, as
conceived by its ablest president.

  [32] Thucyd. i, 10.

So bitter, however, was the opposition made by Thucydidês and his
party to this projected expenditure,—so violent and pointed did
the scission of aristocrats and democrats become,—that the dispute
came after no long time to that ultimate appeal which the Athenian
constitution provided for the case of two opposite and nearly equal
party-leaders,—a vote of ostracism. Of the particular details which
preceded this ostracism, we are not informed; but we see clearly
that the general position was such as the ostracism was intended to
meet. Probably the vote was proposed by the party of Thucydidês, in
order to procure the banishment of Periklês, the more powerful person
of the two, and the most likely to excite popular jealousy. The
challenge was accepted by Periklês and his friends, and the result
of the voting was such that an adequate legal majority condemned
Thucydidês to ostracism.[33] And it seems that the majority must have
been very decisive, for the party of Thucydidês was completely broken
by it: and we hear of no other single individual equally formidable
as a leader of opposition, throughout all the remaining life of

  [33] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 11-14. Τέλος δὲ πρὸς τὸν Θουκυδίδην
  ~εἰς ἀγῶνα~ περὶ τοῦ ὀστράκου καταστὰς ~καὶ διακινδυνεύσας~,
  ἐκεῖνον μὲν ἐξέβαλε, κατέλυσε δὲ τὴν ἀντιτεταγμένην ἑταιρείαν.
  See, in reference to the principle of the ostracism, a remarkable
  incident at Magnesia, between two political rivals, Krêtinês and
  Hermeias: also the just reflections of Montesquieu, Esprit des
  Loix, xxvi, c. 17; xxix, c. 7.

The ostracism of Thucydidês apparently took place about two years[34]
after the conclusion of the thirty years’ truce,—443-442 B.C.,—and
it is to the period immediately following that the great Periklêan
works belong. The southern wall of the acropolis had been built out
of the spoils brought by Kimon from his Persian expeditions; but the
third of the long walls connecting Athens with the harbor was the
proposition of Periklês, at what precise time we do not know. The
long walls originally completed—not long after the battle of Tanagra,
as has already been stated—were two, one from Athens to Peiræus,
another from Athens to Phalêrum: the space between them was broad,
and if in the hands of an enemy, the communication with Peiræus
would be interrupted. Accordingly, Periklês now induced the people
to construct a third or intermediate wall, running parallel with the
first wall to Peiræus, and within a short distance[35]—seemingly
near one furlong—from it: so that the communication between the
city and the port was placed beyond all possible interruption, even
assuming an enemy to have got within the Phaleric wall. It was
seemingly about this time, too, that the splendid docks and arsenal
in Peiræus, alleged by Isokratês to have cost one thousand talents,
were constructed:[36] while the town itself of Peiræus was laid out
anew with straight streets intersecting at right angles. Apparently,
this was something new in Greece,—the towns generally, and Athens
itself in particular, having been built without any symmetry, or
width, or continuity of streets:[37] and Hippodamus the Milesian, a
man of considerable attainments in the physical philosophy of the
age, derived much renown as the earliest town architect, for having
laid out the Peiræus on a regular plan. The market-place, or one of
them at least, permanently bore his name,—the Hippodamian agora.[38]
At a time when so many great architects were displaying their genius
in the construction of temples, we are not surprised to hear that the
structure of towns began to be regularized also: moreover, we are
told that the new colonial town of Thurii, to which Hippodamus went
as a settler, was also constructed in the same systematic form as to
straight and wide streets.[39]

  [34] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 16: the indication of time, however,
  is vague.

  [35] Plato, Gorgias, p. 455, with Scholia; Plutarch, Periklês, c.
  13: Forchhammer, Topographie von Athen, in Kieler Philologische
  Studien, pp. 279-282.

  [36] Isokratês, Orat. vii: Areopagit. p. 153. c. 27.

  [37] See Dikæarchus, Vit. Græciæ, Fragm. ed. Fuhr. p. 140:
  compare the description of Platæa in Thucydidês, ii, 3.

  All the older towns now existing in the Grecian islands are put
  together in this same manner,—narrow, muddy, crooked ways,—few
  regular continuous lines of houses: see Ross, Reisen in den
  Griechischen Inseln, Letter xxvii, vol. ii, p. 20.

  [38] Aristotle, Politic. ii, 5, 1; Xenophon, Hellen. ii, 4, 1;
  Harpokration, v, Ἱπποδάμεια.

  [39] Diodor, xii, 9.

The new scheme upon which the Peiræus was laid out, was not without
its value as one visible proof of the naval grandeur of Athens.
But the buildings in Athens and on the acropolis formed the real
glory of the Periklêan age. A new theatre, termed the Odeon, was
constructed for musical and poetical representations at the great
Panathenaic solemnity; next, the splendid temple of Athênê, called
the Parthenon, with all its masterpieces of decorative sculpture and
reliefs; lastly, the costly portals erected to adorn the entrance of
the acropolis, on the western side of the hill, through which the
solemn processions on festival days were conducted. It appears that
the Odeon and the Parthenon were both finished between 445 and 437
B.C.: the Propylæa somewhat later, between 437 and 431 B.C., in which
latter year the Peloponnesian war began.[40] Progress was also made
in restoring or reconstructing the Erechtheion, or ancient temple of
Athênê Polias, the patron goddess of the city,—which had been burnt
in the invasion of Xerxes; but the breaking out of the Peloponnesian
war seems to have prevented the completion of this, as well as of
the great temple of Dêmêter, at Eleusis, for the celebration of
the Eleusinian mysteries,—that of Athênê, at Sunium,—and that of
Nemesis, at Rhamnus. Nor was the sculpture less memorable than the
architecture: three statues of Athênê, all by the hand of Pheidias,
decorated the acropolis,—one colossal, forty-seven feet high, of
ivory, in the Parthenon,[41]—a second of bronze, called the Lemnian
Athênê,—a third of colossal magnitude, also in bronze, called Athênê
Promachos, placed between the Propylæa and the Parthenon, and visible
from afar off, even to the navigator approaching Peiræus by sea.

  [40] Leake, Topography of Athens, Append. ii and iii, pp.
  328-336, 2d edit.

  [41] See Leake, Topography of Athens, 2d ed. p. 111, Germ.
  transl. O. Müller (De Phidiæ Vitâ, p. 18) mentions no less than
  eight celebrated statues of Athênê, by the hand of Pheidias,—four
  in the acropolis of Athens.

It is not, of course, to Periklês that the renown of these splendid
productions of art belongs: but the great sculptors and architects
by whom they were conceived and executed, belonged to that same
period of expanding and stimulating Athenian democracy which called
forth a similar creative genius in oratory, in dramatic poetry,
and in philosophical speculation. One man especially, of immortal
name,—Pheidias,—born a little before the battle of Marathon, was the
original mind in whom the sublime ideal conceptions of genuine art
appear to have disengaged themselves from that hardness of execution
and adherence to a consecrated type, which marked the efforts of his
predecessors.[42] He was the great director and superintendent of
all those decorative additions whereby Periklês imparted to Athens
a majesty such as had never before belonged to any Grecian city:
the architects of the Parthenon and the other buildings—Iktînus,
Kallikratês, Korœbus, Mnesiklês, and others—worked under his
superintendence: and he had, besides, a school of pupils and
subordinates to whom the mechanical part of his labors was confided.
With all the great additions which Pheidias made to the grandeur of
Athens, his last and greatest achievement was out of Athens,—the
colossal statue of Zeus, in the great temple of Olympia, executed in
the years immediately preceding the Peloponnesian war. The effect
produced by this stupendous work, sixty feet high, in ivory and
gold, embodying in visible majesty some of the grandest conceptions
of Grecian poetry and religion, upon the minds of all beholders for
many centuries successively,—was such as never has been, and probably
never will be, equalled in the annals of art, sacred or profane.

  [42] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 13-15; O. Müller, De Phidiæ Vitâ, pp
  34-60, also his work, Archäologie der Kunst, sects. 108-113.

Considering these prodigious achievements in the field of art only
as they bear upon Athenian and Grecian history, they are phenomena
of extraordinary importance. When we read the profound impression
which they produced upon Grecian spectators of a later age, we may
judge how immense was the effect upon that generation which saw
them both begun and finished. In the year 480 B.C., Athens had been
ruined by the occupation of Xerxes: since that period, the Greeks
had seen, first, the rebuilding and fortifying of the city on an
enlarged scale,—next, the addition of Peiræus with its docks and
magazines,—thirdly, the junction of the two by the long walls,
thus including the most numerous concentrated population, wealth,
arms, ships, etc., in Greece,[43]—lastly, the rapid creation of so
many new miracles of art,—the sculptures of Pheidias as well as
the paintings of the Thasian painter, Polygnôtus, in the temple of
Theseus, and in the portico called Pœkilê. Plutarch observes[44]
that the celerity with which the works were completed was the most
remarkable circumstance connected with them; and so it probably
might be, in respect to the effect upon the contemporary Greeks. The
gigantic strides by which Athens had reached her maritime empire
were now immediately succeeded by a series of works which stamped
her as the imperial city of Greece, gave to her an appearance of
power even greater than the reality, and especially put to shame
the old-fashioned simplicity of Sparta.[45] The cost was doubtless
prodigious, and could only have been borne at a time when there
was a large treasure in the acropolis, as well as a considerable
tribute annually coming in: if we may trust a computation which
seems to rest on plausible grounds, it cannot have been much less
than three thousand talents in the aggregate,—about six hundred and
ninety thousand pounds.[46] The expenditure of so large a sum was,
of course, the source of great private gain to the contractors,
tradesmen, merchants, artisans of various descriptions, etc.,
concerned in it: in one way or another, it distributed itself over a
large portion of the whole city. And it appears that the materials
employed for much of the work were designedly of the most costly
description, as being most consistent with the reverence due to the
gods: marble was rejected as too common for the statue of Athênê,
and ivory employed in its place;[47] while the gold with which it
was surrounded weighed not less than forty talents.[48] A large
expenditure for such purposes, considered as pious towards the gods,
was at the same time imposing in reference to Grecian feeling,
which regarded with admiration every variety of public show and
magnificence, and repaid by grateful deference the rich men who
indulged in it. Periklês knew well that the visible splendor of
the city, so new to all his contemporaries, would cause her great
real power to appear even greater than its reality, and would thus
procure for her a real, though unacknowledged influence—perhaps even
an ascendency—over all cities of the Grecian name. And it is certain
that even among those who most hated and feared her, at the outbreak
of the Peloponnesian war, there prevailed a powerful sentiment of
involuntary deference.

  [43] Thucyd. i, 80. καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἅπασιν ἄριστα ἐξήρτυνται,
  πλούτῳ τε ἰδίῳ καὶ δημοσίῳ καὶ ναυσὶ καὶ ἵπποις καὶ ὅπλοις, καὶ
  ὄχλῳ ὅσος οὐκ ἐν ἄλλῳ ἑνί γε χωρίῳ Ἑλληνικῷ ἐστὶν, etc.

  [44] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 13.

  [45] Thucyd. i, 10.

  [46] See Leake, Topography of Athens, Append. iii, p. 329, 2d ed.
  Germ. transl. Colonel Leake, with much justice, contends that the
  amount of two thousand and twelve talents, stated by Harpokration
  out of Philochorus as the cost of the Propylæa alone, must be
  greatly exaggerated. Mr. Wilkins (Atheniensia, p. 84) expresses
  the same opinion; remarking that the transport of marble from
  Pentelikus to Athens is easy and on a descending road.

  Demetrius Phalereus (ap. Cicer. de Officiis, ii, 17) blamed
  Periklês for the large sum expended upon the Propylæa; nor is it
  wonderful that he uttered this censure, if he had been led to
  rate the cost of them at two thousand and twelve talents.

  [47] Valer. Maxim. i, 7, 2.

  [48] Thucyd. ii, 13.

A step taken by Periklês, apparently not long after the commencement
of the thirty years’ truce, evinces how much this ascendency was
in his direct aim, and how much he connected it with views both
of harmony and usefulness for Greece generally. He prevailed upon
the people to send envoys to every city of the Greek name, great
and small, inviting each to appoint deputies for a congress to be
held at Athens. Three points were to be discussed in this intended
congress. 1. The restitution of those temples which had been burnt
by the Persian invaders. 2. The fulfilment of such vows, as on that
occasion had been made to the gods. 3. The safety of the sea and of
maritime commerce for all. Twenty elderly Athenians were sent round
to obtain the convocation of this congress at Athens,—a Pan-Hellenic
congress for Pan-Hellenic purposes. But those who were sent to
Bœotia and Peloponnesus completely failed in their object, from the
jealousy, noway astonishing, of Sparta and her allies: of the rest
we hear nothing, for this refusal was quite sufficient to frustrate
the whole scheme.[49] It is to be remarked that the dependent allies
of Athens appear to have been summoned just as much as the cities
perfectly autonomous; so that their tributary relation to Athens
was not understood to degrade them. We may sincerely regret that
such congress did not take effect, as it might have opened some new
possibilities of converging tendency and alliance for the dispersed
fractions of the Greek name,—a comprehensive benefit, to which Sparta
was at once incompetent and indifferent, but which might, perhaps,
have been realized under Athens, and seems in this case to have been
sincerely aimed at by Periklês. The events of the Peloponnesian war,
however, extinguished all hopes of any such union.

  [49] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 17. Plutarch gives no precise date,
  and O. Müller (De Phidiæ Vitâ, p. 9) places these steps for
  convocation of a congress before the first war between Sparta and
  Athens and the battle of Tanagra,—_i. e._, before 460 B.C. But
  this date seems to me improbable: Thebes was not yet renovated
  in power, nor had Bœotia as yet recovered from the fruits of her
  alliance with the Persians; moreover, neither Athens nor Periklês
  himself seem to have been at that time in a situation to conceive
  so large a project; which suits in every respect much better for
  the later period, after the thirty years’ truce, but before the
  Peloponnesian war.

The interval of fourteen years, between the beginning of the thirty
years’ truce and that of the Peloponnesian war, was by no means one
of undisturbed peace to Athens. In the sixth year of that period
occurred the formidable revolt of Samos.

That island appears to have been the most powerful of all the
allies of Athens,[50]—more powerful even than Chios or Lesbos, and
standing on the same footing as the two latter; that is, paying
no tribute-money,—a privilege when compared with the body of the
allies,—but furnishing ships and men when called upon, and retaining,
subject to this condition, its complete autonomy, its oligarchical
government, its fortifications, and its military force. Like most
of the other islands near the coast, Samos possessed a portion
of territory on the mainland, between which and the territory of
Milêtus, lay the small town of Priênê, one of the twelve original
members contributing to the Pan-Ionic solemnity. Respecting the
possession of this town of Priênê, a war broke out between the
Samians and Milesians, in the sixth year of the thirty years’ truce
(B.C. 440-439): whether the town had before been independent, we do
not know, but in this war the Milesians were worsted, and it fell
into the hands of the Samians. The defeated Milesians, enrolled as
they were among the tributary allies of Athens, complained to her of
the conduct of the Samians, and their complaint was seconded by a
party in Samos itself opposed to the oligarchy and its proceedings.
The Athenians required the two disputing cities to bring the matter
before discussion and award at Athens, with which the Samians refused
to comply:[51] whereupon an armament of forty ships was despatched
from Athens to the island, and established in it a democratical
government; leaving in it a garrison, and carrying away to Lemnos
fifty men and as many boys from the principal oligarchical families,
to serve as hostages. Of these families, however, a certain number
retired to the mainland, where they entered into negotiations with
Pissuthnês, the satrap of Sardis, to procure aid and restoration.
Obtaining from him seven hundred mercenary troops, and passing over
in the night to the island, by previous concert with the oligarchical
party, they overcame the Samian democracy as well as the Athenian
garrison, who were sent over as prisoners to Pissuthnês. They were
farther lucky enough to succeed in stealing away from Lemnos their
own recently deposited hostages, and they then proclaimed open revolt
against Athens, in which Byzantium also joined. It seems remarkable,
that though, by such a proceeding, they would of course draw upon
themselves the full strength of Athens, yet their first step was
to resume aggressive hostilities against Milêtus,[52] whither they
sailed with a powerful naval force of seventy ships, twenty of them
carrying troops aboard.

  [50] Thucyd. i, 115; viii, 76; Plutarch, Periklês, c. 28.

  [51] Thucyd. i, 115; Plutarch, Periklês, c. 25. Most of the
  statements which appear in this chapter of Plutarch—over and
  above the concise narrative of Thucydidês—appear to be borrowed
  from exaggerated party stories of the day. We need make no remark
  upon the story, that Periklês was induced to take the side of
  Milêtus against Samos, by the fact that Aspasia was a native
  of Milêtus. Nor is it at all more credible that the satrap
  Pissuthnês, from good-will towards Samos, offered Periklês ten
  thousand golden staters as an inducement to spare Samos. It may
  perhaps be true however, that the Samian oligarchy, and those
  wealthy men whose children were likely to be taken as hostages,
  tried the effect of large bribes upon the mind of Periklês, to
  prevail upon him not to alter the government.

  [52] Thucyd. i, 114, 115.

Immediately on the receipt of this grave intelligence, a fleet of
sixty triremes—probably all that were in complete readiness—was
despatched to Samos under ten generals, two of whom were Periklês
himself and the poet Sophoklês,[53] both seemingly included among
the ten ordinary stratêgi of the year. But it was necessary to
employ sixteen of these ships, partly in summoning contingents from
Chios and Lesbos, to which islands Sophoklês went in person;[54]
partly in keeping watch off the coast of Karia for the arrival of
the Phenician fleet, which report stated to be approaching; so that
Periklês had only forty-four ships remaining in his squadron. Yet
he did not hesitate to attack the Samian fleet of seventy ships
on its way back from Milêtus, near the island of Tragia, and was
victorious in the action. Presently, he was reinforced by forty
ships from Athens, and by twenty-five from Chios and Lesbos, so
as to be able to disembark at Samos, where he overcame the Samian
land-force, and blocked up the harbor with a portion of his fleet,
surrounding the city on the land-side with a triple wall. Meanwhile,
the Samians had sent Stesagoras with five ships to press the coming
of the Phenician fleet, and the report of their approach became
again so prevalent that Periklês felt obliged to take sixty ships,
out of the total one hundred and twenty-five, to watch for them off
the coast of Kaunus and Karia, where he remained for about fourteen
days. The Phenician fleet[55] never came, though Diodorus affirms
that it was actually on its voyage. Pissuthnês certainly seems to
have promised, and the Samians to have expected it: but I incline
to believe that, though willing to hold out hopes and encourage
revolt among the Athenian allies, the satrap, nevertheless, did not
choose openly to violate the convention of Kallias, whereby the
Persians were forbidden to send a fleet westward of the Chelidonian
promontory. The departure of Periklês, however, so much weakened the
Athenian fleet off Samos, that the Samians, suddenly sailing out of
their harbor in an opportune moment, at the instigation and under
the command of one of their most eminent citizens, the philosopher
Melissus,—surprised and ruined the blockading squadron, and gained
a victory over the remaining fleet, before the ships could be
fairly got out to sea.[56] For fourteen days they remained masters
of the sea, carrying in and out all that they thought proper: nor
was it until the return of Periklês that they were again blocked
up. Reinforcements, however, were now multiplied to the blockading
squadron,—from Athens, forty ships, under Thucydidês,[57] Agnon, and
Phormion, and twenty under Tlepolemus and Antiklês, besides thirty
from Chios and Lesbos,—making altogether near two hundred sail.
Against this overwhelming force, Melissus and the Samians made an
unavailing attempt at resistance, but were presently quite blocked
up, and remained so for nearly nine months, until they could hold
out no longer. They then capitulated, being compelled to raze their
fortifications, to surrender all their ships of war, to give hostages
for future good conduct, and to make good by stated instalments the
whole expense of the enterprise, said to have reached one thousand
talents. The Byzantines, too, made their submission at the same

  [53] Strabo, xiv, p. 638; Schol. Aristeidês, t. iii, p. 485,

  [54] See the interesting particulars recounted respecting
  Sophoklês by the Chian poet, Ion, who met and conversed with him
  during the course of this expedition (Athenæus, xiii, p. 603).
  He represents the poet as uncommonly pleasing and graceful in
  society, but noway distinguished for active capacity. Sophoklês
  was at this time in peculiar favor, from the success of his
  tragedy, Antigonê, the year before. See the chronology of
  these events discussed and elucidated in Boeckh’s preliminary
  Dissertation to the Antigonê, c. 6-9.

  [55] Diodor. xi, 27.

  [56] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 26. Plutarch seems to have had
  before him accounts respecting this Samian campaign, not only
  from Ephorus, Stesimbrotus, and Duris, but also from Aristotle:
  and the statements of the latter must have differed thus far
  from Thucydidês, that he affirmed Melissus the Samian general to
  have been victorious over Periklês himself, which is not to be
  reconciled with the narrative of Thucydidês.

  The Samian historian, Duris, living about a century after this
  siege, seems to have introduced many falsehoods respecting the
  cruelties of Athens: see Plutarch, _l. c._

  [57] It appears very improbable that this Thucydidês can be the
  historian himself. If it be Thucydidês son of Melêsias, we must
  suppose him to have been restored from ostracism before the
  regular time,—a supposition indeed noway inadmissible in itself,
  but which there is nothing else to countenance. The author of the
  Life of Sophoklês, as well as most of the recent critics, adopt
  this opinion.

  On the other hand, it may have been a third person named
  Thucydidês; for the name seems to have been common, as we might
  guess from the two words of which it is compounded. We find a
  third Thucydidês mentioned viii, 92—a native of Pharsalus: and
  the biographer, Marcellinus seems to have read of many persons so
  called (Θουκύδιδαι πολλοὶ, p. xvi, ed. Arnold). The subsequent
  history of Thucydidês son of Melêsias, is involved in complete
  obscurity. We do not know the incident to which the remarkable
  passage in Aristophanês (Acharn. 703) alludes,—compare Vespæ,
  946: nor can we confirm the statement which the Scholiast cites
  from Idomeneus, to the effect that Thucydidês was banished and
  fled to Artaxerxes: see Bergk. Reliq. Com. Att. p. 61.

  [58] Thucyd. i, 117; Diodor. xii, 27, 28; Isokratês, De Permutat.
  Or. xv, sect. 118; Cornel. Nepos, Vit. Timoth. c. 1.

  The assertion of Ephorus (see Diodorus, xii, 28, and Ephori
  Fragm. 117 ed. Marx, with the note of Marx) that Periklês
  employed battering machines against the town, under the
  management of the Klazomenian Artemon, was called in question
  by Herakleidês Ponticus, on the ground that Artemon was a
  contemporary of Anakreon, near a century before: and Thucydidês
  represents Periklês to have captured the town altogether by

Two or three circumstances deserve notice respecting this revolt, as
illustrating the existing condition of the Athenian empire. First,
that the whole force of Athens, together with the contingents from
Chios and Lesbos, was necessary in order to crush it, so that even
Byzantium, which joined in the revolt, seems to have been left
unassailed. Now, it is remarkable that none of the dependent allies
near Byzantium, or anywhere else, availed themselves of so favorable
an opportunity to revolt also: a fact which seems plainly to imply
that there was little positive discontent then prevalent among them.
Had the revolt spread to other cities, probably Pissuthnês might have
realized his promise of bringing in the Phenician fleet, which would
have been a serious calamity for the Ægean Greeks, and was only kept
off by the unbroken maintenance of the Athenian empire.

Next, the revolted Samians applied for aid, not only to Pissuthnês,
but also to Sparta and her allies; among whom, at a special
meeting, the question of compliance or refusal was formally debated.
Notwithstanding the thirty years’ truce then subsisting, of which
only six years had elapsed, and which had been noway violated by
Athens,—many of the allies of Sparta voted for assisting the Samians:
what part Sparta herself took, we do not know,—but the Corinthians
were the main and decided advocates for the negative. They not only
contended that the truce distinctly forbade compliance with the
Samian request, but also recognized the right of each confederacy to
punish its own recusant members, and this was the decision ultimately
adopted, for which the Corinthians afterwards took credit, in the
eyes of Athens, as the chief authors.[59] Certainly, if the contrary
policy had been pursued, the Athenian empire might have been in great
danger, the Phenician fleet would probably have been brought in also,
and the future course of events might have been greatly altered.

  [59] Thucyd. i, 40, 41.

Again, after the reconquest of Samos, we should assume it almost as a
matter of certainty, that the Athenians would renew the democratical
government which they had set up just before the revolt. Yet, if
they did so, it must have been again overthrown, without any attempt
to uphold it on the part of Athens. For we hardly hear of Samos
again, until twenty-seven years afterwards, towards the latter
division of the Peloponnesian war, in 412 B.C., and it then appears
with an established oligarchical government of geomori, or landed
proprietors, against which the people make a successful rising
during the course of that year.[60] As Samos remained, during the
interval between 439 B.C. and 412 B.C., unfortified, deprived of its
fleet, and enrolled among the tribute-paying allies of Athens,—and
as it, nevertheless, either retained or acquired its oligarchical
government; so we may conclude that Athens cannot have systematically
interfered to democratize by violence the subject-allies, in cases
where the natural tendency of parties ran towards oligarchy. The
condition of Lesbos at the time of its revolt, hereafter to be
related, will be found to confirm this conclusion.[61]

  [60] Thucyd. viii, 21.

  [61] Compare Wachsmuth, Hellenische Alterthumskunde, sect. 58,
  vol. ii, p. 82.

On returning to Athens after the reconquest of Samos, Periklês was
chosen to pronounce the funeral oration over the citizens slain in
the war, to whom, according to custom, solemn and public obsequies
were celebrated in the suburb called Kerameikus. This custom
appears to have been introduced shortly after the Persian war,[62]
and would doubtless contribute to stimulate the patriotism of the
citizens, especially when the speaker elected to deliver it was of
the personal dignity as well as the oratorical powers of Periklês.
He was twice public funeral orator by the choice of the citizens:
once after the Samian success, and a second time in the first year
of the Peloponnesian war. His discourse on the first occasion has
not reached us,[63] but the second has been fortunately preserved,
in substance at least, by Thucydidês, who also briefly describes the
funeral ceremony,—doubtless the same on all occasions. The bones
of the deceased warriors were exposed in tents three days before
the ceremony, in order that the relatives of each might have the
opportunity of bringing offerings: they were then placed in coffins
of cypress, and carried forth on carts to the public burial-place at
the Kerameikus; one coffin for each of the ten tribes, and one empty
couch, formally laid out, to represent those warriors whose bones
had not been discovered or collected. The female relatives of each
followed the carts, with loud wailings, and after them a numerous
procession both of citizens and strangers. So soon as the bones had
been consigned to the grave, some distinguished citizen, specially
chosen for the purpose, mounted an elevated stage, and addressed to
the multitude an appropriate discourse. Such was the effect produced
by that of Periklês after the Samian expedition, that, when he had
concluded, the audience present testified their emotion in the
liveliest manner, and the women especially crowned him with garlands,
like a victorious athlete.[64] Only Elpinikê, sister of the deceased
Kimon, reminded him that the victories of her brother had been more
felicitous, as gained over Persians and Phenicians, and not over
Greeks and kinsmen. And the contemporary poet Ion, the friend of
Kimon, reported what he thought an unseemly boast of Periklês,—to the
effect that Agamemnon had spent ten years in taking a foreign city,
while _he_ in nine months had reduced the first and most powerful of
all the Ionic communities.[65] But if we possessed the actual speech
pronounced, we should probably find that he assigned all the honor
of the exploit to Athens and her citizens generally, placing their
achievement in favorable comparison with that of Agamemnon and his
host,—not himself with Agamemnon.

  [62] See Westermann, Geschichte der Beredsamkeit in Griechenland
  und Rom; Diodor. xi, 33; Dionys. Hal. A. R. v, 17.

  Periklês, in the funeral oration preserved by Thucydidês (ii,
  35-40), begins by saying—Οἱ μὲν πολλοὶ τῶν ἐνθάδε εἰρηκότων ἤδη
  ἐπαινοῦσι ~τὸν προσθέντα~ τῷ νόμῳ τὸν λόγον τόνδε, etc.

  The Scholiast, and other commentators—K. F. Weber and Westermann
  among the number—make various guesses as to _what_ celebrated man
  is here designated as the introducer of the custom of a funeral
  harangue. The Scholiast says, Solon: Weber fixes on Kimon:
  Westermann, on Aristeidês: another commentator on Themistoklês.
  But we may reasonably doubt whether _any one_ very celebrated man
  is specially indicated by the words τὸν προσθέντα. To commend the
  introducer of the practice, is nothing more than a phrase for
  commending the practice itself.

  [63] Some fragments of it seem to have been preserved, in the
  time of Aristotle: see his treatise De Rhetoricâ, i, 7; iii, 10,

  [64] Compare the enthusiastic demonstrations which welcomed
  Brasidas at Skiônê (Thucyd. iv, 121).

  [65] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 28; Thucyd. ii, 34.

Whatever may be thought of this boast, there can be no doubt that
the result of the Samian war not only rescued the Athenian empire
from great peril,[66] but rendered it stronger than ever: while the
foundation of Amphipolis, which was effected two years afterwards,
strengthened it still farther. Nor do we hear, during the ensuing few
years, of any farther tendencies to disaffection among its members,
until the period immediately before the Peloponnesian war. The
feeling common among them towards Athens, seems to have been neither
attachment nor hatred, but simple indifference and acquiescence
in her supremacy. Such amount of positive discontent as really
existed among them, arose, not from actual hardships suffered, but
from the general political instinct of the Greek mind,—desire of
separate autonomy for each city; which manifested itself in each,
through the oligarchical party, whose power was kept down by Athens,
and was stimulated by the sentiment communicated from the Grecian
communities without the Athenian empire. According to that sentiment,
the condition of a subject-ally of Athens was treated as one of
degradation and servitude: and in proportion as fear and hatred of
Athens became more and more predominant among the allies of Sparta,
they gave utterance to the sentiment more and more emphatically, so
as to encourage discontent artificially among the subject-allies of
the Athenian empire. Possessing complete mastery of the sea, and
every sort of superiority requisite for holding empire over islands,
Athens had yet no sentiment to appeal to in her subjects, calculated
to render her empire popular, except that of common democracy,
which seems at first to have acted without any care on her part to
encourage it, until the progress of the Peloponnesian war made such
encouragement a part of her policy. And had she even tried sincerely
to keep up in the allies the feeling of a common interest, and the
attachment to a permanent confederacy, the instinct of political
separation would probably have baffled all her efforts. But she took
no such pains,—with the usual morality that grows up in the minds
of the actual possessors of power, she conceived herself entitled
to exact obedience as her right; and some of the Athenian speakers
in Thucydidês go so far as to disdain all pretence of legitimate
power, even such as might fairly be set up, resting the supremacy
of Athens on the naked plea of superior force.[67] As the allied
cities were mostly under democracies,—through the indirect influence
rather than the systematic dictation of Athens,—yet each having its
own internal aristocracy in a state of opposition; so the movements
for revolt against Athens originated with the aristocracy or with
some few citizens apart: while the people, though sharing more or
less in the desire for autonomy, had yet either a fear of their
own aristocracy or a sympathy with Athens, which made them always
backward in revolting, sometimes decidedly opposed to it. Neither
Periklês nor Kleon, indeed, lay stress on the attachment of the
people as distinguished from that of the Few, in these dependent
cities; but the argument is strongly insisted on by Diodorus,[68]
in the discussion respecting Mitylênê after its surrender: and as
the war advanced, the question of alliance with Athens or Sparta
became more and more identified with the internal preponderance of
democracy or oligarchy in each.[69] We shall find that in most of
those cases of actual revolt where we are informed of the preceding
circumstances, the step is adopted or contrived by a small number of
oligarchical malcontents, without consulting the general voice; while
in those cases where the general assembly is consulted beforehand,
there is manifested indeed a preference for autonomy, but nothing
like a hatred of Athens or decided inclination to break with her. In
the case of Mitylênê,[70] in the fourth year of the war, it was the
aristocratical government which revolted, while the people, as soon
as they obtained arms, actually declared in favor of Athens: and the
secession of Chios, the greatest of all the allies, in the twentieth
year of the Peloponnesian war, even after all the hardships which
the allies had been called upon to bear in that war, and after the
ruinous disasters which Athens had sustained before Syracuse,—was
both prepared beforehand and accomplished by secret negotiations
of the Chian oligarchy, not only without the concurrence, but
against the inclination, of their own people.[71] In like manner,
the revolt of Thasos would not have occurred, had not the Thasian
democracy been previously subverted by the Athenian Peisander and
his oligarchical confederates. So in Akanthus, in Amphipolis, in
Mendê, and those other Athenian dependencies which were wrested
from Athens by Brasidas, we find the latter secretly introduced by
a few conspirators, while the bulk of the citizens do not hail him
at once as a deliverer, like men sick of Athenian supremacy: they
acquiesce, not without debate, when Brasidas is already in the town,
and his demeanor, just as well as conciliating, soon gains their
esteem: but neither in Akanthus nor in Amphipolis would he have
been admitted by the free decision of the citizens, if they had not
been alarmed for the safety of their friends, their properties, and
their harvest, still exposed in the lands without the walls.[72]
These particular examples warrant us in affirming, that though the
oligarchy in the various allied cities desired eagerly to shake off
the supremacy of Athens, the people were always backward in following
them, sometimes even opposed, and hardly ever willing to make
sacrifices for the object. They shared the universal Grecian desire
for separate autonomy,[73] felt the Athenian empire as an extraneous
pressure which they would have been glad to shake off, whenever the
change could be made with safety: but their condition was not one
of positive hardship, nor did they overlook the hazardous side of
such a change,—partly from the coercive hand of Athens, partly from
new enemies against whom Athens had hitherto protected them, and not
least, from their own oligarchy. Of course, the different allied
cities were not all animated by the same feelings, some being more
averse to Athens than others.

  [66] A short fragment remaining from the comic poet Eupolis
  (Κόλακες, Fr. xvi, p. 493, ed. Meineke), attests the anxiety at
  Athens about the Samian war, and the great joy when the island
  was reconquered: compare Aristophan. Vesp. 283.

  [67] Thucyd. iii, 37; ii, 63. See the conference, at the island
  of Melos in the sixteenth year of the Peloponnesian war (Thucyd.
  v, 89, _seq._), between the Athenian commissioners and the
  Melians. I think, however, that this conference is less to be
  trusted as based in reality, than the speeches in Thucydidês
  generally,—of which more hereafter.

  [68] Thucyd. iii, 47. Νῦν μὲν γὰρ ὑμῖν ὁ δῆμος ἐν ἁπάσαις ταῖς
  πόλεσιν εὔνους ἐστὶ, καὶ ἢ οὐ ξυναφίσταται τοῖς ὀλίγοις, ἢ ἐὰν
  βιασθῇ, ὑπάρχει τοῖς ἀποστήσασι πολέμιος εὐθὺς, etc.

  [69] See the striking observations of Thucydidês, iii, 82, 83;
  Aristotel. Politic. v, 6, 9.

  [70] Thucyd. iii, 27.

  [71] Thucyd. viii, 9-14. He observes, also, respecting the
  Thasian oligarchy just set up in lieu of the previous democracy
  by the Athenian oligarchical conspirators who were then
  organizing the revolution of the Four Hundred at Athens,—that
  they immediately made preparations for revolting from
  Athens,—ξυνέβη οὖν αὐτοῖς μάλιστα ἃ ἐβούλοντο, τὴν πόλιν τε
  ἀκινδύνως ὀρθοῦσθαι, καὶ ~τὸν ἐναντιωσόμενον δῆμον καταλελύσθαι~
  (viii, 64).

  [72] Thucyd. iv, 86, 88, 106, 123.

  [73] See the important passage, Thucyd. viii, 48.

The particular modes in which Athenian supremacy was felt as a
grievance by the allies appear to have been chiefly three. 1. The
annual tribute. 2. The encroachments, exactions, or perhaps plunder,
committed by individual Athenians, who would often take advantage of
their superior position, either as serving in the naval armaments, as
invested with the function of inspectors as placed in garrison, or as
carrying on some private speculation. 3. The obligation under which
the allies were placed, of bringing a large proportion of their
judicial trials to be settled before the dikasteries at Athens.

As to the tribute, I have before remarked that its amount had been
but little raised from its first settlement down to the beginning
of the Peloponnesian war, at which time it was six hundred talents
yearly:[74] it appears to have been reviewed, and the apportionment
corrected, in every fifth year, at which period the collecting
officers may probably have been changed; but we shall afterwards
find it becoming larger and more burdensome. The same gradual
increase may probably be affirmed respecting the second head of
inconvenience,—vexation caused to the allies by individual Athenians,
chiefly officers of armaments, or powerful citizens.[75] Doubtless
this was always more or less a real grievance, from the moment when
the Athenians became despots in place of chiefs, but it was probably
not very serious in extent until after the commencement of the
Peloponnesian war, when revolt on the part of the allies became more
apprehended, and when garrisons, inspectors, and tribute-gathering
ships became more essential in the working of the Athenian empire.

  [74] Xenophon. Repub. Athen. iii, 5. πλὴν αἱ τάξεις τοῦ φόρου·
  τοῦτο δὲ γίγνεται ὡς τὰ πολλὰ δι᾽ ἔτους πέμπτου.

  [75] Xenophon. Repub. Athen. i, 14. Περὶ δὲ τῶν συμμάχων, οἱ
  ἐκπλέοντες συκοφαντοῦσιν, ὡς δοκοῦσι, καὶ μισοῦσι τοὺς χρηστοὺς,

  Who are the persons designated by the expression οἱ ἐκπλέοντες,
  appears to be specified more particularly a little farther on (i,
  18); it means the generals, the officers, the envoys, etc. sent
  forth by Athens.

But the third circumstance above noticed—the subjection of the allied
cities to the Athenian dikasteries—has been more dwelt upon as a
grievance than the second, and seems to have been unduly exaggerated.
We can hardly doubt that the beginning of this jurisdiction
exercised by the Athenian dikasteries dates with the synod of Delos,
at the time of the first formation of the confederacy. It was an
indispensable element of that confederacy, that the members should
forego their right of private war among each other, and submit their
differences to peaceable arbitration,—a covenant introduced even
into alliances much less intimate than this was, and absolutely
essential to the efficient maintenance of any common action against
Persia.[76] Of course, many causes of dispute, public as well as
private, must have arisen among these wide-spread islands and
seaports of the Ægean, connected with each other by relations of
fellow-feeling, of trade, and of common apprehensions. The synod
of Delos, composed of the deputies of all, was the natural board
of arbitration for such disputes, and a habit must thus have been
formed, of recognizing a sort of federal tribunal,—to decide
peaceably how far each ally had faithfully discharged its duties,
both towards the confederacy collectively, and towards other
allies with their individual citizens separately,—as well as to
enforce its decisions and punish refractory members, pursuant to
the right which Sparta and her confederacy claimed and exercised
also.[77] Now from the beginning, the Athenians were the guiding
and enforcing presidents of this synod, and when it gradually died
away, they were found occupying its place as well as clothed with its
functions. It was in this manner that their judicial authority over
the allies appears first to have begun, as the confederacy became
changed into an Athenian empire,—the judicial functions of the synod
being transferred along with the common treasure to Athens, and
doubtless much extended. And on the whole, these functions must have
been productive of more good than evil to the allies themselves,
especially to the weakest and most defenceless among them.

  [76] See the expression in Thucydidês (v, 27) describing the
  conditions required when Argos was about to extend her alliances
  in Peloponnesus. The conditions were two. 1. That the city should
  be autonomous. 2. Next, that it should be willing to submit its
  quarrels to equitable arbitration,—ἥτις αὐτόνομός τέ ἐστι, καὶ
  δίκας ἴσας καὶ ὁμοίας δίδωσι.

  In the oration against the Athenians, delivered by the Syracusan
  Hermokratês at Kamarina, Athens is accused of having enslaved her
  allies partly on the ground that they neglected to perform their
  military obligations, partly because they made war upon each
  other (Thucyd. vi, 76), partly also on other specious pretences.
  How far this charge against Athens is borne out by the fact, we
  can hardly say; in all those particular examples which Thucydidês
  mentions of subjugation of allies by Athens, there is a cause
  perfectly definite and sufficient,—not a mere pretence devised by
  Athenian ambition.

  [77] According to the principle laid down by the Corinthians
  shortly before the Peloponnesian war,—τοὺς προσήκοντας ξυμμάχους
  αὐτόν τινα κολάζειν (Thucyd. i, 40-43).

  The Lacedæmonians, on preferring their accusation of treason
  against Themistoklês, demanded that he should be tried at Sparta,
  before the common Hellenic synod which held its sitting there,
  and of which Athens was then a member: that is, the Spartan
  confederacy, or alliance,—ἐπὶ τοῦ κοινοῦ συνεδρίου τῶν Ἑλλήνων
  (Diodor. xi, 55).

Among the thousand towns which paid tribute to Athens,—taking this
numerical statement of Aristophanês, not in its exact meaning, but
simply as a great number,—if a small town, or one of its citizens,
had cause of complaint against a larger, there was no channel except
the synod of Delos, or the Athenian tribunal, through which it could
have any reasonable assurance of fair trial or justice. It is not
to be supposed that all the private complaints and suits between
citizen and citizen, in each respective subject town, were carried
up for trial to Athens: yet we do not know distinctly how the line
was drawn between matters carried up thither and matters tried at
home. The subject cities appear to have been interdicted from the
power of capital punishment, which could only be inflicted after
previous trial and condemnation at Athens:[78] so that the latter
reserved to herself the cognizance of most of the grave crimes,—or
what may be called “the higher justice” generally. And the political
accusations preferred by citizen against citizen, in any subject
city, for alleged treason, corruption, non-fulfilment of public duty,
etc., were doubtless carried to Athens for trial,—perhaps the most
important part of her jurisdiction.

  [78] Antipho, De Cæde Herôdis, c. 7, p. 135. ὃ οὐδὲ πόλει
  ἔξεστιν, ἄνευ Ἀθηναίων οὐδένα θανάτῳ ζημιῶσαι.

But the maintenance of this judicial supremacy was not intended by
Athens for the substantive object of amending the administration of
justice in each separate allied city: it went rather to regulate
the relations between city and city,—between citizens of different
cities,—between Athenian citizens or officers, and any of these
allied cities with which they had relations,—between each city
itself, as a dependent government with contending political parties,
and the imperial head, Athens. All these were problems which imperial
Athens was called on to solve, and the best way of solving them would
have been through some common synod emanating from all the allies:
putting this aside, we shall find that the solution provided by
Athens was perhaps the next best, and we shall be the more induced
to think so, when we compare it with the proceedings afterwards
adopted by Sparta, when she had put down the Athenian empire. Under
Sparta, the general rule was, to place each of the dependent cities
under the government of a dekadarchy or oligarchical council of
ten among its chief citizens, together with a Spartan harmost, or
governor, having a small garrison under his orders. It will be found,
when we come to describe the Spartan maritime empire, that these
arrangements exposed each dependent city to very great violence and
extortion, while, after all, they solved only a part of the problem:
they served only to maintain each separate city under the dominion
of Sparta, without contributing to regulate the dealings between the
citizens of one and those of another, or to bind together the empire
as a whole. Now the Athenians did not, as a system, place in their
dependent cities, governors analogous to the harmosts, though they
did so occasionally under special need; but their fleets and their
officers were in frequent relation with these cities; and as the
principal officers were noways indisposed to abuse their position, so
the facility of complaint, constantly open to the Athenian popular
dikastery, served both as redress and guarantee against misrule of
this description. It was a guarantee which the allies themselves
sensibly felt and valued, as we know from Thucydidês: the chief
source from whence they had to apprehend evil was the Athenian
officials and principal citizens, who could misemploy the power of
Athens for their own private purposes,—but they looked up to the
“Athenian Demos as a chastener of such evil-doers and as a harbor
of refuge to themselves.”[79] If the popular dikasteries at Athens
had not been thus open, the allied cities would have suffered much
more severely from the captains and officials of Athens in their
individual capacity. And the maintenance of political harmony,
between the imperial city and the subject ally, was insured by Athens
through the jurisdiction of her dikasteries with much less cost
of injustice and violence than by Sparta; for though oligarchical
partisans might sometimes be unjustly condemned at Athens, yet such
accidental wrong was immensely overpassed by the enormities of the
Spartan harmosts and dekadarchies, who put numbers to death without
any trial at all.

  [79] Thucyd. viii, 48. Τούς τε καλοὺς κἀγαθοὺς ὀνομαζομένους
  οὐκ ἐλάσσω αὐτοὺς (that is, the subject-allies) νομίζειν σφίσι
  πράγματα παρέξειν τοῦ δήμου, ποριστὰς ὄντας καὶ ἐσηγητὰς τῶν
  κακῶν τῷ δήμῳ, ἐξ ὧν τὰ πλείω αὐτοὺς ὠφελεῖσθαι· καὶ τὸ μὲν ἐπ᾽
  ἐκείνοις εἶναι καὶ ἄκριτοι ἂν καὶ βιαιότερον ἀποθνήσκειν, τὸν δὲ
  δῆμον σφῶν τε καταφυγὴν εἶναι καὶ ἐκείνων σωφρονιστήν. Καὶ ταῦτα
  παρ᾽ αὐτῶν τῶν ἔργων ἐπισταμένας τὰς πόλεις σαφῶς αὐτὸς εἰδέναι,
  ὅτι οὕτω νομίζουσιν. This is introduced as the deliberate
  judgment of the Athenian commander Phrynichus, whom Thucydidês
  greatly commends for his sagacity, and with whom he seems in this
  case to have concurred.

  Xenophon (Rep. Ath. i. 14, 15) affirms that the Athenian officers
  on service passed many unjust sentences upon the oligarchical
  party in the allied cities,—fines, sentences of banishment,
  capital punishments; and that the Athenian people, though they
  had a strong public interest in the prosperity of the allies, in
  order that their tribute might be larger, nevertheless thought
  it better that any individual citizen of Athens should pocket
  what he could out of the plunder of the allies, and leave to the
  latter nothing more than was absolutely necessary for them to
  live and work, without any superfluity, such as might tempt them
  to revolt.

  That the Athenian officers on service may have succeeded too
  often in unjust peculation at the cost of the allies, is probable
  enough: but that the Athenian people were pleased to see their
  own individual citizens so enriching themselves is certainly not
  true. The large jurisdiction of the dikasteries was intended,
  among other effects, to open to the allies a legal redress
  against such misconduct on the part of the Athenian officers: and
  the passage above cited from Thucydidês proves that it really
  produced such an effect.

So again, it is to be recollected that Athenian private citizens, not
officially employed, were spread over the whole range of the empire
as kleruchs, proprietors, or traders; of course, therefore, disputes
would arise between them and the natives of the subject cities, as
well as among these latter themselves, in cases where both parties
did not belong to the same city. Now in such cases the Spartan
imperial authority was so exercised as to afford little or no remedy,
since the action of the harmost or the dekadarchy was confined to
one separate city; while the Athenian dikasteries, with universal
competence and public trial, afforded the only redress which the
contingency admitted. If a Thasian citizen believed himself aggrieved
by the historian Thucydidês, either as commander of the Athenian
fleet off the station, or as proprietor of gold mines in Thrace, he
had his remedy against the latter by accusation before the Athenian
dikasteries, to which the most powerful Athenian was amenable not
less than the meanest Thasian. To a citizen of any allied city, it
might be an occasional hardship to be sued before the courts at
Athens, but it was also often a valuable privilege to him to be
able to sue before those courts others whom else he could not have
reached. He had his share both of the benefit and of the hardship.
Athens, if she robbed her subject-allies of their independence, at
least gave them in exchange the advantage of a central and common
judiciary authority; thus enabling each of them to enforce claims
of justice against the rest, in a way which would not have been
practicable, to the weaker at least, even in a state of general

Now Sparta seems not even to have attempted anything of the kind with
regard to her subject-allies, being content to keep them under the
rule of a harmost, and a partisan oligarchy; and we read anecdotes
which show that no justice could be obtained at Sparta, even for the
grossest outrages committed by the harmost, or by private Spartans
out of Laconia. The two daughters of a Bœotian named Skedasus, of
Leuktra in Bœotia, had been first violated and then slain by two
Spartan citizens: the son of a citizen of Oreus, in Eubœa, had
been also outraged and killed by the harmost Aristodêmus:[80] in
both cases the fathers went to Sparta to lay the enormity before
the ephors and other authorities, and in both cases a deaf ear
was turned to their complaints. But such crimes, if committed by
Athenian citizens or officers, might have been brought to a formal
exposure before the public sitting of the dikastery, and there can
be no doubt that both would have been severely punished: we shall
see hereafter that an enormity of this description, committed by
the Athenian general Pachês, at Mitylênê, cost him his life before
the Athenian dikasts.[81] Xenophon, in the dark and one-sided
representation which he gives of the Athenian democracy, remarks,
that if the subject-allies had not been made amenable to justice, at
Athens, they would have cared little for the people of Athens, and
would have paid court only to those individual Athenians—generals,
trierarchs, or envoys—who visited the islands on service; but under
the existing system, the subjects were compelled to visit Athens
either as plaintiffs or defendants, and were thus under the necessity
of paying court to the bulk of the people also,—that is, to those
humbler citizens out of whom the dikasteries were formed; they
supplicated the dikasts in court for favor or lenient dealing.[82]
However true this may be, we must remark that it was a lighter lot
to be brought for trial before the dikastery, than to be condemned
without redress by the general on service, or to be forced to buy off
his condemnation by a bribe; and, moreover, that the dikastery was
open not merely to receive accusations against citizens of the allied
cities, but also to entertain the complaints which they preferred
against others.

  [80] Plutarch, Pelopidas, c. 20; Plutarch, Amator. Narrat. c. 3,
  p. 773.

  [81] See _infra_, chap. 49.

  [82] Xenophon, Rep. Athen, i, 18. Πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, εἰ μὲν μὴ
  ἐπὶ δίκας ᾔεσαν οἱ σύμμαχοι, τοὺς ἐκπλέοντας Ἀθηναίων ἐτίμων ἂν
  μόνους, τούς τε στρατηγοὺς καὶ τοὺς τριηράρχους καὶ πρέσβεις· νῦν
  δ᾽ ἠνάγκασται τὸν δῆμον κολακεύειν τῶν Ἀθηναίων εἷς ἕκαστος τῶν
  συμμάχων, γιγνώσκων ὅτι δεῖ μὲν ἀφικόμενον Ἀθήναζε δίκην δοῦναι
  καὶ λαβεῖν, οὐκ ἐν ἄλλοις τισὶν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τῷ δήμῳ, ὅς ἐστι δὴ
  νόμος Ἀθήνῃσι. Καὶ ἀντιβολῆσαι ἀναγκάζεται ἐν τοῖς δικαστηρίοις,
  καὶ εἰσιόντος του, ἐπιλαμβάνεσθαι τῆς χειρός. Διὰ τοῦτο οὖν οἱ
  σύμμαχοι δοῦλοι τοῦ δήμου τῶν Ἀθηναίων καθεστᾶσι μᾶλλον.

Assuming the dikasteries at Athens to be ever so defective as
tribunals for administering justice, we must recollect that they
were the same tribunals under which every Athenian citizen held his
own fortune or reputation, and that the native of any subject city
was admitted to the same chance of justice as the native of Athens.
Accordingly, we find the Athenian envoy at Sparta, immediately before
the Peloponnesian war, taking peculiar credit to the imperial city
on this ground for equal dealing with her subject-allies. “If our
power (he says) were to pass into other hands, the comparison would
presently show how moderate we are in the use of it: but as regards
us, our very moderation is unfairly turned to our disparagement
rather than to our praise. For even though we put ourselves at
disadvantage in matters litigated with our allies, and though we have
appointed such matters to be judged among ourselves and under laws
equal to both parties, we are represented as animated by nothing
better than a love of litigation.”[83] “Our allies (he adds) would
complain less if we made open use of our superior force with regard
to them; but we discard such maxims, and deal with them upon an
equal footing: and they are so accustomed to this, that they think
themselves entitled to complain at every trifling disappointment
of their expectations.[84] They suffered worse hardships under
the Persians before our empire began, and they would suffer worse
under you (the Spartans), if you were to succeed in conquering us
and making our empire yours.” History bears out the boast of the
Athenian orator, both as to the time preceding and following the
empire of Athens.[85] And an Athenian citizen, indeed, might well
regard it, not as a hardship, but as a privilege, that subject-allies
should be allowed to sue him before the dikastery, and to defend
themselves before the same tribunal, either in case of wrong done
to him, or in case of alleged treason to the imperial authority of
Athens: they were thereby put upon a level with himself. Still more
would he find reason to eulogize the universal competence of these
dikasteries in providing a common legal authority for all disputes of
the numerous distinct communities of the empire, one with another,
and for the safe navigation and general commerce of the Ægean. That
complaints were raised against it among the subject-allies, is noway
surprising: for the empire of Athens generally was inconsistent
with that separate autonomy to which every town thought itself
entitled,—and this was one of its prominent and constantly operative
institutions, as well as a striking mark of dependence to the
subordinate communities. Yet we may safely affirm, that if empire
was to be maintained at all, no way of maintaining it could be found
at once less oppressive and more beneficial than the superintending
competence of the dikasteries,—a system not taking its rise in the
mere “love of litigation,” if, indeed, we are to reckon this a
real feature in the Athenian character, which I shall take another
opportunity of examining, much less in those petty collateral
interests indicated by Xenophon,[86] such as the increased customs
duty, rent of houses, and hire of slaves at Peiræus, and the larger
profits of the heralds, arising from the influx of suitors. It was
nothing but the power, originally inherent in the confederacy of
Delos, of arbitration between members and enforcement of duties
towards the whole,—a power inherited by Athens from that synod, and
enlarged to meet the political wants of her empire; to which end
it was essential, even in the view of Xenophon himself.[87] It may
be that the dikastery was not always impartial between Athenian
citizens privately, or the Athenian commonwealth collectively, and
the subject-allies,—and in so far the latter had good reason to
complain; but on the other hand, we have no ground for suspecting it
of deliberate or standing unfairness, or of any other defects than
such as were inseparable from its constitution and procedure, whoever
might be the parties under trial.

  [83] Thucyd. i, 76, 77. Ἄλλους γ᾽ ἂν οὖν οἰόμεθα τὰ ἡμέτερα
  λαβόντας δεῖξαι ἂν μάλιστα εἴ τι μετριάζομεν· ἡμῖν δὲ καὶ ἐκ τοῦ
  ἐπιεικοῦς ἀδοξία τὸ πλέον ἢ ἔπαινος οὐκ εἰκότως περιέστη. Καὶ
  ἐλασσούμενοι γὰρ ἐν ταῖς ξυμβολαίαις πρὸς τοὺς ξυμμάχους δίκαις,
  καὶ παρ᾽ ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς ἐν τοῖς ὁμοίοις νόμοις ποιήσαντες τὰς
  κρίσεις, φιλοδικεῖν δοκοῦμεν, etc.

  I construe ξυμβολαίαις δίκαις as connected in meaning with
  ξυμβόλαια and not with ξύμβολα—following Duker and Bloomfield in
  preference to Poppo and Göller: see the elaborate notes of the
  two latter editors. Δίκαι ἀπὸ ξυμβόλων indicated the arrangements
  concluded by special convention between two different cities, by
  consent of both, for the purpose of determining controversies
  between their respective citizens: they were something
  essentially apart from the ordinary judicial arrangements of
  either state. Now what the Athenian orator here insists upon
  is exactly the contrary of this idea: he says, that the allies
  were admitted to the benefit of Athenian trial and Athenian
  laws, in like manner with the citizens themselves. The judicial
  arrangements by which the Athenian allies were brought before
  the Athenian dikasteries cannot, with propriety, be said to be
  δίκαι ἀπὸ ξυμβόλων; unless the act of original incorporation into
  the confederacy of Delos is to be regarded as a ξύμβολον, or
  agreement,—which in a large sense it might be, though not in the
  proper sense in which δίκαι ἀπὸ ξυμβόλων are commonly mentioned.
  Moreover. I think that the passage of Antipho (De Cæde Herôdis,
  p. 745) proves that it was the citizens of places _not in
  alliance with Athens_, who litigated with Athenians according to
  δίκαι ἀπὸ ξυμβόλων,—not the allies of Athens while they resided
  in their own native cities; for I agree with the interpretation
  which Boeckh puts upon this passage, in opposition to Platner
  and Schömann (Boeckh, Public Econ. of Athens, book iii, ch. xvi,
  p. 403, Eng. transl.; Schömann, Der Attisch. Prozess, p. 778;
  Platner, Prozess und Klagen bei den Attikern, ch. iv, 2, pp.
  110-112, where the latter discusses both the passages of Antipho
  and Thucydidês).

  The passages in Demosthenês Orat. de Halones. c. 3, pp. 98, 99;
  and Andokidês cont. Alkibiad. c. 7, p. 121 (I quote this latter
  oration, though it is undoubtedly spurious, because we may well
  suppose the author of it to be conversant with the nature and
  contents of ξύμβολα), give us a sufficient idea of these judicial
  conventions, or ξύμβολα,—special and liable to differ in each
  particular case. They seem to me essentially distinct from that
  systematic scheme of proceeding whereby the dikasteries of Athens
  were made cognizant of all, or most, important controversies
  among or between the allied cities, as well as of political

  M. Boeckh draws a distinction between the _autonomous_
  allies (Chios and Lesbos, at the time immediately before the
  Peloponnesian war) and the _subject_-allies: “the former class
  (he says) retained possession of unlimited jurisdiction, whereas
  the latter were compelled to try all their disputes in the
  courts of Athens.” Doubtless this distinction would prevail
  to a certain degree, but how far it was pushed we can hardly
  say. Suppose that a dispute took place between Chios and one
  of the subject islands, or between an individual Chian and an
  individual Thasian; would not the Chian plaintiff sue, or the
  Chian defendant be sued, before the Athenian dikastery? Suppose
  that an Athenian citizen or officer became involved in dispute
  with a Chian, would not the Athenian dikastery be the competent
  court, whichever of the two were plaintiff or defendant? Suppose
  a Chian citizen or magistrate to be suspected of fomenting
  revolt, would it not be competent to any accuser, either Chian or
  Athenian, to indict him before the dikastery at Athens? Abuse of
  power, or peculation, committed by Athenian officers at Chios,
  must of course be brought before the Athenian dikasteries, just
  as much as if the crime had been committed at Thasos or Naxos.
  We have no evidence to help us in regard to these questions; but
  I incline to believe that the difference in respect to judicial
  arrangement, between the autonomous and the subject-allies, was
  less in degree than M. Boeckh believes. We must recollect that
  the arrangement was not all pure hardship to the allies,—the
  liability to be prosecuted was accompanied with the privilege of
  prosecuting for injuries received.

  There is one remark, however, which appears to me of importance
  for understanding the testimonies on this subject. The Athenian
  empire, properly so called, which began by the confederacy of
  Delos after the Persian invasion, was completely destroyed at
  the close of the Peloponnesian war, when Athens was conquered
  and taken. But after some years had elapsed, towards the year
  377 B.C., Athens again began to make maritime conquests, to
  acquire allies, to receive tribute, to assemble a synod, and to
  resume her footing of something like an imperial city. But her
  power over her allies, during this second period of empire, was
  nothing like so great as it had been during the first, between
  the Persian and Peloponnesian wars: nor can we be at all sure
  that what is true of the second is also true of the first. Now
  I think it probable, that those statements of the grammarians,
  which represent the allies as carrying on δίκας ἀπὸ ξυμβόλων in
  ordinary practice with the Athenians, may really be true about
  the second empire or alliance. Bekker Anecdota, p. 436. Ἀθηναῖοι
  ἀπὸ ξυμβόλων ἐδίκαζον τοῖς ὑπηκόοις· οὕτως Ἀριστοτέλης. Pollux,
  viii. 63. Ἀπὸ συμβόλων δὲ δίκη ἦν, ὅτε οἱ σύμμαχοι ἐδικάζοντο.
  Also Hesychius, i, 489. The statement here ascribed to Aristotle
  may very probably be true about the second alliance, though it
  cannot be held true for the first. In the second, the Athenians
  may really have had σύμβολα, or special conventions for judicial
  business, with many of their principal allies, instead of making
  Athens the authoritative centre, and heir to the Delian synod, as
  they did during the first. It is to be remarked, however, that
  Harpokration, in the explanation which he gives of σύμβολα treats
  them in a perfectly general way, as contentions for settlement
  of judicial controversy between city and city, without any
  particular allusion to Athens and her allies. Compare Heffter,
  Athenäische Gerichtsverfassung, iii, 1, 3, p. 91.

  [84] Thucyd. i. 77. Οἱ δὲ (the allies) ~εἰθισμένοι πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ
  τοῦ ἴσου ὁμιλεῖν~, etc.

  [85] Compare Isokratês, Or. iv, Panegyric. pp. 62-66, sects.
  116-138; and Or. xii, Panathenaic. pp. 247-254, sects. 72-111;
  Or. viii, De Pace, p. 178, sect. 119, _seqq._; Plutarch, Lysand.
  c. 13; Cornel. Nepos, Lysand. c. 2, 3.

  [86] Xenophon, Repub. Ath. i, 17.

  [87] Xenophon, Repub. Ath. i, 16. He states it as one of the
  advantageous consequences, which induced the Athenians to bring
  the suits and complaints of the allies to Athens for trial—that
  the prytaneia, or fees paid upon entering a cause for trial,
  became sufficiently large to furnish all the pay for the dikasts
  throughout the year.

  But in another part of his treatise (iii, 2, 3), he represents
  the Athenian dikasteries as overloaded with judicial business,
  much more than they could possibly get through; insomuch that
  there were long delays before causes could be brought on for
  trial. It could hardly be any great object, therefore, to
  multiply complaints artificially, in order to make fees for the

We are now considering the Athenian empire as it stood before the
Peloponnesian war; before the increased exactions and the multiplied
revolts, to which that war gave rise,—before the cruelties which
accompanied the suppression of those revolts, and which so deeply
stained the character of Athens,—before that aggravated fierceness,
mistrust, contempt of obligation, and rapacious violence, which
Thucydidês so emphatically indicates as having been infused into the
Greek bosom by the fever of an all-pervading contest.[88] There had
been before this time many revolts of the Athenian dependencies,
from the earliest at Naxos down to the latest at Samos: all had
been successfully suppressed, but in no case had Athens displayed
the same unrelenting rigor as we shall find hereafter manifested
towards Mitylênê, Skiônê, and Mêlos. The policy of Periklês, now in
the plenitude of his power at Athens, was cautious and conservative,
averse to forced extension of empire as well as to those increased
burdens on the dependent allies which such schemes would have
entailed, and tending to maintain that assured commerce in the
Ægean by which all of them must have been gainers,—not without a
conviction that the contest must arise sooner or later between
Athens and Sparta, and that the resources as well as the temper of
the allies must be husbanded against that contingency. If we read
in Thucydidês the speech of the envoy from Mitylênê[89] at Olympia,
delivered to the Lacedæmonians and their allies in the fourth year
of the Peloponnesian war, on occasion of the revolt of the city
from Athens,—a speech imploring aid and setting forth the strongest
case against Athens which the facts could be made to furnish,—we
shall be surprised how weak the case is, and how much the speaker is
conscious of its weakness. He has nothing like practical grievances
and oppressions to urge against the imperial city,—he does not
dwell upon enormity of tribute, unpunished misconduct of Athenian
officers, hardship of bringing causes for trial to Athens, or other
sufferings of the subjects generally,—he has nothing to say except
that they were defenceless and degraded subjects, and that Athens
held authority over them without and against their own consent: and
in the case of Mitylênê, not so much as this could be said, since
she was on the footing of an equal, armed, and autonomous ally. Of
course, this state of forced dependence was one which the allies, or
such of them as could stand alone, would naturally and reasonably
shake off whenever they had an opportunity:[90] but the negative
evidence, derived from the speech of the Mitylenæan orator, goes far
to make out the point contended for by the Athenian speaker at Sparta
immediately before the war,—that, beyond the fact of such forced
dependence, the allies had little practically to complain of. A city
like Mitylênê, moreover, would be strong enough to protect itself
and its own commerce without the help of Athens: but to the weaker
allies, the breaking up of the Athenian empire would have greatly
lessened the security both of individuals and of commerce, in the
waters of the Ægean, and their freedom would thus have been purchased
at the cost of considerable positive disadvantages.[91]

  [88] See his well-known comments on the seditions at Korkyra,
  iii, 82, 83.

  [89] Thucyd. iii, 11-14.

  [90] So the Athenian orator Diodotus puts it in his speech
  deprecating the extreme punishment about to be inflicted on
  Mitylênê—ἤν τινα ἐλεύθερον καὶ βίᾳ ἀρχόμενον ~εἰκότως πρὸς
  αὐτονομίαν ἀποστάντα χειρωσώμεθα~, etc. (Thucyd. iii, 46.)

  [91] It is to be recollected that the Athenian empire was
  essentially _a government of dependencies_; Athens, as
  an imperial state, exercising authority over subordinate
  governments. To maintain beneficial relations between two
  governments, one supreme, the other subordinate, and to make
  the system work to the satisfaction of the people in the one
  as well as of the people in the other, has always been found a
  problem of great difficulty. Whoever reads the instructive volume
  of Mr. G. C. Lewis (Essay on the Government of Dependencies),
  and the number of instances of practical misgovernment in this
  matter which are set forth therein, will be inclined to think
  that the empire of Athens over her allies makes comparatively a
  creditable figure. It will, most certainly, stand full comparison
  with the government of England, over dependencies, in the last
  century; as illustrated by the history of Ireland, with the penal
  laws against the Catholics; by the Declaration of Independence,
  published in 1776, by the American colonies, setting forth the
  grounds of their separation; and by the pleadings of Mr. Burke
  against Warren Hastings.

  A statement and legal trial alluded to by Mr. Lewis (p. 367),
  elucidates, farther, two points not unimportant on the present
  occasion: 1. The illiberal and humiliating vein of sentiment
  which is apt to arise in citizens of the supreme government
  towards those of the subordinate. 2. The protection which English
  jury-trial, nevertheless, afforded to the citizens of the
  dependency against oppression by English officers.

  “An action was brought, in the court of Common Pleas, in 1773,
  by Mr. Anthony Fabrigas, a native of Minorca, against General
  Mostyn, the governor of the island. The facts proved at the trial
  were, that Governor Mostyn had arrested the plaintiff, imprisoned
  him, and transported him to Spain, without any form of trial, on
  the ground that the plaintiff had presented to him a petition for
  redress of grievances, in a manner which he deemed improper. Mr.
  Justice Gould left it to the jury to say, whether the plaintiff’s
  behavior was such as to afford a just conclusion that he was
  about to stir up sedition and mutiny in the garrison, or whether
  he meant no more than earnestly to press his suit and obtain a
  redress of grievances. If they thought the latter, the plaintiff
  was entitled to recover in the action. The jury gave a verdict
  for the plaintiff _with_ £3,000 _damages_. In the following term,
  an application was made for a new trial, which was refused by the
  whole court.

  “The following remarks of the counsel for Governor Mostyn,
  on this trial, contain a plain and _naïve_ statement of the
  doctrine, _that a dependency is to be governed, not for its
  own interest, but for that of the dominant state_. ‘Gentlemen
  of the jury,’ said the counsel, ‘it will be time for me now
  to take notice of another circumstance, notorious to all the
  gentlemen who have been settled in the island, that the natives
  of Minorca are but ill-affected to the English, and to the
  English government. It is not much to be wondered at. They are
  the descendants of Spaniards; and they consider Spain as the
  country to which they ought naturally to belong: it is not at all
  to be wondered at that they are indisposed to the English, whom
  they consider as their conquerors.—Of all the Minorquins in the
  island, the plaintiff perhaps stands singularly and eminently
  the most seditious, turbulent, and dissatisfied subject to the
  crown of Great Britain that is to be found in Minorca. Gentlemen,
  _he is, or chooses to be called, the patriot of Minorca_. Now
  patriotism is a very pretty thing among ourselves, and we owe
  much to it: we owe our liberties to it; but we should have but
  little to value, and we should have but little of what we now
  enjoy, were it not for our trade. _And for the sake of our
  trade, it is not fit that we should encourage patriotism in
  Minorca_; for it is there destructive of our trade, and there
  is an end to our trade in the Mediterranean, if it goes there.
  But _here it is very well_; for the body of the people in this
  country will have it: they have demanded it,—and in consequence
  of their demands, they have enjoyed liberties which they will
  transmit to their posterity,—and it is not in the power of this
  government to deprive them of it. But they will take care of all
  our conquests abroad. If that spirit prevailed in Minorca, the
  consequence would be the loss of that country, and of course of
  our Mediterranean trade. We should be sorry to set all our slaves
  free in our plantations.’”

  The prodigious sum of damages awarded by the jury, shows the
  strength of their sympathy with this Minorquin plaintiff against
  the English officer. I doubt not that the feeling of the
  dikastery at Athens was much of the same kind, and often quite as
  strong; sincerely disposed to protect the subject-allies against
  misconduct of Athenian trierarchs, or inspectors.

  The feelings expressed in the speech above cited would also often
  find utterance from Athenian orators in the assembly; and it
  would not be difficult to produce parallel passages, in which
  these orators imply discontent on the part of the allies to be
  the natural state of things, such as Athens could not hope to
  escape. The speech here given shows that such feelings arise,
  almost inevitably, out of the uncomfortable relation of two
  governments, one supreme and the other subordinate. They are not
  the product of peculiar cruelty and oppression on the part of the
  Athenian democracy, as Mr. Mitford and so many others have sought
  to prove.

Nearly the whole of the Grecian world, putting aside Italian,
Sicilian, and African Greeks, was at this time included either in
the alliance of Lacedæmon or in that of Athens, so that the truce
of thirty years insured a suspension of hostilities everywhere.
Moreover, the Lacedæmonian confederates had determined by majority
of votes to refuse the request of Samos for aid in her revolt
against Athens: whereby it seemed established, as practical
international law, that neither of these two great aggregate bodies
should intermeddle with the other, and that each should restrain
or punish its own disobedient members.[92] Of this refusal, which
materially affected the course of events, the main advisers had
been the Corinthians, in spite of that fear and dislike of Athens
which prompted many of the allies to vote for war.[93] The position
of the Corinthians was peculiar; for while Sparta and her other
allies were chiefly land-powers, Corinth had been from early times
maritime, commercial, and colonizing,—she had been indeed once the
first naval power in Greece, along with Ægina; but either she had
not increased it at all during the last forty years, or, if she
had, her comparative naval importance had been entirely sunk by the
gigantic expansion of Athens. The Corinthians had both commerce and
colonies,—Leukas, Anaktorium, Ambrakia, Korkyra, etc., along or near
the coast of Epirus: they had also their colony Potidæa, situated
on the isthmus of Pallênê, in Thrace, and intimately connected with
them: and the interest of their commerce made them extremely averse
to any collision with the superior navy of the Athenians. It was this
consideration which had induced them to resist the impulse of the
Lacedæmonian allies towards war on behalf of Samos: for though their
feelings, both of jealousy and hatred against Athens were even now
strong,[94] arising greatly out of the struggle a few years before
for the acquisition of Megara to the Athenian alliance,—prudence
indicated that, in a war against the first naval power in Greece,
they were sure to be the greatest losers. So long as the policy
of Corinth pointed towards peace, there was every probability
that war would be avoided, or at least accepted only in a case of
grave necessity, by the Lacedæmonian alliance. But a contingency,
distant as well as unexpected, which occurred about five years
after the revolt of Samos, reversed all these chances, and not only
extinguished the dispositions of Corinth towards peace, but even
transformed her into the forward instigator of war.

  [92] See the important passage already adverted to in a prior

  Thucyd. i, 40. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἡμεῖς Σαμίων ἀποστάντων ψῆφον προσεθέμεθα
  ἐναντίαν ὑμῖν, τῶν ἄλλων Πελοποννησίων δίχα ἐψηφισμένων εἰ χρὴ
  αὐτοῖς ἀμύνειν, ~φανερῶς δὲ ἀντείπομεν τοὺς προσήκοντας ξυμμάχους
  αὐτόν τινα κολάζειν~.

  [93] Thucyd. i. 33.

  [94] Thucyd. i. 42.

Amidst the various colonies planted from Corinth along the coast of
Epirus, the greater number acknowledged on her part an hegemony,
or supremacy.[95] What extent of real power and interference this
acknowledgment implied, in addition to the honorary dignity, we
are not in a condition to say; but the Corinthians were popular,
and had not carried their interference beyond the point which the
colonists themselves found acceptable. To these amicable relations,
however, the powerful Korkyra formed a glaring exception, having been
generally at variance, sometimes in the most aggravated hostility,
with its mother-city, and withholding from her even the accustomed
tributes of honorary and filial respect. It was amidst such relations
of habitual ill-will between Corinth and Korkyra, that a dispute
grew up respecting the city of Epidamnus, known afterwards, in the
Roman times, as Dyrrachium, hard by the modern Durazzo,—a colony
founded by the Korkyræans on the coast of Illyria, in the Ionic gulf,
considerably to the north of their own island. So strong was the
sanctity of Grecian custom in respect to the foundation of colonies,
that the Korkyræans, in spite of their enmity to Corinth, had been
obliged to select the œkist, or founder-in-chief of Epidamnus, from
that city,—a citizen of Herakleid descent, named Phalius,—along
with whom there had also come some Corinthian settlers: so that
Epidamnus, though a Korkyræan colony, was nevertheless a recognized
granddaughter, if the expression may be allowed, of Corinth, the
recollection of which was perpetuated by the solemnities periodically
celebrated in honor of the œkist.[96]

  [95] Thucyd. i, 38. ἡγεμόνες τε εἶναι καὶ τὰ εἰκότα θαυμάζεσθαι.

  [96] Thucyd. i, 24, 25.

Founded on the isthmus of an outlaying peninsula on the sea-coast of
the Illyrian Taulantii, Epidamnus was at first very prosperous, and
acquired a considerable territory as well as a numerous population.
But during the years immediately preceding the period which we have
now reached, it had been exposed to great reverses: internal sedition
between the oligarchy and the people, aggravated by attacks from
the neighboring Illyrians, had crippled its power: and a recent
revolution, in which the people put down the oligarchy, had reduced
it still farther,—since the oligarchical exiles, collecting a
force and allying themselves with the Illyrians, harassed the city
grievously both by sea and land. The Epidamnian democracy was in such
straits as to be forced to send to Korkyra for aid: their envoys sat
down as suppliants at the temple of Hêrê, cast themselves on the
mercy of the Korkyræans, and besought them to act both as mediators
with the exiled oligarchy and as auxiliaries against the Illyrians.
Though the Korkyræans themselves, democratically governed, might
have been expected to sympathize with these suppliants and their
prayers, yet their feeling was decidedly opposite: for it was the
Epidamnian oligarchy who were principally connected with Korkyra,
from whence their forefathers had emigrated, and where their family
burial-places as well as their kinsmen were still to be found:[97]
while the demos, or small proprietors and tradesmen of Epidamnus,
may perhaps have been of miscellaneous origin, and at any rate
had no visible memorials of ancient lineage in the mother-island.
Having been refused aid from Korkyra, and finding their distressed
condition insupportable, the Epidamnians next thought of applying
to Corinth: but as this was a step of questionable propriety, their
envoys were directed first to take the opinion of the Delphian god.
His oracle having given an unqualified sanction, they proceeded to
Corinth with their mission; describing their distress as well as
their unavailing application at Korkyra,—tendering Epidamnus to
the Corinthians as to its œkists and chiefs, with the most urgent
entreaties for immediate aid to preserve it from ruin,—and not
omitting to insist on the divine sanction just obtained. It was
found easy to persuade the Corinthians, who, looking upon Epidamnus
as a joint colony from Corinth and Korkyra, thought themselves not
only authorized, but bound, to undertake its defence, a resolution
much prompted by their ancient feud against Korkyra. They speedily
organized an expedition, consisting partly of intended new settlers,
partly of a protecting military force,—Corinthian, Leukadian, and
Ambrakiôtic: which combined body, in order to avoid opposition from
the powerful Korkyræan navy, was marched by land as far as Apollônia,
and transported from thence by sea to Epidamnus.[98]

  [97] Thucyd. i, 26. ἦλθον γὰρ ἐς τὴν Κέρκυραν οἱ τῶν Ἐπιδαμνίων
  φυγάδες, τάφους τε ἀποδεικνύντες καὶ ξυγγένειαν ἣν προϊσχόμενοι
  ἐδέοντο σφᾶς κατάγειν.

  [98] Thucyd. i, 26.

The arrival of such a reinforcement rescued the city for the moment,
but drew upon it a formidable increase of peril from the Korkyræans,
who looked upon the interference of Corinth as an infringement of
their rights, and resented it in the strongest manner. Their feelings
were farther inflamed by the Epidamnian oligarchical exiles, who,
coming to the island with petition for succor, and appeals to the
tombs of their Korkyræan ancestors, found a ready sympathy. They
were placed on board a fleet of twenty-five triremes, afterwards
strengthened by a farther reinforcement, which was sent to Epidamnus
with the insulting requisition that they should be forthwith
restored, and the new-comers from Corinth dismissed. No attention
being paid to these demands, the Korkyræans commenced the blockade
of the city with forty ships, and with an auxiliary land-force of
Illyrians,—making proclamation that any person within, citizen or
not, might depart safely if he chose, but would be dealt with as an
enemy if he remained. How many persons profited by this permission
we do not know: but at least enough to convey to Corinth the news
that their troops in Epidamnus were closely besieged. The Corinthians
immediately hastened the equipment of a second expedition,—sufficient
not only for the rescue of the place, but to surmount that resistance
which the Korkyræans were sure to offer. In addition to thirty
triremes, and three thousand hoplites, of their own, they solicited
aid both in ships and money from many of their allies: eight ships
fully manned were furnished by Megara, four by Palês, in the island
of Kephallênia, five by Epidaurus, two by Trœzen, one by Hermionê,
ten by Leukas, and eight by Ambrakia,—together with pecuniary
contributions from Thebes, Phlius, and Elis. They farther proclaimed
a public invitation for new settlers to Epidamnus, promising equal
political rights to all; an option being allowed to anyone who wished
to become a settler without being ready to depart at once, to insure
future admission by depositing the sum of fifty Corinthian drachmas.
Though it might seem that the prospects of these new settlers were
full of doubt and danger, such was the confidence entertained in the
metropolitan protection of Corinth, that many were found as well to
join the fleet, as to pay down the deposit for the liberty of future

All these proceedings on the part of Corinth, though undertaken with
intentional hostility towards Korkyra, had not been preceded by any
formal proposition, such as was customary among Grecian states,—a
harshness of dealing arising not merely from her hatred towards
Korkyra, but also from the peculiar political position of that
island, which stood alone and isolated, not enrolled either in the
Athenian or in the Lacedæmonian alliance. The Korkyræans, well aware
of the serious preparation now going on at Corinth, and of the union
among so many cities against them, felt themselves hardly a match for
it alone, in spite of their wealth and their formidable naval force
of one hundred and twenty triremes, inferior only to that of Athens.
They made an effort to avert the storm by peaceable means, prevailing
upon some mediators from Sparta and Sikyon to accompany them to
Corinth; where, while they required that the forces and settlers
recently despatched to Epidamnus should be withdrawn, denying all
right on the part of Corinth to interfere in that colony,—they at
the same time offered, if the point were disputed, to refer it for
arbitration either to some impartial Peloponnesian city, or to the
Delphian oracle; such arbiter to determine to which of the two
cities Epidamnus as a colony really belonged, and the decision to be
obeyed by both. They solemnly deprecated recourse to arms, which,
if persisted in, would drive them as a matter of necessity to seek
new allies such as they would not willingly apply to. To this the
Corinthians answered, that they could entertain no proposition until
the Korkyræan besieging force was withdrawn from Epidamnus: whereupon
the Korkyræans rejoined that they would withdraw it at once, provided
the new settlers and the troops sent by Corinth were removed at the
same time. Either there ought to be this reciprocal retirement, or
the Korkyræans would acquiesce in this _statu quo_ on both sides,
until the arbiters should have decided.[99]

  [99] Thucyd. i, 28.

Although the Korkyræans had been unwarrantably harsh in rejecting the
first supplication from Epidamnus, yet in their propositions made at
Corinth, right and equity were on their side. But the Corinthians
had gone too far, and assumed an attitude too decidedly aggressive,
to admit of listening to arbitration, and accordingly, so soon as
their armament was equipped, they set sail for Epidamnus, despatching
a herald to declare war formally against the Korkyræans. As soon
as the armament, consisting of seventy triremes, under Aristeus,
Kallikratês, and Timanor, with two thousand five hundred hoplites,
under Archetimus and Isarchidas, had reached Cape Aktium, at the
mouth of the Ambrakian gulf, it was met by a Korkyræan herald in
a little boat forbidding all farther advance,—a summons of course
unavailing, and quickly followed by the appearance of the Korkyræan
fleet. Out of the one hundred and twenty triremes which constituted
the naval establishment of the island, forty were engaged in the
siege of Epidamnus, but all the remaining eighty were now brought
into service; the older ships being specially repaired for the
occasion. In the action which ensued, they gained a complete victory,
destroying fifteen Corinthian ships, and taking a considerable
number of prisoners. And on the very day of the victory, Epidamnus
surrendered to their besieging fleet, under covenant that the
Corinthians within it should be held as prisoners, and that the other
new-comers should be sold as slaves. The Corinthians and their allies
did not long keep the sea after their defeat, but retired home, while
the Korkyræans remained undisputed masters of the neighboring sea.
Having erected a trophy on Leukimmê, the adjoining promontory of
their island, they proceeded, according to the melancholy practice of
Grecian warfare, to kill all their prisoners,—except the Corinthians,
who were carried home and detained as prizes of great value for
purposes of negotiation. They next began to take vengeance on those
allies of Corinth, who had lent assistance to the recent expedition:
they ravaged the territory of Leukas, burned Kyllênê, the seaport
of Elis, and inflicted so much damage that the Corinthians were
compelled towards the end of the summer to send a second armament to
Cape Aktium, for the defence of Leukas, Anaktorium, and Ambrakia.
The Korkyræan fleet was again assembled near Cape Leukimmê, but
no farther action took place, and at the approach of winter both
armaments were disbanded.[100]

  [100] Thucyd. i, 29, 30.

Deeply were the Corinthians humiliated by their defeat at sea,
together with the dispersion of the settlers whom they had brought
together; and though their original project was frustrated by the
loss of Epidamnus, they were only the more bent on complete revenge
against their old enemy Korkyra. They employed themselves, for two
entire years after the battle, in building new ships and providing
an armament adequate to their purposes: and in particular, they sent
round not only to the Peloponnesian seaports, but also to the islands
under the empire of Athens, in order to take into their pay the
best class of seamen. By such prolonged efforts, ninety well-manned
Corinthian ships were ready to set sail in the third year after the
battle: and the entire fleet, when reinforced by the allies, amounted
to not less than one hundred and fifty sail: twenty-seven triremes
from Ambrakia, twelve from Megara, ten from Elis, as many from
Leukas, and one from Anaktorium. Each of these allied squadrons had
officers of its own, while the Corinthian Xenokleidês and four others
were commanders-in-chief.[101]

  [101] Thucyd. i, 31-46.

But the elaborate preparations going on at Corinth were no secret to
the Korkyræans, who well knew, besides, the numerous allies which
that city could command, and her extensive influence throughout
Greece. So formidable an attack was more than they could venture to
brave, alone and unaided. They had never yet enrolled themselves
among the allies either of Athens or of Lacedæmon: it had always
been their pride and policy to maintain a separate line of action,
which, by means of their wealth, their power, and their very peculiar
position, they had hitherto been enabled to do with safety. That they
had been able so to proceed with safety, however, was considered
both by friends and enemies as a peculiarity belonging to their
island; from whence we may draw an inference how little the islands
in the Ægean, now under the Athenian empire, would have been able to
maintain any real independence, if that empire had been broken up.
But though Korkyra had been secure in this policy of isolation up to
the present moment, such had been the increase and consolidation of
forces elsewhere throughout Greece, that even she could pursue it no
longer. To apply for admission into the Lacedæmonian confederacy,
wherein her immediate enemy exercised paramount influence, being
out of the question, she had no choice except to seek alliance with
Athens. That city had as yet no dependencies in the Ionic gulf; she
was not of kindred lineage, nor had she had any previous amicable
relations with the Dorian Korkyra. But if there was thus no previous
fact or feeling to lay the foundation of alliance, neither was there
anything to forbid it: for in the truce between Athens and Sparta, it
had been expressly stipulated, that any city, not actually enrolled
in the alliance of either, might join the one or the other at
pleasure.[102] While the proposition of alliance was thus formally
open either for acceptance or refusal, the time and circumstances
under which it was to be made rendered it full of grave contingencies
to all parties; and the Korkyræan envoys, who now for the first time
visited Athens, for the purpose of making it, came thither with
doubtful hopes of success, though to their island the question was
one of life or death.

  [102] Thucyd. i, 35-40.

According to the modern theories of government, to declare war, to
make peace, and to contract alliances, are functions proper to be
intrusted to the executive government apart from the representative
assembly. According to ancient ideas, these were precisely the topics
most essential to submit for the decision of the full assembly of
the people: and in point of fact they were so submitted, even under
governments only partially democratical; much more, of course,
under the complete democracy of Athens. The Korkyræan envoys, on
reaching that city, would first open their business to the stratêgi,
or generals of the state, who would appoint a day for them to be
heard before the public assembly, with full notice beforehand
to the citizens. The mission was no secret, for the Korkyræans
had themselves intimated their intention at Corinth, at the time
when they proposed reference of the quarrel to arbitration: and
even without such notice, the political necessity of the step was
obvious enough to make the Corinthians anticipate it. Lastly, their
_proxeni_ at Athens, Athenian citizens who watched over Corinthian
interests, public and private, in confidential correspondence with
that government,—and who, sometimes by appointment, sometimes as
volunteers, discharged partly the functions of ambassadors in modern
times, would communicate to them the arrival of the Korkyræan envoys.
So that, on the day appointed for the latter to be heard before the
public assembly, Corinthian envoys were also present to answer them
and to oppose the granting of their prayer.

Thucydidês has given in his history the speeches of both; that is,
speeches of his own composition, but representing in all probability
the substance of what was actually said, and of what he perhaps
himself heard. Though pervaded throughout by the peculiar style and
harsh structure of the historian, these speeches are yet among the
plainest and most business-like in his whole work, bringing before
us thoroughly the existing situation; which was one of doubt and
difficulty, presenting reasons of considerable force on each of
the opposite sides. The Korkyræans, after lamenting their previous
improvidence, which had induced them to defer seeking alliance until
the hour of need arrived, presented themselves as claimants for the
friendship of Athens, on the strongest grounds of common interest
and reciprocal usefulness. Though their existing danger and want
of Athenian support was now urgent, it had not been brought upon
them in an unjust quarrel, or by disgraceful conduct: they had
proposed to Corinth a fair arbitration respecting Epidamnus, and
their application had been refused,—which showed where the right
of the case lay; moreover, they were now exposed single-handed,
not to Corinth alone, whom they had already vanquished, but to a
formidable confederacy, organized under her auspices, including
choice mariners hired even from the allies of Athens. In granting
their prayer, Athens would, in the first place, neutralize this
misemployment of her own mariners, and would, at the same time,
confer an indelible obligation, protect the cause of right, and
secure to herself a most important reinforcement. For, next to her
own, the Korkyræan naval force was the most powerful in Greece,
and this was now placed within her reach: if, by declining the
present offer, she permitted Korkyra to be overcome, that naval
force would pass to the side of her enemies: for such were Corinth
and the Peloponnesian alliance,—and such they would soon be openly
declared. In the existing state of Greece, a collision between that
alliance and Athens could not long be postponed: and it was with a
view to this contingency that the Corinthians were now seeking to
seize Korkyra along with her naval force.[103] The policy of Athens,
therefore, imperiously called upon her to frustrate such a design,
by now assisting the Korkyræans. She was permitted to do this by the
terms of the thirty years’ truce: and although some might contend
that, in the present critical conjuncture, acceptance of Korkyra was
tantamount to a declaration of war with Corinth, yet the fact would
falsify such predictions; for Athens would so strengthen herself
that her enemies would be more than ever unwilling to attack her.
She would not only render her naval force irresistibly powerful,
but would become mistress of the communication between Sicily and
Peloponnesus, and thus prevent the Sicilian Dorians from sending
reinforcements to the Peloponnesians.[104]

  [103] Thucyd. i, 33. Τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους φόβῳ τῷ ὑμετέρῳ
  πολεμησείοντας, καὶ τοὺς Κορινθίους δυναμένους παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς
  καὶ ὑμῖν ἐχθροὺς ὄντας καὶ προκαταλαμβάνοντας ἡμᾶς νῦν ἐς τὴν
  ὑμετέραν ἐπιχείρησιν, ἵνα μὴ τῷ κοινῷ ἔχθει κατ᾽ αὐτῶν μετ᾽
  ἀλλήλων στῶμεν, etc.

  [104] Thucyd. i, 32-36.

To these representations on the part of the Korkyræans, the
Corinthian speakers made reply. They denounced the selfish and
iniquitous policy pursued by Korkyra, not less in the matter of
Epidamnus, than in all former time,[105]—which was the real reason
why she had ever been ashamed of honest allies. Above all things,
she had always acted undutifully and wickedly towards Corinth,
her mother-city, to whom she was bound by those ties of colonial
allegiance which Grecian morality recognized, and which the other
Corinthian colonies cheerfully obeyed.[106] Epidamnus was not a
Korkyræan, but a Corinthian colony, and the Korkyræans, having
committed wrong in besieging it, had proposed arbitration without
being willing to withdraw their troops while arbitration was pending:
they now impudently came to ask Athens to become accessory after the
fact in such injustice. The provision of the thirty years’ truce
might seem indeed to allow Athens to receive them as allies: but
that provision was not intended to permit the reception of cities
already under the tie of colonial allegiance elsewhere,—still less
the reception of cities engaged in an active and pending quarrel,
where any countenance to one party in the quarrel was necessarily a
declaration of war against the opposite. If either party had a right
to invoke the aid of Athens on this occasion, Corinth had a better
right than Korkyra: for the latter had never had any transactions
with the Athenians, while Corinth was not only still under covenant
of amity with them, through the thirty years’ truce,—but had also
rendered material service to them by dissuading the Peloponnesian
allies from assisting the revolted Samos. By such dissuasion, the
Corinthians had upheld the principle of Grecian international
law, that each alliance was entitled to punish its own refractory
members: they now called upon Athens to respect this principle,
by not interfering between Corinth and her colonial allies,[107]
especially as the violation of it would recoil inconveniently upon
Athens herself, with her numerous dependencies. As for the fear of an
impending war between the Peloponnesian alliance and Athens, such a
contingency was as yet uncertain,—and might possibly never occur at
all, if Athens dealt justly, and consented to conciliate Corinth on
this critical occasion: but it would assuredly occur if she refused
such conciliation, and the dangers thus entailed upon Athens would
be far greater than the promised naval coöperation of Korkyra would

  [105] The description given by Herodotus (vii, 168: compare
  Diodor. xi. 15), of the duplicity of the Korkyræans when
  solicited to aid the Grecian cause at the time of the invasion of
  Xerxes, seems to imply that the unfavorable character of them,
  given by the Corinthians, coincided with the general impression
  throughout Greece.

  Respecting the prosperity and insolence of the Korkyræans, see
  Aristotle apud Zenob. Proverb. iv, 49.

  [106] Thucyd. i, 38. ἄποικοι δὲ ὄντες ἀφεστᾶσί τε διὰ παντὸς
  καὶ νῦν πολεμοῦσι, λέγοντες ὡς οὐκ ἐπὶ τῷ κακῶς πάσχειν
  ἐκπεμφθείησαν· ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐδ᾽ αὐτοί φαμεν ἐπὶ τῷ ὑπὸ τούτων
  ὑβρίζεσθαι κατοικίσαι, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τῷ ἡγεμόνες τε εἶναι καὶ τὰ
  εἰκότα θαυμάζεσθαι· αἱ γοῦν ἄλλαι ἀποικίαι τιμῶσιν ἡμᾶς, καὶ
  μάλιστα ὑπὸ ἀποίκων στεργόμεθα.

  This is a remarkable passage in illustration of the position of
  the metropolis in regard to her colony. The relation was such as
  to be comprised under the general word _hegemony_: superiority
  and right to command on the one side, inferiority with duty of
  reverence and obedience on the other,—limited in point of extent,
  though we do not know where the limit was placed, and varying
  probably in each individual case. The Corinthians sent annual
  magistrates to Potidæa, called Epidemiurgi (Thucyd. i, 56).

  [107] Thucyd. i, 40. φανερῶς δὲ ἀντείπομεν ~τοὺς προσήκοντας
  ξυμμάχους αὐτόν τινα κολάζειν~.

  [108] Thucyd. i, 37-43.

Such was the substance of the arguments urged by the contending
envoys before the Athenian public assembly, in this momentous debate.
For two days did the debate continue, the assembly being adjourned
over to the morrow: so considerable was the number of speakers, and
probably also the divergence of their views. Unluckily, Thucydidês
does not give us any of these Athenian discourses,—not even that
of Periklês, who determined the ultimate result. Epidamnus, with
its disputed question of metropolitan right, occupied little of the
attention of the Athenian assembly: but the Korkyræan naval force
was indeed an immense item, since the question was, whether it
should stand on their side or against them,—an item which nothing
could counterbalance except the dangers of a Peloponnesian war. “Let
us avoid this last calamity (was the opinion of many) even at the
sacrifice of seeing Korkyra conquered, and all her ships and seamen
in the service of the Peloponnesian league.” “You will not really
avoid it, even by that great sacrifice (was the reply of others): the
generating causes of war are at work,—and it will infallibly come,
whatever you may determine respecting Korkyra: avail yourselves of
the present opening, instead of being driven ultimately to undertake
the war at great comparative disadvantage.” Of these two views, the
former was at first decidedly preponderant in the assembly;[109] but
they gradually came round to the latter, which was conformable to the
steady conviction of Periklês. It was, however, resolved to take a
sort of middle course, so as to save Korkyra, and yet, if possible,
to escape violation of the existing truce and the consequent
Peloponnesian war. To comply with the request of the Korkyræans, by
adopting them unreservedly as allies, would have laid the Athenians
under the necessity of accompanying them in an attack of Corinth, if
required,—which would have been a manifest infringement of the truce.
Accordingly, nothing more was concluded than an alliance for purposes
strictly defensive, to preserve Korkyra and her possessions in case
they were attacked: nor was any greater force equipped to back this
resolve than a squadron of ten triremes, under Lacedæmonius, son of
Kimon. The smallness of this force would satisfy the Corinthians
that no aggression was contemplated against their city, while it
would save Korkyra from ruin, and would in fact feed the war so as
to weaken and cripple the naval force of both parties,[110]—which
was the best result that Athens could hope for. The instructions to
Lacedæmonius and his two colleagues were express; not to engage in
fight with the Corinthians unless they were actually approaching
Korkyra, or some Korkyræan possession, with a view to attack: but in
that case to do his best on the defensive.

  [109] Thucyd. i, 44. Ἀθηναῖοι δὲ ἀκούσαντες ἀμφοτέρων, γενομένης
  καὶ δὶς ἐκκλησίας, τῇ μὲν προτέρᾳ οὐχ ἧσσον τῶν Κορινθίων
  ἀπεδέξαντο τοὺς λόγους, ἐν δὲ τῇ ὑστεραίᾳ μετέγνωσαν, etc.

  Οὐχ ἧσσον, in the language of Thucydidês, usually has the
  positive meaning of _more_.

  [110] Thucyd. i, 44. Plutarch (Periklês, c. 29) ascribes the
  smallness of the squadron despatched under Lacedæmonius to a
  petty spite of Periklês against that commander, as the son of his
  old political antagonist, Kimon. From whomsoever he copied this
  statement, the motive assigned seems quite unworthy of credit.

The great Corinthian armament of one hundred and fifty sail soon
took its departure from the gulf, and reached a harbor on the
coast of Epirus, at the cape called Cheimerium, nearly opposite to
the southern extremity of Korkyra: they there established a naval
station and camp, summoning to their aid a considerable force from
the friendly Epirotic tribes in the neighborhood. The Korkyræan
fleet of one hundred and ten sail, under Meikiadês and two others,
together with the ten Athenian ships, took station at one of the
adjoining islands called Sybota, while the land force and one
thousand Zakynthian hoplites were posted on the Korkyræan Cape
Leukimmê. Both sides prepared for battle: the Corinthians, taking on
board three days’ provisions, sailed by night from Cheimerium, and
encountered in the morning the Korkyræan fleet advancing towards
them, distributed into three squadrons, one under each of the three
generals, and having the ten Athenian ships at the extreme right.
Opposed to them were ranged the choice vessels of the Corinthians,
occupying the left of their aggregate fleet: next came the various
allies, with Megarians and Ambrakiots on the extreme right. Never
before had two such numerous fleets, both Grecian, engaged in battle;
but the tactics and manœuvring were not commensurate to the numbers.
The decks were crowded with hoplites and bowmen, while the rowers
below, on the Korkyræan side at least, were in great part slaves: the
ships, on both sides, being rowed forward so as to drive in direct
impact, prow against prow, were grappled together, and a fierce
hand-combat was then commenced between the troops on board of each,
as if they were on land,—or rather, like boarding-parties: all upon
the old-fashioned system of Grecian sea-fight, without any of those
improvements which had been introduced into the Athenian navy during
the last generation. In Athenian naval attack, the ship, the rowers,
and the steersman, were of much greater importance than the armed
troops on deck: by strength and exactness of rowing, by rapid and
sudden change of direction, by feints calculated to deceive, the
Athenian captain sought to drive the sharp beak of his vessel, not
against the prow, but against the weaker and more vulnerable parts of
his enemy,—side, oars, or stern. The ship thus became in the hands of
her crew the real weapon of attack, which was first to disable the
enemy and leave him unmanageable on the water; and not until this
was done did the armed troops on deck begin their operations.[111]
Lacedæmonius, with his ten armed ships, though forbidden by his
instructions to share in the battle, lent as much aid as he could by
taking station at the extremity of the line, and by making motions as
if about to attack; while his seamen had full leisure to contemplate
what they would despise as the lubberly handling of the ships on both
sides. All was confusion after the battle had been joined; the ships
on both sides became entangled, the oars broken and unmanageable,
orders could neither be heard nor obeyed, and the individual valor
of the hoplites and bowmen on deck was the decisive point on which
victory turned.

  [111] Πεζομαχεῖν ἀπὸ νεῶν—to turn the naval battle into a
  land-battle on shipboard, was a practice altogether repugnant
  to Athenian feeling, as we see remarked also in Thucyd. iv, 14:
  compare also vii, 61.

  The Corinthian and Syracusan ships ultimately came to counteract
  the Athenian manœuvring by constructing their prows with
  increased solidity and strength, and forcing the Athenian vessel
  to a direct shock, which its weaker prow was unable to bear
  (Thucyd. vii, 36).

On the right wing of the Corinthians, the left of the Korkyræans
was victorious; their twenty ships drove back the Ambrakiot allies
of Corinth, and not only pursued them to the shore, but also landed
and plundered the tents. Their rashness in thus keeping so long out
of the battle proved incalculably mischievous, the rather as their
total number was inferior: for their right wing, opposed to the
best ships of Corinth, was after a hard struggle thoroughly beaten.
Many of the ships were disabled, and the rest obliged to retreat
as they could,—a retreat which the victorious ships on the other
wing might have protected, had there been any effective discipline
in the fleet, but which now was only imperfectly aided by the ten
Athenian ships under Lacedæmonius. These Athenians, though at first
they obeyed the instructions from home, in abstaining from actual
blows, yet,—when the battle became doubtful, and still more, when the
Corinthians were pressing their victory,—could no longer keep aloof,
but attacked the pursuers in good earnest, and did much to save the
defeated Korkyræans. As soon as the latter had been pursued as far as
their own island, the victorious Corinthians returned to the scene
of action, which was covered with disabled and water-logged ships,
their own and their enemies, as well as with seamen, soldiers, and
wounded men, either helpless aboard the wrecks, or keeping above
water as well as they could,—among them many of their own citizens
and allies, especially on their defeated right wing. Through these
disabled vessels they sailed, not attempting to tow them off, but
looking only to the crews aboard, and making some of them prisoners,
but putting the greater number to death: some even of their own
allies were thus slain, not being easily distinguishable. They
then picked up their own dead bodies as well as they could, and
transported them to Sybota, the nearest point of the coast of Epirus;
after which they again mustered their fleet, and returned to resume
the attack against the Korkyræans on their own coast. The latter got
together as many of their ships as were seaworthy, together with the
small reserve which had remained in harbor, in order to prevent at
any rate a landing on the coast: and the Athenian ships, now within
the strict letter of their instructions, prepared to coöperate with
full energy in the defence. It was already late in the afternoon:
but the Corinthian fleet, though their pæan had already been shouted
for attack, were suddenly seen to back water instead of advancing;
presently they headed round, and sailed directly away to the Epirotic
coast. Nor did the Korkyræans comprehend the cause of this sudden
retreat, until at length it was proclaimed that an unexpected relief
of twenty fresh Athenian ships was approaching, under Glaukon and
Andokidês, which the Corinthians had been the first to descry, and
had even believed to be the forerunners of a larger fleet. It was
already dark when these fresh ships reached Cape Leukimmê, having
traversed the waters covered with wrecks and dead bodies;[112] and at
first the Korkyræans even mistook them for enemies. The reinforcement
had been sent from Athens, probably after more accurate information
of the comparative force of Corinth and Korkyra, under the impression
that the original ten ships would prove inadequate for the purpose of
defence,—an impression more than verified by the reality.

  [112] Thucyd. i, 51. διὰ τῶν νεκρῶν καὶ ναυαγίων προσκομισθεῖσαι
  κατέπλεον ἐς τὸ στρατόπεδον.

Though the twenty Athenian ships were not, as the Corinthians
had imagined, the precursors of a larger fleet, they were found
sufficient to change completely the face of affairs. In the preceding
action, the Korkyræans had had seventy ships sunk or disabled,—the
Corinthians only thirty,—so that the superiority of numbers was
still on the side of the latter, who were, however, encumbered
with the care of one thousand prisoners, eight hundred of them
slaves, captured, not easy either to lodge or to guard in the
narrow accommodations of an ancient trireme. Even apart from this
embarrassment, the Corinthians were in no temper to hazard a second
battle against thirty Athenian ships, in addition to the remaining
Korkyræan: and when their enemies sailed across to offer them battle
on the Epirotic coast, they not only refused it, but thought of
nothing but immediate retreat,—with serious alarm lest the Athenians
should now act aggressively, treating all amicable relations between
Athens and Corinth as practically extinguished by the events of the
day before. Having ranged their fleet in line, not far from shore,
they tested the dispositions of the Athenian commanders by sending
forward a little boat with a few men to address to them the following
remonstrance,—the men carried no herald’s staff (_we_ should say,
no flag of truce), and were therefore completely without protection
against an enemy. “Ye act wrongfully, Athenians (they exclaimed), in
beginning the war and violating the truce; for ye are using arms to
oppose us in punishing our enemies. If it be really your intention
to hinder us from sailing against Korkyra, or anywhere else that
we choose, in breach of the truce, take first of all us who now
address you, and deal with us as enemies.” It was not the fault of
the Korkyræans that this last idea was not instantly realized: for
such of them as were near enough to hear, instigated the Athenians
by violent shouts to kill the men in the boat. But the latter, far
from listening to such an appeal, dismissed them with the answer: “We
neither begin the war nor break the truce, Peloponnesians; we have
come simply to aid these Korkyræans, our allies. If ye wish to sail
anywhere else, we make no opposition: but if ye are about to sail
against Korkyra, or any of her possessions, we shall use our best
means to prevent you.” Both the answer, and the treatment of the men
in the boat, satisfied the Corinthians that their retreat would be
unopposed, and they accordingly commenced it as soon as they could
get ready, staying, however, to erect a trophy at Sybota, on the
Epirotic coast, in commemoration of their advantage on the preceding
day. In their voyage homeward, they surprised Anaktorium, at the
mouth of the Ambrakiôtic gulf, which they had hitherto possessed
jointly with the Korkyræans; planting in it a reinforcement of
Corinthian settlers as guarantee for future fidelity. On reaching
Corinth, the armament was disbanded, and the great majority of the
prisoners taken—eight hundred slaves—were sold; but the remainder,
two hundred and fifty in number, were detained and treated with
peculiar kindness. Many of them were of the first and richest
families of the island, and the Corinthians designed to gain them
over, so as to make them instruments for effecting a revolution in
the island. The calamitous incidents arising from their return will
appear in a future chapter.

Thus relieved from all danger, the Korkyræans picked up the dead
bodies and the wrecks which had floated during the night on to their
island, and even found sufficient pretence to erect a trophy, chiefly
in consequence of their partial success on the left wing. In truth,
they had been only rescued from ruin by the unexpected coming of
the last Athenian ships: but the last result was as triumphant to
them as it was disastrous and humiliating to the Corinthians, who
had incurred an immense cost, and taxed all their willing allies,
only to leave their enemy stronger than she was before. From this
time forward they considered the thirty years’ truce as broken, and
conceived a hatred, alike deadly and undisguised, against Athens; so
that the latter gained nothing by the moderation of her admirals in
sparing the Corinthian fleet off the coast of Epirus. An opportunity
was not long wanting for the Corinthians to strike a blow at their
enemy, through one of her wide-spread dependencies.

On the isthmus of that lesser peninsula called Pellênê, which
forms the westernmost of the three prongs of the greater peninsula
called Chalkidikê, between the Thermaic and the Strymonic gulfs,
was situated the Dorian town of Potidæa, one of the tributary
allies of Athens, but originally colonized from Corinth, and still
maintaining a certain metropolitan allegiance towards the latter:
insomuch that every year certain Corinthians were sent thither as
magistrates, under the title of Epidemiurgi. On various points of the
neighboring coast, also, there were several small towns belonging to
the Chalkidians and Bottiæans, enrolled in like manner in the list
of Athenian tributaries. The neighboring inland territory, Mygdonia
and Chalkidikê,[113] was held by the Macedonian king Perdikkas, son
of that Alexander who had taken part, fifty years before, in the
expedition of Xerxes. These two princes appear gradually to have
extended their dominions, after the ruin of Persian power in Thrace
by the exertions of Athens, until at length they acquired all the
territory between the rivers Axius and Strymon. Now Perdikkas had
been for some time the friend and ally of Athens; but there were
other Macedonian princes, his brother Philip and Derdas, holding
independent principalities in the upper country,[114] apparently on
the higher course of the Axius near the Pæonian tribes, with whom
he was in a state of dispute. These princes having been accepted as
the allies of Athens, Perdikkas from that time became her active
enemy, and it was from his intrigues that all the difficulties of
Athens on that coast took their first origin. The Athenian empire
was much less complete and secure over the seaports on the mainland
than over the islands:[115] for the former were always more or less
dependent on any powerful land-neighbor, sometimes more dependent
on him than upon the mistress of the sea; and we shall find Athens
herself cultivating assiduously the favor of Sitalkês and other
strong Thracian potentates, as an aid to her dominion over the
seaports.[116] Perdikkas immediately began to incite and aid the
Chalkidians and Bottiæans to revolt from Athens, and the violent
enmity against the latter, kindled in the bosoms of the Corinthians
by the recent events at Korkyra, enabled him to extend the same
projects to Potidæa. Not only did he send envoys to Corinth in order
to concert measures for provoking the revolt of Potidæa, but also to
Sparta, instigating the Peloponnesian league to a general declaration
of war against Athens.[117] And he farther prevailed on many of
the Chalkidian inhabitants to abandon their separate small towns
on the sea-coast, for the purpose of joint residence at Olynthus,
which was several stadia from the sea. Thus that town, as well as
the Chalkidian interest, became much strengthened, while Perdikkas
farther assigned some territory near Lake Bolbê to contribute to the
temporary maintenance of the concentrated population.

  [113] See the geographical Commentary of Gatterer upon Thrace,
  embodied in Poppo, Prolegg. ad Thucyd. vol. ii, ch. 29.

  The words τὰ ἐπὶ Θρᾴκης—τὰ ἐπὶ Θρᾴκης χωρία (Thucyd. ii, 29)
  denote generally the towns in Chalkidikê,—places _in the
  direction or in the skirts of_ Thrace, rather than parts of
  Thrace itself.

  [114] Thucyd. i, 57; ii, 100.

  [115] See two remarkable passages illustrating this difference,
  Thucyd. iv, 120-122.

  [116] Thucyd. ii, 29-98. Isokratês has a remarkable passage on
  this subject in the beginning of Or. v, ad Philippum, sects.
  5-7. After pointing out the imprudence of founding a colony
  on the skirts of the territory of a powerful potentate, and
  the excellent site which had been chosen far Kyrênê, as being
  near only to feeble tribes,—he goes so far as to say that
  the possession of Amphipolis would be injurious rather than
  beneficial to Athens, because it would render her dependent upon
  Philip, from his power of annoying her colonists,—just as she
  had been dependent before upon Mêdokus, the Thracian king, in
  consequence of her colonists in the Chersonese,—ἀναγκασθησόμεθα
  τὴν αὐτὴν εὔνοιαν ἔχειν τοῖς σοῖς πράγμασι διὰ τοὺς ἐνταῦθα (at
  Amphipolis) κατοικοῦντας, οἵαν περ εἴχομεν Μηδόκῳ τῷ παλαιῷ διὰ
  τοὺς ἐν Χεῤῥονήσῳ γεωργοῦντας.

  [117] Thucyd. i, 56, 57.

The Athenians were not ignorant both of his hostile preparations and
of the dangers which awaited them from Corinth after the Korkyræan
sea-fight; immediately after which they sent to take precautions
against the revolt of Potidæa; requiring the inhabitants to take down
their wall on the side of Pellênê, so as to leave the town open on
the side of the peninsula, or on what may be called the sea-side,
and fortified only towards the mainland,—requiring them farther both
to deliver hostages and to dismiss the annual magistrates who came
to them from Corinth. An Athenian armament of thirty triremes and
one thousand hoplites, under Archestratus and ten others, despatched
to act against Perdikkas in the Thermaic gulf, was directed at the
same time to enforce these requisitions against Potidæa, and to
repress any dispositions to revolt among the neighboring Chalkidians.
Immediately on receiving these requisitions, the Potidæans sent
envoys both to Athens, for the purpose of evading and gaining
time,—and to Sparta, in conjunction with Corinth, in order to
determine a Lacedæmonian invasion of Attica, in the event of Potidæa
being attacked by Athens. From the Spartan authorities they obtained
a distinct affirmative promise, in spite of the thirty years’ truce
still subsisting: at Athens they had no success, and they accordingly
openly revolted (seemingly about midsummer, 432 B.C.), at the same
time that the armament under Archestratus sailed. The Chalkidians and
Bottiæans revolted at the same time, at the express instigation of
Corinth, accompanied by solemn oaths and promises of assistance.[118]
Archestratus with his fleet, on reaching the Thermaic gulf, found
them all in proclaimed enmity, but was obliged to confine himself
to the attack of Perdikkas in Macedonia, not having numbers enough
to admit of a division of his force. He accordingly laid siege to
Therma, in coöperation with the Macedonian troops from the upper
country, under Philip and the brothers of Derdas; after taking that
place, he next proceeded to besiege Pydna. But it would probably have
been wiser had he turned his whole force instantly to the blockade
of Potidæa; for during the period of more than six weeks that he
spent in the operations against Therma, the Corinthians conveyed to
Potidæa a reinforcement of sixteen hundred hoplites and four hundred
light-armed, partly their own citizens, partly Peloponnesians, hired
for the occasion,—under Aristeus, son of Adeimantus, a man of such
eminent popularity, both at Corinth and at Potidæa, that most of the
soldiers volunteered on his personal account. Potidæa was thus put
into a state of complete defence shortly after the news of its revolt
reached Athens, and long before any second armament could be sent to
attack it. A second armament, however, was speedily sent forth.—forty
triremes and two thousand Athenian hoplites, under Kallias, son of
Kalliades,[119] with four other commanders,—who, on reaching the
Thermaic gulf, joined the former body at the siege of Pydna. After
prosecuting the siege in vain for a short time, they found themselves
obliged to patch up an accommodation on the best terms they could
with Perdikkas, from the necessity of commencing immediate operations
against Aristeus and Potidæa. They then quitted Macedonia, first
crossing by sea from Pydna to the eastern coast of the Thermaic
gulf,—next attacking, though without effect, the town of Berœa,—and
then marching by land along the eastern coast of the gulf, in the
direction of Potidæa. On the third day of easy march, they reached
the seaport called Gigônus, near which they encamped.[120]

  [118] Thucyd. v, 30.

  [119] Kallias was a young Athenian of noble family, who had
  paid the large sum of one hundred minæ to Zeno of Elea, the
  philosopher, for rhetorical, philosophical, and sophistical
  instruction (Plato, Alkibiadês, i, c. 31, p. 119).

  [120] Thucyd. i, 61. The statement of Thucydidês presents some
  geographical difficulties which the critics have not adequately
  estimated. Are we to assume as certain, that the _Berœa_ here
  mentioned must be the Macedonian town of that name, afterwards
  so well known, distant from the sea westward one hundred and
  sixty stadia, or nearly twenty English miles (see Tafel, Historia
  Thessalonicæ, p. 58), on a river which flows into the Haliakmon,
  and upon one of the lower ridges of Mount Bermius?

  The words of Thucydidês here are—Ἔπειτα δὲ ξύμβασιν ποιησάμενοι
  καὶ ξυμμαχίαν ἀναγκαίαν πρὸς τὸν Περδίκκαν, ὡς αὐτοὺς κατήπειγεν
  ἡ Ποτίδαια καὶ ὁ Ἀριστεὺς παρεληλυθὼς, ~ἀπανίστανται ἐκ τῆς
  Μακεδονίας~, καὶ ἀφικόμενοι ἐς Βέροιαν κἀκεῖθεν ἐπιστρέψαντες,
  καὶ πειράσαντες πρῶτον τοῦ χωρίου καὶ οὐχ ἑλόντες, ἐπορεύοντο
  κατὰ γῆν πρὸς τὴν Ποτίδαιαν—ἅμα δὲ νῆες παρέπλεον ἑβδομήκοντα.

  “The natural route from Pydna to Potidæa (observes Dr. Arnold in
  his note) lay along the coast; and Berœa was _quite out of the
  way_, at some _distance to the westward_, near the fort of the
  Bermian mountains. But the hope of surprising Berœa induced the
  Athenians to deviate from their direct line of march; then, after
  the failure of this treacherous attempt, they returned again to
  the sea-coast, and continued to follow it till they arrived at

  I would remark upon this: 1. The words of Thucydidês imply that
  Berœa was _not in_ Macedonia, but _out_ of it (see Poppo, Proleg.
  ad Thucyd. vol. ii, pp. 408-418). 2. He uses no expression which
  in the least implies that the attempt on Berœa on the part of the
  Athenians was _treacherous_, that is, contrary to the convention
  just concluded; though, had the fact been so, he would naturally
  have been led to notice it, seeing that the deliberate breach of
  the convention was the very first step which took place after
  it was concluded. 3. What can have induced the Athenians to
  leave their fleet and march near twenty miles inland to Mount
  Bermius and Berœa, to attack a Macedonian town which they could
  not possibly hold,—when they cannot even stay to continue the
  attack on Pydna, a position maritime, useful, and tenable,—in
  consequence of the pressing necessity of taking immediate
  measures against Potidæa? 4. If they were compelled by this
  latter necessity to patch up a peace on any terms with Perdikkas,
  would they immediately endanger this peace by going out of their
  way to attack one of his forts? Again, Thucydidês says, “that,
  proceeding by slow land-marches, they reached Gigônus, and
  encamped _on the third day_,”—κατ᾽ ὀλίγον δὲ προϊόντες τριταῖοι
  ἀφίκοντο ἐς Γίγωνον καὶ ἐστρατοπεδεύσαντο. The computation of
  time must here be made either from Pydna or from Berœa; and
  the reader who examines the map will see that neither from the
  one nor the other—assuming the Berœa on Mount Bermius—would it
  be possible for an army to arrive at Gigônus on the third day,
  marching round the head of the gulf, with easy days’ marches; the
  more so, as they would have to cross the rivers Lydias, Axius.
  and Echeidôrus, all not far from their mouths,—or, if these
  rivers could not be crossed, to get on board the fleet and reland
  on the other side.

  This clear mark of time laid down by Thucydidês,—even apart
  from the objections which I have just urged in reference to
  Berœa on Mount Bermius,—made me doubt whether Dr. Arnold and
  the other commentators have correctly conceived the operations
  of the Athenian troops between Pydna and Gigônus. The _Berœa_
  which Thucydidês means cannot be more distant from Gigônus, at
  any rate, than a third day’s easy march, and therefore cannot
  be the Berœa on Mount Bermius. But there was another town named
  Berœa, either in Thrace or in Emathia, though we do not know
  its exact site (see Wassi ad Thucyd. i, 61; Steph. Byz. v,
  Βέρης; Tafel, Thessalonica, Index). This other Berœa, situated
  somewhere between Gigônus and Therma, and out of the limits of
  that Macedonia which Perdikkas governed, may probably be the
  place which Thucydidês here indicates. The Athenians, raising
  the siege of Pydna, crossed the gulf _on shipboard_ to Berœa,
  and after vainly trying to surprise that town, marched along _by
  land_ to Gigônus. Whoever inspects the map will see that the
  Athenians would naturally employ their large fleet to transport
  the army by the short transit across the gulf from Pydna (see
  Livy, xliv, 10), and thus avoid the fatiguing land-march round
  the head of the gulf. Moreover, the language of Thucydidês
  would seem to make the land-march _begin at Berœa_ and not at
  Pydna,—~ἀπανίστανται~ ἐκ τῆς Μακεδονίας, καὶ ~ἀφικόμενοι ἐς
  Βέροιαν~ κἀκεῖθεν ἐπιστρέψαντες, καὶ πειράσαντες πρῶτον τοῦ
  χωρίου καὶ οὐχ ἑλόντες, ~ἐπορεύοντο κατὰ γῆν~ πρὸς Ποτίδαιαν—ἅμα
  δὲ νῆες παρέπλεον ἑβδομήκοντα. Κατ᾽ ὀλίγον δὲ προϊόντες τριταῖοι
  ἀφίκοντο ἐς Γίγωνον καὶ ἐστρατοπεδεύσαντο. The change of tense
  between ἀπανίστανται and ἐπορεύοντο,—and the connection of the
  participle ἀφικόμενοι with the latter verb,—seems to divide the
  whole proceeding into two distinct parts; first, departure from
  Macedonia to Berœa, as it would seem, by sea,—next, a land-march
  from Berœa to Gigônus, of three short days.

  This is the best account, as it strikes me, of a passage, the
  real difficulties of which are imperfectly noticed by the

  The site of Gigônus cannot be exactly determined, since all that
  we know of the towns on the coast between Potidæa and Æneia, is
  derived from their enumerated names in Herodotus (vii, 123); nor
  can we be absolutely certain that he has enumerated them all in
  the exact order in which they were placed. But I think that both
  Col. Leake and Kiepert’s map place Gigônus too far from Potidæa;
  for we see, from this passage of Thucydidês, that it formed the
  camp from which the Athenian general went forth immediately to
  give battle to an enemy posted between Olynthus and Potidæa; and
  the Scholiast says of Gigônus,—οὐ πολὺ ἄπεχον Ποτιδαίας: and
  Stephan. Byz. Γίγωνος, πόλις Θρᾴκης ~προσεχὴς τῇ Παλλήνῃ~.

  See Colonel Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, vol. iii, ch.
  xxxi, p. 452. That excellent observer calculates the march, from
  Berœa on Mount Bermius to Potidæa, as being one of four days,
  about twenty miles each day. Judging by the map, this seems lower
  than the reality; but admitting it to be correct, Thucydidês
  would never describe such a march as ~κατ᾽ ὀλίγον~ δὲ προϊόντες
  τριταῖοι ἀφίκοντο ἐς Γίγωνον: it would be a march rather rapid
  and fatiguing, especially as it would include the passage of the
  rivers. Nor is it likely, from the description of this battle
  in Thucydidês (i, 62), that Gigônus could be anything like a
  full day’s march from Potidæa. According to his description,
  the Athenian army advanced by three very easy marches; then
  arriving at Gigônus, they encamp, being now near the enemy, who
  on their side are already encamped, expecting them,—προσδεχόμενοι
  τοὺς Ἀθηναίους ~ἐστρατοπεδεύοντο~ πρὸς Ὀλύνθου ἐν τῷ ἰσθμῷ: the
  imperfect tense indicates that they were already there at the
  time when the Athenians took camp at Gigônus; which would hardly
  be the case if the Athenians had come by three successive marches
  from Berœa on Mount Bermius.

  I would add, that it is no more wonderful that there should be
  one Berœa in Thrace and another in Macedonia, than that there
  should be one Methônê in Thrace and another in Macedonia (Steph.
  B. Μεθώνη).

In spite of the convention concluded at Pydna, Perdikkas, whose
character for faithlessness we shall have more than one occasion to
notice, was now again on the side of the Chalkidians, and sent two
hundred horse to join them, under the command of Iolaus. Aristeus
posted his Corinthians and Potidæans on the isthmus near Potidæa,
providing a market without the walls, in order that they might not
stray in quest of provisions: his position was on the side towards
Olynthus,—which was about seven miles off, but within sight, and in
a lofty and conspicuous situation. He here awaited the approach of
the Athenians, calculating that the Chalkidians from Olynthus would,
upon the hoisting of a given signal, assail them in the rear when
they attacked him. But Kallias was strong enough to place in reserve
his Macedonian cavalry and other allies as a check against Olynthus;
while with his Athenians and the main force he marched to the isthmus
and took position in front of Aristeus. In the battle which ensued,
Aristeus and the chosen band of Corinthians immediately about him
were completely successful, breaking the troops opposed to them, and
pursuing for a considerable distance: but the remaining Potidæans
and Peloponnesians were routed by the Athenians and driven within
the walls. On returning from pursuit, Aristeus found the victorious
Athenians between him and Potidæa, and was reduced to the alternative
either of cutting his way through them into the latter town, or of
making a retreating march to Olynthus. He chose the former as the
least of two hazards, and forced his way through the flank of the
Athenians, wading into the sea in order to turn the extremity of
the Potidæan wall, which reached entirely across the isthmus, with a
mole running out at each end into the water: he effected this daring
enterprise and saved his detachment, though not without considerable
difficulty and some loss. Meanwhile, the auxiliaries from Olynthus,
though they had begun their march on seeing the concerted signal, had
been kept in check by the Macedonian horse, so that the Potidæans
had been beaten and the signal again withdrawn, before they could
make any effective diversion: nor did the cavalry on either side
come into action. The defeated Potidæans and Corinthians, having the
town immediately in their rear, lost only three hundred men, while
the Athenians lost one hundred and fifty, together with the general

  [121] Thucyd. i, 62, 63.

The victory was, however, quite complete, and the Athenians, after
having erected their trophy, and given up the enemy’s dead for
burial, immediately built their blockading wall across the isthmus,
on the side of the mainland, so as to cut off Potidæa from all
communication with Olynthus and the Chalkidians. To make the blockade
complete, a second wall across the isthmus was necessary, on the
other side towards Pallênê: but they had not force enough to detach
a completely separate body for this purpose, until after some time
they were joined by Phormio with sixteen hundred fresh hoplites
from Athens. That general, landing at Aphytis, in the peninsula of
Pallênê, marched slowly up to Potidæa, ravaging the territory in
order to draw out the citizens to battle: but the challenge not
being accepted, he undertook, and finished without obstruction, the
blockading wall on the side of Pallênê, so that the town was now
completely inclosed, and the harbor watched by the Athenian fleet.
The wall once finished, a portion of the force sufficed to guard
it, leaving Phormio at liberty to undertake aggressive operations
against the Chalkidic and Bottiæan townships. The capture of Potidæa
was now only a question of more or less time, and Aristeus, in order
that the provisions might last longer, proposed to the citizens to
choose a favorable wind, get on shipboard, and break out suddenly
from the harbor, taking their chance of eluding the Athenian fleet,
and leaving only five hundred defenders behind: though he offered
himself to be among those left behind, he could not determine the
citizens to so bold an enterprise, and he therefore sallied forth
in the way proposed with a small detachment, in order to try and
procure relief from without,—especially some aid or diversion
from Peloponnesus. But he was able to accomplish nothing beyond
some partial warlike operations among the Chalkidians,[122] and a
successful ambuscade against the citizens of Sermylus, which did
nothing for the relief of the blockaded town: it had, however, been
so well-provisioned that it held out for two whole years,—a period
full of important events elsewhere.

  [122] Thucyd. i, 65.

From these two contests between Athens and Corinth, first indirectly
at Korkyra, next distinctly and avowedly at Potidæa, sprung those
important movements in the Lacedæmonian alliance which will be
recounted in the next chapter.



Even before the recent hostilities at Korkyra and Potidæa, it had
been evident to reflecting Greeks that the continued observance of
the thirty years’ truce was very uncertain, and that the mingled
hatred, fear, and admiration, which Athens inspired throughout
Greece, would prompt Sparta and the Spartan confederacy to seize
the first favorable opening for breaking down the Athenian power.
That such was the disposition of Sparta, was well understood among
the Athenian allies, however considerations of prudence and general
slowness in resolving might postpone the moment of carrying it into
effect. Accordingly, not only the Samians when they revolted had
applied to the Spartan confederacy for aid, which they appear to
have been prevented from obtaining chiefly by the pacific interests
then animating the Corinthians,—but also the Lesbians had endeavored
to open negotiations with Sparta for a similar purpose, though
the authorities—to whom alone the proposition could have been
communicated, since it remained secret and was never executed—had
given them no encouragement.[123] The affairs of Athens had been
administered under the ascendency of Periklês, without any view to
extension of empire or encroachment upon others, though with constant
view to the probabilities of war, and with anxiety to keep the city
in a condition to meet it: but even the splendid internal ornaments,
which Athens at that time acquired, were probably not without their
effect in provoking jealousy on the part of other Greeks as to her
ultimate views. The only known incident, wherein Athens had been
brought into collision with a member of the Spartan confederacy
prior to the Korkyræan dispute, was the decree passed in regard to
Megara,—prohibiting the Megarians, on pain of death, from all trade
or intercourse as well with Athens as with all ports within the
Athenian empire. This prohibition was grounded on the alleged fact,
that the Megarians had harbored runaway slaves from Athens, and
had appropriated and cultivated portions of land upon the border;
partly land, the property of the goddesses of Eleusis,—partly a
strip of territory disputed between the two states, and therefore
left by mutual understanding in common pasture without any permanent
inclosure.[124] In reference to this latter point, the Athenian
herald, Anthemokritus had been sent to Megara to remonstrate, but
had been so rudely dealt with, that his death shortly afterwards was
imputed as a crime to the Megarians.[125] We may well suppose that
ever since the revolt of Megara, fourteen years before, which caused
to Athens an irreparable mischief, the feeling prevalent between the
two towns had been one of bitter enmity, manifesting itself in many
ways, but so much exasperated by recent events as to provoke Athens
to a signal revenge.[126] Exclusion from Athens and all the ports in
her empire, comprising nearly every island and seaport in the Ægean,
was so ruinous to the Megarians, that they loudly complained of it at
Sparta, representing it as an infraction of the thirty years’ truce;
though it was undoubtedly within the legitimate right of Athens to
enforce,—and was even less harsh than the systematic expulsion of
foreigners by Sparta, with which Periklês compared it.

  [123] Thucyd. iii, 2-13. This proposition of the Lesbians at
  Sparta must have been made before the collision between Athens
  and Corinth at Korkyra.

  [124] Thucyd. i, 139. ἐπικαλοῦντες ἐπεργασίαν Μεγαρεῦσι τῆς γῆς
  τῆς ἱερᾶς καὶ τῆς ἀορίστου, etc. Plutarch, Periklês, c. 30;
  Schol. ad Aristophan. Pac. 609.

  I agree with Göller that two distinct violations of right are
  here imputed to the Megarians: the one, that they had cultivated
  land, the property of the goddesses at Eleusis,—the other, that
  they had appropriated and cultivated the unsettled pasture land
  on the border. Dr. Arnold’s note takes a different view, less
  correct, in my opinion: “The land on the frontier was consecrated
  to prevent it from being inclosed: in which case the boundaries
  might have been a subject of perpetual dispute between the
  two countries,” etc. Compare Thucyd. v, 42, about the border
  territory round Panaktum.

  [125] Thucydidês (i, 139), in assigning the reasons of this
  sentence of exclusion passed by Athens against the Megarians,
  mentions only the two allegations here noticed,—wrongful
  cultivation of territory, and reception of runaway slaves. He
  does not allude to the herald, Anthemokritus: still less does
  he notice that gossip of the day, which Aristophanês and other
  comedians of this period turn to account in fastening the
  Peloponnesian war upon the personal sympathies of Periklês,
  namely, that first, some young men of Athens stole away the
  courtezan, Simætha, from Megara: next, the Megarian youth
  revenged themselves by stealing away from Athens “two engaging
  courtezans,” one of whom was the mistress of Periklês; upon
  which the latter was so enraged that he proposed the sentence
  of exclusion against the Megarians (Aristoph. Acharn. 501-516;
  Plutarch, Periklês, c. 30).

  Such stories are chiefly valuable as they make us acquainted with
  the political scandal of the time. But the story of the herald,
  Anthemokritus, and his death, cannot be altogether rejected.
  Though Thucydidês, not mentioning the fact, did not believe that
  the herald’s death had really been occasioned by the Megarians;
  yet there probably was a popular belief at Athens to that effect,
  under the influence of which the deceased herald received a
  public burial near the Thriasian gate of Athens, leading to
  Eleusis: see Philippi Epistol. ad Athen. ap. Demosthen. p.
  159, R.; Pausan. i, 36, 3; iii, 4, 2. The language of Plutarch
  (Periklês, c. 30) is probably literally correct,—“the herald’s
  death _appeared_ to have been caused by the Megarians,”—αἰτίᾳ τῶν
  Μεγαρέων ἀποθανεῖν ἔδοξε. That neither Thucydidês, nor Periklês
  himself, believed that the Megarians had really caused his
  death, is pretty certain: otherwise, the fact would have been
  urged when the Lacedæmonians sent to complain of the sentence of
  exclusion,—being a deed so notoriously repugnant to all Grecian

  [126] Thucyd. i, 67. Μεγαρῆς, δηλοῦντες μὲν καὶ ἕτερα οὐκ ὀλίγα
  διάφορα, μάλιστα δὲ, λιμένων τε εἴργεσθαι τῶν ἐν τῇ Ἀθηναίων
  ἀρχῇ, etc.

These complaints found increased attention after the war of Korkyra
and the blockade of Potidæa by the Athenians. The sentiments of the
Corinthians towards Athens had now become angry and warlike in the
highest degree: nor was it simply resentment for the past which
animated them, but also the anxiety farther to bring upon Athens so
strong a hostile pressure as should preserve Potidæa and its garrison
from capture. Accordingly, they lost no time in endeavoring to rouse
the feelings of the Spartans against Athens, and in inducing them to
invite to Sparta all such of the confederates as had any grievances
against that city. Not merely the Megarians but several other
confederates, appeared there as accusers; while the Æginetans, though
their insular position made it perilous for them to appear, made
themselves vehemently heard through the mouths of others, complaining
that Athens withheld from them that autonomy to which they were
entitled under the truce.[127]

  [127] Thucyd. i, 67. λέγοντες οὐκ εἶναι αὐτόνομοι κατὰ τὰς
  σπονδάς. O. Müller (Æginet. p. 180) and Göller in his note, think
  that the _truce_ (or _covenant_ generally) here alluded to is,
  not the thirty years’ truce, concluded fourteen years before
  the period actually present, but the ancient alliance against
  the Persians, solemnly ratified and continued after the victory
  of Platæa. Dr. Arnold, on the contrary, thinks that the thirty
  years’ truce is alluded to, which the Æginetans interpreted
  (rightly or not) as entitling them to independence.

  The former opinion might seem to be countenanced by the allusion
  to Ægina in the speech of the Thebans (iii, 64): but on the
  other hand, if we consult i, 115, it will appear possible that
  the wording of the thirty years’ truce may have been general,
  as,—Ἀποδοῦναι δὲ Ἀθηναίους ὅσα ἔχουσι Πελοποννησίων: at any rate,
  the Æginetans may have pretended that, by the same rule as Athens
  gave up Nisæa, Pegæ, etc., she ought also to renounce Ægina.

  However, we must recollect that the one plea does not exclude
  the other: the Æginetans may have taken advantage of _both_ in
  enforcing their prayer for interference. This seems to have been
  the idea of the Scholiast, when he says—κατὰ τὴν συμφωνίαν τῶν

According to the Lacedæmonian practice, it was necessary first that
the Spartans themselves, apart from their allies, should decide
whether there existed a sufficient case of wrong done by Athens
against themselves or against Peloponnesus,—either in violation of
the thirty years’ truce, or in any other way. If the determination
of Sparta herself were in the negative, the case would never even
be submitted to the vote of the allies; but if it were in the
affirmative, then the latter would be convoked to deliver their
opinion also: and assuming that the majority of votes coincided with
the previous decision of Sparta, the entire confederacy stood then
pledged to the given line of policy,—if the majority was contrary,
the Spartans would stand alone, or with such only of the confederates
as concurred. Each allied city, great or small, had an equal right
of suffrage. It thus appears that Sparta herself did not vote as
a member of the confederacy, but separately and individually as
leader,—and that the only question ever submitted to the allies
was, whether they would or would not go along with her previous
decision. Such was the course of proceeding now followed: the
Corinthians, together with such other of the confederates as felt
either aggrieved or alarmed by Athens, presented themselves before
the public assembly of Spartan citizens, prepared to prove that the
Athenians had broken the truce, and were going on in a course of
wrong towards Peloponnesus.[128] Even in the oligarchy of Sparta,
such a question as this could only be decided by a general assembly
of Spartan citizens, qualified both by age, by regular contribution
to the public mess, and by obedience to Spartan discipline. To the
assembly so constituted the deputies of the various allied cities
addressed themselves, each setting forth his case against Athens.
The Corinthians chose to reserve themselves to the last, after the
assembly had been previously inflamed by the previous speakers.

  [128] Thucyd. i, 67. κατεβόων ἐλθόντες τῶν Ἀθηναίων ὅτι σπονδάς
  τε λελυκότες εἶεν καὶ ἀδικοῖεν τὴν Πελοπόννησον. The change of
  tense in these two verbs is to be noticed.

Of this important assembly, on which so much of the future fate of
Greece turned, Thucydidês has preserved an account unusually copious.
First, the speech delivered by the Corinthian envoys. Next, that of
some Athenian envoys, who happening to be at the same time in Sparta
on some other matters, and being present in the assembly so as to
have heard the speeches both of the Corinthians and of the other
complainants, obtained permission from the magistrates to address
the assembly in their turn. Thirdly, the address of the Spartan king
Archidamus, on the course of policy proper to be adopted by Sparta.
Lastly, the brief, but eminently characteristic, address of the ephor
Stheneläidas, on putting the question for decision. These speeches,
the composition of Thucydidês himself, contain substantially the
sentiments of the parties to whom they are ascribed: neither of them
is distinctly a reply to that which has preceded, but each presents
the situation of affairs from a different point of view.

The Corinthians knew well that the audience whom they were about to
address had been favorably prepared for them,—for the Lacedæmonian
authorities had already given an actual promise to them and to the
Potidæans at the moment before Potidæa revolted, that they would
invade Attica. So great was the revolution in sentiment of the
Spartans, since they had declined lending aid to the much more
powerful island of Lesbos, when it proposed to revolt,—a revolution
occasioned by the altered interests and sentiments of Corinth.
Nor were the Corinthians ignorant that their positive grounds of
complaint against Athens, in respect of wrong or violation of the
existing truce, were both few and feeble. Neither in the dispute
about Potidæa nor about Korkyra, had Athens infringed the truce
or wronged the Peloponnesian alliance. In both, she had come into
collision with Corinth, singly and apart from the confederacy:
she had a right, both according to the truce and according to the
received maxims of international law, to lend defensive aid to the
Korkyræans at their own request,—she had a right also, according to
the principles laid down by the Corinthians themselves on occasion of
the revolt of Samos, to restrain the Potidæans from revolting. She
had committed nothing which could fairly be called an aggression:
indeed the aggression, both in the case of Potidæa and in that of
Korkyra, was decidedly on the side of the Corinthians: and the
Peloponnesian confederacy could only be so far implicated as it was
understood to be bound to espouse the separate quarrels, right or
wrong, of Corinth. All this was well known to the Corinthian envoys;
and accordingly we find that, in their speech at Sparta, they touch
but lightly, and in vague terms, on positive or recent wrongs. Even
that which they do say completely justifies the proceedings of Athens
about the affair of Korkyra, since they confess without hesitation
the design of seizing the large Korkyræan navy for the use of the
Peloponnesian alliance: while in respect of Potidæa, if we had only
the speech of the Corinthian envoy before us without any other
knowledge, we should have supposed it to be an independent state, not
connected by any permanent bonds with Athens,—we should have supposed
that the siege of Potidæa by Athens was an unprovoked aggression upon
an autonomous ally of Corinth,[129]—we should never have imagined
that Corinth had deliberately instigated and aided the revolt of the
Chalkidians as well as of the Potidæans against Athens. It might be
pretended that she had a right to do this, by virtue of her undefined
metropolitan relations with Potidæa: but at any rate, the incident
was not such as to afford any decent pretext for charge against the
Athenians, either of outrage towards Corinth,[130] or of wrongful
aggression against the Peloponnesian confederacy.

  [129] Thucyd. i, 68. οὐ γὰρ ἂν Κέρκυράν τε ὑπολαβόντες βίᾳ ἡμῶν
  εἶχον, καὶ Ποτίδαιαν ἐπολιόρκουν, ὧν τὸ μὲν ἐπικαιρότατον χωρίον
  πρὸς τὰ ἐπὶ Θρᾴκης ἀποχρῆσθαι, ἡ δὲ ναυτικὸν ἂν μέγιστον παρέσχε

  [130] Thucyd. i, 68. ἐν οἷς προσήκει ἡμᾶς οὐχ ἥκιστα εἰπεῖν, ὅσῳ
  καὶ μέγιστα ἐγκλήματα ἔχομεν, ὑπὸ μὲν Ἀθηναίων ὑβριζόμενοι, ὑπὸ
  δὲ ὑμῶν ἀμελούμενοι.

To dwell much upon specific allegations of wrong, would not have
suited the purpose of the Corinthian envoy; for against such, the
thirty years’ truce expressly provided that recourse should be had
to amicable arbitration,—to which recourse he never once alludes.
He knew that, as between Corinth and Athens, war had already begun
at Potidæa; and his business, throughout nearly all of a very
emphatic speech is, to show that the Peloponnesian confederacy, and
especially Sparta, is bound to take instant part in it, not less
by prudence than by duty. He employs the most animated language to
depict the ambition, the unwearied activity, the personal effort
abroad as well as at home, the quick resolves, the sanguine hopes
never dashed by failure,—of Athens; as contrasted with the cautious,
home-keeping, indolent, scrupulous routine of Sparta. He reproaches
the Spartans with their backwardness and timidity, in not having
repressed the growth of Athens before she reached this formidable
height,—especially in having allowed her to fortify her city after
the retreat of Xerxes, and afterwards to build the long walls from
the city to the sea.[131] The Spartans, he observes, stood alone
among all Greeks, in the notable system of keeping down an enemy
not by acting, but delaying to act,—not arresting his growth, but
putting him down when his force was doubled. Falsely, indeed, had
they acquired the reputation of being sure, when they were in reality
merely slow:[132] in resisting Xerxes, as in resisting Athens, they
had always been behindhand, disappointing and leaving their friends
to ruin,—while both these enemies had only failed of complete success
through their own mistakes.

  [131] Thucyd. i, 69.

  [132] Thucyd. i, 69. ἡσυχάζετε γὰρ μόνοι Ἑλλήνων, ὦ
  Λακεδαιμόνιοι, οὐ τῇ δυνάμει τινὰ ἀλλὰ τῇ μελλήσει ἀμυνόμενοι,
  καὶ μόνοι οὐκ ἀρχομένην τὴν αὔξησιν τῶν ἐχθρῶν, διπλασιουμένην
  δὲ, καταλύοντες. Καίτοι ἐλέγεσθε ἀσφαλεῖς εἶναι, ὧν ἄρα ὁ λόγος
  τοῦ ἔργου ἐκράτει· τόν τε γὰρ Μῆδον, etc.

After half apologizing for the tartness of these reproofs,—which,
however, as the Spartans were now well-disposed to go to war
forthwith, would be well-timed and even agreeable,—the Corinthian
orator vindicates the necessity of plain-speaking by the urgent
peril of the emergency, and the formidable character of the enemy
who threatened them. “You do not reflect (he says) how thoroughly
different the Athenians are from yourselves. _They_ are innovators
by nature; sharp both in devising, and in executing what they have
determined: _you_ are sharp only in keeping what you have got, in
determining on nothing beyond, and in doing even less than absolute
necessity requires.[133] _They_ again dare beyond their means,
run risks beyond their own judgment, and keep alive their hopes
even in desperate circumstances: _your_ peculiarity is, that your
performance comes short of your power,—you have no faith even in
what your judgment guarantees,—when in difficulties, you despair of
all escape. _They_ never hang back,—_you_ are habitual laggards:
they love foreign service,—you cannot stir from home: for they are
always under the belief that their movements will lead to some
farther gain, while you fancy that new projects will endanger what
you have already. When successful, they make the greatest forward
march; when defeated, they fall back the least. Moreover, they task
their bodies on behalf of their city as if they were the bodies of
others,—while their minds are most of all their own, for exertion
in her service.[134] When their plans for acquisition do not come
successfully out, they feel like men robbed of what belongs to them:
yet the acquisitions when realized appear like trifles compared with
what remains to be acquired. If they sometimes fail in an attempt,
new hopes arise in some other direction to supply the want: for with
them alone the possession and the hope of what they aim at is almost
simultaneous, from their habit of quickly executing all that they
have once resolved. And in this manner do they toil throughout all
their lives amidst hardship and peril, disregarding present enjoyment
in the continual thirst for increase,—knowing no other festival
recreation except the performance of active duty,—and deeming
inactive repose a worse condition than fatiguing occupation. To speak
the truth in two words: such is their inborn temper, that they will
neither remain at rest themselves, nor allow rest to others.[135]

  [133] Thucyd. i, 70. Οἱ μέν γε νεωτεροποιοὶ, καὶ ἐπιχειρῆσαι
  ὀξεῖς καὶ ἐπιτελέσαι ἔργῳ ὃ ἂν γνῶσιν· ὑμεῖς δὲ τὰ ὑπάρχοντά τε
  σώζειν, καὶ ἐπιγνῶναι μηδὲν, καὶ ἔργῳ οὐδὲ τἀναγκαῖα ἐξικέσθαι.

  The meaning of the word ὀξεῖς—_sharp_—when applied to the latter
  half of the sentence, is in the nature of a sarcasm. But this is
  suitable to the character of the speech. Göller supposes some
  such word as ἱκανοὶ, instead of ὀξεῖς, to be understood: but we
  should thereby both depart from the more obvious syntax, and
  weaken the general meaning.

  [134] Thucyd. i, 70. ἔτι δὲ τοῖς μὲν σώμασιν ἀλλοτριωτάτοις ὑπὲρ
  τῆς πόλεως χρῶνται, τῇ γνώμῃ δὲ οἰκειοτάτῃ ἐς τὸ πράσσειν τι ὑπὲρ

  It is difficult to convey, in translation, the antithesis between
  ἀλλοτριωτάτοις and οἰκειοτάτῃ—not without a certain conceit,
  which Thucydidês is occasionally fond of.

  [135] Thucyd. _l. c._ καὶ ταῦτα μετὰ πόνων πάντα καὶ κινδύνων
  δι᾽ ὅλου τοῦ αἰῶνος μοχθοῦσι, καὶ ἀπολαύουσιν ἐλάχιστα τῶν
  ὑπαρχόντων, διὰ τὸ ἀεὶ κτᾶσθαι καὶ μήτε ἑορτὴν ἄλλο τι ἡγεῖσθαι
  ἢ τὸ τὰ δέοντα πρᾶξαι, ξυμφορὰν δὲ οὐχ ἧσσον ἡσυχίαν ἀπράγμονα
  ἢ ἀσχολίαν ἐπίπονον· ὥστε εἴ τις αὐτοὺς ξυνελὼν φαίη πεφυκέναι
  ἐπὶ τῷ μήτε αὐτοὺς ἔχειν ἡσυχίαν μήτε τοὺς ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους ἐᾷν,
  ὀρθῶς ἂν εἴποι.

“Such is the city which stands opposed to you, Lacedæmonians,—yet ye
still hang back from action.... Your continual scruples and apathy
would hardly be safe, even if ye had neighbors like yourselves in
character: but as to dealings with Athens, your system is antiquated
and out of date. In politics as in art, it is the modern improvements
which are sure to come out victorious: and though unchanged
institutions are best, if a city be not called upon to act,—yet
multiplicity of active obligations requires multiplicity and novelty
of contrivance.[136] It is through these numerous trials that the
means of Athens have acquired so much more new development than

  [136] Thucyd. i, 71. ἀρχαιότροπα ὑμῶν τὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα πρὸς αὐτούς
  ἐστιν. Ἀνάγκη δ᾽, ὥσπερ τέχνης, ἀεὶ τὰ ἐπιγιγνόμενα κρατεῖν· καὶ
  ἡσυχαζούσῃ μὲν πόλει τὰ ἀκίνητα νόμιμα ἄριστα, πρὸς πολλὰ δὲ
  ἀναγκαζομένοις ἰέναι, πολλῆς καὶ τῆς ἐπιτεχνήσεως δεῖ.

The Corinthians concluded by saying, that if, after so many previous
warnings, now repeated for the last time, Sparta still refused to
protect her allies against Athens,—if she delayed to perform her
promise made to the Potidæans, of immediately invading Attica,—they,
the Corinthians, would forthwith look for safety in some new
alliance, and they felt themselves fully justified in doing so.
They admonished her to look well to the case, and to carry forward
Peloponnesus with undiminished dignity as it had been transmitted to
her from her predecessors.[137]

  [137] Thucyd. i, 71.

Such was the memorable picture of Athens and her citizens, as
exhibited by her fiercest enemy, before the public assembly at
Sparta. It was calculated to impress the assembly, not by appeal
to recent or particular misdeeds, but by the general system of
unprincipled and endless aggression which was imputed to Athens
during the past,—and by the certainty held out that the same system,
unless put down by measures of decisive hostility, would be pushed
still farther in future to the utter ruin of Peloponnesus. And to
this point did the Athenian envoy—staying in Sparta about some
other negotiation, and now present in the assembly—address himself
in reply, after having asked and obtained permission from the
magistrates. The empire of Athens was now of such standing that the
younger men present had no personal knowledge of the circumstances
under which it had grown up: and what was needed as information for
them would be impressive as a reminder even to their seniors.[138]

  [138] Thucyd. i, 72.

He began by disclaiming all intention of defending his native city
against the charges of specific wrong or alleged infractions of the
existing truce: this was no part of his mission, nor did he recognize
Sparta as a competent judge in disputes between Athens and Corinth.
But he nevertheless thought it his duty to vindicate Athens against
the general character of injustice and aggression imputed to her,
as well as to offer a solemn warning to the Spartans against the
policy towards which they were obviously tending. He then proceeded
to show that the empire of Athens had been honorably earned and
amply deserved,—that it had been voluntarily ceded, and even pressed
upon her,—and that she could not abdicate it without emperiling her
own separate existence and security. Far from thinking that the
circumstances under which it was acquired needed apology, he appealed
to them with pride as a testimony of the genuine Hellenic patriotism
of that city which the Spartan congress now seemed disposed to run
down as an enemy.[139] He then dwelt upon the circumstances attending
the Persian invasion, setting forth the superior forwardness and
the unflinching endurance of Athens, in spite of ungenerous neglect
from Sparta and the other Greeks,—the preponderance of her naval
force in the entire armament,—the directing genius of her general
Themistoklês, complimented even by Sparta herself,—and the title of
Athens to rank on that memorable occasion as the principal saviour of
Greece. This alone ought to save her empire from reproach: but this
was not all,—for that empire had been tendered to her by the pressing
instance of the allies, at a time when Sparta had proved herself both
incompetent and unwilling to prosecute the war against Persia.[140]
By simple exercise of the constraining force inseparable from her
presidential obligations, and by the reduction of various allies who
revolted, Athens had gradually become unpopular, while Sparta too
had become her enemy instead of her friend. To relax her hold upon
her allies would have been to make them the allies of Sparta against
her; and thus the motive of fear was added to those of ambition and
revenue, in inducing Athens to maintain her imperial dominion by
force. In her position, no Grecian power either would or could have
acted otherwise: no Grecian power, certainly not Sparta, would have
acted with so much equity and moderation, or given so little ground
of complaint to her subjects. Worse they _had_ suffered, while under
Persia; worse they _would_ suffer, if they came under Sparta, who
held her own allies under the thraldom of an oligarchical party in
each city; and if they hated Athens, this was only because subjects
always hated the _present_ dominion, whatever that might be.[141]

  [139] Thucyd. i, 73. ῥηθήσεται δὲ οὐ παραιτήσεως μᾶλλον ἕνεκα ἢ
  μαρτυρίου, καὶ δηλώσεως πρὸς οἵαν ὑμῖν πόλιν μὴ εὖ βουλευομένοις
  ὁ ἀγὼν καταστήσεται.

  [140] Thucyd. i, 75. Ἆρ᾽ ἄξιοί ἐσμεν, ὦ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, καὶ
  προθυμίας ἕνεκα τῆς τότε καὶ γνώμης συνέσεως, ἀρχῆς γε ἧς ἔχομεν
  τοῖς Ἕλλησι μὴ οὕτως ἄγαν ἐπιφθόνως διακεῖσθαι; καὶ γὰρ αὐτὴν
  τήνδε ἐλάβομεν οὐ βιασάμενοι, ἀλλ᾽ ὑμῶν μὲν οὐκ ἐθελησάντων
  παραμεῖναι πρὸς τὰ ὑπόλοιπα τοῦ βαρβάρου, ἡμῖν δὲ προσελθόντων
  τῶν ξυμμάχων, καὶ αὐτῶν δεηθέντων ἡγεμόνας καταστῆναι· ἐξ αὐτοῦ
  δὲ τοῦ ἔργου κατηναγκάσθημεν τὸ πρῶτον προαγαγεῖν αὐτὴν ἐς τόδε,
  μάλιστα μὲν ὑπὸ δέους, ἔπειτα δὲ καὶ τιμῆς, ὕστερον καὶ ὠφελείας.

  [141] Thucyd. i, 77.

Having justified both the origin and the working of the Athenian
empire, the envoy concluded by warning Sparta to consider calmly,
without being hurried away by the passions and invectives of others,
before she took a step from which there was no retreat, and which
exposed the future to chances such as no man on either side could
foresee. He called on her not to break the truce mutually sworn to,
but to adjust all differences, as Athens was prepared to do, by the
amicable arbitration which that truce provided. Should she begin
war, the Athenians would follow her lead and resist her, calling to
witness those gods under whose sanction the oaths were taken.[142]

  [142] Thucyd. i, 78. ἡμεῖς δὲ ἐν οὐδεμίᾳ πω τοιαύτῃ ἁμαρτίᾳ
  ὄντες, οὔτ᾽ αὐτοὶ οὔτε ὑμᾶς ὁρῶντες, λέγομεν ὑμῖν, ἕως ἔτι
  αὐθαίρετος ἀμφοτέροις ἡ εὐβουλία, σπονδὰς μὴ λύειν μηδὲ
  παραβαίνειν τοὺς ὅρκους, τὰ δὲ διάφορα δίκῃ λύεσθαι κατὰ τὴν
  ξυνθήκην· ἢ θεοὺς τοὺς ὁρκίους μάρτυρας ποιούμενοι, πειρασόμεθα
  ἀμύνεσθαι πολέμου ἄρχοντας ταύτῃ ᾗ ἂν ὑφηγῆσθε.

The facts recounted in the preceding chapters will have shown, that
the account given by the Athenian envoy at Sparta, of the origin
and character of the empire exercised by his city, though doubtless
the account of a partisan, is in substance correct and equitable;
the envoys of Athens had not yet learned to take the tone which
they assumed in the sixteenth and seventeenth years of the coming
war, at Melos and Kamarina. At any time previous to the affair of
Korkyra, the topics insisted upon by the Athenian would probably
have been profoundly listened to at Sparta. But now the mind of the
Spartans was made up. Having cleared the assembly of all “strangers,”
and even all allies, they proceeded to discuss and determine the
question among themselves. Most of their speakers held but one
language,[143]—expatiating on the wrongs already done by Athens, and
urging the necessity of instant war. There was, however, one voice,
and that a commanding voice, raised against this conclusion: the
ancient and respected king Archidamus opposed it.

  [143] Thucyd. i, 79. καὶ τῶν μὲν πλειόνων ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ αἱ γνῶμαι
  ἔφερον, ἀδικεῖν τε Ἀθηναίους ἤδη, καὶ πολεμητέα εἶναι ἐν τάχει.

The speech of Archidamus is that of a deliberate Spartan, who,
setting aside both hatred to Athens and blind partiality to allies,
looks at the question with a view to the interests and honor of
Sparta only,—not, however, omitting her imperial as well as her
separate character. The preceding native speakers, indignant
against Athens, had probably appealed to Spartan pride, treating
it as an intolerable disgrace that almost the entire land-force
of Dorian Peloponnesus should be thus bullied by one single Ionic
city, and should hesitate to commence a war which one invasion of
Attica would probably terminate. As the Corinthians had tried to
excite the Spartans by well-timed taunts and reproaches, so the
subsequent speakers had aimed at the same objects by panegyric
upon the well-known valor and discipline of the city. To all these
arguments Archidamus set himself to reply. Invoking the experience
of the elders his contemporaries around him, he impressed upon the
assembly the grave responsibility, the uncertainties, difficulties,
and perils, of the war into which they were hurrying without
preparation.[144] He reminded them of the wealth, the population,
greater than that of any other Grecian city, the naval force, the
cavalry, the hoplites, the large foreign dominion of Athens,—and
then asked by what means they proposed to put her down?[145] Ships,
they had few; trained seamen, yet fewer; wealth, next to none. They
could indeed invade and ravage Attica, by their superior numbers and
land-force: but the Athenians had possessions abroad sufficient to
enable them to dispense with the produce of Attica, while their great
navy would retaliate the like ravages upon Peloponnesus. To suppose
that one or two devastating expeditions into Attica would bring
the war to an end, would be a deplorable error: such proceedings
would merely enrage the Athenians, without impairing their real
strength, and the war would thus be prolonged, perhaps, for a whole
generation.[146] Before they determined upon war, it was absolutely
necessary to provide more efficient means for carrying it on; and
to multiply their allies, not merely among the Greeks, but among
foreigners also: while this was in process, envoys ought to be sent
to Athens to remonstrate and obtain redress for the grievances of
the allies. If the Athenians granted this,—which they very probably
would do, when they saw the preparations going forward, and when
the ruin of the highly-cultivated soil of Attica was held over
them _in terrorem_ without being actually consummated,—so much the
better: if they refused, in the course of two or three years war
might be commenced with some hopes of success. Archidamus reminded
his countrymen that their allies would hold _them_ responsible for
the good or bad issue of what was now determined;[147] admonishing
them, in the true spirit of a conservative Spartan, to cling to that
cautious policy which had been ever the characteristic of the state,
despising both taunts on their tardiness and panegyric on their
valor. “We, Spartans, owe both our bravery and our prudence to our
admirable public discipline: it makes us warlike, because the sense
of shame is most closely connected with discipline, as valor is with
the sense of shame: it makes us prudent, because our training keeps
us too ignorant to set ourselves above our own institutions, and
holds us under sharp restraint so as not to disobey them.[148] And
thus, not being overwise in unprofitable accomplishments, we Spartans
are not given to disparage our enemy’s strength in clever speech,
and then meet him with short-comings in reality: we think that the
capacity of neighboring states is much on a par, and that the chances
in reserve for both parties are too uncertain to be discriminated
beforehand by speech. We always make real preparations against our
enemies, as if they were proceeding wisely on their side: we must
count upon security through our own precautions, not upon the chance
of their errors. Indeed, there is no great superiority in one man
as compared with another: he is the stoutest who is trained in the
severest trials. Let us, for our parts, not renounce this discipline,
which we have received from our fathers, and which we still continue,
to our very great profit: let us not hurry on, in one short hour,
a resolution upon which depend so many lives, so much property, so
many cities, and our own reputation besides. Let us take time to
consider, since our strength puts it fully in our power to do so.
Send envoys to the Athenians on the subject of Potidæa, and of the
other grievances alleged by our allies,—and that too, the rather
as they are ready to give us satisfaction: against one who offers
satisfaction, custom forbids you to proceed, without some previous
application, as if he were a proclaimed wrong-doer. But, at the same
time, make preparation for war; such will be the course of policy at
once the best for your own power and the most terror-striking to your

  [144] Thucyd. i, 80.

  [145] Thucyd. i, 80. πρὸς δὲ ἄνδρας, οἳ γῆν τε ἑκὰς ἔχουσι καὶ
  προσέτι πολέμου ἐμπειρότατοί εἰσι, καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἅπασιν ἄριστα
  ἐξήρτυνται, πλούτῳ τε ἰδίῳ καὶ δημοσίῳ καὶ ναυσὶ καὶ ἵπποις
  καὶ ὅπλοις, καὶ ὄχλῳ, ὅσος οὐκ ἐν ἄλλῳ ἑνί γε χωρίῳ Ἑλληνικῷ
  ἐστὶν, ἔτι δὲ καὶ ξυμμάχους πολλοὺς φόρου ὑποτελεῖς ἔχουσι, πῶς
  χρὴ πρὸς τούτους ῥᾳδίως πόλεμον ἄρασθαι, καὶ τίνι πιστεύσαντας
  ἀπαρασκεύους ἐπειχθῆναι.

  [146] Thucyd. i, 81. δέδοικα δὲ μᾶλλον μὴ καὶ τοῖς παισὶν αὐτὸν
  ὑπολίπωμεν, etc.

  [147] Thucyd. i, 82, 83.

  [148] Thucyd. i, 84. Πολεμικοί τε καὶ εὔβουλοι διὰ τὸ εὔκοσμον
  γιγνόμεθα, τὸ μὲν, ὅτι αἰδὼς σωφροσύνης πλεῖστον μετέχει,
  αἰσχύνης δὲ εὐψυχία· εὔβουλοι δὲ, ἀμαθέστερον τῶν νόμων τῆς
  ὑπεροψίας παιδευόμενοι, καὶ ξὺν χαλεπότητι σωφρονέστερον ἢ ὥστε
  αὐτῶν ἀνηκουστεῖν· καὶ μὴ, τὰ ἀχρεῖα ξυνετοὶ ἄγαν ὄντες, τὰς
  τῶν πολεμίων παρασκευὰς λόγῳ καλῶς μεμφόμενοι, ἀνομοίως ἔργῳ
  ἐπεξιέναι, νομίζειν δὲ τάς τε διανοίας τῶν πέλας παραπλησίους
  εἶναι, καὶ τὰς προσπιπτούσας τύχας οὐ λόγῳ διαιρετάς.

  In the construction of the last sentence, I follow Haack and
  Poppo, in preference to Göller and Dr. Arnold.

  The wording of this part of the speech of Archidamus is awkward
  and obscure, though we make out pretty well the general sense.
  It deserves peculiar attention, as coming from a king of Sparta,
  personally, too, a man of superior judgment. The great points
  of the Spartan character are all brought out. 1. A narrow,
  strictly-defined, and uniform range of ideas. 2. Compression of
  all other impulses and desires, but an increased sensibility to
  their own public opinion. 3. Great habits of endurance as well as
  of submission.

  The way in which the features of Spartan character are
  deduced from Spartan institutions, as well as the pride which
  Archidamus expresses in the ignorance and narrow mental range
  of his countrymen, are here remarkable. A similar championship
  of ignorance and narrow-mindedness is not only to be found
  among those who deride the literary and oratorical tastes of
  the Athenian democracy (see Aristophanês, Ran. 1070: compare
  Xenophon, Memorab. i, 2, 9-49), but also in the speech of Kleon
  (Thucyd. iii, 37).

  [149] Thucyd. i, 84, 85.

The speech of Archidamus was not only in itself full of plain
reason and good sense, but delivered altogether from the point
of view of a Spartan; appealing greatly to Spartan conservative
feeling and even prejudice. But in spite of all this, and in spite
of the personal esteem entertained for the speaker, the tide of
feeling in the opposite direction was at that moment irresistible.
Stheneläidas—one of the five ephors, to whom it fell to put the
question for voting—closed the debate; and his few words mark at
once the character of the man, the temper of the assembly, and the
simplicity of speech, though without the wisdom of judgment, for
which Archidamus had taken credit to his countrymen.

“I don’t understand (he said) these long speeches of the Athenians.
They have praised themselves abundantly, but they have never rebutted
what is laid to their charge,—that they are guilty of wrong against
our allies and against Peloponnesus. Now, if in former days they
were good men against the Persians, and are now evil-doers against
us, they deserve double punishment, as having become evil-doers
instead of good.[150] But _we_ are the same now as we were then:
we know better than to sit still while our allies are suffering
wrong: we shall not adjourn our aid while they cannot adjourn
their sufferings.[151] Others have in abundance wealth, ships,
and horses,—but _we_ have good allies, whom we are not to abandon
to the mercy of the Athenians: nor are we to trust our redress to
arbitration and to words, when our wrongs are not confined to words.
We must help them speedily and with all our strength. Nor let any
one tell us that we can with honor deliberate when we are actually
suffering wrong,—it is rather for those who intend to do the wrong,
to deliberate well beforehand. Resolve upon war then, Lacedæmonians,
in a manner worthy of Sparta: suffer not the Athenians to become
greater than they are: let us not betray our allies to ruin, but
march, with the aid of the gods, against the wrong-doers.”

  [150] Compare a similar sentiment in the speech of the Thebans
  against the Platæans (Thucyd. iii, 67).

  [151] Thucyd. i, 86. ἡμεῖς δὲ ὁμοῖοι καὶ τότε καὶ νῦν ἐσμὲν, καὶ
  τοὺς ξυμμάχους, ἢν σωφρονῶμεν, οὐ περιοψόμεθα ἀδικουμένους, οὐδὲ
  μελλήσομεν τιμωρεῖν· οἱ δὲ οὐκέτι μέλλουσι κακῶς πάσχειν.

  There is here a play upon the word μέλλειν, which it is not easy
  to preserve in a translation.

With these few words, so well calculated to defeat the prudential
admonitions of Archidamus, Stheneläidas put the question for the
decision of the assembly,—which, at Sparta, was usually taken neither
by show of hands nor by deposit of balls in an urn, but by cries
analogous to the Aye or No of the English House of Commons,—the
presiding ephor declaring which of the cries predominated. On
this occasion the cry for war was manifestly the stronger:[152]
yet Stheneläidas affected inability to determine which of the two
cries was the louder, in order that he might have an excuse for
bringing about a more impressive manifestation of sentiment and a
stronger apparent majority,—since a portion of the minority would
probably be afraid to show their real opinions as individuals
openly. He accordingly directed a division, like the Speaker of the
English House of Commons, when his decision in favor of aye or no
is questioned by any member: “Such of you as think that the truce
has been violated, and that the Athenians are doing us wrong, go to
_that_ side; such as think the contrary, to the other side.” The
assembly accordingly divided, and the majority was very great on the
warlike side of the question.

  [152] Thucyd. i, 87. βουλόμενος αὐτοὺς φανερῶς ἀποδεικνυμένους
  τὴν γνώμην ἐς τὸ πολεμεῖν μᾶλλον ὁρμῆσαι, etc.

The first step of the Lacedæmonians, after coming to this important
decision was, to send to Delphi and inquire of the oracle whether it
would be beneficial to them to undertake the war: the answer brought
back (Thucydidês seems hardly certain that it was really given[153])
was,—that if they did their best they would be victorious, and that
the god would help them, invoked or uninvoked. They at the same
time convened a general congress of their allies at Sparta, for the
purpose of submitting their recent resolution to the vote of all.

  [153] Thucyd. i, 118. ὁ δὲ ἀνεῖλεν αὐτοῖς, ~ὡς λέγεται~, etc.

To the Corinthians, in their anxiety for the relief of Potidæa, the
decision of this congress was not less important than that which
the Spartans had just taken separately: and they sent round envoys
to each of the allies, entreating them to authorize war without
reserve. Through such instigations, acting upon the general impulse
then prevalent, the congress came together in a temper decidedly
warlike: most of the speakers were full of invective against Athens,
and impatient for action, while the Corinthians, waiting as before to
speak the last, wound up the discussion by a speech well calculated
to insure a hearty vote. Their former speech had been directed to
shame, exasperate, and alarm the Lacedæmonians: this point had now
been carried, and they had to enforce, upon the allies generally,
the dishonor as well as the impolicy of receding from a willing
leader. The cause was one in which all were interested, the inland
states not less than the maritime, for both would find themselves
ultimately victims of the encroaching despot city: whatever efforts
were necessary for the war, ought cheerfully to be made, since it was
only through war that they could arrive at a secure and honorable
peace. There were good hopes that this might soon be attained, and
that the war would not last long,—so decided was the superiority of
the confederacy, in numbers, in military skill, and in the equal
heart and obedience of all its members.[154] The naval superiority
of Athens depended chiefly upon hired seamen,—and the confederacy,
by borrowing from the treasuries of Delphi and Olympia, would soon
be able to overbid her, take into pay her best mariners, and equal
her equipment at sea: they would excite revolt among her allies, and
establish a permanent fortified post for the ruin of Attica. To make
up a common fund for this purpose, was indispensably necessary; for
Athens was far more than a match for each of them single-handed, and
nothing less than hearty union could save them all from successive
enslavement,—the very supposition of which was intolerable to
Peloponnesian freemen, whose fathers had liberated Greece from the
Persian. Let them not shrink from endurance and sacrifice in such a
cause,—it was their hereditary pride to purchase success by laborious
effort. The Delphian god had promised them his coöperation; and the
whole of Greece would sympathize in the cause, either from fear of
the despotism of Athens, or from hopes of profit. They would not be
the first to break the truce, for the Athenians had already broken
it, as the declaration of the Delphian god distinctly implied.
Let them lose no time in sending aid to the Potidæans, a Dorian
population now besieged by Ionians, as well as to those other Greeks
whom Athens had enslaved. Every day the necessity for effort was
becoming stronger, and the longer it was delayed, the more painful it
would be when it came. “Be ye persuaded then, (concluded the orator),
that this city, which has constituted herself despot of Greece, has
her position against all of us alike, some for present rule, others
for future conquest; let us assail and subdue her, that we may dwell
securely ourselves hereafter, and may emancipate those Greeks who are
now in slavery.”[155]

  [154] Thucyd. i, 120, 121. Κατὰ πολλὰ δὲ ἡμᾶς εἰκὸς ἐπικρατῆσαι,
  πρῶτον μὲν πλήθει προὔχοντας καὶ ἐμπειρίᾳ πολεμικῇ, ἔπειτα
  ~ὁμοίως~ πάντας ἐς τὰ παραγγελλόμενα ἰόντας.

  I conceive that the word ~ὁμοίως~ here alludes to the equal
  interest of all the confederates in the quarrel, as opposed to
  the Athenian power, which was composed partly of constrained
  subjects, partly of hired mercenaries: to both of which points,
  as weaknesses in the enemy, the Corinthian orator goes on
  to allude. The word ὁμοίως here designates the same fact as
  Periklês, in his speech at Athens (i, 141), mentions under the
  words πάντες ἰσόψηφοι: the Corinthian orator treats it as an
  advantage to have all confederates equal and hearty in the cause:
  Periklês, on the contrary, looking at the same fact from the
  Athenian point of view, considers it as a disadvantage, since it
  prevented unity of command and determination.

  Poppo’s view of this passage seems to me erroneous.

  The same idea is reproduced, c. 124. εἴπερ βεβαιότατον τὸ ταὐτὰ
  ξυμφέροντα καὶ πόλεσι καὶ ἰδιώταις εἶναι, etc.

  [155] Thucyd. i, 123, 124.

If there were any speeches delivered at this congress in opposition
to the war, they were not likely to be successful in a cause wherein
even Archidamus had failed. After the Corinthian had concluded,
the question was put to the deputies of every city, great and
small, indiscriminately and the majority decided for war.[156] This
important resolution was adopted about the end of 432 B.C., or the
beginning of January 431 B.C.: the previous decision of the Spartans
separately may have been taken about two months earlier, in the
preceding October or November 432 B.C.

  [156] Thucyd. i, 125. καὶ τὸ πλῆθος ἐψηφίσαντο πολεμεῖν. It seems
  that the decision was not absolutely unanimous.

Reviewing the conduct of the two great Grecian parties at this
momentous juncture, with reference to existing treaties and positive
grounds of complaint, it seems clear that Athens was in the right.
She had done nothing which could fairly be called a violation of the
thirty years’ truce: and for such of her acts as were alleged to be
such, she offered to submit them to that amicable arbitration which
the truce itself prescribed. The Peloponnesian confederates were
manifestly the aggressors in the contest; and if Sparta, usually so
backward, now came forward in a spirit so decidedly opposite, we are
to ascribe it partly to her standing fear and jealousy of Athens,
partly to the pressure of her allies, especially of the Corinthians.
Thucydidês, recognizing these two as the grand determining motives,
and indicating the alleged infractions of truce as simple occasions
or pretexts, seems to consider the fear and hatred of Athens as
having contributed more to determine Sparta than the urgency of
her allies.[157] That the extraordinary aggrandizement of Athens,
during the period immediately succeeding the Persian invasion, was
well calculated to excite alarm and jealousy in Peloponnesus, is
indisputable: but if we take Athens as she stood in 432 B.C., it
deserves notice that she had neither made, nor, so far as we know,
tried to make, a single new acquisition during the whole fourteen
years which had elapsed since the conclusion of the thirty years’
truce;[158]— and, moreover, that that truce marked an epoch of
signal humiliation and reduction of her power. The triumph which
Sparta and the Peloponnesians then gained, though not sufficiently
complete to remove all fear of Athens, was yet great enough to
inspire them with the hope that a second combined effort would subdue
her. This mixture of fear and hope was exactly the state of feeling
out of which war was likely to grow,—and we see that even before the
quarrel between Corinth and Korkyra, sagacious Greeks everywhere
anticipated war as not far distant:[159] it was near breaking out
even on occasion of the revolt of Samos,[160] and peace was then
preserved partly by the commercial and nautical interests of Corinth,
partly by the quiescence of Athens. But the quarrel of Corinth
and Korkyra, which Sparta might have appeased beforehand had she
thought it her interest to do so,—and the junction of Korkyra with
Athens,—exhibited the latter as again in a career of aggrandizement,
and thus again brought into play the warlike feelings of Sparta;
while they converted Corinth from the advocate of peace into a
clamorous organ of war. The revolt of Potidæa,—fomented by Corinth,
and encouraged by Sparta in the form of a positive promise to invade
Attica,—was, in point of fact, the first distinct violation of the
truce, and the initiatory measure of the Peloponnesian war: nor did
the Spartan meeting, and the subsequent congress of allies at Sparta,
serve any other purpose than to provide such formalities as were
requisite to insure the concurrent and hearty action of numbers, and
to clothe with imposing sanction a state of war already existing in
reality, though yet unproclaimed. The sentiment in Peloponnesus at
this moment was not the fear of Athens, but the hatred of Athens,—and
the confident hope of subduing her. And indeed such confidence
was justified by plausible grounds: men might well think that the
Athenians would never endure the entire devastation of their highly
cultivated soil,—or at least that they would certainly come forth
to fight for it in the field, which was all that the Peloponnesians
desired. Nothing except the unparalleled ascendency and unshaken
resolution of Periklês, induced the Athenians to persevere in a
scheme of patient defence, and to trust to that naval superiority
which the enemies of Athens, save and except the judicious
Archidamus, had not yet learned fully to appreciate. Moreover, the
confident hopes of the Peloponnesians were materially strengthened by
the wide-spread sympathy in favor of their cause, proclaiming, as it
did, the intended liberation of Greece from a despot city.[161]

  [157] Thucyd. i, 88. Ἐψηφίσαντο δὲ οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τὰς σπονδὰς
  λελύσθαι καὶ πολεμητέα εἶναι, ~οὐ τοσοῦτον τῶν ξυμμάχων
  πεισθέντες τοῖς λόγοις, ὅσον φοβούμενοι τοὺς Ἀθηναίους~, μὴ ἐπὶ
  μεῖζον δυνηθῶσιν, ὁρῶντες αὐτοῖς τὰ πολλὰ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ὑποχείρια
  ἤδη ὄντα: compare also c. 23 and 118.

  [158] Plutarch’s biography of Periklês is very misleading, from
  its inattention to chronology, ascribing to an earlier time
  feelings and tendencies which really belong to a later. Thus
  he represents (c. 20) the desire for acquiring possession of
  Sicily, and even of Carthage and the Tyrrhenian coast, as having
  become very popular at Athens even before the revolt of Megara
  and Eubœa, and before those other circumstances which preceded
  the thirty years’ truce: and he gives much credit to Periklês
  for having repressed such unmeasured aspirations. But ambitious
  hopes directed towards Sicily could not have sprung up in the
  Athenian mind until after the beginning of the Peloponnesian war.
  It was impossible that they could make any step in that direction
  until they had established their alliance with Korkyra, and this
  was only done in the year before the Peloponnesian war,—done
  too, even then, in a qualified manner, and with much reserve. At
  the first outbreak of the Peloponnesian war, the Athenians had
  nothing but fears, while the Peloponnesians had large hopes of
  aid, from the side of Sicily. While it is very true, therefore,
  that Periklês was eminently useful in discouraging rash and
  distant enterprises of ambition generally, we cannot give him the
  credit of keeping down Athenian desires of acquisition in Sicily,
  or towards Carthage,—if, indeed, this latter ever was included
  in the catalogue of Athenian hopes,—for such desires were hardly
  known until after his death, in spite of the assertion again
  repeated by Plutarch, Alkibiadês, c. 17.

  [159] Thucyd. i, 33-36.

  [160] Thucyd. i, 40, 41.

  [161] Thucyd. ii, 8.

To Athens, on the other hand, the coming war presented itself in a
very different aspect; holding out scarcely any hope of possible
gain, and the certainty of prodigious loss and privation,—even
granting, that, at this heavy cost, her independence and union at
home, and her empire abroad, could be upheld. By Periklês, and by
the more long-sighted Athenians, the chance of unavoidable war
was foreseen even before the Korkyræan dispute.[162] But Periklês
was only the first citizen in a democracy, esteemed, trusted, and
listened to, more than any one else by the body of the citizens,
but warmly opposed in most of his measures, under the free speech
and latitude of individual action which reigned at Athens,—and
even bitterly hated by many active political opponents. The formal
determination of the Lacedæmonians, to declare war, must of course
have been made known at Athens by those Athenian envoys, who had
entered an unavailing protest against it in the Spartan assembly. No
steps were taken by Sparta to carry this determination into effect
until after the congress of allies and their pronounced confirmatory
vote. Nor did the Spartans even then send any herald, or make any
formal declaration. They despatched various propositions to Athens,
not at all with a view of trying to obtain satisfaction, or of
providing some escape from the probability of war; but with the
contrary purpose,—of multiplying demands, and enlarging the grounds
of quarrel.[163] Meanwhile, the deputies retiring home from the
congress to their respective cities, carried with them the general
resolution for immediate warlike preparations to be made, with as
little delay as possible.[164]

  [162] Thucyd. i, 45; Plutarch, Periklês. c. 8.

  [163] Thucyd. i, 126. ἐν τούτῳ δὲ ἐπρεσβεύοντο τῷ χρόνῳ πρὸς τοὺς
  Ἀθηναίους ~ἐγκλήματα ποιούμενοι, ὅπως σφίσιν ὅτι μεγίστη πρόφασις
  εἴη τοῦ πολεμεῖν, ἢν μή τι ἐσακούωσι~.

  [164] Thucyd. i, 125.

The first requisition addressed by the Lacedæmonians to Athens was a
political manœuvre aimed at Periklês, their chief opponent in that
city. His mother, Agaristê, belonged to the great family of the
Alkmæônids, who were supposed to be under an inexpiable hereditary
taint, in consequence of the sacrilege committed by their ancestor
Megaklês, nearly two centuries before, in the slaughter of the
Kylonian suppliants near the altar of the Venerable Goddesses.[165]
Ancient as this transaction was, it still had sufficient hold on the
mind of the Athenians to serve as the basis of a political manœuvre:
about seventy-seven years before, shortly after the expulsion of
Hippias from Athens, it had been so employed by the Spartan king
Kleomenês, who at that time exacted from the Athenians a clearance
of the ancient sacrilege, to be effected by the banishment of
Kleisthenês, the founder of the democracy, and his chief partisans.
This demand, addressed by Kleomenês to the Athenians, at the instance
of Isagoras, the rival of Kleisthenês,[166] had been then obeyed,
and had served well the purposes of those who sent it; a similar
blow was now aimed by the Lacedæmonians at Periklês, the grand
nephew of Kleisthenês, and doubtless at the instance of his political
enemies: religion required, it was pretended, that “the abomination
of the goddess should be driven out.”[167] If the Athenians complied
with this demand, they would deprive themselves, at this critical
moment, of their ablest leader; but the Lacedæmonians, not expecting
compliance, reckoned at all events upon discrediting Periklês with
the people, as being partly the cause of the war through family
taint of impiety,[168]—and this impression would doubtless be loudly
proclaimed by his political opponents in the assembly.

  [165] See the account of the Kylonian troubles, and the sacrilege
  which followed, in vol. iii, of this History, ch. x, p. 110.

  [166] See Herodot. v, 70: compare vi, 131; Thucyd. i, 126; and
  vol. iv, ch. xxxi, p. 163 of this History.

  [167] Thucyd. i, 126. ἐκέλευον τοὺς Ἀθηναίους τὸ ἄγος ἐλαύνειν
  τῆς θεοῦ.

  [168] Thucyd. i, 127.

The influence of Periklês with the Athenian public had become greater
and greater as their political experience of him was prolonged.
But the bitterness of his enemies appears to have increased along
with it; and not long before this period, he had been indirectly
assailed, through the medium of accusations against three different
persons, all more or less intimate with him,—his mistress Aspasia,
the philosopher Anaxagoras, and the sculptor Pheidias. We cannot
make out either the exact date, or the exact facts, of either of
these accusations. Aspasia, daughter of Axiochus, was a native of
Milêtus, beautiful, well educated, and ambitious. She resided at
Athens, and is affirmed, though upon very doubtful evidence, to
have kept slave-girls to be let out as courtezans; whatever may
be the case with this report, which is most probably one of the
scandals engendered by political animosity against Periklês,[169]
it is certain that so remarkable were her own fascinations, her
accomplishments, and her powers, not merely of conversation, but even
of oratory and criticism,—that the most distinguished Athenians of
all ages and characters, Sokratês among the number, visited her, and
several of them took their wives along with them to hear her also.
The free citizen women of Athens lived in strict and almost oriental
recluseness, as well after being married as when single: everything
which concerned their lives, their happiness, or their rights, was
determined or managed for them by male relatives: and they seem
to have been destitute of all mental culture and accomplishments.
Their society presented no charm nor interest, which men accordingly
sought for in the company of the class of women called hetæræ, or
courtezans, literally female companions; who lived a free life,
managed their own affairs, and supported themselves by their powers
of pleasing. These women were numerous, and were doubtless of every
variety of personal character: but the most distinguished and
superior among them, such as Aspasia and Theodotê,[170] appear to
have been the only women in Greece, except the Spartan, who either
inspired strong passion or exercised mental ascendency.

  [169] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 24. Respecting Aspasia, see Plato,
  Menexenus, c. 3, 4; Xenophon, Memorab. ii, 6, 36; Harpokration,
  v, Ἀσπασία. Aspasia was, doubtless, not an uncommon name among
  Grecian women; we know of one Phokæan girl who bore it, the
  mistress of Cyrus the younger (Plutarch, Artaxer. c. 26). The
  story about Aspasia having kept slave-girls for hire, is stated
  by both Plutarch and Athenæus (xiii, p. 570); but we may well
  doubt whether there is any better evidence for it than that which
  is actually cited by the latter, the passage in Aristophanês,
  Acharn. 497-505:—

    Κἀθ᾽ οἱ Μεγαρῆς ὀδύναις πεφυσιγγωμένοι
    Ἀντεξέκλεψαν Ἀσπασίας ~πόρνα δύο~ or ~πόρνας δύο~.

  Athenæus reads the latter, but the reading πόρνα δύο appears
  in the received text of Aristophanês. Critics differ, whether
  Ἀσπασίας is the genitive case singular of Ἀσπασία, or the
  accusative plural of the adjective ἀσπάσιος. I believe that it is
  the latter; but intended as a play on the word, capable of being
  understood either as a substantive or as an adjective—ἀσπασίας
  πόρνας δύο, or Ἀσπασίας πόρνας δύο. There is a similar play on
  the word, in a line of Kratinus, quoted by Plutarch, Periklês, c.

  At the time, if ever, when this theft of the Megarian youth took
  place, Aspasia must have been the beloved mistress and companion
  of Periklês; and it is inconceivable that she should have kept
  slave-girls for hire _then_, whatever she may have done before.

  That reading and construction of the verse above cited, which
  I think the least probable of the two, has been applied by the
  commentators of Thucydidês to explain a line of his history,
  and applied in a manner which I am persuaded is erroneous. When
  the Lacedæmonians desired the Athenians to repeal the decree
  excluding the Megarians from their ports, the Athenians refused,
  alleging that the Megarians had appropriated some lands which
  were disputed between the two countries, and some which were
  even sacred property,—and also, that “_they had received runaway
  slaves from Athens_,”—καὶ ἀνδραπόδων ὑποδοχὴν τῶν ἀφισταμένων
  (i, 139). The Scholiast gives a perfectly just explanation of
  these last words—ὡς ὅτι δούλους αὐτῶν ἀποφεύγοντας ἐδέχοντο.
  But Wasse puts a note to the passage to this effect—“_Aspasiæ
  servos_, v, Athenæum, p. 570; Aristoph. Acharn. 525, et Schol.”
  This note of Wasse is adopted and transcribed by the three best
  and most recent commentators on Thucydidês,—Poppo, Göller, and
  Dr. Arnold. Yet, with all respect to their united authority,
  the supposition is neither natural, as applied to the words,
  nor admissible, as regards the matter of fact. Ἀνδράποδα
  ἀφιστάμενα mean naturally (not _Aspasiæ servos_, or more properly
  _servas_, for the very gender ought to have made Wasse suspect
  the correctness of his interpretation,—but) the runaway slaves
  of proprietors generally in Attica; of whom the Athenians lost
  so prodigious a number after the Lacedæmonian garrison was
  established at Dekeleia (Thucyd. vii, 28: compare i, 142; and
  iv, 118, about the ἀυτόμολοι). Periklês might well set forth
  the reception of such runaway slaves as a matter of complaint
  against the Megarians, and the Athenian public assembly would
  feel it so likewise: moreover, the Megarians are charged, not
  with having _stolen away_ the slaves, but with _harboring_ them
  (ὑποδοχὴν). But to suppose that Periklês, in defending the decree
  of exclusion against the Megarians, would rest the defence on
  the ground that some Megarian youth had run away with two girls
  of the _cortège_ of Aspasia, argues a strange conception both of
  him and of the people. If such an incident ever really happened,
  or was even supposed to have happened, we may be sure that it
  would be cited by his opponents, as a means of bringing contempt
  upon the real accusation against the Megarians,—the purpose for
  which Aristophanês produces it. This is one of the many errors
  in respect to Grecian history, arising from the practice of
  construing passages of comedy as if they were serious and literal

  [170] The visit of Sokratês with some of his friends to Theodotê,
  his dialogue with her, and the description of her manner of
  living, is among the most curious remnants of Grecian antiquity,
  on a side very imperfectly known to us (Xenophon, Memorab. iii,

  Compare the citations from Eubulus and Antiphanês, the comic
  writers, apud Athenæum, xiii, p. 571, illustrating the
  differences of character and behavior between some of these
  hetæræ and others,—and Athenæ. xiii, p. 589.

Periklês had been determined in his choice of a wife by those family
considerations which were held almost obligatory at Athens, and
had married a woman very nearly related to him, by whom he had two
sons, Xanthippus and Paralus. But the marriage, having never been
comfortable, was afterwards dissolved by mutual consent, according
to that full liberty of divorce which the Attic law permitted; and
Periklês concurred with his wife’s male relations, who formed her
legal guardians, in giving her a way to another husband.[171] He
then took Aspasia to live with him, had a son by her, who bore
his name, and continued ever afterwards on terms of the greatest
intimacy and affection with her. Without adopting those exaggerations
which represent Aspasia as having communicated to Periklês his
distinguished eloquence, or even as having herself composed orations
for public delivery, we may well believe her to have been qualified
to take interest and share in that literary and philosophical society
which frequented the house of Periklês, and which his unprincipled
son Xanthippus,—disgusted with his father’s regular expenditure,
as withholding from him the means of supporting an extravagant
establishment,—reported abroad with exaggerating calumnies and
turned into derision. It was from that worthless young man, who
died of the Athenian epidemic during the lifetime of Periklês, that
his political enemies and the comic writers of the day were mainly
furnished with scandalous anecdotes to assail the private habits
of this distinguished man.[172] The comic writers attacked him for
alleged intrigues with different women, but the name of Aspasia they
treated as public property, without any mercy or reserve: she was
the Omphalê, the Deianeira, or the Hêrê, to this great Hêraklês or
Zeus of Athens. At length one of these comic writers, Hermippus, not
contented with scenic attacks, indicted her before the dikastery for
impiety, as participant in the philosophical discussions held, and
the opinions professed, in the society of Periklês, by Anaxagoras
and others. Against Anaxagoras himself, too, a similar indictment
is said to have been preferred, either by Kleon or by Thucydidês,
son of Melêsias, under a general resolution recently passed in the
public assembly, at the instance of Diopeithês. And such was the
sensitive antipathy of the Athenian public, shown afterwards fatally
in the case of Sokratês, and embittered in this instance by all the
artifices of political faction, against philosophers whose opinions
conflicted with the received religious dogmas, that Periklês did
not dare to place Anaxagoras on his trial: the latter retired from
Athens, and the sentence of banishment was passed against him in his
absence.[173] But he himself defended Aspasia before the diakastery:
in fact, the indictment was as much against him as against her:
one thing alleged against her, and also against Pheidias, was, the
reception of free women to facilitate the intrigues of Periklês.
He defended her successfully, and procured a verdict of acquittal:
but we are not surprised to hear that his speech was marked by the
strongest personal emotions, and even by tears.[174] The dikasts were
accustomed to such appeals to their sympathies, sometimes even to
extravagant excess, from ordinary accused persons: but in Periklês,
so manifest an outburst of emotion stands out as something quite
unparalleled: for constant self-mastery was one of the most prominent
features in his character.[175] And we shall find him near the close
of his political life, when he had become for the moment unpopular
with the Athenian people, distracted as they were at the moment
with the terrible sufferings of the pestilence,—bearing up against
their unmerited anger not merely with dignity, but with a pride of
conscious innocence and desert which rises almost into defiance;
insomuch that the rhetor Dionysius, who criticizes the speech of
Periklês as if it were simply the composition of Thucydidês, censures
that historian for having violated dramatic propriety by a display of
insolence where humility would have been becoming.[176]

  [171] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 24 Εἶτα τῆς συμβιώσεως οὐκ οὔσης
  αὐτοῖς ἀρεστῆς, ἐκείνην μὲν ἑτέρῳ βουλομένην συνεξέδωκεν, αὐτὸς
  δὲ Ἀσπασίαν λαβὼν ἔστερξε διαφερόντως.

  [172] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 13-36.

  [173] This seems the more probable story: but there are
  differences of statement and uncertainties upon many points:
  compare Plutarch, Periklês, c. 16-32; Plutarch, Nikias, c.
  23; Diogen. Laërt. ii, 12, 13. See also Schaubach, Fragment.
  Anaxagoræ, pp. 47-52.

  [174] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 32.

  [175] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 7, 36-39.

  [176] Thucyd. ii, 60, 61: compare also his striking expressions,
  c. 65; Dionys. Halikarn. De Thucydid. Judic. c. 44, p. 924.

It appears, also, as far as we can judge amidst very imperfect
data, that the trial of the great sculptor Pheidias, for alleged
embezzlement in the contract for his celebrated gold and ivory statue
of Athênê,[177] took place nearly at this period. That statue had
been finished and dedicated in the Parthenon in 437 B.C., since
which period Pheidias had been engaged at Olympia, in his last and
great masterpiece, the colossal statue of the Olympian Zeus. On
his return to Athens from the execution of this work, about 433 or
432 B.C., the accusation of embezzlement was instituted against him
by the political enemies of Periklês.[178] A slave of Pheidias,
named Menon, planted himself as a suppliant at the altar, professing
to be cognizant of certain facts which proved that his master had
committed peculation. Motion was made to receive his depositions,
and to insure to his person the protection of the people; upon which
he revealed various statements impeaching the pecuniary probity of
Pheidias, and the latter was put in prison, awaiting the day for his
trial before the dikastery. The gold employed and charged for in the
statue, however, was all capable of being taken off and weighed, so
as to verify its accuracy, which Periklês dared the accusers to do.
Besides the charge of embezzlement, there were other circumstances
which rendered Pheidias unpopular: it had been discovered that, in
the reliefs on the friese of the Parthenon, he had introduced the
portraits both of himself and of Periklês in conspicuous positions.
It seems that Pheidias died in prison before the day of trial;
and some even said, that he had been poisoned by the enemies of
Periklês, in order that the suspicions against the latter, who was
the real object of attack, might be aggravated. It is said also that
Drakontidês proposed and carried a decree in the public assembly,
that Periklês should be called on to give an account of the money
which he had expended, and that the dikasts, before whom the account
was rendered, should give their suffrage in the most solemn manner
from the altar: this latter provision was modified by Agnon, who,
while proposing that the dikasts should be fifteen hundred in number,
retained the vote by pebbles in the urn according to ordinary

  [177] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 31. Φειδίας—ἐργολάβος τοῦ ἀγάλματος.

  This tale, about protecting Pheidias under the charge of
  embezzlement, was the story most widely in circulation against
  Periklês—ἡ χειρίστη μὲν αἰτία πασῶν, ἔχουσα δὲ πλείστους μάρτυρας
  (Plutarch, Periklês, c. 31).

  [178] See the Dissertation of O. Müller (De Phidiæ Vitâ, c. 17,
  p. 35), who lays out the facts in the order in which I have given

  [179] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 13-32.

If Periklês was ever tried on such a charge, there can be no doubt
that he was honorably acquitted: for the language of Thucydidês
respecting his pecuniary probity is such as could never have been
employed if a verdict of guilty on a charge of peculation had ever
been publicly pronounced. But we cannot be certain that he ever
was tried: indeed, another accusation urged by his enemies, and
even by Aristophanês, in the sixth year of the Peloponnesian war,
implies that no trial took place: for it was alleged that Periklês,
in order to escape this danger, “blew up the Peloponnesian war,” and
involved his country in such confusion and peril as made his own
aid and guidance indispensably necessary to her: especially that he
passed the decree against the Megarians by which the war was really
brought on.[180] We know enough, however, to be certain that such
a supposition is altogether inadmissible. The enemies of Periklês
were far too eager, and too expert in Athenian political warfare,
to have let him escape by such a stratagem: moreover, we learn from
the assurance of Thucydidês, that the war depended upon far deeper
causes,—that the Megarian decree was in no way the real cause of
it,—that it was not Periklês, but the Peloponnesians, who brought it
on, by the blow struck at Potidæa.

  [180] Aristophan. Pac. 587-603: compare Acharn. 512; Ephorus,
  ap. Diodor. xii, 38-40; and the Scholia on the two passages of
  Aristophanês; Plutarch, Periklês, c. 32.

  Diodorus (as well as Plutarch, Alkibiad. c. 7) relates another
  tale, that Alkibiadês once approached Periklês when he was in
  evident low spirits and embarrassment, and asked him the reason:
  Periklês told him that the time was near at hand for rendering
  his accounts, and that he was considering how this could be done:
  upon which Alkibiadês advised him to consider rather how he could
  evade doing it. The result of this advice was that Periklês
  plunged Athens into the Peloponnesian war: compare Aristophan.
  Nub. 855, with the Scholia,—and Ephorus, Fragm. 118, 119, ed.
  Marx, with the notes of Marx.

  It is probable enough that Ephorus copied the story, which
  ascribes the Peloponnesian war to the accusations against
  Pheidias and Periklês, from Aristophanês or other comic writers
  of the time. But it deserves remark, that even Aristophanês is
  not to be considered as certifying it. For if we consult the
  passage above referred to in his comedy _Pax_, we shall find
  that, first, Hermês tells the story about Pheidias, Periklês, and
  the Peloponnesian war; upon which both Trygæus, and the Chorus,
  remark that _they never heard a word of it before_: that it is
  quite _new_ to them.

    Tryg.   Ταῦτα τοίνυν, μὰ τὸν Ἀπόλλω, ᾽γὼ ᾽πεπύσμην οὐδενὸς,
            Οὐδ᾽ ὅπως αὐτῇ (Εἰρήνῃ) προσήκοι Φειδίας ἠκηκόη.

    Chorus. Οὐδ᾽ ἔγωγε πλήν γε νυνί.

  If Aristophanês had stated the story ever so plainly, his
  authority could only have been taken as proving that it was a
  part of the talk of the time: but the lines just cited make him
  as much a contradicting as an affirming witness.

All that we can make out, amidst these uncertified allegations, is,
that in the year or two immediately preceding the Peloponnesian
war, Periklês was hard pressed by the accusations of political
enemies,—perhaps even in his own person, but certainly in the persons
of those who were most in his confidence and affection.[181] And it
was in this turn of his political position that the Lacedæmonians
sent to Athens the above-mentioned requisition, that the ancient
Kylonian sacrilege might be at length cleared out; in other words,
that Periklês and his family might be banished. Doubtless, his
enemies, as well as the partisans of Lacedæmon at Athens, would
strenuously support this proposition: and the party of Lacedæmon
at Athens was always strong, even during the middle of the war:
to act as proxenus to the Lacedæmonians was accounted an honor
even by the greatest Athenian families.[182] On this occasion,
however, the manœuvre did not succeed, nor did the Athenians listen
to the requisition for banishing the sacrilegious Alkmæônids. On
the contrary, they replied that the Spartans, too, had an account
of sacrilege to clear off; for they had violated the sanctuary of
Poseidon, at Cape Tænarus, in dragging from it some helot suppliants
to be put to death,—and the sanctuary of Athênê Chalkiœkus at Sparta,
in blocking up and starving to death the guilty regent Pausanias. To
require that Laconia might be cleared of these two acts of sacrilege,
was the only answer which the Athenians made to the demand sent for
the banishment of Periklês.[183] Probably, the actual effect of
that demand was, to strengthen him in the public esteem:[184] very
different from the effect of the same manœuvre when practised before
by Kleomenês against Kleisthenês.

  [181] It would appear that not only Aspasia and Anaxagoras, but
  also the musician and philosopher Damon, the personal friend and
  instructor of Periklês, must have been banished at a time when
  Periklês was old,—perhaps somewhere near about this time. The
  passage in Plato, Alkibiadês, i, c. 30, p. 118, proves that Damon
  was in Athens, and intimate with Periklês, when the latter was
  of considerable age—καὶ νῦν ἔτι ~τηλικοῦτος~ ὢν Δάμωνι σύνεστιν
  αὐτοῦ τούτου ἕνεκα.

  Damon is said to have been ostracized,—perhaps he was tried and
  condemned to banishment: for the two are sometimes confounded.

  [182] See Thucyd. v, 43; vi, 89.

  [183] Thucyd. i, 128, 135, 139.

  [184] Plutarch, Perikl. c. 33.

Other Spartan envoys shortly afterwards arrived, with fresh demands.
The Athenians were now required: 1. To withdraw their troops from
Potidæa. 2. To replace Ægina in its autonomy. 3. To repeal the decree
of exclusion against the Megarians. It was upon the latter that the
greatest stress was laid; an intimation being held out that war
might be avoided if such repeal were granted. We see plainly, from
this proceeding, that the Lacedæmonians acted in concert with the
anti-Periklêan leaders at Athens. To Sparta and her confederacy the
decree against the Megarians was of less importance than the rescue
of the Corinthian troops now blocked up in Potidæa: but on the other
hand, the party opposed to Periklês would have much better chance
of getting a vote of the assembly against him on the subject of the
Megarians: and this advantage, if gained, would serve to enfeeble
his influence generally. No concession was obtained, however, on
either of the three points: even in respect to Megara, the decree
of exclusion was vindicated and upheld against all the force of
opposition. At length the Lacedæmonians—who had already resolved
upon war, and had sent these envoys in mere compliance with the
exigencies of ordinary practice, not with any idea of bringing about
an accommodation—sent a third batch of envoys with a proposition,
which at least had the merit of disclosing their real purpose without
disguise. Rhamphias and two other Spartans announced to the Athenians
the simple injunction: “The Lacedæmonians wish the peace to stand;
and it _may_ stand, if you will leave the Greeks autonomous.” Upon
this demand, so very different from the preceding, the Athenians
resolved to hold a fresh assembly on the subject of war or peace, to
open the whole question anew for discussion, and to determine, once
for all, on a peremptory answer.[185]

  [185] Thucyd. i, 39. It rather appears, from the words of
  Thucydidês, that these various demands of the Lacedæmonians
  were made by _one_ embassy, joined by new members arriving with
  fresh instructions, but remaining during a month or six weeks,
  between January and March 431 B.C., installed in the house of the
  proxenus of Sparta at Athens: compare Xenophon Hellenic. v, 4, 22.

The last demands presented on the part of Sparta, which went
to nothing less than the entire extinction of the Athenian
empire,—combined with the character, alike wavering and insincere,
of the demands previously made, and with the knowledge that the
Spartan confederacy had pronounced peremptorily in favor of
war,—seemed likely to produce unanimity at Athens, and to bring
together this important assembly under the universal conviction that
war was inevitable. Such, however, was not the fact. The reluctance
to go to war was sincere amidst the large majority of the assembly;
while among a considerable portion of them it was so preponderant,
that they even now reverted to the opening which the Lacedæmonians
had before held out about the anti-Megarian decree, as if that were
the chief cause of war. There was much difference of opinion among
the speakers, several of whom insisted upon the repeal of this
decree, treating it as a matter far too insignificant to go to war
about, and denouncing the obstinacy of Periklês for refusing to
concede such a trifle.[186] Against this opinion Periklês entered his
protest, in an harangue decisive and encouraging, which Dionysius of
Halikarnassus ranks among the best speeches in Thucydidês: the latter
historian may probably himself have heard the original speech.

  [186] Thucyd. i, 139; Plutarch, Periklês, c. 31.

“I continue, Athenians, to adhere to the same conviction, that we
must not yield to the Peloponnesians,—though I know that men are
in one mood when they sanction the resolution to go to war, and in
another when actually in the contest,—their judgments then depending
upon the turn of events. I have only to repeat now what I have said
on former occasions,—and I adjure you who follow my views to adhere
to what we jointly resolve, though the result should be partially
unfavorable: or else, not to take credit for wisdom in the event of
success.[187] For it is very possible that the contingencies of
events may depart more from all reasonable track than the counsels
of man: such are the unexpected turns which we familiarly impute
to fortune. The Lacedæmonians have before now manifested their
hostile aims against us, but on this last occasion more than ever.
While the truce prescribes that we are to give and receive amicable
satisfaction for our differences, and each to retain what we
possess,—they not only have not asked for such satisfaction, but will
not receive it when tendered by us: they choose to settle complaints
by war and not by discussion: they have got beyond the tone of
complaint, and are here already with that of command. For they enjoin
us to withdraw from Potidæa, to leave Ægina free, and to rescind the
decree against the Megarians: nay, these last envoys are even come
to proclaim to us, that we must leave all the Greeks free. Now let
none of you believe, that we shall be going to war about a trifle,
if we refuse to rescind the Megarian decree,—which they chiefly put
forward, as if its repeal would avert the war,—let none of you take
blame to yourselves as if we had gone to war about a small matter.
For this small matter contains in itself the whole test and trial
of your mettle: if ye yield it, ye will presently have some other
greater exaction put upon you, like men who have already truckled on
one point from fear: whereas if ye hold out stoutly, ye will make it
clear to them that they must deal with you more upon a footing of

  [187] Thucyd. i, 140. ἐνδέχεται γὰρ τὰς ξυμφορὰς τῶν πραγμάτων
  οὐχ ἧσσον ἀμαθῶς χωρῆσαι ἢ καὶ τὰς διανοίας τοῦ ἀνθρώπου· διόπερ
  καὶ τὴν τύχην ὅσα ἂν παρὰ λόγον ξυμβῇ, εἰώθαμεν αἰτιᾶσθαι. I
  could have wished, in the translation, to preserve the play
  upon the words ἀμαθῶς χωρῆσαι, which Thucydidês introduces into
  this sentence, and which seems to have been agreeable to his
  taste. Ἀμαθῶς, when referred to ξυμφορὰς, is used in a passive
  sense by no means common,—“in a manner which cannot be learned,
  departing from all reasonable calculation.” Ἀμαθῶς, when referred
  to διανοίας, bears its usual meaning,—“ignorant, deficient in
  learning or in reason.”

  [188] Thucyd. i, 140.

Periklês then examined the relative strength of parties and the
chances of war. The Peloponnesians were a self-working population,
with few slaves, and without wealth, either private or public;
they had no means of carrying on distant or long-continued war:
they were ready to expose their persons, but not at all ready to
contribute from their very narrow means:[189] in a border-war, or a
single land battle, they were invincible, but for systematic warfare
against a power like Athens, they had neither competent headship,
nor habits of concert and punctuality, nor money to profit by
opportunities, always rare and accidental, for successful attack.
They might, perhaps, establish a fortified post in Attica, but it
would do little serious mischief; while at sea, their inferiority and
helplessness would be complete, and the irresistible Athenian navy
would take care to keep it so. Nor would they be able to reckon on
tempting away the able foreign seamen from Athenian ships by means
of funds borrowed from Olympia or Delphi:[190] for besides that the
mariners of the dependent islands would find themselves losers even
by accepting a higher pay, with the certainty of Athenian vengeance
afterwards,—Athens herself would suffice to man her fleet in case
of need, with her own citizens and metics: she had within her own
walls steersmen and mariners better as well as more numerous than
all Greece besides. There was but one side on which Athens was
vulnerable: Attica unfortunately was not an island,—it was exposed
to invasion and ravage. To this the Athenians must submit, without
committing the imprudence of engaging a land battle to avert it: they
had abundant lands out of Attica, insular as well as continental, to
supply their wants, and they could in their turn, by means of their
navy, ravage the Peloponnesian territories, whose inhabitants had no
subsidiary lands to recur to.[191]

  [189] Thucyd. i, 141. αὐτουργοί τε γάρ εἰσι Πελοποννήσιοι, καὶ
  οὔτε ἰδίᾳ οὔτε ἐν κοινῷ χρήματά ἐστιν αὐτοῖς· ἔπειτα χρονίων
  πολέμων καὶ διαποντίων ἄπειροι, διὰ τὸ βραχέως αὐτοὶ ἐπ᾽ ἀλλήλους
  ὑπὸ πενίας ἐπιφέρειν.

  [190] Thucyd. i, 143. εἴτε καὶ κινήσαντες τῶν Ὀλυμπίασιν ἢ
  Δελφοῖς χρημάτων μισθῷ μείζονι πειρῷντο ἡμῶν ὑπολαβεῖν τοὺς
  ξένους τῶν ναυτῶν, μὴ ὄντων μὲν ἡμῶν ἀντιπάλων, ἐσβάντων αὐτῶν
  τε καὶ τῶν μετοίκων, δεινὸν ἂν ἦν· νῦν δὲ τόδε τε ὑπάρχει, καὶ,
  ὅπερ κράτιστον, κυβερνήτας ἔχομεν πολίτας καὶ τὴν ἄλλην ὑπηρεσίαν
  πλείους καὶ ἀμείνους ἢ πᾶσα ἡ ἄλλη Ἑλλάς.

  This is in reply to those hopes which we know to have been
  conceived by the Peloponnesian leaders, and upon which the
  Corinthian speaker in the Peloponnesian congress had dwelt (i,
  121). Doubtless Periklês would be informed of the tenor of all
  these public demonstrations at Sparta.

  [191] Thucyd. i, 141, 142, 143.

“Mourn not for the loss of land and houses (continued the orator):
reserve your mourning for men: houses and land acquire not men, but
men acquire them.[192] Nay, if I thought I could prevail upon you, I
would exhort you to march out and ravage them yourselves, and thus
show to the Peloponnesians that, for them at least, ye will not
truckle. And I could exhibit many further grounds for confidently
anticipating success, if ye will only be willing not to aim at
increased dominion when we are in the midst of war, and not to take
upon yourselves new self-imposed risks; for I have ever been more
afraid of our own blunders than of the plans of our enemy.[193] But
these are matters for future discussion, when we come to actual
operations: for the present let us dismiss these envoys with the
answer: That we will permit the Megarians to use our markets and
harbors, if the Lacedæmonians on their side will discontinue their
(xenêlasy or) summary expulsions of ourselves and our allies from
their own territory,—for there is nothing in the truce to prevent
either one or the other: that we will leave the Grecian cities
autonomous, if we _had_ them as autonomous at the time when the truce
was made,—and as soon as the Lacedæmonians shall grant to _their_
allied cities autonomy such as each of them shall freely choose, not
such as is convenient to Sparta: that while we are ready to give
satisfaction according to the truce, we will not begin war, but will
repel those who do begin it. Such is the reply at once just and
suitable to the dignity of this city. We ought to make up our minds
that war is inevitable: the more cheerfully we accept it, the less
vehement shall we find our enemies in their attack: and where the
danger is greatest, there also is the final honor greatest, both for
a state and for a private citizen. Assuredly our fathers, when they
bore up against the Persians,—having no such means as we possess
to start from, and even compelled to abandon all that they did
possess,—both repelled the invader and brought matters forward to our
actual pitch, more by advised operation than by good fortune, and by
a daring courage greater than their real power. We ought not to fall
short of them: we must keep off our enemies in every way, and leave
an unimpaired power to our successors.”[194]

  [192] Thucyd. i, 143. τήν τε ὀλόφυρσιν μὴ οἰκιῶν καὶ γῆς
  ποιεῖσθαι, ἀλλὰ τῶν σωμάτων· οὐ γὰρ τάδε τοὺς ἄνδρας, ἀλλ᾽ οἱ
  ἄνδρες ταῦτα κτῶνται.

  [193] Thucyd. i, 144. πολλὰ δὲ καὶ ἄλλα ἔχω ἐς ἐλπίδα τοῦ
  περιέσεσθαι, ἢν ἐθέλητε ἀρχήν τε μὴ ἐπικτᾶσθαι ἅμα πολεμοῦντες,
  καὶ κινδύνους αὐθαιρέτους μὴ προστίθεσθαι· μᾶλλον γὰρ πεφόβημαι
  τὰς οἰκείας ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίας ἢ τὰς τῶν ἐναντίων διανοίας.

  [194] Thucyd. i, 143, 144.

These animating encouragements of Periklês carried with them the
majority of the assembly, so that answer was made to the envoys, such
as he recommended, on each of the particular points in debate. It was
announced to them, moreover, on the general question of peace or
war, that the Athenians were prepared to discuss all the grounds of
complaint against them, pursuant to the truce, by equal and amicable
arbitration,—but that they would do nothing under authoritative
demand.[195] With this answer the envoys returned to Sparta, and an
end was put to negotiation.

  [195] Thucyd. i, 145. καὶ τοῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις ἀπεκρίναντο τῇ
  ἐκείνου γνώμῃ, καθ᾽ ἕκαστά τε ὡς ἔφρασε, καὶ τὸ ξύμπαν οὐδὲν
  κελευόμενοι ποιήσειν, δίκῃ δὲ κατὰ τὰς ξυνθήκας ἑτοῖμοι εἶναι
  διαλύεσθαι περὶ τῶν ἐγκλημάτων ἐπὶ ἴσῃ καὶ ὁμοίᾳ.

It seems evident, from the account of Thucydidês, that the Athenian
public was not brought to this resolution without much reluctance,
and great fear of the consequences, especially destruction of
property in Attica: and that a considerable minority took opposition
on the Megarian decree,—the ground skilfully laid by Sparta for
breaking the unanimity of her enemy, and strengthening the party
opposed to Periklês. But we may also decidedly infer from the same
historian,—especially from the proceedings of Corinth and Sparta,
as he sets them forth,—that Athens could not have avoided the war
without such an abnegation, both of dignity and power as no nation
under any government will ever submit to, and as would have even
left her without decent security for her individual rights. To
accept the war tendered to her, was a matter not merely of prudence
but of necessity: the tone of exaction assumed by the Spartan
envoys would have rendered concession a mere evidence of weakness
and fear. As the account of Thucydidês bears out the judgment of
Periklês on this important point,[196] so it also shows us that
Athens was not less in the right upon the received principles of
international dealing. It was not Athens, as the Spartans[197]
themselves afterwards came to feel, but her enemies, who broke the
provisions of the truce, by encouraging the revolt of Potidæa, and
by promising invasion of Attica: it was not Athens, but her enemies,
who, after thus breaking the truce, made a string of exorbitant
demands, in order to get up as good a case as possible for war.[198]
The case made out by Periklês, justifying the war on grounds both
of right and prudence, is in all its main points borne out by the
impartial voice of Thucydidês. And though it is perfectly true,
that the ambition of Athens had been great, and the increase of her
power marvellous, during the thirty-five years between the repulse
of Xerxes and the thirty years’ truce,—it is not less true that by
that truce she lost very largely, and that she acquired nothing to
compensate such loss during the fourteen years between the truce and
the Korkyræan alliance. The policy of Periklês had not been one of
foreign aggrandizement, or of increasing vexation and encroachment
towards other Grecian powers: even the Korkyræan alliance was noway
courted by him, and was in truth accepted with paramount regard to
the obligations of the existing truce: while the circumstances out
of which that alliance grew, testify a more forward ambition on the
part of Corinth than on that of Athens, to appropriate to herself
the Korkyræan naval force. It is common to ascribe the Peloponnesian
war to the ambition of Athens, but this is a partial view of the
case. The aggressive sentiment, partly fear, partly hatred, was on
the side of the Peloponnesians, who were not ignorant that Athens
desired the continuance of peace, but were resolved not to let her
stand as she was at the conclusion of the thirty years’ truce; it was
their purpose to attack her and break down her empire, as dangerous,
wrongful, and anti-Hellenic. The war was thus partly a contest of
principle, involving the popular proclamation of the right of every
Grecian state to autonomy, against Athens: partly a contest of power,
wherein Spartan and Corinthian ambition was not less conspicuous, and
far more aggressive in the beginning, than Athenian.

  [196] In spite of the contrary view taken by Plutarch, Periklês,
  c. 31: comparison of Perikl. and Fab. Max. c. 3.

  [197] Thucyd. iv, 21. Οἱ μὲν οὖν Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοσαῦτα εἶπον,
  νομίζοντες τοὺς Ἀθηναίους ἐν τῷ πρὶν χρόνῳ σπονδῶν ἐπιθυμεῖν,
  σφῶν δὲ ἐναντιουμένων κωλύεσθαι, διδομένης δὲ εἰρήνης ἀσμένως
  δέξεσθαί τε καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας ἀποδώσειν.

  See also an important passage (vii, 18) about the feelings of the
  Spartans. The Spartans thought, says Thucydidês, ἐν τῷ προτέρῳ
  πολέμῳ (the beginning of the Peloponnesian war) σφέτερον τὸ
  παρανόμημα μᾶλλον γενέσθαι, ὅτι τε ἐς Πλάταιαν ἦλθον Θηβαῖοι
  ἐν σπονδαῖς, καὶ εἰρημένον ἐν ταῖς πρότερον ξυνθήκαις ὅπλα μὴ
  ἐπιφέρειν ἢν δίκας θέλωσι διδόναι, αὐτοὶ οὐχ ὑπήκουον ἐς δίκας
  προκαλουμένων τῶν Ἀθηναίων· καὶ διὰ τοῦτο εἰκότως δυστυχεῖν τε
  ἐνόμιζον, etc.

  [198] Thucyd. i, 126. ὅπως σφίσιν ὅτι μεγίστη πρόφασις εἴη τοῦ

Conformably to what is here said, the first blow of the war was
struck, not by Athens, but against her. After the decisive answer
given to the Spartan envoys, taken in conjunction with the previous
proceedings, and the preparations actually going on among the
Peloponnesian confederacy,—the truce could hardly be said to be still
in force, though there was no formal proclamation of rupture. A few
weeks passed in restricted and mistrustful intercourse;[199] though
individuals who passed the borders did not think it necessary to
take a herald with them, as in time of actual war. Had the excess of
ambition been on the side of Athens compared with her enemies, this
was the time for her to strike the first blow, carrying with it of
course great probability of success, before their preparations were
completed. But she remained strictly within the limits of the truce,
and the disastrous series of mutual aggressions, destined to tear
in pieces the entrails of Hellas, was opened by her enemy and her

  [199] Thucyd. i, 146. ἐπεμίγνυντο δ᾽ ὅμως ἐν αὐταῖς καὶ παρ᾽
  ἀλλήλους ἐφοίτων, ἀκηρύκτως μὲν, ἀνυπόπτως δ᾽ οὔ· σπονδῶν γὰρ
  ξύγχυσις τὰ γιγνόμενα ἦν, καὶ πρόφασις τοῦ πολεμεῖν.

The little town of Platæa, still hallowed by the memorable victory
over the Persians, as well as by the tutelary consecration received
from Pausanias, was the scene of this unforeseen enterprise. It stood
in Bœotia, immediately north of Kithæron; on the borders of Attica
on one side, and of the Theban territory on the other, from which it
was separated by the river Asôpus: the distance between Platæa and
Thebes being about seventy stadia, or a little more than eight miles.
Though Bœotian by descent, the Platæans were completely separated
from the Bœotian league, and in hearty alliance, as well as qualified
communion of civil rights, with the Athenians, who had protected
them against the bitter enmity of Thebes, for a period of time now
nearly three generations. But in spite of this long prescription,
the Thebans, as chiefs of the Bœotian league, still felt themselves
wronged by the separation of Platæa: and an oligarchical faction
of wealthy Platæans espoused their cause,[200] with a view of
subverting the democratical government of the town, of destroying
its leaders, their political rivals, and of establishing an
oligarchy with themselves as the chiefs. Naukleidês, and others
of this faction, entered into a secret conspiracy with Eurymachus
and the oligarchy of Thebes: to both it appeared a tempting prize,
since war was close at hand, to take advantage of this ambiguous
interval, before watches had been placed, and the precautions of a
state of war commenced, and to surprise the town of Platæa in the
night: moreover, a period of religious festival was chosen, in order
that the population might be most completely off their guard.[201]
Accordingly, on a rainy night towards the close of March 431
B.C.,[202] a body of rather more than three hundred Theban hoplites,
commanded by two of the Bœotarchs, Pythangelus, and Diemporus, and
including Eurymachus in the ranks, presented themselves at the gate
of Platæa during the first sleep of the citizens: Naukleidês and his
partisans opened the gate and conducted them to the agora, which they
reached and occupied in military order without the least resistance.
The best part of the Theban military force was intended to arrive at
Platæa by break of day, in order to support them.[203]

  [200] Thucyd. ii, 2. βουλόμενοι ἰδίας ἕνεκα δυνάμεως ἄνδρας τε
  τῶν πολιτῶν τοὺς σφίσιν ὑπεναντίους διαφθεῖραι, καὶ τὴν πόλιν τοῖς
  Θηβαίοις προσποιῆσαι: also iii, 65. ἄνδρες οἱ πρῶτοι καὶ χρήμασι
  καὶ γένει, etc.

  [201] Thucyd. iii, 56.

  [202] Thucyd. ii, 2. ἅμα ἦρι ἀρχομένῳ—seems to indicate a period
  rather before than after the first of April: we may consider
  the bisection of the Thucydidean year into θέρος and χείμων as
  marked by the equinoxes. His summer and winter are each a half
  of the year (Thucyd. v, 20), though Poppo erroneously treats the
  Thucydidean winter as only four months (Poppo, Proleg. i, c. v,
  p. 72, and ad Thucyd. ii, 2: see F. W. Ullrich, Beiträge zur
  Erklärung des Thukydidês, p. 32, Hamburg, 1846).

  [203] Thucyd. ii, 2-5. ~θέμενοι δὲ ἐς τὴν ἀγορὰν τὰ ὅπλα~ ... καὶ
  ἀνεῖπεν ὁ κήρυξ, εἴτις βούλεται κατὰ τὰ πάτρια τῶν πάντων Βοιωτῶν
  ξυμμαχεῖν, ~τίθεσθαι παρ᾽ αὑτοὺς τὰ ὅπλα~.

  Dr. Arnold has a note upon this passage, explaining τίθεσθαι, or
  θέσθαι τὰ ὅπλα, to mean, “piling the arms,” or getting rid of
  their spears and shields by piling them all in one or more heaps.
  He says: “The Thebans, therefore, as usual on a halt, proceeded
  to pile their arms, and by inviting the Platæans to come and pile
  theirs with them, they meant that they should come in arms from
  their several houses to join them, and thus naturally pile their
  spears and shields with those of their friends, to be taken up
  together with theirs, whenever there should be occasion either to
  march or to fight.” The same explanation of the phrase had before
  been given by Wesseling and Larcher, ad Herodot. ix, 52; though
  Bähr on the passage is more satisfactory.

  Both Poppo and Göller also sanction Dr. Arnold’s explanation: yet
  I cannot but think that it is unsuitable to the passage before
  us, as well as to several other passages in which τίθεσθαι τὰ
  ὅπλα occurs: there may be other passages in which it will suit,
  but as a general explanation it appears to me inadmissible. In
  most cases, the words mean “_armati consistere_,”—to ground
  arms,—to maintain rank, resting the spear and shield (see Xenoph.
  Hellen. ii, 4, 12) upon the ground. In the incident now before
  us, the Theban hoplites enter Platæa, a strange town, with the
  population decidedly hostile, and likely to be provoked more
  than ever by this surprise, add to which, that it is pitch dark,
  and a rainy night. Is it likely, that the first thing which they
  do will be to pile their arms? The darkness alone would render
  it a slow and uncertain operation to resume the arms: so that
  when the Platæans attacked them, as they did, quite suddenly
  and unexpectedly, and while it was yet dark, the Thebans would
  have been—upon Dr. Arnold’s supposition—altogether defenceless
  and unarmed (see ii, 3. ~προσέβαλόν τε εὐθὺς~—οἱ Πλαταιῆς—καὶ ἐς
  χεῖρας ᾔεσαν ~κατὰ τάχος~) which certainly they were not. Dr.
  Arnold’s explanation may suit the case of the soldier in camp,
  but certainly not that of the soldier in presence of an enemy, or
  under circumstances of danger: the difference of the two will be
  found illustrated in Xenophon, Hellenic. ii, 4, 5, 6.

  Nor do the passages referred to by Dr. Arnold himself bear
  out his interpretation of the phrase τίθεσθαι τὰ ὅπλα. That
  interpretation is, moreover, not conveniently applicable either
  to Thucyd. vii, 3, or viii, 25,—decidedly inapplicable to iv,
  68 (θησόμενον τὰ ὅπλα), in the description of the night attack
  on Megara, very analogous to this upon Platæa,—and not less
  decidedly inapplicable to two passages of Xenophon’s Anabasis, i,
  5, 14; iv, 3, 7.

  Schneider, in the Lexicon appended to his edition of Xenophon’s
  Anabasis, has a long but not very distinct article upon τίθεσθαι
  τὰ ὅπλα.

Naukleidês and his friends, following the instincts of political
antipathy, were eager to conduct the Thebans to the houses of their
opponents, the democratical leaders, in order that the latter might
be seized or despatched. But to this the Thebans would not consent:
believing themselves now masters of the town, and certain of a
large reinforcement at daylight, they thought they could overawe
the citizens into an apparently willing acquiescence in their
terms, without any actual violence: they wished, moreover, rather
to soften and justify, than to aggravate, the gross public wrong
already committed. Accordingly their herald was directed to invite,
by public proclamation, all Platæans who were willing to return to
their ancient sympathies of race, and to the Bœotian confederacy,
that they should come forth and take station as brethren in the
armed ranks of the Thebans. And the Platæans, suddenly roused from
sleep by the astounding news that their great enemy was master of
the town, supposed amidst the darkness that the number of assailants
was far greater than the reality: so that in spite of their strong
attachment to Athens, they thought their case hopeless, and began
to open negotiations. But as they soon found out, in spite of the
darkness, as the discussion proceeded, that the real numbers of the
Thebans were not greater than could be dealt with,—they speedily took
courage and determined to attack them; establishing communication
with each other by breaking through the walls of their private
houses, in order that they might not be detected in moving about in
the streets or ways,[204]—and forming barricades with wagons across
such of these ways as were suitable. A little before daybreak, when
their preparations were fully completed, they sallied forth from
their houses to the attack, and immediately came to close quarters
with the Thebans. The latter, still fancying themselves masters of
the town, and relying upon a satisfactory close to the discussions
when daylight should arrive, now found themselves surprised in their
turn, and under great disadvantages: for they had been out all night
under a heavy rain,—they were in a town which they did not know,
with narrow, crooked, and muddy ways, such as they would have had
difficulty in finding even by daylight. Nevertheless, on finding
themselves suddenly assailed, they got as well as they could into
close order, and repelled the Platæans two or three times: but the
attack was still repeated, with loud shouts, while the women also
screamed, and howled, and threw tiles from the flat-roofed houses,
until at length the Thebans became dismayed and broken. But flight
was not less difficult than resistance; for they could not find their
way out of the city, and even the gate by which they entered, the
only one open, had been closed by a Platæan citizen, who thrust into
it the point of a javelin in place of the peg whereby the bar was
commonly held fast. Dispersed about the city, and pursued by men who
knew every inch of the ground, some ran to the top of the wall, and
jumped down on the outside, most of them perished in the attempt,—a
few others escaped through an unguarded gate, by cutting through the
bar with a hatchet which a woman gave to them,—while the greater
number of them ran into the open doors of a large barn or building
in conjunction with the wall, mistaking these doors for an approach
to the town-gate. They were here blocked up without the chance of
escape, and the Platæans at first thought of setting fire to the
building: but at length a convention was concluded, whereby they, as
well as all the other Thebans in the city, agreed to surrender at

  [204] Thucyd. ii, 3. ἐδόκει οὖν ἐπιχειρητέα εἶναι, καὶ
  ξυνελέγοντο διορύσσοντες τοὺς κοινοὺς τοίχους παρ᾽ ἀλλήλους, ὅπως
  μὴ διὰ τῶν ὁδῶν φανεροὶ ὦσιν ἰόντες, ἁμάξας δὲ ἄνευ τῶν ὑποζυγίων
  ἐς τὰς ὁδοὺς καθίστασαν, ἵν᾽ ἀντὶ τείχους ᾖ, καὶ τἄλλα ἐξήρτυον,

  I may be permitted to illustrate this by a short extract from the
  letter of M. Marrast, mayor of Paris, to the National Assembly,
  written during the formidable insurrection of June 25, 1848, in
  that city, and describing the proceedings of the insurgents:
  “Dans la plupart des rues longues, étroites et couvertes de
  barricades qui vont de l’Hôtel de Ville à la Rue St. Antoine,
  la garde nationale mobile, et la troupe de ligne, ont dû faire
  le siège de chaque maison; et ce qui rendait l’œuvre plus
  périlleuse, c’est que les insurgés avaient établi, de chaque
  maison à chaque maison, des communications intérieures qui
  reliaient les maisons entre elles, en sorte qu’ils pouvaient se
  rendre, comme par une allée couverte, d’un point éloigné jusqu’au
  centre d’une suite de barricades qui les protégeaient.” (Lettre
  publiée dans le journal, le National, June 26, 1848).

  [205] Thucyd. ii, 3, 4.

Had the reinforcements from Thebes arrived at the expected hour,
this disaster would have been averted. But the heavy rain and dark
night retarded their whole march, while the river Asôpus was so
much swollen as to be with difficulty fordable: so that before they
reached the gates of Platæa, their comrades within were either slain
or captured. Which fate had befallen them, the Thebans without could
not tell: but they immediately resolved to seize what they could
find, persons as well as property, in the Platæan territory,—no
precautions having been taken as yet to guard against the perils
of war by keeping within the walls,—in order that they might have
something to exchange for such Thebans as were prisoners. Before this
step could be executed, however, a herald came forth from the town
to remonstrate with them upon their unholy proceeding in having so
flagrantly violated the truce, and especially to warn them not to
do any wrong without the walls. If they retired without inflicting
farther mischief, their prisoners within should be given up to
them; if otherwise, these prisoners would be slain immediately. A
convention having been concluded and sworn to on this basis, the
Thebans retired without any active measures. Such at least was the
Theban account of what preceded their retirement: but the Platæans
gave a very different statement; denying that they had made any
categorical promise or sworn any oath,—and affirming that they had
engaged for nothing, except to suspend any decisive step with regard
to the prisoners until discussion had been entered into to see if a
satisfactory agreement could be concluded.

As Thucydidês records both of these statements, without intimating
to which of the two he himself gave the preference, we may presume
that both of them found credence with respectable persons. The Theban
story is undoubtedly the most probable: but the Platæans appear to
have violated the understanding, even upon their own construction
of it. For no sooner had the Thebans retired, than they (the
Platæans) hastily brought in their citizens and the best of their
movable property within the walls, and then slew all their prisoners
forthwith; without even entering into the formalities of negotiation.
The prisoners thus put to death, among whom was Eurymachus himself,
were one hundred and eighty in number.[206]

  [206] Thucyd. ii, 5, 6; Herodot. vii, 233. Demosthenês (cont.
  Neæram, c. 25, p. 1379) agrees with Thucydidês in the statement
  that the Platæans slew their prisoners. From whom Diodorus
  borrowed his inadmissible story, that the Platæans gave up their
  prisoners to the Thebans, I cannot tell (Diodor. xii, 41, 42).

  The passage in this oration against Neæra is also curious,
  both as it agrees with Thucydidês on many points, and as it
  differs from him on several others: in some sentences, even
  the words agree with Thucydidês (ὁ γὰρ Ἀσωπὸς ποταμὸς μέγας
  ἐῤῥύη, καὶ διαβῆναι οὐ ῥᾴδιον ἦν, etc.: compare Thucyd. ii,
  2); while on other points there is discrepancy. Demosthenês—or
  the Pseudo-Demosthenês—states that Archidamus, king of Sparta,
  planned the surprise of Platæa,—that the Platæans only
  discovered, when morning dawned, the small real number of the
  Thebans in the town,—that the larger body of Thebans, when they
  at last did arrive near Platæa after the great delay in their
  march, were forced to retire by the numerous force arriving from
  Athens, and that the Platæans then destroyed their prisoners
  in the town. Demosthenês mentions nothing about any convention
  between the Platæans and the Thebans without the town, respecting
  the Theban prisoners within.

  On every point on which the narrative of Thucydidês differs from
  that of Demosthenês, that of the former stands out as the most
  coherent and credible.

On the first entrance of the Theban assailants at night, a messenger
had started from Platæa to carry the news to Athens: a second
messenger followed him to report the victory and capture of the
prisoners, as soon as it had been achieved. The Athenians sent back
a herald without delay, enjoining the Platæans to take no step
respecting the prisoners until consultation should be had with
Athens. Periklês doubtless feared what turned out to be the fact:
for the prisoners had been slain before his messenger could arrive.
Apart from the terms of the convention, and looking only to the
received practice of ancient warfare, their destruction could not be
denounced as unusually cruel, though the Thebans, when fortune was
in their favor, chose to designate it as such,[207]—but impartial
contemporaries would notice, and the Athenians in particular would
deeply lament, the glaring impolicy of the act. For Thebes, the best
thing of all would of course be to get back her captured citizens
forthwith: but next to that, the least evil would be to hear that
they had been put to death. In the hands of the Athenians and
Platæans, they would have been the means of obtaining from her much
more valuable sacrifices than their lives, considered as a portion of
Theban power, were worth: so strong was the feeling of sympathy for
imprisoned citizens, several of them men of rank and importance,—as
may be seen by the past conduct of Athens after the battle of
Korôneia, and by that of Sparta, hereafter to be recounted, after the
taking of Sphakteria. The Platæans, obeying the simple instinct of
wrath and vengeance, threw away this great political advantage, which
the more long-sighted Periklês would gladly have turned to account.

  [207] Thucyd. iii, 66.

At the time when the Athenians sent their herald to Platæa, they also
issued orders for seizing all Bœotians who might be found in Attica;
while they lost no time in sending forces to provision Platæa, and
placing it on the footing of a garrison town, removing to Athens
the old men and sick, with the women and children. No complaint
or discussion, respecting the recent surprise, was thought of by
either party: it was evident to both that the war was now actually
begun,—that nothing was to be thought of except the means of carrying
it on,—and that there could be no farther personal intercourse
except under the protection of heralds.[208] The incident at Platæa,
striking in all its points, wound up both parties to the full pitch
of warlike excitement. A spirit of resolution and enterprise was
abroad everywhere, especially among those younger citizens, yet
unacquainted with the actual bitterness of war, whom the long truce
but just broken had raised up; and the contagion of high-strung
feeling spread from the leading combatants into every corner of
Greece, manifesting itself partly in multiplied oracles, prophecies,
and religious legends adapted to the moment:[209] a recent earthquake
at Delos, too, as well as various other extraordinary physical
phenomena, were construed as prognostics of the awful struggle
impending,—a period fatally marked not less by eclipses, earthquakes,
drought, famine, and pestilence, than by the direct calamities of

  [208] Thucyd. ii, 1-6.

  [209] Thucyd. ii. 7, 8. ἥ τε ἄλλη Ἑλλὰς ~πᾶσα μετέωρος ἦν~,
  ξυνιουσῶν τῶν πρώτων πόλεων.

  [210] Thucyd. i, 23.

An aggression so unwarrantable as the assault on Platæa tended
doubtless to strengthen the unanimity of the Athenian assembly, to
silence the opponents of Periklês, and to lend additional weight
to those frequent exhortations,[211] whereby the great statesman
was wont to sustain the courage of his countrymen. Intelligence
was sent round to forewarn and hearten up the numerous allies of
Athens, tributary as well as free: the latter, with the exception
of the Thessalians, Akarnanians, and Messenians at Naupaktus, were
all insular,—Chians, Lesbians, Korkyræans, and Zakynthians: to the
island of Kephallênia also they sent envoys, but it was not actually
acquired to their alliance until a few months afterwards.[212] With
the Akarnanians, too, their connection had only been commenced a
short time before, seemingly during the preceding summer, arising
out of the circumstances of the town of Argos in Amphilochia. That
town, situated on the southern coast of the Ambrakian gulf, was
originally occupied by a portion of the Amphilochi, a non-Hellenic
tribe, whose lineage apparently was something intermediate between
Akarnanians and Epirots. Some colonists from Ambrakia, having been
admitted as co-residents with the Amphilochian inhabitants of this
town, presently expelled them, and retained the town with its
territory exclusively for themselves. The expelled inhabitants,
fraternizing with their fellow tribes around as well as with the
Akarnanians, looked out for the means of restoration; and in order
to obtain it, invited the assistance of Athens. Accordingly, the
Athenians sent an expedition of thirty triremes, under Phormio, who,
joining the Amphilochians and Akarnanians, attacked and carried
Argos, reduced the Ambrakiots to slavery, and restored the town to
the Amphilochians and Akarnanians. It was on this occasion that the
alliance of the Akarnanians with Athens was first concluded, and
that their personal attachment to the Athenian admiral, Phormio,

  [211] Thucyd. ii, 13. ἅπερ καὶ πρότερον, etc., ἔλεγε δὲ καὶ ἄλλα,
  ~οἷάπερ εἰώθει~, Περικλῆς ἐς ἀπόδειξιν τοῦ περιέσεσθαι τῷ πολέμῳ.

  [212] Thucyd. ii, 7, 22, 30.

  [213] Thucyd. ii, 68. The time at which this expedition of
  Phormio and the capture of Argos happened, is not precisely
  marked by Thucydidês. But his words seem to imply that it was
  before the commencement of the war, as Poppo observes. Phormio
  was sent to Chalkidikê about October or November 432 B.C. (i,
  64); and the expedition against Argos probably occurred between
  that event and the naval conflict of Korkyræans and Athenians
  against Corinthians with their allies, Ambrakiots included,—which
  conflict had happened in the preceding spring.

The numerous subjects of Athens, whose contributions stood embodied
in the annual tribute, were distributed all over and around the
Ægean, including all the islands north of Krete, with the exception
of Melos and Thera.[214] Moreover, the elements of force collected
in Athens itself, were fully worthy of the metropolis of so great
an empire. Periklês could make a report to his countrymen of three
hundred triremes fit for active service; twelve hundred horsemen and
horse-bowmen; sixteen hundred bowmen; and the great force of all,
not less than twenty-nine thousand hoplites,—mostly citizens, but
in part also metics. The chosen portion of these hoplites, both as
to age and as to equipment, were thirteen thousand in number; while
the remaining sixteen thousand, including the elder and younger
citizens and the metics, did garrison-duty on the walls of Athens
and Peiræus,—on the long line of wall which connected Athens both
with Peiræus and Phalêrum,—and in the various fortified posts both
in and out of Attica. In addition to these large military and naval
forces, the city possessed in the acropolis, an accumulated treasure
of coined silver amounting to not less than six thousand talents,
or about one million four hundred thousand pounds, derived from
annual laying by of tribute from the allies and perhaps of other
revenues besides: the treasure had at one time been as large as nine
thousand seven hundred talents, or about two million two hundred
and thirty thousand pounds, but the cost of the recent religious
and architectural decorations at Athens, as well as at the siege of
Potidæa, had reduced it to six thousand. Moreover, the acropolis
and the temples throughout the city were rich in votive offerings,
deposits, sacred plate, and silver implements for the processions
and festivals, etc., to an amount estimated at more than five
hundred talents; while the great statue of the goddess recently
set up by Pheidias in the Parthenon, composed of ivory and gold,
included a quantity of the latter metal not less than forty talents
in weight,—equal in value to more than four hundred talents of
silver,—and all of it go arranged that it could be taken off from the
statue at pleasure. In alluding to these sacred valuables among the
resources of the state, Periklês spoke of them only as open to be so
applied in case of need, with the firm resolution of replacing them
during the first season of prosperity, just as the Corinthians had
proposed to borrow from Delphi and Olympia. Besides the hoard thus
actually in hand, there came in a large annual revenue, amounting,
under the single head of tribute from the subject allies, to six
hundred talents, equal to about one hundred and thirty-eight thousand
pounds; besides all other items,[215] making up a general total of at
least one thousand talents, or about two hundred and thirty thousand

  [214] Thucyd. ii, 9.

  [215] Thucyd. ii, 13; Xenophon, Anabas. vii, 4.

To this formidable catalogue of means for war were to be added other
items not less important, but which did not admit of being weighed
and numbered; the unrivalled maritime skill and discipline of the
seamen,—the democratical sentiment, alike fervent and unanimous,
of the general mass of citizens,—and the superior development
of directing intelligence. And when we consider that the enemy
had indeed on his side an irresistible land-force, but scarcely
anything else,—few ships, no trained seamen, no funds, no powers of
combination or headship,—we may be satisfied that there were ample
materials for an orator like Periklês to draw an encouraging picture
of the future. He could depict Athens as holding Peloponnesus under
siege by means of her navy and a chain of insular posts;[216] and
he could guarantee success[217] as the sure reward of persevering,
orderly, and well-considered exertion, combined with firm endurance
under a period of temporary but unavoidable suffering; and combined
too with another condition hardly less difficult for Athenian temper
to comply with,—abstinence from seductive speculations of distant
enterprise, while their force was required by the necessities of war
near home.[218] But such prospects were founded upon a long-sighted
calculation, looking beyond immediate loss, and therefore likely to
take less hold of the mind of an ordinary citizen,—or at any rate,
to be overwhelmed for the moment by the pressure of actual hardship.
Moreover, the best which Periklês could promise was a successful
resistance,—the unimpaired maintenance of that great empire to which
Athens had become accustomed; a policy purely conservative, without
any stimulus from the hope of positive acquisition,—and not only
without the sympathy of other states, but with feelings of simple
acquiescence on the part of most of her allies,—of strong hostility
everywhere else.

  [216] Thucyd. ii, 7. ὡς βεβαίως πέριξ τὴν Πελοπόννησον
  καταπολεμήσοντες. vi, 90. πέριξ τὴν Πελοπόννησον πολιορκοῦντες.

  [217] Thucyd. ii, 65. τοσοῦτον τῷ Περικλεῖ ἐπερίσσευσε τότε
  ἀφ᾽ ὧν αὐτὸς προέγνω, καὶ πάνυ ἂν ῥᾳδίως περιγενέσθαι τῶν
  Πελοποννησίων αὐτῶν τῷ πολέμῳ.

  [218] Thucyd. i, 144. ἢν ἐθέλητε ἀρχήν τε μὴ ἐπικτᾶσθαι ἅμα
  πολεμοῦντες, καὶ κινδύνους αὐθαιρέτους μὴ προστίθεσθαι.

On all these latter points the position of the Peloponnesian alliance
was far more encouraging. So powerful a body of confederates had
never been got together,—not even to resist Xerxes. Not only the
entire strength of Peloponnesus—except Argeians and Achæans, both
of whom were neutral at first, though the Achæan town of Pellênê
joined even at the beginning, and all the rest subsequently—was
brought together, but also the Megarians, Bœotians, Phocians,
Opuntian Lokrians, Ambrakiots, Leukadians, and Anaktorians. Among
these, Corinth, Megara, Sikyon, Pellênê, Elis, Ambrakia, and Leukas,
furnished maritime force, while the Bœotians, Phocians, and Lokrians
supplied cavalry. Many of these cities, however, supplied hoplites
besides; but the remainder of the confederates furnished hoplites
only. It was upon this latter force, not omitting the powerful
Bœotian cavalry, that the main reliance was placed; especially for
the first and most important operation of the war,—the devastation
of Attica. Bound together by the strongest common feeling of active
antipathy to Athens, the whole confederacy was full of hope and
confidence for this immediate forward march,—so gratifying at once
both to their hatred and to their love of plunder, by the hand of
destruction laid upon the richest country in Greece,—and presenting
a chance even of terminating the war at once, if the pride of the
Athenians should be so intolerably stung as to provoke them to come
out and fight. Certainty of immediate success, at the first outset, a
common purpose to be accomplished and a common enemy to be put down,
and favorable sympathies throughout Greece,—all these circumstances
filled the Peloponnesians with sanguine hopes at the beginning of the
war: and the general persuasion was, that Athens, even if not reduced
to submission by the first invasion, could not possibly hold out more
than two or three summers against the repetition of this destructive
process.[219] Strongly did this confidence contrast with the proud
and resolute submission to necessity, not without desponding
anticipations of the result, which reigned among the auditors of

  [219] Thucyd. vii, 28. ὅσον κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς τοῦ πολέμου, οἱ μὲν
  ἐνιαυτὸν, οἱ δὲ δύο, οἱ δὲ τριῶν γε ἐτῶν, ~οὐδεὶς πλείω χρόνον
  ἐνόμιζον περιοίσειν αὐτοὺς~ (the Athenians), ~εἰ οἱ Πελοποννήσιοι
  ἐσβάλοιεν ἐς τὴν χώραν~: compare v, 14.

  [220] Thucyd. vi, 11. διὰ τὸ ~παρὰ γνώμην αὐτῶν, πρὸς ἃ ἐφοβεῖσθε
  τὸ πρῶτον, περιγεγενῆσθαι~, καταφρονήσαντες ἤδη καὶ τῆς Σικελίας
  ἐφίεσθε. It is Nikias, who, in dissuading the expedition against
  Syracuse, reminds the Athenians of their past despondency at the
  beginning of the war.

But though the Peloponnesians entertained confident belief of
carrying their point by simple land-campaign, they did not neglect
auxiliary preparations for naval and prolonged war. The Lacedæmonians
resolved to make up the naval force already existing among themselves
and their allies to an aggregate of five hundred triremes; chiefly
by the aid of the friendly Dorian cities on the Italian and Sicilian
coast. Upon each of them a specific contribution was imposed,
together with a given contingent; orders being transmitted to them to
make such preparations silently without any immediate declaration of
hostility against Athens, and even without refusing for the present
to admit any single Athenian ship into their harbors.[221] Besides
this, the Lacedæmonians laid their schemes for sending envoys to the
Persian king, and to other barbaric powers,—a remarkable evidence of
melancholy revolution in Grecian affairs, when that potentate, whom
the common arm of Greece had so hardly repulsed a few years before,
was now invoked to bring the Phenician fleet again into the Ægean for
the purpose of crushing Athens.

  [221] Thucyd. ii, 7. Diodorus says that the Italian and Sicilian
  allies were required to furnish two hundred triremes (xii, 41).
  Nothing of the kind seems to have been actually furnished.

The invasion of Attica, however, without delay, was the primary
object to be accomplished; and for that the Lacedæmonians issued
circular orders immediately after the attempted surprise at Platæa.
Though the vote of the allies was requisite to sanction any war,
yet when that vote had once been passed, the Lacedæmonians took
upon themselves to direct all the measures of execution. Two-thirds
of the hoplites of each confederate city,—apparently two-thirds of
a certain assumed rating, for which the city was held liable in
the books of the confederacy, so that the Bœotians and others who
furnished cavalry were not constrained to send two-thirds of their
entire force of hoplites,—were summoned to be present on a certain
day at the isthmus of Corinth, with provisions and equipment for an
expedition of some length.[222] On the day named, the entire force
was found duly assembled, and the Spartan king Archidamus, on taking
the command, addressed to the commanders and principal officers from
each city a discourse of solemn warning as well as encouragement.
His remarks were directed chiefly to abate the tone of sanguine
over-confidence which reigned in the army. After adverting to the
magnitude of the occasion, the mighty impulse agitating all Greece,
and the general good wishes which accompanied them against an enemy
so much hated,—he admonished them not to let their great superiority
of numbers and bravery seduce them into a spirit of rash disorder.
“We are about to attack (he said) an enemy admirably equipped in
every way, so that we may be very certain that they will come out
and fight,[223] even if they be not now actually on the march to
meet us at the border, at least when they see us in their territory
ravaging and destroying their property. All men exposed to any
unusual indignity become incensed, and act more under passion than
under calculation, when it is actually brought under their eyes: much
more will the Athenians do so, accustomed as they are to empire, and
to ravage the territory of others rather than to see their own so

  [222] Thucyd. ii, 10-12.

  [223] Thucyd. ii, 11. ὥστε χρὴ καὶ πάνυ ἐλπίζειν διὰ μάχης ἰέναι
  αὐτοὺς, εἰ μὴ καὶ νῦν ὥρμηνται, ἐν ᾧ οὔπω πάρεσμεν, ἀλλ᾽ ὅταν ἐν
  τῇ γῇ ὁρῶσιν ἡμᾶς δῃοῦντάς τε καὶ τἀκείνων φθείροντας.

  These reports of speeches are of great value as preserving a
  record of the feelings and expectations of actors, apart from the
  result of events. What Archidamus so confidently anticipated, did
  _not_ come to pass.

Immediately on the army being assembled, Archidamus sent Melêsippus
as envoy to Athens to announce the coming invasion, being still in
hopes that the Athenians would yield. But a resolution had been
already adopted, at the instance of Periklês, to receive neither
herald nor envoy from the Lacedæmonians when once their army was
on its march: so that Melêsippus was sent back without even being
permitted to enter the city. He was ordered to quit the territory
before sunset, with guides to accompany him and prevent him from
addressing a word to any one. On parting from his guides at the
border, Melêsippus exclaimed,[224] with a solemnity but too
accurately justified by the event: “This day will be the beginning of
many calamities to the Greeks.”

  [224] Thucyd. ii, 12.

Archidamus, as soon as the reception of his last envoy was made known
to him, continued his march from the isthmus into Attica,—which
territory he entered by the road of Œnoê, the frontier Athenian
fortress of Attica towards Bœotia. His march was slow, and he thought
it necessary to make a regular attack on the fort of Œnoê, which had
been put into so good a state of defence, that after all the various
modes of assault, in which the Lacedæmonians were not skilful, had
been tried in vain,[225]—and after a delay of several days before the
place,—he was compelled to renounce the attempt.

  [225] Thucyd. ii, 18. πᾶσαν ἰδέαν πειράσαντες οὐκ ἐδύναντο ἑλεῖν.
  The situation of Œnoê is not exactly agreed upon by topographical
  inquirers: it was near Eleutheræ, and on one of the roads from
  Attica into Bœotia (Harpokration, v, Οἰνόη; Herodot. v, 74).
  Archidamus marched, probably, from the isthmus over Geraneia,
  and fell into this road in order to receive the junction of the
  Bœotian contingent after it had crossed Kithæron.

The want of enthusiasm on the part of the Spartan king,—his
multiplied delays, first at the isthmus, next in the march, and
lastly before Œnoê,—were all offensive to the fiery impatience of the
army, who were loud in their murmurs against him. He acted upon the
calculation already laid down in his discourse at Sparta,[226]—that
the highly cultivated soil of Attica was to be looked upon as a
hostage for the pacific dispositions of the Athenians, who would be
more likely to yield when devastation, though not yet inflicted, was
nevertheless impending, and at their doors. In this point of view,
a little delay at the border was no disadvantage; and perhaps the
partisans of peace at Athens may have encouraged him to hope that it
would enable them to prevail. Nor can we doubt that it was a moment
full of difficulty to Periklês at Athens. He had to proclaim to all
the proprietors in Attica the painful truth, that they must prepare
to see their lands and houses overrun and ruined; and that their
persons, families, and movable property, must be brought in for
safety either to Athens, or to one of the forts in the territory,—or
carried across to one of the neighboring islands. It would, indeed,
make a favorable impression when he told them that Archidamus was his
own family friend, yet only within such limits as consisted with duty
to the city: in case, therefore, the invaders, while ravaging Attica,
should receive instruction to spare his own lands, he would forthwith
make them over to the state as public property: nor was such a case
unlikely to arise, if not from the personal feeling of Archidamus,
at least from the deliberate manœuvre of the Spartans, who would
seek thus to set the Athenian public against Periklês, as they had
tried to do before by demanding the banishment of the sacrilegious
Alkmæônid race.[227] But though this declaration would doubtless
provoke a hearty cheer, the lesson which he had to inculcate, not
simply for admission as prudent policy, but for actual practice,
was one revolting alike to the immediate interest, the dignity, and
the sympathies of his countrymen. To see their lands all ravaged,
without raising an arm to defend them,—to carry away their wives
and families, and to desert and dismantle their country residences,
as they had done during the Persian invasion,—all in the confidence
of compensation in other ways and of remote ultimate success,—were
recommendations which, probably, no one but Periklês could have
hoped to enforce. They were, moreover, the more painful to execute,
inasmuch as the Athenian citizens had very generally retained the
habits of residing permanently, not in Athens, but in the various
demes of Attica; many of which still preserved their temples, their
festivals, their local customs, and their limited municipal autonomy,
handed down from the day when they had once been independent of
Athens.[228] It was but recently that the farming, the comforts,
and the ornaments, thus distributed over Attica, had been restored
from the ruin of the Persian invasion, and brought to a higher pitch
of improvement than ever; yet the fruits of this labor, and the
scenes of these local affections, were now to be again deliberately
abandoned to a new aggressor, and exchanged for the utmost privation
and discomfort. Archidamus might well doubt whether the Athenians
would nerve themselves up to the pitch of resolution necessary
for this distressing step, when it came to the actual crisis; and
whether they would not constrain Periklês against his will to make
propositions for peace. His delay on the border, and postponement of
actual devastation, gave the best chance for such propositions being
made; though as this calculation was not realized, the army raised
plausible complaints against him for having allowed the Athenians
time to save so much of their property.

  [226] Thucyd. i, 82; ii, 18.

  [227] Thucyd. ii, 13: compare Tacitus, Histor. v, 23. “Cerealis,
  insulam Batavorum hostiliter populatus, agros Civilis, _notâ arte
  ducum_, intactos sinebat.” Also Livy, ii, 39.

  Justin affirms that the Lacedæmonian invaders actually did leave
  the lands of Periklês uninjured, and that he made them over to
  the people (iii, 7). Thucydidês does not say whether the case
  really occurred: see also Polyænus, i, 36.

  [228] Thucyd. ii, 15, 16.

From all parts of Attica the residents flocked within the spacious
walls of Athens, which now served as shelter for the houseless, like
Salamis, forty-nine years before: entire families with all their
movable property, and even with the woodwork of their houses; the
sheep and cattle were conveyed to Eubœa and the other adjoining
islands.[229] Though a few among the fugitives obtained dwellings or
reception from friends, the greater number were compelled to encamp
in the vacant spaces of the city and Peiræus, or in and around the
numerous temples of the city,—always excepting the acropolis and
the eleusinion, which were at all times strictly closed to profane
occupants; but even the ground called _the Pelasgikon_, immediately
under the acropolis, which, by an ancient and ominous tradition,
was interdicted to human abode,[230] was made use of under the
present necessity. Many, too, placed their families in the towers
and recesses of the city walls,[231] or in sheds, cabins, tents, or
even tubs, disposed along the course of the long walls to Peiræus.
In spite of so serious an accumulation of losses and hardships,
the glorious endurance of their fathers in the time of Xerxes was
faithfully copied, and copied too under more honorable circumstances,
since at that time there had been no option possible; whereas,
the march of Archidamus might, perhaps, now have been arrested by
submissions, ruinous indeed to Athenian dignity, yet not inconsistent
with the security of Athens, divested of her rank and power. Such
submissions, if suggested as they probably may have been by the party
opposed to Periklês, found no echo among the suffering population.

  [229] Thucyd. ii, 14.

  [230] Thucyd. ii, 17. καὶ τὸ Πελασγικὸν καλούμενον τὸ ὑπὸ τὴν
  ἀκρόπολιν, ὃ καὶ ἐπάρατόν τε ἦν μὴ οἰκεῖν καί τι καὶ Πυθικοῦ
  μαντείου ἀκροτελεύτιον τοιόνδε διεκώλυε, λέγον ὡς ~τὸ Πελασγικὸν
  ἀργὸν ἄμεινον~, ὅμως ὑπὸ τῆς παραχρῆμα ἀνάγκης ἐξῳκήθη.

  Thucydidês then proceeds to give an explanation of his own for
  this ancient prophecy, intended to save its credit, as well as
  to show that his countrymen had not, as some persons alleged,
  violated any divine mandate by admitting residents into the
  Pelasgikon. When the oracle said: “The Pelasgikon is better
  unoccupied,” it did not mean to interdict the occupation of that
  spot, but to foretell that it would never be occupied until a
  time of severe calamity arrived. The necessity of occupying it
  grew only out of national suffering. Such is the explanation
  suggested by Thucydidês.

  [231] Aristophanês, Equites, 789. οἰκοῦντ᾽ ἐν ταῖς πιθάκναισι
  κἀν γυπαρίοις καὶ πυργιδίοις. The philosopher Diogenês, in taking
  up his abode in a tub, had thus examples in history to follow.

After having spent several days before Œnoê without either taking
the fort or receiving any message from the Athenians, Archidamus
marched onward to Eleusis and the Thriasian plain,—about the middle
of June, eighty days after the surprise of Platæa. His army was of
irresistible force, not less than sixty thousand hoplites, according
to the statement of Plutarch,[232] or of one hundred thousand,
according to others: considering the number of constituent allies,
the strong feeling by which they were prompted, and the shortness
of the expedition combined with the chance of plunder, even the
largest of these two numbers is not incredibly great, if we take
it to include not hoplites only, but cavalry and light-armed also:
but as Thucydidês, though comparatively full in his account of this
march, has stated no general total, we may presume that he had
heard none upon which he could rely. As the Athenians had made no
movement towards peace, Archidamus anticipated that they would come
forth to meet him in the fertile plain of Eleusis and Thria, which
was the first portion of territory that he sat down to ravage: but
no Athenian force appeared to oppose him, except a detachment of
cavalry, who were repulsed in a skirmish near the small lakes called
Rheiti. Having laid waste this plain without any serious opposition,
Archidamus did not think fit to pursue the straight road which from
Thria conducted directly to Athens across the ridge of Mount Ægaleos,
but turned off to the westward, leaving that mountain on his right
hand until he came to Krôpeia, where he crossed a portion of the
line of Ægaleos over to Acharnæ. He was here about seven miles from
Athens, on a declivity sloping down into the plain which stretches
westerly and northwesterly from Athens, and visible from the city
walls: and he here encamped, keeping his army in perfect order for
battle, but at the same time intending to damage and ruin the place
and its neighborhood. Acharnæ was the largest and most populous of
all the demes in Attica, furnishing no less than three thousand
hoplites to the national line, and flourishing as well by its corn,
vines, and olives, as by its peculiar abundance of charcoal-burning
from the forests of ilex on the neighboring hills: moreover, if
we are to believe Aristophanês, the Acharnian proprietors were
not merely sturdy “hearts of oak,” but peculiarly vehement and
irritable.[233] It illustrates the condition of a Grecian territory
under invasion, when we find this great deme, which could not have
contained less than twelve thousand free inhabitants of both sexes
and all ages, with at least an equal number of slaves, completely
deserted. Archidamus calculated that when the Athenians actually saw
his troops so close to their city, carrying fire and sword over their
wealthiest canton, their indignation would become uncontrollable, and
they would march out forthwith to battle. The Acharnian proprietors
especially, he thought, would be foremost in inflaming this temper,
and insisting upon protection to their own properties,—or, if the
remaining citizens refused to march out along with them, they would,
after having been thus left undefended to ruin, become discontented
and indifferent to the general weal.[234]

  [232] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 33.

  [233] See the Acharneis of Aristophanês, represented in the sixth
  year of the Peloponnesian war, v, 34, 180, 254, etc.

                    πρεσβῦταί τινες
    Ἀχαρνικοὶ, στιπτοὶ γέροντες, πρίνινοι,
    ἀτεράμονες, Μαραθωνομάχαι, σφενδάμνινοι, etc.

  [234] Thucyd. ii, 20.

Though his calculation was not realized, it was, nevertheless,
founded upon most rational grounds. What Archidamus anticipated
was on the point of happening, and nothing prevented it, except
the personal ascendency of Periklês, strained to its very utmost.
So long as the invading army was engaged in the Thriasian plain,
the Athenians had some faint hope that it might—like Pleistoanax,
fourteen years before—advance no farther into the interior: but
when it came to Acharnæ, within sight of the city walls,—when the
ravagers were actually seen destroying buildings, fruit-trees, and
crops, in the plain of Athens, a sight strange to every Athenian
eye except to those very old men who recollected the Persian
invasion,—the exasperation of the general body of citizens rose
to a pitch never before known. The Acharnians first of all, next
the youthful citizens generally,—became madly clamorous for arming
and going forth to fight. Knowing well their own great strength,
but less correctly informed of the superior strength of the enemy,
they felt confident that victory was within their reach. Groups of
citizens were everywhere gathered together,[235] angrily debating
the critical question of the moment; while the usual concomitants of
excited feeling,—oracles and prophecies of diverse tenor, many of
them, doubtless, promising success against the enemy at Acharnæ,—were
eagerly caught up and circulated.

  [235] Thucyd. ii, 21. κατὰ ξυστάσεις δὲ γιγνόμενοι ἐν πολλῇ ἔριδι
  ἦσαν: compare Euripidês, Herakleidæ, 416; and Andromachê, 1077.

In this inflamed temper of the Athenian mind, Periklês was naturally
the great object of complaint and wrath. He was denounced as the
cause of all the existing suffering: he was reviled as a coward for
not leading out the citizens to fight, in his capacity of general:
the rational convictions as to the necessity of the war and the only
practicable means of carrying it on, which his repeated speeches
had implanted, seemed to be altogether forgotten.[236] This burst
of spontaneous discontent was, of course, fomented by the numerous
political enemies of Periklês, and particularly by Kleon,[237] now
rising into importance as an opposition-speaker; whose talent for
invective was thus first exercised under the auspices of the high
aristocratical party, as well as of an excited public. But no
manifestations, however violent, could disturb either the judgment
or the firmness of Periklês. He listened, unmoved, to all the
declarations made against him, and resolutely refused to convene
any public assembly, or any meeting invested with an authorized
character, under the present irritated temper of the citizens.[238]
It appears that he, as general, or rather the board of ten generals,
among whom he was one, must have been invested constitutionally with
the power, not only of calling the ekklesia when they thought fit,
but also of preventing it from meeting,[239] and of postponing even
those regular meetings which commonly took place at fixed times,
four times in the prytany. No assembly, accordingly, took place,
and the violent exasperation of the people was thus prevented from
realizing itself in any rash public resolution. That Periklês should
have held firm against this raging force, is but one among the many
honorable points in his political character; but it is far less
wonderful than the fact, that his refusal to call the ekklesia was
efficacious to prevent the ekklesia from being held. The entire body
of Athenians were now assembled within the walls, and if he refused
to convoke the ekklesia, they might easily have met in the Pnyx,
without him; for which it would not have been difficult at such a
juncture to provide plausible justification. The inviolable respect
which the Athenian people manifested on this occasion for the forms
of their democratical constitution—assisted doubtless by their
long-established esteem for Periklês, yet opposed to an excitement
alike intense and pervading, and to a demand apparently reasonable,
in so far as regarded the calling of an assembly for discussion,—is
one of the most memorable incidents in their history.

  [236] Thucyd. ii, 21. παντί τε τρόπῳ ἀνηρέθιστο ἡ πόλις καὶ τὸν
  Περικλέα ἐν ὀργῇ εἶχον, καὶ ὧν παρῄνεσε πρότερον ἐμέμνηντο οὐδὲν,
  ἀλλ᾽ ἐκάκιζον ὅτι στρατηγὸς ὢν οὐκ ἐπεξάγοι, αἴτιόν τε σφίσιν
  ἐνόμιζον πάντων ὧν ἔπασχον.

  [237] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 33.

  [238] Thucyd. ii, 22.

  [239] See Schömann, De Comitiis, c. iv, p. 62. The prytanes (_i.
  e._ the fifty senators belonging to that tribe whose turn it was
  to preside at the time), as well as the stratêgi, had the right
  of convoking the ekklesia: see Thucyd. iv, 118, in which passage,
  however, they are represented as convoking it in conjunction with
  the stratêgi: probably a discretion on the point came gradually
  to be understood as vested in the latter.

While Periklês thus decidedly forbade any general march out for
battle, he sought to provide as much employment as possible for the
compressed eagerness of the citizens. The cavalry were sent out,
together with the Thessalian cavalry their allies, for the purpose
of restraining the excursions of the enemy’s light troops, and
protecting the lands near the city from plunder.[240] At the same
time, he fitted out a powerful expedition, which sailed forth to
ravage Peloponnesus, even while the invaders were yet in Attica.[241]
Archidamus, after having remained engaged in the devastation of
Acharnæ long enough to satisfy himself that the Athenians would not
hazard a battle, turned away from Athens in a northwesterly direction
towards the demes between Mount Brilêssus and Mount Parnês, on the
road passing through Dekeleia. The army continued ravaging these
districts until their provisions were exhausted, and then quitted
Attica by the northwestern road near Orôpus, which brought them into
Bœotia. The Oropians were not Athenians, but dependent upon Athens,
and the district of Græa, a portion of their territory, was laid
waste; after which, the army dispersed and retired back to their
respective homes.[242] It would seem that they quitted Attica towards
the end of July, having remained in the country between thirty and
forty days.

  [240] Thucyd. ii, 22. The funeral monument of these slain
  Thessalians, was among those seen by Pausanias near Athens, on
  the side of the Academy (Pausan. i, 29, 5).

  [241] Diodorus (xii, 42) would have us believe, that the
  expedition sent out by Periklês, ravaging the Peloponnesian
  coast, induced the Lacedæmonians to hurry away their troops out
  of Attica. Thucydidês gives no countenance to this,—nor is it at
  all credible.

  [242] Thucyd. ii, 23. The reading Γραϊκὴν, belonging to Γραία,
  seems preferable to Πειραϊκὴν. Poppo and Göller adopt the
  former, Dr. Arnold the latter. Græa was a small maritime place
  in the vicinity of Orôpus (Aristotel. ap. Stephan. Byz. v.
  Τάναγρα),—known also now as an Attic deme belonging to the tribe
  Pandionis: this has been discovered for the first time by an
  inscription published in Professor Ross’s work (Ueber die Demen
  von Attika, pp. 3-5). Orôpus was not an Attic deme; the Athenian
  citizens residing in it were probably enrolled as Γραῆς.

Meanwhile, the Athenian expedition under Karkinus, Prôteas, and
Sokratês, joined by fifty Korkyræan ships, and by some other
allies, sailed round Peloponnesus, landing in various parts to
inflict damage, and among other places, at Methônê (Modon) on the
southwestern peninsula of the Lacedæmonian territory.[243] The
place, neither strong nor well-garrisoned, would have been carried
with little difficulty, had not Brasidas the son of Tellis,—a
gallant Spartan now mentioned for the first time, but destined
to great celebrity afterwards,—who happened to be on guard at a
neighboring post, thrown himself into it with one hundred men by
a rapid movement, before the dispersed Athenian troops could be
brought together to prevent him. He infused such courage into the
defenders of the place that every attack was repelled, and the
Athenians were forced to reëmbark,—an act of prowess which procured
for him the first public honors bestowed by the Spartans during this
war. Sailing northward along the western coast of Peloponnesus,
the Athenians landed again on the coast of Elis, a little south of
the promontory called Cape Ichthys: they ravaged the territory for
two days, defeating both the troops in the neighborhood and three
hundred chosen men from the central Eleian territory. Strong winds
on a harborless coast now induced the captains to sail with most
of the troops round Cape Ichthys, in order to reach the harbor of
Pheia on the northern side of it; while the Messenian hoplites,
marching by land across the promontory, attacked Pheia and carried
it by assault. When the fleet arrived, all were reëmbarked,—the full
force of Elis being under march to attack them: they then sailed
northward, landing on various other spots to commit devastation,
until they reached Sollium, a Corinthian settlement on the coast
of Akarnania. They captured this place, which they handed over to
the inhabitants of the neighboring Akarnanian town of Palærus,—as
well as Astakus, from whence they expelled the despot Euarchus, and
enrolled the town as a member of the Athenian alliance. From hence
they passed over to Kephallênia, which they were fortunate enough
also to acquire as an ally of Athens without any compulsion,—with its
four distinct towns, or districts, Palês, Kranii, Samê, and Pionê.
These various operations took up near three months from about the
beginning of July, so that they returned to Athens towards the close
of September,[244]—the beginning of the winter half of the year,
according to the distribution of Thucydidês.

  [243] Thucyd. ii, 25; Plutarch, Periklês, c. 34; Justin, iii, 7,

  [244] Thucyd. ii, 25-30; Diodor. xii, 43, 44.

Nor was this the only maritime expedition of the summer: thirty
more triremes, under Kleopompus, were sent through the Euripus to
the Lokrian coast opposite to the northern part of Eubœa. Some
disembarkations were made, whereby the Lokrian towns of Thronium
and Alopê were sacked, and farther devastation inflicted: while a
permanent garrison was planted, and a fortified post erected, in the
uninhabited island of Atalanta, opposite to the Lokrian coast, in
order to restrain privateers from Opus and the other Lokrian towns
in their excursions against Eubœa.[245] It was farther determined
to expel the Æginetan inhabitants from Ægina, and to occupy the
island with Athenian colonists. This step was partly rendered prudent
by the important position of the island midway between Attica and
Peloponnesus; but a concurrent motive, and probably the stronger
motive, was the gratification of ancient antipathy and revenge
against a people who had been among the foremost in provoking the
war and in inflicting upon Athens so much suffering. The Æginetans
with their wives and children were all put on shipboard and landed
in Peloponnesus,—where the Spartans permitted them to occupy the
maritime district and town of Thyrea, their last frontier towards
Argos: some of them, however, found shelter in other parts of Greece.
The island was made over to a detachment of Athenian kleruchs, or
citizen proprietors, sent thither by lot.[246]

  [245] Thucyd. ii, 26-32; Diodor. xii, 44.

  [246] Thucyd. ii, 27.

To the sufferings of the Æginetans, which we shall hereafter find
still more deplorably aggravated, we have to add those of the
Megarians. Both had been most zealous in kindling the war, but upon
none did the distress of war fall so heavily. Both probably shared
the premature confidence felt among the Peloponnesian confederacy,
that Athens could never hold out more than a year or two,—and were
thus induced to overlook their own undefended position against her.
Towards the close of September, the full force of Athens, citizens
and metics, marched into the Megarid under Periklês, and laid waste
the greater part of the territory: while they were in it, the hundred
ships which had been circumnavigating Peloponnesus, having arrived
at Ægina on their return, went and joined their fellow-citizens in
the Megarid, instead of going straight home. The junction of the
two formed the largest Athenian force that had ever yet been seen
together: there were ten thousand citizen hoplites, independent of
three thousand others who were engaged in the siege of Potidæa,
and three thousand metic hoplites,—besides a large number of light
troops.[247] Against so large a force the Megarians could of course
make no head, and their territory was all laid waste, even to the
city walls. For several years of the war, the Athenians inflicted
this destruction once, and often twice in the same year: a decree was
proposed in the Athenian ekklesia by Charinus, though perhaps not
carried, to the effect that the stratêgi every year should swear, as
a portion of their oath of office,[248] that they would twice invade
and ravage the Megarid. As the Athenians at the same time kept the
port of Nisæa blocked up, by means of their superior naval force and
of the neighboring coast of Salamis, the privations imposed on the
Megarians became extreme and intolerable.[249] Not merely their corn
and fruits, but even their garden vegetables near the city, were
rooted up and destroyed, and their situation seems often to have been
that of a besieged city hard pressed by famine. Even in the time of
Pausanias, so many centuries afterwards, the miseries of the town
during these years were remembered and communicated to him, being
assigned as the reason why one of their most memorable statues had
never been completed.[250]

  [247] Thucyd. ii, 31; Diodor. xii, 44.

  [248] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 30.

  [249] See the striking picture in the Acharneis of Aristophanês
  (685-781) of the distressed Megarian selling his hungry children
  into slavery with their own consent: also Aristoph. Pac. 432.

  The position of Megara, as the ally of Sparta and enemy of
  Athens, was uncomfortable in the same manner,—though not to the
  same intense pitch of suffering,—in the war which preceded the
  battle of Leuktra, near fifty years after this (Demosthen. cont.
  Neær., p. 1357, c. 12).

  [250] Pausan. i, 40, 3.

To these various military operations of Athens during the course
of this summer, some other measures of moment are to be added;
and Thucydidês also notices an eclipse of the sun which modern
astronomical calculations refer to the third of August: had this
eclipse happened three months earlier, immediately before the
entrance of the Peloponnesians into Attica, it might probably have
been construed as an unfavorable omen, and caused the postponement of
the scheme. Expecting a prolonged struggle, the Athenians now made
arrangements for placing Attica in a permanent state of defence,
both by sea and land; what these arrangements were, we are not told
in detail, but one of them was sufficiently remarkable to be named
particularly. They set apart one thousand talents out of the treasure
in the acropolis as an inviolable reserve, not to be touched except
on the single contingency of a hostile naval force about to assail
the city, with no other means at hand to defend it. They further
enacted, that if any citizen should propose, or any magistrate
put the question, in the public assembly, to make any different
application of this reserve, he should be punishable with death.
Moreover, they resolved every year to keep back one hundred of their
best triremes, and trierarchs to command and equip them, for the
same special necessity.[251] It may be doubted whether this latter
provision was placed under the same stringent sanction, or observed
with the same rigor, as that concerning the money, which latter was
not departed from until the twentieth year of the war, after all the
disasters of the Sicilian expedition, and on the terrible news of the
revolt of Chios. It was on that occasion that the Athenians first
repealed the sentence of capital punishment against the proposer of
this forbidden change, and next appropriated the money to meet the
then imminent peril of the commonwealth.[252]

  [251] Thucyd. ii, 24.

  [252] Thucyd. viii, 15.

The resolution here taken about this sacred reserve, and the rigorous
sentence interdicting contrary propositions, is pronounced by Mr.
Mitford to be an evidence of the indelible barbarism of democratical
government.[253] But we must recollect, first, that the sentence
of capital punishment was one which could hardly by possibility
come into execution; for no citizen would be so mad as to make
the forbidden proposition, while this law was in force. Whoever
desired to make it, would first begin by proposing to repeal the
prohibitory law, whereby he would incur no danger, whether the
assembly decided in the affirmative or negative; and if he obtained
an affirmative decision, he would then, and then only, proceed to
move the reappropriation of the fund. To speak the language of
English parliamentary procedure, he would first move the suspension
or abrogation of the standing order whereby the proposition was
forbidden,—next, he would move the proposition itself: in fact, such
was the mode actually pursued, when the thing at last came to be
done.[254] But though the capital sentence could hardly come into
effect, the proclamation of it _in terrorem_ had a very distinct
meaning. It expressed the deep and solemn conviction which the
people entertained of the importance of their own resolution about
the reserve,—it forewarned all assemblies and all citizens to come,
of the danger of diverting it to any other purpose,—it surrounded
the reserve with an artificial sanctity, which forced every man who
aimed at the reappropriation to begin with a preliminary proposition,
formidable on the very face of it, as removing a guarantee which
previous assemblies had deemed of immense value, and opening the
door to a contingency which they had looked upon as treasonable. The
proclamation of a lighter punishment, or a simple prohibition without
any definite sanction whatever, would neither have announced the
same emphatic conviction, nor produced the same deterring effect.
The assembly of 431 B.C. could not in any way enact laws which
subsequent assemblies could not reverse; but it could so frame its
enactments, in cases of peculiar solemnity, as to make its authority
strongly felt upon the judgment of its successors, and to prevent
them from entertaining motions for repeal, except under necessity at
once urgent and obvious. Far from thinking that the law now passed
at Athens displayed barbarism, either in the end or in the means, I
consider it principally remarkable for its cautious and long-sighted
view of the future,—qualities the exact reverse of barbarism,—and
worthy of the general character of Periklês, who probably suggested
it. Athens was just entering into a war which threatened to be of
indefinite length, and was certain to be very costly. To prevent the
people from exhausting all their accumulated fund, and to place them
under a necessity of reserving something against extreme casualties,
was an object of immense importance. Now the particular casualty,
which Periklês, assuming him to be the proposer, named as the sole
condition of touching this one thousand talents, might be considered
as of all others the most improbable, in the year 431 B.C. So immense
was then the superiority of the Athenian naval force, that to suppose
it defeated, and a Peloponnesian fleet in full sail for Peiræus, was
a possibility which it required a statesman of extraordinary caution
to look forward to, and which it is truly wonderful that the people
generally could have been induced to contemplate. Once tied up to
this purpose, however, the fund lay ready for any other terrible
emergency: and we shall find the actual employment of it incalculably
beneficial to Athens, at a moment of the gravest peril, when she
could hardly have protected herself without some such special
resource. The people would scarcely have sanctioned so rigorous an
economy, had it not been proposed to them at a period so early in the
war that their available reserve was still much larger: but it will
be forever to the credit of their foresight as well as constancy,
that they should first have adopted such a precautionary measure, and
afterwards adhered to it for nineteen years, under severe pressure
for money, until at length a case arose which rendered farther
abstinence really, and not constructively, impossible.

  [253] Mitford, Hist. of Greece, ch. xiv, sect. 1, vol. iii, p.
  100. “Another measure followed, which, taking place at the time
  when Thucydidês wrote and Periklês spoke, and while Periklês
  held the principal influence in the administration, strongly
  marks both the inherent weakness and the indelible barbarism of
  democratical government. A decree of the people directed....
  But so little confidence was placed in a decree so important,
  sanctioned only by the present will of that giddy tyrant, the
  multitude of Athens, against whose caprices, since the depression
  of the court of Areopagus, no balancing power remained,—that the
  denunciation of capital punishment was proposed against whosoever
  should propose, and whosoever should _concur in_ (?) any decree
  for the disposal of that money to any other purpose, or in any
  other circumstances.”

  [254] Thucyd. viii, 15. τὰ δὲ χίλια τάλαντα, ὧν διὰ παντὸς τοῦ
  πολέμου ἐγλίχοντο μὴ ἅψεσθαι, εὐθὺς ἔλυσαν τὰς ἐπικειμένας ζημίας
  τῷ εἰπόντι ἢ ἐπιψηφίσαντι, ὑπὸ τῆς παρούσης ἐκπλήξεως, καὶ
  ἐψηφίσαντο κινεῖν.

To display their force and take revenge by disembarking and ravaging
parts of Peloponnesus, was doubtless of much importance to Athens
during this first summer of the war: though it might seem that
the force so employed was quite as much needed in the conquest of
Potidæa, which still remained under blockade,—and of the neighboring
Chalkidians in Thrace, still in revolt. It was during the course
of this summer that a prospect opened to Athens of subduing these
towns, through the assistance of Sitalkês, king of the Odrysian
Thracians. That prince had married the sister of Nymphodôrus, a
citizen of Abdêra; who engaged to render him, and his son Sadokus,
allies of Athens. Sent for to Athens and appointed proxenus of Athens
at Abdêra, which was one of the Athenian subject allies, Nymphodôrus
made this alliance, and promised, in the name of Sitalkês, that
a sufficient Thracian force should be sent to aid Athens in the
reconquest of her revolted towns: the honor of Athenian citizenship
was at the same time conferred upon Sadokus.[255] Nymphodôrus farther
established a good understanding between Perdikkas of Macedonia and
the Athenians, who were persuaded to restore to him Therma, which
they had before taken from him. The Athenians had thus the promise
of powerful aid against the Chalkidians and Potidæans: yet the
latter still held out, with little prospect of immediate surrender.
Moreover, the town of Astakus, in Akarnania, which the Athenians had
captured during the summer, in the course of their expedition round
Peloponnesus, was recovered during the autumn by the deposed despot
Euarchus, assisted by forty Corinthian triremes and one thousand
hoplites. This Corinthian armament, after restoring Euarchus, made
some unsuccessful descents both upon other parts of Akarnania and
upon the island of Kephallênia: in the latter, they were entrapped
into an ambuscade, and obliged to return home with considerable

  [255] Thucyd. ii, 29.

  [256] Thucyd. ii, 33.

It was towards the close of this autumn also that Periklês, chosen
by the people for the purpose, delivered the funeral oration at
the public interment of those warriors who had fallen during the
campaign. The ceremonies of this public token of respect have already
been described in a former chapter, on occasion of the conquest of
Samos: but that which imparted to the present scene an imperishable
interest, was the discourse of the chosen statesman and orator;
probably heard by Thucydidês himself, and in substance reproduced. A
large crowd of citizens and foreigners, of both sexes and all ages,
accompanied the funeral procession from Athens to the suburb called
the outer Kerameikus, where Periklês, mounted upon a lofty stage
prepared for the occasion, closed the ceremony with his address. The
law of Athens not only provided this public funeral and commemorative
discourse, but also assigned maintenance at the public expense to
the children of the slain warriors until they attained military age:
a practice which was acted on throughout the whole war, though we
have only the description and discourse belonging to this single

  [257] Thucyd. ii, 34-45. Sometimes, also, the allies of Athens,
  who had fallen along with her citizens in battle, had a part in
  the honors of the public burial (Lysias, Orat. Funebr. c. 13).

The eleven chapters of Thucydidês which comprise this funeral speech
are among the most memorable relics of antiquity; considering
that under the language and arrangement of the historian,—always
impressive, though sometimes harsh and peculiar, like the workmanship
of a powerful mind, misled by a bad or an unattainable model,—we
possess the substance and thoughts of the illustrious statesman. A
portion of it, of course, is and must be common-place, belonging to
all discourses composed for a similar occasion. Yet this is true
only of a comparatively small portion: much of it is peculiar, and
every way worthy of Periklês,—comprehensive, rational, and full,
not less of sense and substance than of earnest patriotism. It thus
forms a strong contrast with the jejune, though elegant, rhetoric
of other harangues, mostly[258] not composed for actual delivery;
and deserves, in comparison with the funeral discourses remaining
to us from Plato, and the Pseudo-Demosthenês, and even Lysias, the
honorable distinction which Thucydidês claims for his own history,—an
ever-living possession, and not a mere show-piece for the moment.

  [258] The critics, from Dionysius of Halikarnassus downward,
  agree, for the most part, in pronouncing the feeble Λόγος
  Ἐπιτάφιος, ascribed to Demosthenês, to be not really his. Of
  those ascribed to Plato and Lysias also, the genuineness has been
  suspected, though upon far less grounds. The Menexenus, if it be
  really the work of Plato, however, does not add to his fame: but
  the harangue of Lysias, a very fine composition, may well be his,
  and may, perhaps, have been really delivered,—though probably not
  delivered by him, as he was not a qualified citizen.

  See the general instructions, in Dionys. Hal. Ars Rhetoric. c. 6,
  pp. 258-268, Reisk, on the contents and composition of a funeral
  discourse,—Lysias is said to have composed several,—Plutarch,
  Vit. x, Orator. p. 836.

  Compare, respecting the funeral discourse of Periklês, K. F.
  Weber, Über die Stand-Rede des Periklês (Darmstadt, 1827);
  Westermann, Geschichte der Beredsamkeit in Griechenland und Rom.
  sects. 35, 63, 64; Kutzen, Perikles, als Staatsman, p. 158, sect.
  12 (Grimma, 1834).

  Dahlmann (Historische Forschungen, vol. i, p. 23) seems to
  think that the original oration of Periklês contained a
  large sprinkling of mythical allusions and stories out of
  the antiquities of Athens, such as we now find in the other
  funeral orations above alluded to; but that Thucydidês himself
  deliberately left them out in his report. But there seems no
  foundation for this suspicion. It is much more consonant to
  the superior tone of dignity which reigns throughout all this
  oration, to suppose that the mythical narratives, and even
  the previous historical glories of Athens, never found any
  special notice in the speech of Periklês,—nothing more than
  a general recognition, with an intimation that he does not
  dwell upon them at length because they were well known to his
  audience,—μακρηγορεῖν ἐν εἰδόσιν οὐ βουλόμενος ἐάσω (ii, 36).

In the outset of his speech, Periklês distinguishes himself from
those who had preceded him in the same function of public orator,
by dissenting from the encomiums which it had been customary to
bestow on the law enjoining these funeral harangues: he thinks that
the publicity of the funeral itself, and the general demonstrations
of respect and grief by the great body of citizens, tell more
emphatically in token of gratitude to the brave dead, when the
scene passes in silence, than when it is translated into the words
of a speaker, who may easily offend, either by incompetency or by
apparent feebleness, or perhaps even by unseasonable exaggeration.
Nevertheless, the custom having been embodied in law, and elected as
he has been by the citizens, he comes forward to discharge the duty
imposed upon him in the best manner he can.[259]

  [259] Thucyd. ii, 35.

One of the remarkable features in this discourse is, its
business-like, impersonal character: it is Athens herself who
undertakes to commend and decorate her departed sons, as well as to
hearten up and admonish the living.

After a few words on the magnitude of the empire, and on the glorious
efforts as well as endurance whereby their forefathers and they
had acquired it,—Periklês proceeds to sketch the plan of life, the
constitution, and the manners, under which such achievements were
brought about.[260]

  [260] Thucyd. ii, 36. Ἀπὸ δὲ οἵας τε ἐπιτηδεύσεως ἤλθομεν ἐπ᾽
  αὐτὰ, καὶ μεθ᾽ οἵας πολιτείας, καὶ τρόπων ἐξ οἵων μεγάλα ἐγένετο,
  ταῦτα δηλώσας πρῶτον εἶμι, etc.

  In the Demosthenic or pseudo-Demosthenic Orat. Funebris, c. 8, p.
  1397—χρηστῶν ἐπιτηδευμάτων συνήθεια, τῆς ὅλης πολιτείας ὑπόθεσις,

“We live under a constitution such as noway to envy the laws of
our neighbors,—ourselves an example to others, rather than mere
imitators. It is called a democracy, since its permanent aim tends
towards the many and not towards the few: in regard to private
matters and disputes, the laws deal equally with every man: while
looking to public affairs and to claims of individual influence,
every man’s chance of advancement is determined, not by party-favor
but by real worth, according as his reputation stands in his own
particular department: nor does poverty, or obscure station, keep him
back,[261] if he really has the means of benefiting the city. And
our social march is free, not merely in regard to public affairs,
but also in regard to intolerance of each other’s diversity of daily
pursuits. For we are not angry with our neighbor for what he may
do to please himself, nor do we ever put on those sour looks,[262]
which, though they do no positive damage, are not the less sure
to offend. Thus conducting our private social intercourse with
reciprocal indulgence, we are restrained from wrong on public matters
by fear and reverence of our magistrates for the time being, and of
our laws,—especially such laws as are instituted for the protection
of wrongful sufferers, and even such others as, though not written,
are enforced by a common sense of shame. Besides this, we have
provided for our minds numerous recreations from toil, partly by
our customary solemnities of sacrifice and festival throughout the
year, partly by the elegance of our private establishments,—the daily
charm of which banishes the sense of discomfort. From the magnitude
of our city, the products of the whole earth are brought to us,
so that our enjoyment of foreign luxuries is as much our own and
assured as those which we grow at home. In respect to training for
war, we differ from our opponents (the Lacedæmonians) on several
material points. First, we lay open our city as a common resort: we
apply no xenêlasy to exclude even an enemy either from any lesson or
any spectacle, the full view of which he may think advantageous to
him; for we trust less to manœuvres and quackery than to our native
bravery, for warlike efficiency. Next, in regard to education, while
the Lacedæmonians, even from their earliest youth, subject themselves
to an irksome exercise for the attainment of courage, we, with our
easy habits of life, are not less prepared than they, to encounter
all perils within the measure of our strength. The proof of this is,
that the Peloponnesian confederates do not attack us one by one, but
with their whole united force; while we, when we attack them at home,
overpower for the most part all of them who try to defend their own
territory. None of our enemies has ever met and contended with our
entire force; partly in consequence of our large navy,—partly from
our dispersion in different simultaneous land-expeditions. But when
they chance to be engaged with any part of it, if victorious, they
pretend to have vanquished us all,—if defeated, they pretend to have
been vanquished by all.

  [261] Thucyd. ii, 37. οὐδ᾽ αὖ κατὰ πενίαν, ἔχων δέ τι ἀγαθὸν
  δρᾶσαι τὴν πόλιν, ἀξιώματος ἀφανείᾳ κεκώλυται: compare Plato,
  Menexenus, c. 8.

  [262] Thucyd. ii, 37. ἐλευθέρως δὲ τά τε πρὸς τὸ κοινὸν
  πολιτεύομεν, καὶ ἐς τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους τῶν καθ᾽ ἡμέραν
  ἐπιτηδευμάτων ὑποψίαν, οὐ δι᾽ ὀργῆς τὸν πέλας, εἰ καθ᾽ ἡδονήν τι
  δρᾷ, ἔχοντες, οὐδὲ ἀζημίους μὲν, λυπηρὰς δὲ, τῇ ὄψει ἀχθηδόνας
  προστιθέμενοι. Ἀνεπαχθῶς δὲ τὰ ἴδια προσομιλοῦντες τὰ δημόσια
  διὰ δέος μάλιστα οὐ παρανομοῦμεν, τῶν τε ἀεὶ ἐν ἀρχῇ ὄντων
  ἀκροάσει καὶ τῶν νόμων, καὶ μάλιστα αὐτῶν ὅσοι τε ἐπ᾽ ὠφελείᾳ
  τῶν ἀδικουμένων κεῖνται, καὶ ὅσοι ἄγραφοι ὄντες αἰσχύνην
  ὁμολογουμένην φέρουσι.

“Now, if we are willing to brave danger, just as much under an
indulgent system as under constant toil, and by spontaneous courage
as much as under force of law,—we are gainers in the end, by not
vexing ourselves beforehand with sufferings to come, yet still
appearing in the hour of trial not less daring than those who toil
without ceasing.

“In other matters, too, as well as in these, our city deserves
admiration. For we combine elegance of taste with simplicity of
life, and we pursue knowledge without being enervated:[263] we
employ wealth, not for talking and ostentation, but as a real
help in the proper season: nor is it disgraceful to any one who
is poor to confess his poverty, though he _may_ rather incur
reproach for not actually keeping himself out of poverty. The
magistrates who discharge public trusts fulfil their domestic
duties also,—the private citizen, while engaged in professional
business, has competent knowledge on public affairs: for we stand
alone in regarding the man who keeps aloof from these latter, not
as harmless, but as useless. Moreover, we always hear and pronounce
on public matters, when discussed by our leaders,—or perhaps strike
out for ourselves correct reasonings about them: far from accounting
discussion an impediment to action, we complain only if we are
not told what is to be done before it becomes our duty to do it.
For, in truth, we combine in the most remarkable manner these two
qualities,—extreme boldness in execution, with full debate beforehand
on that which we are going about: whereas, with others, ignorance
alone imparts boldness,—debate introduces hesitation. Assuredly,
those men are properly to be regarded as the stoutest of heart, who,
knowing most precisely both the terrors of war and the sweets of
peace, are still not the less willing to encounter peril.

  [263] Thucyd. ii, 40. φιλοκαλοῦμεν γὰρ μετ᾽ εὐτελείας, καὶ
  φιλοσοφοῦμεν ἄνευ μαλακίας· πλούτῳ τε ἔργου μᾶλλον καιρῷ ἢ λόγου
  κόμπῳ χρώμεθα, καὶ τὸ πένεσθαι οὐχ ὁμολογεῖν τινὶ αἰσχρὸν, ἀλλὰ
  μὴ διαφεύγειν ἔργῳ αἴσχιον.

  The first strophe of the Chorus in Euripid. Medea, 824-841, may
  be compared with the tenor of this discourse of Periklês: the
  praises of Attica are there dwelt upon, as a country too good to
  receive the guilty Medea.

“In fine, I affirm that our city, considered as a whole, is the
schoolmistress of Greece;[264] while, viewed individually, we
enable the same man to furnish himself out and suffice to himself
in the greatest variety of ways, and with the most complete grace
and refinement. This is no empty boast of the moment, but genuine
reality: and the power of the city, acquired through the dispositions
just indicated, exists to prove it. Athens alone, of all cities,
stands forth in actual trial greater than her reputation: her
enemy, when he attacks her, will not have his pride wounded by
suffering defeat from feeble hands,—her subjects will not think
themselves degraded as if their obedience were paid to an unworthy
superior.[265] Having thus put forward our power, not uncertified,
but backed by the most evident proofs, we shall be admired not less
by posterity than by our contemporaries. Nor do we stand in need
either of Homer or of any other panegyrist, whose words may for
the moment please, while the truth when known would confute their
intended meaning: we have compelled all land and sea to become
accessible to our courage, and have planted everywhere imperishable
monuments of our kindness as well as of our hostility.

  [264] Thucyd. ii, 41. ξυνελών τε λέγω, τήν τε πᾶσαν πόλιν τῆς
  Ἑλλάδος παίδευσιν εἶναι, καὶ καθ᾽ ἕκαστον δοκεῖν ἄν μοι τὸν αὐτὸν
  ἄνδρα παρ᾽ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ πλεῖστ᾽ ἂν εἴδη καὶ μετὰ χαρίτων μάλιστ᾽ ἂν
  εὐτραπέλως τὸ σῶμα αὔταρκες παρέχεσθαι.

  The abstract word παίδευσιν, in place of the concrete παιδευτρία,
  seems to soften the arrogance of the affirmation.

  [265] Thucyd. ii, 41. μόνη γὰρ τῶν νῦν ἀκοῆς κρείσσων ἐς πεῖραν
  ἔρχεται, καὶ μόνη οὔτε τῷ πολεμίῳ ἐπελθόντι ἀγανάκτησιν ἔχει
  ὑφ᾽ οἵων κακοπαθεῖ, οὔτε τῷ ὑπηκόῳ κατάμεμψιν ὡς οὐχ ὑπ᾽ ἀξίων

“Such is the city on behalf of which these warriors have nobly died
in battle, vindicating her just title to unimpaired rights,[266]—and
on behalf of which all of us here left behind must willingly toil.
It is for this reason that I have spoken at length concerning the
city, at once to draw from it the lesson that the conflict is not for
equal motives between us and enemies who possess nothing of the like
excellence,—and to demonstrate by proofs the truth of my encomium
pronounced upon her.”

  [266] Thucyd. ii. 42. περὶ τοιαύτης οὖν πόλεως οἵδε τε γενναίως
  δικαιοῦντες μὴ ἀφαιρεθῆναι αὐτὴν μαχόμενοι ἐτελεύτησαν, καὶ τῶν
  λειπομένων πάντα τινὰ εἰκὸς ἐθέλειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς κάμνειν.

  I am not sure that I have rightly translated δικαιοῦντες μὴ
  ἀφαιρεθῆναι αὐτὴν,—but neither Poppo, nor Göller, nor Dr. Arnold,
  say anything about these words, which yet are not at all clear.

Periklês pursues at considerable additional length the same tenor
of mixed exhortation to the living and eulogy of the dead; with
many special and emphatic observations addressed to the relatives
of the latter, who were assembled around and doubtless very near
him. But the extract which I have already made is so long, that
no farther addition would be admissible: yet it was impossible to
pass over lightly the picture of the Athenian commonwealth in its
glory, as delivered by the ablest citizen of the age. The effect
of the democratical constitution, with its diffused and equal
citizenship, in calling forth not merely strong attachment, but
painful self-sacrifice, on the part of all Athenians,—is nowhere more
forcibly insisted upon than in the words above cited of Periklês,
as well as in others afterwards: “Contemplating as you do daily
before you the actual power of the state, and becoming passionately
attached to it, when you conceive its full greatness, reflect that
it was all acquired by men of daring, acquainted with their duty,
and full of an honorable sense of shame in their actions,”[267]—such
is the association which he presents between the greatness of the
state as an object of common passion, and the courage, intelligence,
and mutual esteem, of individual citizens, as its creating and
preserving causes: poor as well as rich being alike interested in the

  [267] Thucyd. ii. 43. τὴν τῆς πόλεως δύναμιν καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἔργῳ
  θεωμένους καὶ ἐραστὰς γιγνομένους αὐτῆς, καὶ ὅταν ὑμῖν μεγάλη
  δόξῃ εἶναι, ἐνθυμουμένους ὅτι τολμῶντες καὶ γιγνώσκοντες τὰ
  δέοντα, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις αἰσχυνόμενοι ἄνδρες αὐτὰ ἐκτήσαντο,

  Αἰσχυνόμενοι: compare Demosthen. Orat. Funebris, c. 7, p. 1396.
  Αἱ μὲν γὰρ διὰ τῶν ὀλίγων δυναστεῖαι δέος μὲν ἐνεργάζονται τοῖς
  πολίταις, αἰσχύνην δ᾽ οὐ παριστᾶσιν.

But the claims of patriotism, though put forward as essentially
and deservedly paramount, are by no means understood to reign
exclusively, or to absorb the whole of the democratical activity.
Subject to these, and to those laws and sanctions which protect
both the public and individuals against wrong, it is the pride
of Athens to exhibit a rich and varied fund of human impulse,—an
unrestrained play of fancy and diversity of private pursuit,
coupled with a reciprocity of cheerful indulgence between one
individual and another, and an absence even of those “black looks”
which so much embitter life, even if they never pass into enmity
of fact. This portion of the speech of Periklês deserves peculiar
attention, because it serves to correct an assertion, often far too
indiscriminately made, respecting antiquity as contrasted with modern
societies,—an assertion that the ancient societies sacrificed the
individual to the state, and that only in modern times has individual
agency been left free to the proper extent. This is preëminently true
of Sparta: it is also true, in a great degree, of the ideal societies
depicted by Plato and Aristotle: but it is pointedly untrue of the
Athenian democracy, nor can we with any confidence predicate it of
the major part of the Grecian cities.

I shall hereafter return to this point when I reach the times of the
great speculative philosophers: in the mean time I cannot pass over
this speech of Periklês without briefly noticing the inference which
it suggests, to negative the supposed exorbitant interference of the
state with individual liberty, as a general fact among the ancient
Greek republics. There is no doubt that he has present to his mind
a comparison with the extreme narrowness and rigor of Sparta, and
that therefore his assertions of the extent of positive liberty at
Athens must be understood as partially qualified by such contrast.
But even making allowance for this, the stress which he lays upon the
liberty of thought and action at Athens, not merely from excessive
restraint of law, but also from practical intolerance between man
and man, and tyranny of the majority over individual dissenters in
taste and pursuit,—deserves serious notice, and brings out one of
those points in the national character upon which the intellectual
development of the time mainly depended. The national temper was
indulgent in a high degree to all the varieties of positive impulses:
the peculiar promptings in every individual bosom were allowed
to manifest themselves and bear fruit, without being suppressed
by external opinion, or trained into forced conformity with some
assumed standard: antipathies against any of them formed no part of
the habitual morality of the citizen. While much of the generating
causes of human hatred was thus rendered inoperative, and while
society was rendered more comfortable, more instructive, and more
stimulating,—all its germs of productive fruitful genius, so rare
everywhere, found in such an atmosphere the maximum of encouragement.
Within the limits of the law, assuredly as faithfully observed at
Athens as anywhere in Greece, individual impulse, taste, and even
eccentricity, were accepted with indulgence, instead of being a mark
as elsewhere for the intolerance of neighbors or of the public. This
remarkable feature in Athenian life will help us in a future chapter
to explain the striking career of Sokratês, and it farther presents
to us, under another face, a great part of that which the censors
of Athens denounced under the name of “democratical license.” The
liberty and diversity of individual life in that city were offensive
to Xenophon,[268] Plato, and Aristotle,—attached either to the
monotonous drill of Sparta, or to some other ideal standard, which,
though much better than the Spartan in itself, they were disposed to
impress upon society with a heavy-handed uniformity. That liberty
of individual action, not merely from the over-restraints of law,
but from the tyranny of jealous opinion, such as Periklês depicts
in Athens, belongs more naturally to a democracy, where there is no
select one or few to receive worship and set the fashion, than to any
other form of government. But it is very rare even in democracies:
nor can we dissemble the fact that none of the governments of modern
times, democratical, aristocratical, or monarchical, presents any
thing like the picture of generous tolerance towards social dissent,
and spontaneity of individual taste, which we read in the speech
of the Athenian statesman. In all of them, the intolerance of the
national opinion cuts down individual character to one out of a few
set types, to which every person, or every family, is constrained
to adjust itself, and beyond which all exceptions meet either with
hatred or with derision. To impose upon men such restraints either
of law or of opinion as are requisite for the security and comfort
of society, but to encourage rather than repress the free play of
individual impulse subject to those limits,—is an ideal, which, if
it was ever approached at Athens, has certainly never been attained,
and has indeed comparatively been little studied or cared for in any
modern society.

  [268] Compare the sentiment of Xenophon, the precise reverse of
  that which is here laid down by Periklês, extolling the rigid
  discipline of Sparta, and denouncing the laxity of Athenian life
  (Xenophon, Memorab. iii, 5, 15; iii, 12, 5). It is curious that
  the sentiment appears in this dialogue as put in the mouth of the
  younger Periklês (illegitimate son of the great Periklês) in a
  dialogue with Sokratês.

Connected with this reciprocal indulgence of individual diversity,
was not only the hospitable reception of all strangers at Athens,
which Periklês contrasts with the xenêlasy or jealous expulsion
practised at Sparta,—but also the many-sided activity, bodily and
mental, visible in the former, so opposite to that narrow range
of thought, exclusive discipline of the body and never-ending
preparation for war, which formed the system of the latter. His
assertion that Athens was equal to Sparta, even in her own solitary
excellence,—efficiency on the field of battle,—is doubtless
untenable; but not the less impressive is his sketch of that
multitude of concurrent impulses which at this same time agitated
and impelled the Athenian mind,—the strength of one not implying
the weakness of the remainder: the relish for all pleasures of
art and elegance, and the appetite for intellectual expansion,
coinciding in the same bosom with energetic promptitude as well as
endurance: abundance of recreative spectacles, yet noway abating the
cheerfulness of obedience even to the hardest calls of patriotic
duty: that combination of reason and courage which encountered
danger the more willingly from having discussed and calculated it
beforehand: lastly, an anxious interest as well as a competence of
judgment in public discussion and public action, common to every
citizen rich and poor, and combined with every man’s own private
industry. So comprehensive an ideal of many-sided social development,
bringing out the capacities for action and endurance, as well as
those for enjoyment, would be sufficiently remarkable, even if we
supposed it only existing in the imagination of a philosopher: but it
becomes still more so when we recollect that the main features of it
at least were drawn from the fellow-citizens of the speaker. It must
be taken, however, as belonging peculiarly to the Athens of Periklês
and his contemporaries; nor would it have suited either the period of
the Persian war, fifty years before, or that of Demosthenês, seventy
years afterwards. At the former period, the art, the letters, and
the philosophy, were as yet backward, while even the active energy
and democratical stimulus, though very powerful, had not been worked
up to the pitch which they afterwards reached: at the latter period,
although the intellectual manifestations of Athens subsist in full
or even increased vigor, we shall find the personal enterprise
and energetic spirit of her citizens materially abated. As the
circumstances, which I have already recounted, go far to explain the
previous upward movement, so those which fill the coming chapters,
containing the disasters of the Peloponnesian war, will be found to
explain still more completely the declining tendency shortly about to
commence. Athens was brought to the brink of entire ruin, from which
it is surprising that she recovered at all,—but noway surprising
that she recovered at the expense of a considerable loss of personal
energy in the character of her citizens.

And thus the season at which Periklês delivered his discourse lends
to it an additional and peculiar pathos. It was delivered at a time
when Athens was as yet erect and at her maximum for though her real
power was, doubtless, much diminished, compared with the period
before the thirty years’ truce, yet the great edifices and works
of art, achieved since then, tended to compensate that loss, in so
far as the sense of greatness was concerned; and no one, either
citizen or enemy, considered Athens as having at all declined. It
was delivered at the commencement of the great struggle with the
Peloponnesian confederacy, the coming hardships of which Periklês
never disguised either to himself or to his fellow-citizens, though
he fully counted upon eventual success. Attica had been already
invaded; it was no longer “the unwasted territory,” as Euripidês
had designated it in his tragedy Medea,[269] represented three or
four months before the march of Archidamus,—and a picture of Athens
in her social glory was well calculated both to rouse the pride
and nerve the courage of those individuals citizens, who had been
compelled once, and would be compelled again and again, to abandon
their country-residence and fields for a thin tent or confined hole
in the city.[270] Such calamities might, indeed, be foreseen: but
there was one still greater calamity, which, though actually then
impending, could not be foreseen: the terrific pestilence which will
be recounted in the coming chapter. The bright colors, and tone
of cheerful confidence, which pervade the discourse of Periklês,
appear the more striking from being in immediate antecedence to the
awful description of this distemper: a contrast to which Thucydidês
was, doubtless, not insensible, and which is another circumstance
enhancing the interest of the composition.

  [269] Euripidês, Medea, 824. ἱερᾶς χώρας ἀπορθήτου τ᾽, etc.

  [270] The remarks of Dionysius Halikarnassus, tending to show
  that the number of dead buried on this occasion was so small,
  and the actions in which they had been slain so insignificant,
  as to be unworthy of so elaborate an harangue as this of
  Periklês,—and finding fault with Thucydidês on that ground,—are
  by no means well-founded or justifiable. He treats Thucydidês
  like a dramatic writer putting a speech into the mouth of one of
  his characters, and he considers that the occasion chosen for
  this speech was unworthy. But though this assumption would be
  correct with regard to many ancient historians, and to Dionysius
  himself in his Roman history,—it is not correct with reference
  to Thucydidês. The speech of Periklês was a real speech, heard,
  reproduced, and doubtless dressed up, by Thucydidês: if therefore
  more is said than the number of the dead or the magnitude of the
  occasion warranted, this is the fault of Periklês, and not of
  Thucydidês. Dionysius says that there were many other occasions
  throughout the war much more worthy of an elaborate funeral
  harangue,—especially the disastrous loss of the Sicilian army.
  But Thucydidês could not have heard any of them, after his exile
  in the eighth year of the war: and we may well presume that none
  of them would bear any comparison with this of Periklês. Nor does
  Dionysius at all appreciate the full circumstances of this first
  year of the war,—which, when completely felt, will be found to
  render the splendid and copious harangue of the great statesman
  eminently seasonable. See Dionys. H. de Thucyd. Judic. pp.



At the close of one year after the attempted surprise of Platæa
by the Thebans, the belligerent parties in Greece remained in an
unaltered position as to relative strength. Nothing decisive had
been accomplished on either side, either by the invasion of Attica,
or by the flying descents round the coast of Peloponnesus: in spite
of mutual damage inflicted,—doubtless, in the greatest measure
upon Attica,—no progress was yet made towards the fulfilment of
those objects which had induced the Peloponnesians to go to war.
Especially, the most pressing among all their wishes—the relief
of Potidæa—was noway advanced; for the Athenians had not found it
necessary to relax the blockade of that city. The result of the
first year’s operations had thus been to disappoint the hopes of
the Corinthians and the other ardent instigators of war, while it
justified the anticipations both of Periklês and of Archidamus.

A second devastation of Attica was resolved upon for the commencement
of spring; and measures were taken for carrying it all over that
territory, since the settled policy of Athens not to hazard a battle
with the invaders was now ascertained. About the end of March, or
beginning of April, the entire Peloponnesian force—two-thirds from
each confederate city, as before—was assembled under the command of
Archidamus, and marched into Attica. This time they carried the work
of systematic destruction, not merely over the Thriasian plain and
the plain immediately near to Athens, as before; but also to the
more southerly portions of Attica, down even as far as the mines of
Laurium. They traversed and ravaged both the eastern and the western
coast, remaining not less than forty days in the country. They found
the territory deserted as before, all the population having retired
within the walls.[271]

  [271] Thucyd. ii, 47-55.

In regard to this second invasion, Periklês recommended the same
defensive policy as he had applied to the first; and, apparently,
the citizens had now come to acquiesce in it, if not willingly, at
least with a full conviction of its necessity. But a new visitation
had now occurred, diverting their attention from the invader, though
enormously aggravating their sufferings. A few days after Archidamus
entered Attica, a pestilence, or epidemic sickness, broke out
unexpectedly at Athens.

It appears that this terrific disorder had been raging for some
time throughout the regions round the Mediterranean; having begun,
as was believed, in Æthiopia,—thence passing into Egypt and Libya,
and overrunning a considerable portion of Asia under the Persian
government: about sixteen years before, too, there had been a similar
calamity in Rome and in various parts of Italy. Recently, it had been
felt in Lemnos and some other islands of the Ægean, yet seemingly not
with such intensity as to excite much notice generally in the Grecian
world: at length it passed to Athens, and first showed itself in the
Peiræus. The progress of the disease was as rapid and destructive as
its appearance had been sudden; whilst the extraordinary accumulation
of people within the city and long walls, in consequence of the
presence of the invaders in the country, was but too favorable
to every form of contagion. Families crowded together in close
cabins and places of temporary shelter,[272]—throughout a city
constructed, like most of those in Greece, with little regard
to the conditions of salubrity,—and in a state of mental chagrin
from the forced abandonment and sacrifice of their properties in
the country, transmitted the disorder with fatal facility from one
to the other. Beginning as it did about the middle of April, the
increasing heat of summer farther aided the disorder, the symptoms of
which, alike violent and sudden, made themselves the more remarked
because the year was particularly exempt from maladies of every other

  [272] Thucyd. ii, 52; Diodor. xii, 45; Plutarch, Periklês, c. 34.
  It is to be remarked, that the Athenians, though their persons
  and movable property were crowded within the walls, had not
  driven in their sheep and cattle also, but had transported them
  over to Eubœa and the neighboring islands (Thucyd. ii, 14). Hence
  they escaped a serious aggravation of their epidemic: for in the
  accounts of the epidemics which desolated Rome under similar
  circumstances, we find the accumulation of great numbers of
  cattle, along with human beings, specified as a terrible addition
  to the calamity (see Livy, iii, 66; Dionys. Hal. Ant. Rom. x, 53:
  compare Niebuhr, Römisch. Gesch. vol. ii, p. 90).

  [273] Thucyd. ii, 49. Τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἔτος, ὡς ὡμολογεῖτο, ἐκ πάντων
  μάλιστα δὴ ἐκεῖνο ἄνοσον ἐς τὰς ἄλλας ἀσθενείας ἐτύγχανεν ὄν.
  Hippokratês, in his description of the epidemic fever at Thasos,
  makes a similar remark on the absence of all other disorders at
  the time (Epidem. i, 8, vol. ii, p. 640, ed. Littré).

Of this plague,—or, more properly, eruptive typhoid fever,[274]
distinct from, yet analogous to, the smallpox,—a description no less
clear than impressive has been left by the historian Thucydidês,
himself not only a spectator but a sufferer. It is not one of the
least of his merits, that his notice of the symptoms, given at so
early a stage of medical science and observation, is such as to
instruct the medical reader of the present age, and to enable the
malady to be understood and identified. The observations, with which
that notice is ushered in, deserve particular attention. “In respect
to this distemper (he says), let every man, physician or not, say
what he thinks respecting the source from whence it may probably
have arisen, and respecting the causes which he deems sufficiently
powerful to have produced so great a revolution. But I, having myself
had the distemper, and having seen others suffering under it, will
state _what it actually was_, and will indicate, in addition, such
other matters, as will furnish any man, who lays them to heart, with
knowledge and the means of calculation beforehand, in case the same
misfortune should ever again occur.”[275] To record past facts,
as a basis for rational prevision in regard to the future,—the
same sentiment which Thucydidês mentions in his preface,[276] as
having animated him to the composition of his history,—was at that
time a duty so little understood, that we have reason to admire
not less the manner in which he performs it in practice, than the
distinctness with which he conceives it in theory. We may infer from
his language that speculation in his day was active respecting the
causes of this plague, according to the vague and fanciful physics
and scanty stock of ascertained facts, which was all that could then
be consulted. By resisting the itch of theorising from one of those
loose hypotheses which then appeared plausibly to explain everything,
he probably renounced the point of view from which most credit and
interest would be derivable at the time: but his simple and precise
summary of observed facts carries with it an imperishable value, and
even affords grounds for imagining, that he was no stranger to the
habits and training of his contemporary, Hippokratês, and the other
Asklepiads of Cos.[277]

  [274] “La description de Thucydide (observes M. Littré, in his
  introduction to the works of Hippokratês, tom. i, p. 122),
  est tellement bonne qu’elle suffit pleinement pour nous faire
  comprendre ce que cette ancienne maladie a été: et il est fort à
  regretter que des médecins tels qu’Hippocrate et Galien n’aient
  rien écrit sur les grandes épidémies, dont ils ont été les
  spectateurs. Hippocrate a été témoin de cette peste racontée par
  Thucydide, et il ne nous en a pas laissé la description. Galien
  vit également la fièvre éruptive qui désola le monde sous Marc
  Aurèle, et qu’il appelle lui-même la longue peste. Cependant
  excepté quelques mots épars dans ses volumineux ouvrages, excepté
  quelques indications fugitives, il ne nous a rien transmis sur
  un événement médical aussi important; à tel point que si nous
  n’avions pas le récit de Thucydide, il nous seroit fort difficile
  de nous faire une idée de celle qu’a vue Galien, et qui est
  la même (comme M. Hecker s’est attaché à le démontrer) que la
  maladie connue sous le nom de Peste d’Athènes. C’était une fièvre
  éruptive différente de la variole, et éteinte aujourdhui. On a
  cru en voir les traces dans les _charbons_ (ἄνθρακες) des livres

  Both Krauss (Disquisitio de naturâ morbi Atheniensium. Stuttgard,
  1831, p. 38) and Hæser (Historisch. Patholog. Untersuchungen.
  Dresden 1839, p. 50) assimilate the pathological phenomena
  specified by Thucydidês to different portions of the Ἐπιδημίαι of
  Hippokratês. M. Littré thinks that the resemblance is not close
  or precise, so as to admit of the one being identified with the
  other. “Le tableau si frappant qu’en a tracé ce grand historien
  ne se réproduit pas certainement avec une netteté suffisante dans
  les brefs détails donnés par Hippocrate. La maladie d’Athènes
  avoit un type si tranché, que tous ceux qui en ont parlé ont du
  le réproduire dans ses parties essentielles.” (Argument aux 2me
  Livre des Epidémies, Œuvres d’Hippocrate, tom. v. p. 64.) There
  appears good reason to believe that the great epidemic which
  prevailed in the Roman world under Marcus Aurelius—the Pestis
  Antoniniana—was a renewal of what is called the Plague of Athens.

  [275] Thucyd. ii, 48. λεγέτω μὲν οὖν περὶ αὐτοῦ, ὡς ἕκαστος
  γιγνώσκει, καὶ ἰατρὸς καὶ ἰδιώτης, ἀφ᾽ ὅτου εἰκὸς ἦν γενέσθαι
  αὐτὸ, καὶ τὰς αἰτίας ἅστινας νομίζει τοσαύτης μεταβολῆς ἱκανὰς
  εἶναι δύναμιν ἐς τὸ μεταστῆσαι σχεῖν· ἐγὼ δὲ οἷόν τε ἐγίγνετο
  λέξω, καὶ ἀφ᾽ ὧν ἄν τις σκοπῶν, εἴ ποτε καὶ αὖθις ἐπιπέσοι,
  μάλιστ᾽ ἂν ἔχοι τι προειδὼς μὴ ἀγνοεῖν, ταῦτα δηλώσω, αὐτός τε
  νοσήσας καὶ αὐτὸς ἰδὼν ἄλλους πάσχοντας.

  Demokritus, among others, connected the generation of these
  epidemics with his general system of atoms, atmospheric effluvia,
  and εἴδωλα: see Plutarch, Symposiac. viii, 9, p. 733; Demokriti
  Fragment., ed. Mullach, lib. iv, p. 409.

  The causes of the Athenian epidemic as given by Diodorus (xii,
  58)—unusual rains, watery quality of grain, absence of the
  Etesian winds, etc., may perhaps be true of the revival of the
  epidemic in the fifth year of the war, but can hardly be true
  of its first appearance; since Thucydidês states that the year
  in other respects was unusually healthy, and the epidemic was
  evidently brought from foreign parts to Peiræus.

  [276] Thucyd. i, 22.

  [277] See the words of Thucydidês. ii, 49. καὶ ἀποκαθάρσεις χολῆς
  πᾶσαι, ~ὅσαι ὑπὸ ἰατρῶν ὠνομασμέναι εἰσὶν~, ἐπῄεσαν,—which would
  seem to indicate a familiarity with the medical terminology:
  compare also his allusion to the speculations of the physicians,
  cited in the previous note; and c. 51—~τὰ πάσῃ διαίτῃ
  θεραπευόμενα~, etc.

  In proof how rare the conception was, in ancient times, of the
  importance of collecting and registering particular medical
  facts, I transcribe the following observations from M. Littré
  (Œuvres d’Hippocrate, tom. iv, p. 646, Remarques Retrospectives).

  “Toutefois ce qu’il importe ici de constater, ce n’est pas
  qu’Hippocrate a observé de telle ou telle manière, mais c’est
  qu’il a eu l’idée de recueillir et de consigner des faits
  particuliers. En effet, rien, dans l’antiquité, n’a été plus rare
  que ce soin: outre Hippocrate, je ne connois qu’Erasistrate qui
  se soit occupé de relater sous cette forme les résultats de son
  expérience clinique. Ni Galien lui-même, ni Arétée, ni Soranus,
  ni les autres qui sont arrivés jusqu’à nous, n’ont suivi un aussi
  louable exemple. Les observations consignées dans la collection
  Hippocratique constituent la plus grande partie, à beaucoup près,
  de ce que l’antiquité a possédé en ce genre: et si, en commentant
  le travail d’Hippocrate, on l’avait un peu imité, nous aurions
  des matériaux à l’aide desquels nous prendrions une idée bien
  plus précise de la pathologie de ces siècles reculés.... Mais
  tout en exprimant ce regret et en reconnaissant cette utilité
  relative à nous autres modernes et véritablement considérable,
  il faut ajouter que l’antiquité avoit dans les faits et la
  doctrine Hippocratiques un aliment qui lui a suffi—et qu’une
  collection, même étendue, d’histoires particulières n’auroit pas
  alors modifié la médecine, du moins la médecine scientifique,
  essentiellement et au delà de la limite que comportoit la
  physiologie. Je pourrai montrer ailleurs que la doctrine
  d’Hippocrate et de l’école de Cos a été la seule solide, la seule
  fondée sur un aperçu vrai de la nature organisée; et que les
  sectes postérieures, méthodisme et pneumatisme, n’ont bâti leurs
  théories que sur des hypothèses sans consistance. Mais ici je me
  contente de remarquer, que la pathologie, en tant que science,
  ne peut marcher qu’à la suite de la physiologie, dont elle n’est
  qu’une des faces: et d’Hippocrate à Galien inclusivement, la
  physiologie ne fit pas assez de progrès pour rendre insuffisante
  la conception Hippocratique. Il en résulte, nécessairement, que
  la pathologie, toujours considérée comme science, n’auroit pu,
  par quelque procédé que ce fût, gagner que des corrections et des
  augmentations de détail.”

It is hardly within the province of an historian of Greece to repeat
after Thucydidês the painful enumeration of symptoms, violent in the
extreme, and pervading every portion of the bodily system, which
marked this fearful disorder. Beginning in Peiræus, it quickly passed
into the city, and both the one and the other was speedily filled
with sickness and suffering, the like of which had never before been
known. The seizures were perfectly sudden, and a large proportion
of the sufferers perished, after deplorable agonies, on the seventh
or on the ninth day: others, whose strength of constitution carried
them over this period, found themselves the victims of exhausting and
incurable diarrhœa afterwards: with others again, after traversing
both these stages, the distemper fixed itself in some particular
member, the eyes, the genitals, the hands, or the feet, which were
rendered permanently useless, or in some cases amputated, even
where the patient himself recovered. There were also some whose
recovery was attended with a total loss of memory, so that they
no more knew themselves or recognized their friends. No treatment
or remedy appearing, except in accidental cases, to produce any
beneficial effect, the physicians or surgeons whose aid was invoked
became completely at fault; while trying their accustomed means
without avail, they soon ended by catching the malady themselves
and perishing: nor were the charms and incantations[278] to which
the unhappy patient resorted, likely to be more efficacious. While
some asserted that the Peloponnesians had poisoned the cisterns of
water, others referred the visitation to the wrath of the gods,
and especially to Apollo, known by hearers of the Iliad as author
of pestilence in the Greek host before Troy. It was remembered
that this Delphian god had promised the Lacedæmonians, in reply to
their application immediately before the war, that he would assist
them whether invoked or uninvoked,—and the disorder now raging was
ascribed to the intervention of their irresistible ally: while the
elderly men farther called to mind an oracular verse sung in the time
of their youth: “The Dorian war will come, and pestilence along with
it.”[279] Under the distress which suggested, and was reciprocally
aggravated by, these gloomy ideas, prophets were consulted, and
supplications with solemn procession were held at the temples, to
appease the divine wrath.

  [278] Compare the story of Thalêtas appeasing an epidemic at
  Sparta by his music and song (Plutarch, De Musicâ, p. 1146).

  Some of the ancient physicians were firm believers in the
  efficacy of these charms and incantations. Alexander of Tralles
  says, that having originally treated them with contempt, he had
  convinced himself of their value by personal observation, and
  altered his opinion (ix, 4)—ἔνιοι γοῦν οἴονται τοῖς τῶν γραῶν
  μύθοις ἐοικέναι τὰς ἐπῳδὰς, ὥσπερ κἀγὼ μέχρι πολλοῦ· τῷ χρόνῳ δὲ
  ὑπὸ τῶν ἐναργῶς φαινομένων ἐπείσθην εἶναι δύναμιν ἐν αὐταῖς. See
  an interesting and valuable dissertation, Origines Contagii, by
  Dr. C. F. Marx (Stuttgard, 1824, p. 129).

  The suffering Hêraklês, in his agony under the poisoned
  tunic, invokes the ἀοιδὸς along with the χειροτέχνης ἰατοριάς
  (Sophoklês, Trachin. 1005).

  [279] Thucyd. ii, 54.

    Φάσκοντες οἱ πρεσβύτεροι πάλαι ᾄδεσθαι—
    Ἥξει Δωριακὸς πόλεμος, καὶ λοιμὸς ἅμ᾽ αὐτῷ.

  See also the first among the epistles ascribed to the orator
  Æschinês, respecting a λοιμὸς in Delos.

  It appears that there was a debate whether, in this Hexameter
  verse, λιμὸς (famine) or λοιμὸς (pestilence) was the correct
  reading: and the probability is, that it had been originally
  composed with the word λιμὸς,—for men might well fancy beforehand
  that _famine_ would be a sequel of the Dorian war, but they
  would not be likely to imagine _pestilence_ as accompanying it.
  Yet, says Thucydidês, the reading λοιμὸς was held decidedly
  preferable, as best fitting to the actual circumstances (οἱ γὰρ
  ἄνθρωποι πρὸς ἃ ἔπασχον τὴν μνήμην ἐποιοῦντο). And “if (he goes
  on to say) there should ever hereafter come another Dorian war,
  and famine along with it, the oracle will probably be reproduced
  with the word λιμὸς as part of it.”

  This deserves notice, as illustrating the sort of admitted
  license with which men twisted the oracles or prophecies, so as
  to hit the feelings of the actual moment.

When it was found that neither the priest nor the physician could
retard the spread, or mitigate the intensity, of the disorder, the
Athenians abandoned themselves to utter despair, and the space within
the walls became a scene of desolating misery. Every man attacked
with the malady at once lost his courage,—a state of depression,
itself among the worst features of the case, which made him lie down
and die, without the least attempt to seek for any preservatives. And
though, at first, friends and relatives lent their aid to tend the
sick with the usual family sympathies, yet so terrible was the number
of these attendants who perished, “like sheep,” from such contact,
that at length no man would thus expose himself; while the most
generous spirits, who persisted longest in the discharge of their
duty, were carried off in the greatest numbers.[280] The patient was
thus left to die alone and unheeded: sometimes all the inmates of a
house were swept away one after the other, no man being willing to go
near it: desertion on one hand, attendance on the other, both tended
to aggravate the calamity. There remained only those who, having
had the disorder and recovered, were willing to tend the sufferers.
These men formed the single exception to the all-pervading misery
of the time,—for the disorder seldom attacked any one twice, and
when it did, the second attack was never fatal. Elate with their own
escape, they deemed themselves out of the reach of all disease, and
were full of compassionate kindness for others whose sufferings were
just beginning. It was from them, too, that the principal attention
to the bodies of deceased victims proceeded: for such was the state
of dismay and sorrow, that even the nearest relatives neglected the
sepulchral duties, sacred beyond all others in the eyes of a Greek.
Nor is there any circumstance which conveys to us so vivid an idea
of the prevalent agony and despair, as when we read, in the words of
an eye-witness, that the deaths took place among this close-packed
crowd without the smallest decencies of attention,[281]—that the
dead and the dying lay piled one upon another, not merely in the
public roads, but even in the temples, in spite of the understood
defilement of the sacred building,—that half-dead sufferers were
seen lying round all the springs, from insupportable thirst,—that
the numerous corpses thus unburied and exposed, were in such a
condition, that the dogs which meddled with them died in consequence,
while no vultures or other birds of the like habits ever came near.
Those bodies which escaped entire neglect, were burnt or buried[282]
without the customary mourning, and with unseemly carelessness. In
some cases, the bearers of a body, passing by a funeral pile on which
another body was burning, would put their own there to be burnt
also;[283] or perhaps, if the pile was prepared ready for a body not
yet arrived, would deposit their own upon it, set fire to the pile,
and then depart. Such indecent confusion would have been intolerable
to the feelings of the Athenians, in any ordinary times.

  [280] Compare Diodor. xiv, 70, who mentions similar distresses
  in the Carthaginian army besieging Syracuse, during the terrible
  epidemic with which it was attacked in 395 B.C.; and Livy, xxv,
  26, respecting the epidemic at Syracuse when it was besieged by
  Marcellus and the Romans.

  [281] Thucyd. ii, 52. Οἰκιῶν γὰρ οὐχ ὑπαρχουσῶν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν καλύβαις
  πνιγηραῖς ὥρᾳ ἔτους διαιτωμένων, ὁ φθόρος ἐγίγνετο οὐδενὶ κόσμῳ,
  ἀλλὰ καὶ νεκροὶ ἐπ᾽ ἀλλήλοις ἀποθνήσκοντες ἔκειντο, καὶ ἐν ταῖς
  ὁδοῖς ἐκαλινδοῦντο καὶ περὶ τὰς κρήνας ἁπάσας ἡμιθνῆτες, τοῦ
  ὕδατος ἐπιθυμίᾳ. Τά τε ἱερὰ ἐν οἷς ἐσκήνηντο, νεκρῶν πλέα ἦν,
  αὐτοῦ ἐναποθνῃσκόντων· ὑπερβιαζομένου γὰρ τοῦ κακοῦ οἱ ἄνθρωποι,
  οὐκ ἔχοντες, ὅ,τι γένωνται, ἐς ὀλιγωρίαν ἐτράποντο καὶ ἱερῶν καὶ
  ὁσίων ὁμοίως.

  [282] Thucyd. ii, 50: compare Livy, xli, 21, describing the
  epidemic at Rome in 174 B.C. “Cadavera, intacta à canibus et
  vulturibus, tabes absumebat: satisque constabat, nec illo, nec
  priore anno in tantâ strage boum hominumque vulturium usquam

  [283] Thucyd. ii, 52. From the language of Thucydidês, we see
  that this was regarded at Athens as highly unbecoming. Yet a
  passage of Plutarch seems to show that it was very common, in his
  time, to burn several bodies on the same funeral pile (Plutarch,
  Symposiac. iii, 4, p. 651).

To all these scenes of physical suffering, death, and reckless
despair, was superadded another evil, which affected those who were
fortunate enough to escape the rest. The bonds both of law and
morality became relaxed, amidst such total uncertainty of every man
both for his own life, and that of others. Men cared not to abstain
from wrong, under circumstances in which punishment was not likely
to overtake them,—nor to put a check upon their passions, and endure
privations in obedience even to their strongest conviction, when
the chance was so small of their living to reap reward or enjoy
any future esteem. An interval short and sweet, before their doom
was realized—before they became plunged in the wide-spread misery
which they witnessed around, and which affected indiscriminately the
virtuous and the profligate—was all they looked to enjoy; embracing
with avidity the immediate pleasures of sense, as well as such
positive gains, however ill-gotten, as could be made the means of
procuring them, and throwing aside all thought both of honor or of
long-sighted advantage. Life and property were alike ephemeral, nor
was there any hope left but to snatch a moment of enjoyment, before
the outstretched hand of destiny should fall upon its victims.

The melancholy picture of society under the pressure of a murderous
epidemic, with its train of physical torments, wretchedness, and
demoralization, has been drawn by more than one eminent author,
but by none with more impressive fidelity and conciseness than
by Thucydidês,[284] who had no predecessor, and nothing but the
reality to copy from. We may remark that, amidst all the melancholy
accompaniments of the time, there are no human sacrifices, such as
those offered up at Carthage during pestilence to appease the anger
of the gods,—there are no cruel persecutions against imaginary
authors of the disease, such as those against the Untori (anointers
of doors) in the plague of Milan in 1630.[285] Three years altogether
did this calamity desolate Athens: continuously, during the entire
second and third years of the war,—after which, followed a period
of marked abatement for a year and a half: but it then revived
again, and lasted for another year, with the same fury as at first.
The public loss, over and above the private misery, which this
unexpected enemy inflicted upon Athens, was incalculable. Out of
twelve hundred horsemen, all among the rich men of the state,
three hundred died of the epidemic; besides four thousand and four
hundred hoplites out of the roll formerly kept, and a number of the
poorer population so great as to defy computation.[286] No efforts
of the Peloponnesians could have done so much to ruin Athens, or
to bring the war to a termination such as they desired: and the
distemper told the more in their favor, as it never spread at all
into Peloponnesus, though it passed from Athens to some of the more
populous islands.[287] The Lacedæmonian army was withdrawn from
Attica somewhat earlier than it would otherwise have been, for fear
of taking the contagion.[288]

  [284] The description in the sixth book of Lucretius, translated
  and expanded from Thucydidês,—that of the plague at Florence in
  1348, with which the Decameron of Boccacio opens,—and that of
  Defoe, in his History of the Plague in London, are all well known.

  [285] “Carthaginienses, cum inter cetera mala etiam peste
  laborarent, cruentâ sacrorum religione, et scelere pro remedio,
  usi sunt: quippe homines ut victimas immolabant; pacem deorum
  sanguine eorum exposcentes, pro quorum vitâ Dii rogari maximè
  solent.” (Justin, xviii, 6.)

  For the facts respecting the plague of Milan and the Untori,
  see the interesting novel of Manzoni, Promessi Sposi, and the
  historical work of the same author, Storia della Colonna Infame.

  [286] Thucyd. iii, 87. τοῦ δὲ ἄλλου ὄχλου ἀνεξεύρετος ἀριθμός.
  Diodorus makes them above 10,000 (xii, 58) freemen and slaves
  together, which must be greatly beneath the reality.

  [287] Thucyd. ii, 54. τῶν ἄλλων χωρίων τὰ πολυανθρωπότατα. He
  does not specify what places these were: perhaps Chios, but
  hardly Lesbos, otherwise the fact would have been noticed when
  the revolt of that island occurs.

  [288] Thucyd. ii, 57.

But it was while the Lacedæmonians were yet in Attica, and during the
first freshness of the terrible malady, that Periklês equipped and
conducted from Peiræus an armament of one hundred triremes, and four
thousand hoplites to attack the coasts of Peloponnesus: three hundred
horsemen were also carried in some horse-transports, prepared for
the occasion out of old triremes. To diminish the crowd accumulated
in the city, was doubtless of beneficial tendency, and perhaps those
who went aboard, might consider it as a chance of escape to quit an
infected home. But unhappily they carried the infection along with
them, which desolated the fleet not less than the city, and crippled
all its efforts. Reinforced by fifty ships of war from Chios and
Lesbos, the Athenians first landed near Epidaurus in Peloponnesus,
ravaging the territory, and making an unavailing attempt upon the
city: next, they made like incursions on the more southerly portions
of the Argolic peninsula,—Trœzen, Halieis, and Hermionê; and lastly
attacked and captured Prasiæ, on the eastern coast of Laconia. On
returning to Athens, the same armament was immediately conducted,
under Agnon and Kleopompus, to press the siege of Potidæa, the
blockade of which still continued without any visible progress. On
arriving there, an attack was made on the walls by battering engines,
and by the other aggressive methods then practised; but nothing
whatever was achieved. In fact, the armament became incompetent for
all serious effort, from the aggravated character which the distemper
here assumed, communicated by the soldiers fresh from Athens, even to
those who had before been free from it at Potidæa. So frightful was
the mortality, that out of the four thousand hoplites under Agnon,
no less than ten hundred and fifty died in the short space of forty
days. The armament was brought back in this melancholy condition to
Athens, while the reduction of Potidæa was left, as before, to the
slow course of blockade.[289]

  [289] Thucyd. ii, 56-58.

On returning from the expedition against Peloponnesus, Periklês
found his countrymen almost distracted[290] with their manifold
sufferings. Over and above the raging epidemic, they had just gone
over Attica and ascertained the devastations committed by the
invaders throughout all the territory—except the Marathonian[291]
Tetrapolis and Dekeleia; districts spared, as we are told, through
indulgence founded on an ancient legendary sympathy—during their long
stay of forty days. The rich had found their comfortable mansions and
farms, the poor their modest cottages, in the various demes, torn
down and ruined. Death,[292] sickness, loss of property, and despair
of the future, now rendered the Athenians angry and intractable to
the last degree; and they vented their feelings against Periklês,
as the cause, not merely of the war, but also of all that they were
now enduring. Either with or without his consent, they sent envoys
to Sparta to open negotiations for peace, but the Spartans turned a
deaf ear to the proposition. This new disappointment rendered them
still more furious against Periklês, whose long-standing political
enemies now doubtless found strong sympathy in their denunciations
of his character and policy. That unshaken and majestic firmness,
which ranked first among his many eminent qualities, was never more
imperiously required, and never more effectively manifested. In his
capacity of stratêgus, or general, he convoked a formal assembly of
the people, for the purpose of vindicating himself publicly against
the prevailing sentiment, and recommending perseverance in his line
of policy. The speeches made by his opponents, assuredly very bitter,
are not given by Thucydidês; but that of Periklês himself is set
down at considerable length, and a memorable discourse it is. It
strikingly brings into relief both the character of the man and the
impress of actual circumstances,—an impregnable mind, conscious not
only of right purposes, but of just and reasonable anticipations,
and bearing up with manliness, or even defiance, against the natural
difficulty of the case, heightened by an extreme of incalculable
misfortune. He had foreseen,[293] while advising the war originally,
the probable impatience of his countrymen under its first hardships,
but he could not foresee the epidemic by which that impatience had
been exasperated into madness: and he now addressed them, not merely
with unabated adherence to his own deliberate convictions, but also
in a tone of reproachful remonstrance against their unmerited change
of sentiment towards him,—seeking at the same time to combat that
uncontrolled despair which, for the moment, overlaid both their pride
and their patriotism. Far from humbling himself before the present
sentiment, it is at this time that he sets forth his titles to their
esteem in the most direct and unqualified manner, and claims the
continuance of that which they had so long accorded, as something
belonging to him by acquired right.

  [290] Thucyd. ii, 59. ἠλλοίωντο τὰς γνώμας.

  [291] Diodor. xii, 45; Ister ap. Schol. ad Soph. Œdip. Colon.
  689; Herodot. ix.

  [292] Thucyd. ii, 65. Ὁ μὲν δῆμος, ὅτι ἀπ᾽ ἐλασσόνων ὁρμώμενος,
  ἐστέρητο καὶ τούτων· οἱ δὲ δυνατοὶ, καλὰ κτήματα κατὰ τὴν χώραν
  οἰκοδομίαις τε καὶ πολυτελέσι κατασκευαῖς ἀπολωλεκότες.

  [293] Thucyd. i, 140.

His main object, throughout this discourse, is to fill the minds of
his audience with patriotic sympathy for the weal of the entire city,
so as to counterbalance the absorbing sense of private woe. If the
collective city flourishes, he argues, private misfortunes may at
least be borne: but no amount of private prosperity will avail, if
the collective city falls; a proposition literally true in ancient
times, and under the circumstances of ancient warfare, though less
true at present. “Distracted by domestic calamity, ye are now angry
both with me, who advised you to go to war, and with yourselves, who
followed the advice. Ye listened to me, considering me superior to
others in judgment, in speech, in patriotism, and in incorruptible
probity,[294]—nor ought I now to be treated as culpable for giving
such advice, when in point of fact the war was unavoidable, and there
would have been still greater danger in shrinking from it. I am the
same man, still unchanged,—but ye, in your misfortunes, cannot stand
to the convictions which ye adopted when yet unhurt. Extreme and
unforeseen, indeed, are the sorrows which have fallen upon you: yet,
inhabiting as ye do a great city, and brought up in dispositions
suitable to it, ye must also resolve to bear up against the utmost
pressure of adversity, and never to surrender your dignity. I have
often explained to you that ye have no reason to doubt of eventual
success in the war, but I will now remind you, more emphatically than
before, and even with a degree of ostentation suitable as a stimulus
to your present unnatural depression,—that your naval force makes you
masters, not only of your allies, but of the entire sea,[295]—one
half of the visible field for action and employment. Compared with so
vast a power as this, the temporary use of your houses and territory
is a mere trifle,—an ornamental accessory not worth considering; and
this, too, if ye preserve your freedom, ye will quickly recover. It
was your fathers who first gained this empire, without any of the
advantages which ye now enjoy; ye must not disgrace yourselves by
losing what they acquired. Delighting as ye all do in the honor and
empire enjoyed by the city, ye must not shrink from the toils whereby
alone that honor is sustained: moreover, ye now fight, not merely
for freedom instead of slavery, but for empire against loss of
empire, with all the perils arising out of imperial unpopularity. It
is not safe for you now to abdicate, even if ye chose to do so; for
ye hold your empire like a despotism,—unjust perhaps in the original
acquisition, but ruinous to part with when once acquired. Be not
angry with me, whose advice ye followed in going to war, because the
enemy have done such damage as might be expected from them; still
less on account of this unforeseen distemper: I know that this makes
me an object of your special present hatred, though very unjustly,
unless ye will consent to give me credit also for any unexpected
good luck which may occur. Our city derives its particular glory
from unshaken bearing up against misfortune: her power, her name,
her empire of Greeks over Greeks, are such as have never before been
seen: and if we choose to be great, we must take the consequence
of that temporary envy and hatred which is the necessary price of
permanent renown. Behave ye now in a manner worthy of that glory:
display that courage which is essential to protect you against
disgrace at present, as well as to guarantee your honor for the
future. Send no farther embassy to Sparta, and bear your misfortunes
without showing symptoms of distress.”[296]

  [294] Thucyd. ii, 60. καίτοι ἐμοὶ τοιούτῳ ἀνδρὶ ὀργίζεσθε, ὃς
  οὐδενὸς οἴομαι ἥσσων εἶναι γνῶναί τε τὰ δέοντα, καὶ ἑρμηνεῦσαι
  ταῦτα, φιλόπολίς τε καὶ χρημάτων κρείσσων.

  [295] Thucyd. ii, 62. δηλώσω δὲ καὶ τόδε, ὅ μοι δοκεῖτε οὔτ᾽
  αὐτοὶ πώποτε ἐνθυμηθῆναι ὑπάρχον ὑμῖν μεγέθους πέρι ἐς τὴν ἀρχὴν,
  οὔτ᾽ ἐγὼ ἐν τοῖς πρὶν λόγοις· οὐδ᾽ ἂν νῦν ἐχρησάμην κομπωδεστέραν
  ἔχοντι τὴν προσποίησιν, εἰ μὴ καταπεπληγμένους ὑμᾶς παρὰ τὸ εἰκὸς
  ἑώρων. Οἴεσθε μὲν γὰρ τῶν ξυμμάχων μόνον ἄρχειν—ἐγὼ δὲ ἀποφαίνω
  δύο μερῶν τῶν ἐς χρῆσιν φανερῶν, γῆς καὶ θαλάττης, τοῦ ἑτέρου
  ὑμᾶς παντὸς κυριωτάτους ὄντας, ἐφ᾽ ὅσον τε νῦν νέμεσθε, καὶ ἢν
  ἐπιπλέον βουληθῆτε.

  [296] Thucyd. ii, 60-64. I give a general summary of this
  memorable speech, without setting forth its full contents, still
  less the exact words.

The irresistible reason, as well as the proud and resolute bearing
of this discourse, set forth with an eloquence which it was not
possible for Thucydidês to reproduce,—together with the age and
character of Periklês,—carried the assent of the assembled people;
who, when in the Pnyx, and engaged according to habit on public
matters, would for a moment forget their private sufferings in
considerations of the safety and grandeur of Athens: possibly,
indeed, those sufferings, though still continuing, might become
somewhat alleviated when the invaders quitted Attica, and when it
was no longer indispensable for all the population to confine itself
within the walls. Accordingly, the assembly resolved that no farther
propositions should be made for peace, and that the war should be
prosecuted with vigor. But though the public resolution thus adopted
showed the ancient habit of deference to the authority of Periklês,
the sentiments of individuals taken separately were still those of
anger against him, as the author of that system which had brought
them into so much distress. His political opponents—Kleon, Simmias,
or Lakratidas, perhaps all three in conjunction—took care to provide
an opportunity for this prevalent irritation to manifest itself in
act, by bringing an accusation against him before the dikastery. The
accusation is said to have been preferred on the ground of pecuniary
malversation, and ended by his being sentenced to pay a considerable
fine, the amount of which is differently reported,—fifteen, fifty,
or eighty talents, by different authors.[297] The accusing party
thus appeared to have carried their point, and to have disgraced,
as well as excluded from reëlection, the veteran statesman. But the
event disappointed their expectations: the imposition of the fine
not only satiated all the irritation of the people against him, but
even occasioned a serious reaction in his favor, and brought back as
strongly as ever the ancient sentiment of esteem and admiration. It
was quickly found that those who had succeeded Periklês as generals,
neither possessed nor deserved in an equal degree, the public
confidence, and he was accordingly soon reëlected, with as much power
and influence as he had ever in his life enjoyed.[298]

  [297] Thucyd. ii, 65: Plato, Gorgias, p. 515, c. 71: Plutarch,
  Periklês, c. 35; Diodor. xii, c. 38-45. About Simmias, as the
  vehement enemy of Periklês, see Plutarch, Reipub. Ger. Præcept.
  p. 805.

  Plutarch and Diodorus both state that Periklês was not only
  fined, but also removed from his office of stratêgus. Thucydidês
  mentions the fine, but not the removal: and his silence leads me
  to doubt the reality of the latter event altogether. For with
  such a man as Periklês, a vote of removal would have been a
  penalty more marked and cutting than the fine; moreover, removal
  from office, though capable of being pronounced by vote of the
  public assembly, would hardly be inflicted as penalty by the

  I imagine the events to have passed as follows: The stratêgi,
  with most other officers of the commonwealth, were changed or
  reëlected at the beginning of Hekatombæon, the first month of
  the Attic year; that is, somewhere about midsummer. Now the
  Peloponnesian army, invading Attica about the end of March or
  beginning of April, and remaining forty days, would leave the
  country about the first week in May. Periklês returned from his
  expedition against Peloponnesus shortly after they left Attica;
  that is, about the middle of May (Thucyd. ii, 57): there still
  remained, therefore, a month or six weeks before his office of
  stratêgus naturally expired, and required renewal. It was during
  this interval (which Thucydidês expresses by the words ἔτι δ᾽
  ἐστρατήγει, ii, 59) that he convoked the assembly and delivered
  the harangue recently mentioned.

  But when the time for a new election of stratêgi arrived, the
  enemies of Periklês opposed his reëlection, and brought a charge
  against him, in that trial of accountability to which every
  magistrate at Athens was exposed, after his period of office.
  They alleged against him some official misconduct in reference
  to the public money, and the dikastery visited him with a fine.
  His reëlection was thus prevented, and with a man who had been
  so often reëlected, this might be loosely called “taking away
  the office of general:” so that the language of Plutarch and
  Diodorus, as well as the silence of Thucydidês, would, on this
  supposition, be justified.

  [298] Thucyd. ii, 65.

But that life—long, honorable, and useful—had already been prolonged
considerably beyond the sixtieth year, and there were but too many
circumstances, besides the recent fine, which tended to hasten as
well as to embitter its close. At the very moment when Periklês
was preaching to his countrymen, in a tone almost reproachful, the
necessity of manful and unabated devotion to the common country, in
the midst of private suffering,—he was himself among the greatest of
sufferers, and most hardly pressed to set the example of observing
his own precepts. The epidemic carried off not merely his two sons,
the only two legitimate, Xanthippus and Paralus, but also his sister,
several other relatives, and his best and most useful political
friends. Amidst this train of domestic calamities, and in the funeral
obsequies of so many of his dearest friends, he remained master of
his grief, and maintained his habitual self-command, until the last
misfortune,—the death of his favorite son Paralus, which left his
house without any legitimate representative to maintain the family
and the hereditary sacred rites. On this final blow, though he strove
to command himself as before, yet, at the obsequies of the young man,
when it became his duty to place a garland on the dead body, his
grief became uncontrollable, and he burst out, for the first time of
his life, into profuse tears and sobbing.[299]

  [299] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 36.

In the midst of these several personal trials he received the
intimation, through Alkibiadês and some other friends, of the
restored confidence of the people towards him, and of his re-election
to the office of stratêgus: nor was it without difficulty that
he was persuaded to present himself again at the public assembly,
and resume the direction of affairs. The regret of the people
was formally expressed to him for the recent sentence,—perhaps,
indeed, the fine may have been repaid to him, or some evasion of it
permitted, saving the forms of law,[300]—in the present temper of
the city; which was farther displayed towards him by the grant of
a remarkable exemption from a law of his own original proposition.
He had himself, some years before, been the author of that law,
whereby the citizenship of Athens was restricted to persons born both
of Athenian fathers and Athenian mothers, under which restriction
several thousand persons, illegitimate on the mother’s side, are
said to have been deprived of the citizenship, on occasion of a
public distribution of corn. Invidious as it appeared to grant, to
Periklês singly, an exemption from a law which had been strictly
enforced against so many others, the people were now moved not less
by compassion than by anxiety to redress their own previous severity.
Without a legitimate heir, the house of Periklês, one branch of the
great Alkmæônid gens by his mother’s side, would be left deserted,
and the continuity of the family sacred rites would be broken,—a
misfortune painfully felt by every Athenian family, as calculated
to wrong all the deceased members, and provoke their posthumous
displeasure towards the city. Accordingly, permission was granted to
Periklês to legitimize, and to inscribe in his own gens and phratry
his natural son by Aspasia, who bore his own name.[301]

  [300] See Plutarch, Demosthen. c. 27, about the manner of
  bringing about such an evasion of a fine: compare also the letter
  of M. Boeckh, in Meineke, Fragment. Comic. Græcor. ad Fragm.
  Eupolid. ii, 527.

  [301] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 37.

It was thus that Periklês was reinstated in his post of stratêgus,
as well as in his ascendency over the public counsels,—seemingly
about August or September, 430 B.C. He lived about one year longer,
and seems to have maintained his influence as long as his health
permitted. Yet we hear nothing of him after this moment, and he
fell a victim, not to the violent symptoms of the epidemic, but to
a slow and wearing fever,[302] which underminded his strength as
well as his capacity. To a friend who came to ask after him when in
this disease, Periklês replied by showing a charm or amulet which
his female relations had hung about his neck,—a proof how low he was
reduced, and how completely he had become a passive subject in the
hands of others. And according to another anecdote which we read, yet
more interesting and equally illustrative of his character,—it was
during his last moments, when he was lying apparently unconscious and
insensible, that the friends around his bed were passing in review
the acts of his life, and the nine trophies which he had erected
at different times for so many victories. He heard what they said,
though they fancied that he was past hearing, and interrupted them
by remarking: “What you praise in my life, belongs partly to good
fortune,—and is, at best, common to me with many other generals. But
the peculiarity of which I am most proud, you have not noticed,—no
Athenian has ever put on mourning on my account.”[303]

  [302] Plutarch (Perik. c. 38) treats the slow disorder under
  which he suffered as one of the forms of the epidemic: but this
  can hardly be correct, when we read the very marked character of
  the latter, as described by Thucydidês.

  [303] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 38.

Such a cause of self-gratulation, doubtless more satisfactory to
recall at such a moment than any other, illustrates that long-sighted
calculation, aversion to distant or hazardous enterprise, and economy
of the public force, which marked his entire political career; a
career long, beyond all parallel, in the history of Athens,—since
he maintained a great influence, gradually swelling into a decisive
personal ascendency, for between thirty and forty years. His
character has been presented in very different lights, by different
authors, both ancient and modern, and our materials for striking
the balance are not so good as we could wish. But his immense and
long-continued ascendency, as well as his unparalleled eloquence, are
facts attested not less by his enemies than by his friends,—nay, even
more forcibly by the former than by the latter. The comic writers,
who hated him, and whose trade it was to deride and hunt down every
leading political character, exhaust their powers of illustration in
setting forth both the one and the other:[304] Telekleidês, Kratinus,
Eupolis, Aristophanês, all hearers and all enemies, speak of him
like Olympian Zeus, hurling thunder and lightning,—like Hêraklês
and Achilles,—as the only speaker on whose lips persuasion sat, and
who left his sting in the minds of his audience: while Plato the
philosopher,[305] who disapproved of his political working, and
of the moral effects which he produced upon Athens, nevertheless
extols his intellectual and oratorical ascendency: “his majestic
intelligence,”—in language not less decisive than Thucydidês.
There is another point of eulogy, not less valuable, on which the
testimony appears uncontradicted: throughout his long career, amidst
the hottest political animosities, the conduct of Periklês towards
opponents was always mild and liberal.[306] The conscious self-esteem
and arrogance of manner with which the contemporary poet Ion
reproached him,[307] contrasting it with the unpretending simplicity
of his own patron Kimon,—though probably invidiously exaggerated,
is doubtless in substance well founded, and those who read the
last speech given above out of Thucydidês, will at once recognize
in it this attribute. His natural taste, his love of philosophical
research, and his unwearied application to public affairs, all
contributed to alienate him from ordinary familiarity, and to make
him careless, perhaps improperly careless, of the lesser means of
conciliating public favor.

  [304] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 4, 8, 13, 16; Eupolis. Δῆμοι,
  Fragm. vi. p. 459, ed. Meineke. Cicero (De Orator. iii, 34;
  Brutus, 9-11) and Quintilian (ii, 16, 19; x, 1, 82) count only as
  witnesses at second-hand.

  [305] Plato, Gorgias, c. 71, p. 516; Phædrus, c. 54. p. 270.
  Περικλέα, τὸν οὕτω μεγαλοπρεπῶς σοφὸν ἄνδρα. Plato, Mens. p. 94,

  [306] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 10-39.

  [307] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 5.

But admitting this latter reproach to be well founded, as it seems
to be, it helps to negative that greater and graver political
crime which has been imputed to him, of sacrificing the permanent
well-being and morality of the state to the maintenance of his
own political power,—of corrupting the people by distributions of
the public money. “He gave the reins to the people (in Plutarch’s
words[308]), and shaped his administration for their immediate
favor, by always providing at home some public spectacle, or
festival, or procession, thus nursing up the city in elegant
pleasures,—and by sending out every year sixty triremes, manned
by citizen-seamen on full pay, who were thus kept in practice and
acquired nautical skill.” Now the charge here made against Periklês,
and supported by allegations in themselves honorable rather than
otherwise,—of a vicious appetite for immediate popularity, and of
improper concessions to the immediate feelings of the people against
their permanent interests,—is precisely that which Thucydidês, in
the most pointed manner denies; and not merely denies, but contrasts
Periklês with his successors in the express circumstances that
_they_ did so, while _he_ did not. The language of the contemporary
historian[309] well deserves to be cited: “Periklês, powerful from
dignity of character as well as from wisdom, and conspicuously above
the least tinge of corruption, held back the people with a free hand,
and was their real leader instead of being led by them. For not
being a seeker of power from unworthy sources, he did not speak with
any view to present favor, but had sufficient sense of dignity to
contradict them on occasion, even braving their displeasure. Thus,
whenever he perceived them insolently and unseasonably confident, he
shaped his speeches in such manner as to alarm and beat them down:
when again he saw them unduly frightened, he tried to counteract
it, and restore them confidence: so that the government was in
name a democracy, but in reality an empire exercised by the first
citizen in the state. But those who succeeded after his death, being
more equal one with another, and each of them desiring preëminence
over the rest, adopted the different course of courting the favor
of the people, and sacrificing to that object even important
state-interests. From whence arose many other bad measures, as might
be expected in a great and imperial city, and especially the Sicilian
expedition,” etc.

  [308] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 11. Διὸ καὶ τότε μάλιστα τῷ δήμῳ τὰς
  ἡνίας ἀνεὶς ὁ Περικλῆς ἐπολιτεύετο πρὸς χάριν—ἀεὶ μέν τινα θέαν
  πανηγυρικὴν ἢ ἑστίασιν ἢ πομπὴν εἶναι μηχανώμενος ἐν ἄστει, καὶ
  διαπαιδαγωγῶν οὐκ ἀμούσοις ἡδοναῖς τὴν πόλιν—ἑξήκοντα δὲ τριήρεις
  καθ᾽ ἕκαστον ἐνιαυτὸν ἐκπέμπων, ἐν αἷς πολλοὶ τῶν πολιτῶν ἔπλεον
  ὀκτὼ μῆνας ἔμμισθοι, μελετῶντες ἅμα καὶ μανθάνοντες τὴν ναυτικὴν

  Compare c. 9, where Plutarch states that Periklês, having no
  other means of contending against the abundant private largesses
  of his rival, Kimon, resorted to the expedient of distributing
  the public money among the citizens, in order to gain influence;
  acting in this matter upon the advice of his friend, Demonidês,
  according to the statement of Aristotle.

  [309] Thucyd. ii, 65. Ἐκεῖνος μὲν (Περικλῆς) δυνατὸς ὢν τῷ
  ~τε ἀξιώματι~ καὶ τῇ γνώμῃ, ~χρημάτων τε διαφανῶς ἀδωρότατος
  γενόμενος, κατεῖχε τὸ πλῆθος ἐλευθέρως~, καὶ οὐκ ἤγετο μᾶλλον
  ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἢ αὐτὸς ἦγε, διὰ τὸ μὴ κτώμενος ἐξ οὐ προσηκόντων
  τὴν δύναμιν πρὸς ἡδονήν τι λέγειν, ἀλλ᾽ ἔχων ἐπ᾽ ~ἀξιώσει~ καὶ
  πρὸς ὀργήν τι ἀντειπεῖν. Ὁπότε γοῦν αἴσθοιτό τι αὐτοὺς παρὰ
  καιρὸν ὕβρει θαρσοῦντας, λέγων κατέπλησσεν ἐπὶ τὸ φοβεῖσθαι· καὶ
  δεδιότας αὖ ἀλόγως ἀντικαθίστη πάλιν ἐπὶ τὸ θαρσεῖν. Ἐγίγνετο δὲ
  λόγῳ μὲν δημοκρατία, ἔργῳ δὲ ὑπὸ τοῦ πρώτου ἀνδρὸς ἀρχή. Οἱ δὲ
  ὕστερον ἴσοι μᾶλλον αὐτοὶ πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὄντες, καὶ ὀρεγόμενοι τοῦ
  πρῶτος ἕκαστος γίγνεσθαι, ἐτράποντο καθ᾽ ἡδονὰς τῷ δήμῳ καὶ τὰ
  πράγματα ἐνδιδόναι. Ἐξ ὧν, ἄλλα τε πολλά, ὡς ἐν μεγάλῃ πόλει καὶ
  ἀρχὴν ἐχούσῃ, ἡμαρτήθη, καὶ ὁ ἐς Σικελίαν πλοῦς· ὃς οὐ τοσοῦτον
  γνώμης ἁμάρτημα ἦν, etc. Compare Plutarch, Nikias, c. 3.

  Ἀξίωσις and ἀξίωμα, as used by Thucydidês seem to differ in this
  respect: Ἀξίωσις signifies, a man’s dignity, or pretensions to
  esteem and influence as felt and measured by himself; _his sense
  of dignity_; Ἀξίωμα means his _dignity_, properly so called; as
  felt and appreciated by others. See i, 37, 41, 69.

It will be seen that the judgment here quoted from Thucydidês
contradicts, in the most unqualified manner, the reproaches commonly
made against Periklês, of having corrupted the Athenian people
by distributions of the public money, and by giving way to their
unwise caprices, for the purpose of acquiring and maintaining his
own political power. Nay, the historian particularly notes the
opposite qualities,—self-judgment, conscious dignity, indifference
to immediate popular applause or wrath, when set against what was
permanently right and useful,—as the special characteristic of that
great statesman. A distinction might indeed be possible, and Plutarch
professes to note such distinction, between the earlier and the later
part of his long political career: he began, so that biographer
says, by corrupting the people in order to acquire power, but having
acquired it, he employed it in an independent and patriotic manner,
so that the judgment of Thucydidês, true respecting the later part of
his life, would not be applicable to the earlier. This distinction
may be to a certain degree well founded, inasmuch as the power of
opposing a bold and successful resistance to temporary aberrations
of the public mind, necessarily implies an established influence,
and can hardly ever be exercised even by the firmest politician
during his years of commencement: he is at that time necessarily
the adjunct of some party or tendency which he finds already in
operation, and has to stand forward actively and assiduously before
he can create for himself a separate personal influence. But while we
admit the distinction to this extent, there is nothing to warrant us
in restricting the encomium of Thucydidês exclusively to the later
life of Periklês, or in representing the earlier life as something
in pointed contrast with that encomium. Construing fairly what the
historian says, he evidently did not so conceive the earlier life of
Periklês. Either those political changes which are held by Plato,
Aristotle, Plutarch, and others, to demonstrate the corrupting effect
of Periklês and his political ascendency,—such as the limitation
of the functions of the Areopagus, as well as of the power of the
magistrates, the establishment of the numerous and frequent popular
dikasteries with regular pay, and perhaps also the assignment of pay
to those who attended the ekklesia, the expenditure for public works,
religious edifices and ornaments, the diobely (or distribution of two
oboli per head to the poorer citizens at various festivals, in order
that they might be able to pay for their places in the theatre),
taking it as it then stood, etc.,—did not appear to Thucydidês
mischievous and corrupting, as these other writers thought them; or
else he did not particularly refer them to Periklês.

Both are true, probably, to some extent. The internal political
changes at Athens, respecting the Areopagus and the dikasteries, took
place when Periklês was a young man, and when he cannot be supposed
to have yet acquired the immense personal ascendency which afterwards
belonged to him. Ephialtês in fact seems in those early days to have
been a greater man than Periklês, if we may judge by the fact that
he was selected by his political adversaries for assassination,—so
that they might with greater propriety be ascribed to the party with
which Periklês was connected, rather than to that statesman himself.
But next, we have no reason to presume that Thucydidês considered
these changes as injurious, or as having deteriorated the Athenian
character. All that he does say as to the working of Periklês on the
sentiment and actions of his countrymen, is eminently favorable. He
represents the presidency of that statesman as moderate, cautious,
conservative, and successful; he describes him as uniformly keeping
back the people from rash enterprises, and from attempts to extend
their empire,—as looking forward to the necessity of a war, and
maintaining the naval, military, and financial forces of the state in
constant condition to stand it,—as calculating, with long-sighted
wisdom, the conditions on which ultimate success depended. If we
follow the elaborate funeral harangue of Periklês, which Thucydidês,
since he produces it at length, probably considered as faithfully
illustrating the political point of view of that statesman, we shall
discover a conception of democratical equality no less rational
than generous; an anxious care for the recreation and comfort of
the citizens, but no disposition to emancipate them from active
obligation, either public or private,—and least of all, any idea of
dispensing with such activity by abusive largesses out of the general
revenue. The whole picture, drawn by Periklês, of Athens, “as the
schoolmistress of Greece,” implies a prominent development of private
industry and commerce, not less than of public citizenship and
soldiership,—of letters, arts, and recreative varieties of taste.

Though Thucydidês does not directly canvass the constitutional
changes effected in Athens under Periklês, yet everything which he
does say leads us to believe that he accounted the working of that
statesman, upon the whole, on Athenian power as well as on Athenian
character, eminently valuable, and his death as an irreparable loss.
And we may thus appeal to the judgment of an historian who is our
best witness in every conceivable respect, as a valid reply to the
charge against Periklês, of having corrupted the Athenian habits,
character, and government. If he spent a large amount of the public
treasure upon religious edifices and ornaments, and upon stately
works for the city,—yet the sum which he left untouched, ready
for use at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, was such as to
appear more than sufficient for all purposes of defence, or public
safety, or military honor. It cannot be shown of Periklês that
he ever sacrificed the greater object to the less,—the permanent
and substantially valuable, to the transitory and showy,—assured
present possessions, to the lust of new, distant, or uncertain
conquests. If his advice had been listened to, the rashness which
brought on the defeat of the Athenian Tolmidês, at Korôneia in
Bœotia, would have been avoided, and Athens might probably have
maintained her ascendency over Megara and Bœotia, which would have
protected her territory from invasion, and given a new turn to the
subsequent history. Periklês is not to be treated as the author of
the Athenian character: he found it with its very marked positive
characteristics and susceptibilities, among which, those which
he chiefly brought out and improved were the best. The lust of
expeditions against the Persians, which Kimon would have pushed
into Egypt and Cyprus, he repressed, after it had accomplished
all which could be usefully aimed at: the ambition of Athens he
moderated rather than encouraged: the democratical movement of
Athens he regularized, and worked out into judicial institutions,
which became one of the prominent features of Athenian life, and
worked, in my judgment, with a very large balance of benefit to
the national mind as well as to individual security, in spite of
the many defects in their direct character as tribunals. But that
point in which there was the greatest difference between Athens,
as Periklês found if, and as he left it, is, unquestionably, the
pacific and intellectual development,—rhetoric, poetry, arts,
philosophical research, and recreative variety. To which if we add,
great improvement in the cultivation of the Attic soil,—extension of
Athenian trade,—attainment and laborious maintenance of the maximum
of maritime skill, attested by the battles of Phormio,—enlargement
of the area of complete security by construction of the Long
Walls,—lastly, the clothing of Athens in her imperial mantle, by
ornaments, architectural and sculptural,—we shall make out a case of
genuine progress realized during the political life of Periklês, such
as the evils imputed to him, far more imaginary than real, will go
but a little way to alloy. How little, comparatively speaking, of the
picture drawn by Periklês in his funeral harangue of 431 B.C. would
have been correct, if the harangue had been delivered over those
warriors who fell at Tanagra, twenty-seven years before!

It has been remarked by M. Boeckh,[310] that Periklês sacrificed the
landed proprietors of Attica to the maritime interests and empire of
Athens. This is of course founded on the destructive invasions of the
country during the Peloponnesian war; for down to the commencement
of that war the position of Attic cultivators and proprietors was
particularly enviable: and the censure of M. Boeckh, therefore,
depends upon the question, how far Periklês contributed to produce,
or had it in his power to avert, this melancholy war, in its results
so fatal, not merely to Athens, but to the entire Grecian race. Now
here again, if we follow attentively the narrative of Thucydidês, we
shall see that in the judgment of that historian, not only Periklês
did not bring on the war, but he could not have averted it without
such concession as Athenian prudence, as well as Athenian patriotism
peremptorily forbade: moreover, we shall see, that the calculations
on which Periklês grounded his hopes of success if driven to war,
were, in the opinion of the historian, perfectly sound and safe. We
may even go farther, and affirm, that the administration of Periklês
during the fourteen years preceding the war, exhibits a “moderation,”
to use the words of Thucydidês,[311] dictated especially by anxiety
to avoid raising causes of war; though in the months immediately
preceding the breaking out of the war, after the conduct of the
Corinthians at Potidæa, and the resolutions of the congress at
Sparta, he resisted strenuously all compliance with special demands
from Sparta,—demands essentially insincere, and in which partial
compliance would have lowered the dignity of Athens without insuring
peace. The stories about Pheidias, Aspasia, and the Megarians,
even if we should grant that there is some truth at the bottom of
them, must, if we follow Thucydidês, be looked upon at worst as
concomitants and pretexts, rather than as real causes, of the war:
though modern authors, in speaking of Periklês, are but too apt to
use expressions which tacitly assume these stories to be well founded.

  [310] Boeckh, Public Economy of Athens, b. iii, ch. xv. p. 399,
  Eng. Trans.

  Kutzen, in the second Beylage to his treatise, Periklês als
  Staatsmann (pp. 169-200), has collected and inserted a list of
  various characters of Periklês, from twenty different authors,
  English, French, and German. That of Wachsmuth is the best of the
  collection,—though even he appears to think that Periklês is to
  blame for having introduced a set of institutions which none but
  himself could work well.

  [311] Thucyd. ii, 65. ~μετρίως ἐξηγεῖτο~. i, 144. δίκας δὲ ὅτι
  ἐθέλομεν δοῦναι κατὰ τὰς ξυνθήκας, πολέμου δὲ οὐκ ἄρξομεν,
  ἀρχομένους δὲ ἀμυνούμεθα.

Seeing then that Periklês did not bring on and could not have averted
the Peloponnesian war,—that he steered his course in reference to
that event with the long-sighted prudence of one who knew that
the safety and the dignity of imperial Athens were essentially
interwoven,—we have no right to throw upon him the blame of
sacrificing the landed proprietors of Attica. These might, indeed, be
excused for complaining, where they suffered so ruinously; but the
impartial historian, looking at the whole of the case, cannot admit
their complaints as a ground for censuring the Athenian statesman.

The relation of Athens to her allies, the weak point of her position,
it was beyond the power of Periklês seriously to amend, probably also
beyond his will, since the idea of political incorporation, as well
as that of providing a common and equal confederate bond, sustained
by effective federal authority between different cities, was rarely
entertained even by the best Greek minds.[312] We hear that he tried
to summon at Athens a congress of deputies from all cities of Greece,
the allies of Athens included;[313] but the scheme could not be
brought to bear, in consequence of the reluctance, noway surprising,
of the Peloponnesians. Practically, the allies were not badly treated
during his administration: and if, among the other bad consequences
of the prolonged war, they, as well as Athens, and all other Greeks
come to suffer more and more, this depends upon causes with which he
is not chargeable, and upon proceedings which departed altogether
from his wise and sober calculations. Taking him altogether, with
his powers of thought, speech, and action,—his competence, civil and
military, in the council as well as in the field,—his vigorous and
cultivated intellect, and his comprehensive ideas of a community
in pacific and many-sided development,—his incorruptible public
morality, caution, and firmness, in a country where all those
qualities were rare, and the union of them in the same individual of
course much rarer,—we shall find him without a parallel throughout
the whole course of Grecian history.

  [312] Herodotus (1, 170) mentions that previous to the conquest
  of the twelve Ionic cities in Asia by Crœsus, Thalês had
  advised them to consolidate themselves all into one single city
  government at Teos, and to reduce the existing cities to mere
  demes or constituent, fractional municipalities,—τὰς δὲ ἄλλας
  πόλιας οἰκεομένας μηδὲν ἧσσον νομίζεσθαι κατάπερ εἰ δῆμοι εἶεν.
  It is remarkable to observe that Herodotus himself bestows his
  unqualified commendation on this idea.

  [313] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 17.

Under the great mortality and pressure of sickness at Athens, their
operations of war naturally languished; while the enemies also,
though more active, had but little success. A fleet of one hundred
triremes, with one thousand hoplites on board, was sent by the
Lacedæmonians under Knêmus to attack Zakynthus, but accomplished
nothing beyond devastation of the open parts of the island, and then
returned home. And it was shortly after this, towards the month of
September, that the Ambrakiots made an attack upon the Amphilochian
town called Argos, situated on the southern coast of the gulf of
Ambrakia: which town, as has been recounted in the preceding chapter,
had been wrested from them two years before by the Athenians, under
Phormio, and restored to the Amphilochians and Akarnanians. The
Ambrakiots, as colonists and allies of Corinth, were at the same time
animated by active enmity to the Athenian influence in Akarnania,
and by desire to regain the lost town of Argos. Procuring aid from
the Chaonians, and some other Epirotic tribes, they marched against
Argos, and after laying waste the territory, endeavored to take the
town by assault, but were repulsed, and obliged to retire.[314] This
expedition appears to have impressed the Athenians with the necessity
of a standing force to protect their interest in those parts; so that
in the autumn Phormio was sent with a squadron of twenty triremes to
occupy Naupaktus, now inhabited by the Messenians, as a permanent
naval station, and to watch the entrance of the Corinthian gulf.[315]
We shall find in the events of the succeeding year ample confirmation
of this necessity.

  [314] Thucyd. ii, 68.

  [315] Thucyd. ii, 69.

Though the Peloponnesians were too inferior in maritime force to
undertake formal war at sea against Athens, their single privateers,
especially the Megarian privateers from the harbor of Nisæa, were
active in injuring her commerce,[316]—and not merely the commerce
of Athens, but also that of other neutral Greeks, without scruple
or discrimination. Several merchantmen and fishing-vessels, with
a considerable number of prisoners, were thus captured.[317] Such
prisoners as fell into the hands of the Lacedæmonians,—even neutral
Greeks as well as Athenians,—were all put to death, and their bodies
cast into clefts of the mountains. In regard to the neutrals, this
capture was piratical, and the slaughter unwarrantably cruel, judged
even by the received practice of the Greeks, deficient as that was
on the score of humanity: but to dismiss these neutral prisoners, or
to sell them as slaves, would have given publicity to a piratical
capture and provoked the neutral towns, so that the prisoners were
probably slain as the best way of getting rid of them and thus
suppressing evidence.[318]

  [316] Thucyd. iii, 51.

  [317] Thucyd. ii, 67-69; Herodot. vii, 137. Respecting the
  Lacedæmonian privateering during the Peloponnesian war, compare
  Thucyd. v, 115: compare also Xenophon, Hellen. v, 1, 29.

  [318] Thucyd. ii, 67. Οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι ὕπηρξαν, τοὺς ἐμπόρους
  οὓς ἔλαβον Ἀθηναίων καὶ τῶν ξυμμάχων ἐν ὁλκάσι περὶ Πελοπόννησον
  πλέοντας ἀποκτείναντες καὶ ἐς φάραγγας ἐσβαλόντες. Πάντας γὰρ
  δὴ κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς τοῦ πολέμου οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, ὅσους λάβοιεν ἐν
  τῇ θαλάσσῃ, ὡς πολεμίους διέφθειρον, καὶ τοὺς μετὰ Ἀθηναίων
  ξυμπολεμοῦντας καὶ τοὺς μηδὲ μεθ᾽ ἑτέρων.

  The Lacedæmonian admiral Alkidas slew all the prisoners taken on
  board merchantmen off the coast of Ionia, in the ensuing year
  (Thucyd. iii, 32). Even this was considered extremely rigorous,
  and excited strong remonstrance; yet the mariners slain were not
  neutrals, but belonged to the subject-allies of Athens: moreover,
  Alkidas was in his flight, and obliged to make choice between
  killing his prisoners or setting them free.

Some of these Peloponnesian privateers ranged as far as the
southwestern coast of Asia Minor, where they found temporary shelter,
and interrupted the trading-vessels from Phasêlis and Phenicia to
Athens; to protect which, the Athenians despatched, in the course
of the autumn, a squadron of six triremes under Melêsander. He
was farther directed to insure the collection of the ordinary
tribute from Athenian subject-allies, and probably to raise such
contributions as he could elsewhere. In the prosecution of this
latter duty, he undertook an expedition from the sea-coast against
one of the Lykian towns in the interior, but his attack was repelled
with loss, and he himself slain.[319]

  [319] Thucyd. ii, 69.

An opportunity soon offered itself to the Athenians, of retaliating
on Sparta for this cruel treatment of the maritime prisoners. In
execution of the idea projected at the commencement of the war, the
Lacedæmonians sent Anêristus and two others as envoys to Persia,
for the purpose of soliciting from the Great King aids of money
and troops against Athens; the dissensions among the Greeks thus
gradually paving the way for him to regain his ascendency in the
Ægean. Timagoras of Tegea, together with an Argeian named Pollis,
without any formal mission from his city, and the Corinthian
Aristeus, accompanied them. As the sea was in the power of Athens,
they travelled overland through Thrace to the Hellespont; and
Aristeus, eager to leave nothing untried for the relief of Potidæa,
prevailed upon them to make application to Sitalkês, king of the
Odrysian Thracians. That prince was then in alliance with Athens, and
his son Sadokus had even received the grant of Athenian citizenship:
yet the envoys thought it possible not only to detach him from the
Athenian alliance, but even to obtain from him an army to act against
the Athenians and raise the blockade of Potidæa,—this being refused,
they lastly applied to him for a safe escort to the banks of the
Hellespont, in their way towards Persia. But Learchus and Ameiniadês,
then Athenian residents near the person of Sitalkês, had influence
enough not only to cause rejection of these requests, but also to
induce Sadokus, as a testimony of zeal in his new character of
Athenian citizen, to assist them in seizing the persons of Aristeus
and his companions in their journey through Thrace. Accordingly, the
whole party were seized and conducted as prisoners to Athens, where
they were forthwith put to death, without trial or permission to
speak,—and their bodies cast into rocky chasms, as a reprisal for the
captured seamen slain by the Lacedæmonians.[320]

  [320] Thucyd. ii. 67. Dr. Thirlwall (Hist. Greece, vol. iii,
  ch. 20, p. 129) says that “the envoys were sacrificed chiefly
  to give a decent color to the baseness” of killing Aristeus,
  from whom the Athenians feared subsequent evil, in consequence
  of his ability and active spirit. I do not think this is fairly
  contained in the words of Thucydidês. He puts in the foreground
  of Athenian motive, doubtless, fear from the future energy of
  Aristeus; but if that had been the only motive, the Athenians
  would probably have slain him singly without the rest: they would
  hardly think it necessary to provide themselves with “any decent
  color,” in the way that Dr. Thirlwall suggests. Thucydidês names
  the special feeling of the Athenians against Aristeus (in my
  judgment), chiefly in order to explain the extreme haste of the
  Athenian sentence of execution—αὐθήμερον—ἀκρίτους, etc.: they
  were under the influence of combined motives,—fear, revenge,

  The envoys here slain were sons of Sperthiês and Bulis, former
  Spartan heralds who had gone up to Xerxes at Susa to offer their
  heads as atonement for the previous conduct of the Spartans in
  killing the heralds of Darius. Xerxes dismissed them unhurt,—so
  that the anger of Talthybius (the heroic progenitor of the
  family of heralds at Sparta) remained still unsatisfied: it was
  only satisfied by the death of their two sons, now slain by the
  Athenians. The fact that the two persons now slain were sons of
  those two (Sperthiês and Bulis) who had previously gone to Susa
  to tender their lives,—is spoken of as a “romantic and tragical
  coincidence.” But there surely is very little to wonder at. The
  functions of herald at Sparta, were the privilege of a particular
  gens, or family: every herald, therefore, was _ex officio_ the
  son of a herald. Now when the Lacedæmonians, at the beginning
  of this Peloponnesian war, were looking out for two members of
  the heraldic gens to send up to Susa, upon whom would they so
  naturally fix as upon the sons of those two men who had been to
  Susa before? These sons had doubtless heard their fathers talk
  a great deal about it,—probably with interest and satisfaction,
  since they derived great glory from the unaccepted offer of their
  lives in atonement. There was a particular reason why these two
  men should be taken, in preference to any other heralds, to
  fulfil this dangerous mission: and doubtless when they perished
  in it, the religious imagination of the Lacedæmonians would
  group all the series of events as consummation of the judgment
  inflicted by Talthybius in his anger (Herodot. vii, 135—ὡς
  λέγουσι Λακεδαιμόνιοι).

  It appears that Anêristus, the herald here slain, had
  distinguished himself personally in that capture of fishermen on
  the coast of Peloponnesus by the Lacedæmonians, for which the
  Athenians were now retaliating (Herodot. vii, 137). Though this
  passage of Herodotus is not clear, yet the sense here put upon it
  is the natural one,—and clearer (in my judgment) than that which
  O. Müller would propose instead of it (Dorians, ii, p. 437).

Such revenge against Aristeus, the instigator of the revolt of
Potidæa, relieved the Athenians from a dangerous enemy; and that
blockaded city was now left to its fate. About midwinter it
capitulated, after a blockade of two years, and after going through
the extreme of suffering from famine, to such a degree that some
of those who died were even eaten by the survivors. In spite of
such intolerable distress, the Athenian generals, Xenophon son of
Euripidês and his two colleagues, admitted them to favorable terms
of capitulation,—permitting the whole population and the Corinthian
allies to retire freely, with a specified sum of money per head, as
well as with one garment for each man and two for each woman,—so
that they found shelter among the Chalkidic townships in the
neighborhood. These terms were singularly favorable, considering the
desperate state of the city, which must very soon have surrendered
at discretion: but the hardships, even of the army without, in the
cold of winter, were very severe, and they had become thoroughly
tired both of the duration and the expense of the siege. The cost
to Athens had been not less than two thousand talents; since the
assailant force had never been lower than three thousand hoplites,
during the entire two years of the siege, and for a portion of the
time considerably greater,—each hoplite receiving two drachmas _per
diem_. The Athenians at home, when they learned the terms of the
capitulation, were displeased with the generals for the indulgence
shown,—since a little additional patience would have constrained the
city to surrender at discretion: in which case the expense would
have been partly made good by selling the prisoners as slaves,—and
Athenian vengeance probably gratified by putting the warriors to
death.[321] A body of one thousand colonists were sent from Athens to
occupy Potidæa and its vacant territory.[322]

  [321] Thucyd. ii, 70; iii, 17. However, the displeasure of the
  Athenians against the commanders cannot have been very serious,
  since Xenophon was appointed to command against the Chalkidians
  in the ensuing year.

  [322] Diodor. xii, 46.

Two full years had now elapsed since the actual commencement of war,
by the attack of the Thebans on Platæa; yet the Peloponnesians had
accomplished nothing of what they expected. They had not rescued
Potidæa, nor had their twice-repeated invasion, although assisted by
the unexpected disasters arising from the epidemic, as yet brought
Athens to any sufficient humiliation,—though perhaps the envoys
which she had sent during the foregoing summer with propositions
for peace, contrary to the advice of Periklês, may have produced an
impression that she could not hold out long. At the same time, the
Peloponnesian allies had on their side suffered little damage, since
the ravages inflicted by the Athenian fleet on their coast may have
been nearly compensated by the booty which their invading troops
gained in Attica. Probably by this time the public opinion in Greece
had contracted an unhappy familiarity with the state of war, so
that nothing but some decisive loss and humiliation on one side at
least, if not on both, would suffice to terminate it. In this third
spring, the Peloponnesians did not repeat their annual march into
Attica,—deterred, partly, we may suppose, by fear of the epidemic
yet raging there,—but still more by the strong desire of the Thebans
to take their revenge on Platæa.

To this ill-fated city, Archidamus marched forthwith, at the head of
the confederate army. But no sooner had he entered and begun to lay
waste the territory, than the Platæan heralds came forth to arrest
his hand, and accosted him in the following terms: “Archidamus, and
ye men of Lacedæmon, ye act wrong, and in a manner neither worthy of
yourselves nor of your fathers, in thus invading the territory of
Platæa. For the Lacedæmonian Pausanias, son of Kleombrotus, after he
had liberated Greece from the Persians, in conjunction with those
Greeks who stood forward to bear their share of the danger, offered
sacrifice to Zeus Eleutherius, in the market-place of Platæa; and
there, in presence of all the allies, assigned to the Platæans their
own city and territory to hold in full autonomy, so that none should
invade them wrongfully, or with a view to enslave them: should such
invasion occur, the allies present pledged themselves to stand
forward with all their force as protectors. While your fathers made
to us this grant, in consideration of our valor and forwardness in
that perilous emergency, ye are now doing the precise contrary: ye
are come along with our worst enemies, the Thebans, to enslave us.
And we on our side now adjure you, calling to witness the gods who
sanctioned that oath, as well as your paternal and our local gods,
not to violate the oath by doing wrong to the Platæan territory, but
to let us live on in that autonomy which Pausanias guaranteed.”[323]

  [323] Thucyd. ii, 71, 72.

Whereunto Archidamus replied: “Ye speak fairly, men of Platæa, if
your conduct shall be in harmony with your words. Remain autonomous
yourselves, as Pausanias granted, and help us to liberate those other
Greeks, who, after having shared in the same dangers and sworn the
same oath along with you, have now been enslaved by the Athenians.
It is for their liberation and that of the other Greeks that this
formidable outfit of war has been brought forth. Pursuant to your
oaths, ye ought by rights, and we now invite you, to take active part
in this object. But if ye cannot act thus, at least remain quiet,
conformably to the summons which we have already sent to you; enjoy
your own territory, and remain neutral,—receiving both parties as
friends, but neither party for warlike purposes. With this we shall
be satisfied.”

The reply of Archidamus discloses by allusion a circumstance
which the historian had not before directly mentioned; that the
Lacedæmonians had sent a formal summons to the Platæans to renounce
their alliance with Athens and remain neutral: at what time this
took place,[324] we do not know, but it marks the peculiar sentiment
attaching to the town. But the Platæans did not comply with the
invitation thus twice repeated. The heralds, having returned for
instructions into the city, brought back for answer, that compliance
was impossible, without the consent of the Athenians, since their
wives and families were now harbored at Athens: besides, if they
should profess neutrality, and admit both parties as friends, the
Thebans might again make an attempt to surprise their city. In reply
to their scruples, Archidamus again addressed them: “Well, then,
hand over your city and houses to us Lacedæmonians: mark out the
boundaries of your territory: specify the number of your fruit-trees,
and all your other property which admits of being numbered; and then
retire whithersoever ye choose, as long as the war continues. As soon
as it is over, we will restore to you all that we have received,—in
the interim, we will hold it in trust, and keep it in cultivation,
and pay you such an allowance as shall suffice for your wants.”[325]

  [324] This previous summons is again alluded to afterwards, on
  occasion of the slaughter of the Platæan prisoners (iii, 68):
  διότι ~τόν τε ἄλλον χρόνον~ ἠξίουν δῆθεν, etc.

  [325] Thucyd. ii, 73, 74.

The proposition now made was so fair and tempting, that the general
body of the Platæans were at first inclined to accept it, provided
the Athenians would acquiesce; and they obtained from Archidamus a
truce long enough to enable them to send envoys to Athens. After
communication with the Athenian assembly, the envoys returned to
Platæa, bearing the following answer: “Men of Platæa, the Athenians
say they have never yet permitted you to be wronged since the
alliance first began,—nor will they now betray you, but will help
you to the best of their power. And they adjure you, by the oaths
which your fathers swore to them, not to depart in any way from the

This message awakened in the bosoms of the Platæans the full force
of ancient and tenacious sentiment. They resolved to maintain, at
all cost, and even to the extreme of ruin, if necessity should
require it, their union with Athens. It was indeed impossible that
they could do otherwise, considering the position of their wives and
families, without the consent of the Athenians; and though we cannot
wonder that the latter refused consent, we may yet remark, that, in
their situation, a perfectly generous ally might well have granted
it. For the forces of Platæa counted for little as a portion of
the aggregate strength of Athens; nor could the Athenians possibly
protect it against the superior land-force of their enemies,—in fact,
so hopeless was the attempt that they never even tried, throughout
the whole course of the long subsequent blockade.

The final refusal of the Platæans was proclaimed to Archidamus, by
word of mouth from the walls, since it was not thought safe to send
out any messenger. As soon as the Spartan prince heard the answer,
he prepared for hostile operations,—apparently with very sincere
reluctance, attested in the following invocation, emphatically

“Ye gods and heroes, who hold the Platæan territory, be ye my
witnesses, that we have not in the first instance wrongfully—not
until these Platæans have first renounced the oaths binding on all of
us—invaded this territory, in which our fathers defeated the Persians
after prayers to you, and which ye granted as propitious for Greeks
to fight in,—nor shall we commit wrong in what we may do farther, for
we have taken pains to tender reasonable terms, but without success.
Be ye now consenting parties: may those who are beginning the wrong
receive punishment for it,—may those who are aiming to inflict
penalty righteously, obtain their object.”

It was thus that Archidamus, in language delivered probably under
the walls, and within hearing of the citizens who manned them,
endeavored to conciliate the gods and heroes of that town which he
was about to ruin and depopulate. The whole of this preliminary
debate,[326] so strikingly and dramatically set forth by Thucydidês,
illustrates forcibly the respectful reluctance with which the
Lacedæmonians first brought themselves to assail this scene of the
glories of their fathers. What deserves remark is, that their direct
sentiment attaches itself, not at all to the Platæan people, but
only to the Platæan territory; it is purely local, though it becomes
partially transferred to the people, as tenants of this spot, by
secondary association. It was, however, nothing but the long-standing
antipathy[327] of the Thebans which induced Archidamus to undertake
the enterprise; for the conquest of Platæa was of no avail towards
the main objects of the war, though its exposed situation caused it
to be crushed between the two great contending forces in Greece.

  [326] Thucyd. ii, 71-75.

  [327] Thucyd. iii, 68.

Archidamus now commenced the siege forthwith, in full hopes that his
numerous army, the entire strength of the Peloponnesian confederacy,
would soon capture a place of no great size, and probably not very
well fortified; yet defended by a resolute garrison of four hundred
native citizens, with eighty Athenians: there was no one else in
the town except one hundred and ten female slaves for cooking. The
fruit-trees, cut down in laying waste the cultivated land, sufficed
to form a strong palisade all round the town, so as completely to
block up the inhabitants. Next, Archidamus, having abundance of
timber near at hand in the forests of Kithæron, began to erect a
mound up against a portion of the town wall, so as to be able to
march up by an inclined plane, and thus take the place by assault.
Wood, stones, and earth, were piled up in a vast heap,—cross palings
of wood being carried on each side of it, in parallel lines at right
angles to the town wall, for the purpose of keeping the loose mass of
materials between them together. For seventy days and as many nights
did the army labor at this work, without any intermission, taking
turns for food and repose: and through such unremitting assiduity,
the mound approached near to the height of the town wall. But as it
gradually mounted up, the Platæans were not idle on their side: they
constructed an additional wall of wood, which they planted on the
top of their own town wall, so as to heighten the part over against
the enemy’s mound: sustaining it by brickwork behind, for which
the neighboring houses furnished materials: hides, raw as well as
dressed, were suspended in front of it, in order to protect their
workmen against missiles, and the woodwork against fire-carrying
arrows.[328] And as the besiegers still continued heaping up
materials, to carry their mound up to the height even of this recent
addition, the Platæans met them by breaking a hole in the lower part
of their town wall, and pulling in the earth from the lower portion
of the mound; which thus gave way at the top and left a vacant space
near the wall, until the besiegers filled it up by letting down
quantities of stiff clay rolled up in wattled reeds, which could
not be pulled away in the same manner. Again, the Platæans dug a
subterranean passage from the interior of their town to the ground
immediately under the mound, and thus carried away unseen the lower
earth belonging to the latter; so that the besiegers saw their
mound continually sinking down, in spite of fresh additions at the
top,—yet without knowing the reason. Nevertheless, it was plain that
these stratagems would be in the end ineffectual, and the Platæans
accordingly built a new portion of town wall in the interior, in the
shape of a crescent, taking its start from the old town wall on each
side of the mound: the besiegers were thus deprived of all benefit
from the mound, assuming it to be successfully completed; since when
they had marched over it, there stood in front of them a new town
wall to be carried in like manner.

  [328] Thucyd. ii, 75.

Nor was this the only method of attack employed. Archidamus farther
brought up battering engines, one of which greatly shook and
endangered the additional height of wall built by the Platæans over
against the mound; while others were brought to bear on different
portions of the circuit of the town wall. Against these new
assailants, various means of defence were used: the defenders on
the walls threw down ropes, got hold of the head of the approaching
engine, and pulled it by main force out of the right line, either
upwards or sideways: or they prepared heavy wooden beams on the
wall, each attached to both ends by long iron chains to two poles
projecting at right angles from the wall, by means of which poles
it was raised up and held aloft: so that at the proper moment, when
the battering machine approached the wall, the chain was suddenly
let go, and the beam fell down with great violence directly upon the
engine and broke off its projecting beak.[329] However rude these
defensive processes may seem, they were found effective against
the besiegers, who saw themselves, at the close of three months’
unavailing efforts, obliged to renounce the idea of taking the town
in any other way than by the process of blockade and famine,—a
process alike tedious and costly.[330]

  [329] The various processes, such as those here described,
  employed both for offence and defence in the ancient sieges, are
  noticed and discussed in Æneas Poliorketic. c. 33, _seq._

  [330] Thucyd. ii, 76.

Before they would incur so much inconvenience, however, they had
recourse to one farther stratagem,—that of trying to set the town
on fire. From the height of their mound, they threw down large
quantities of fagots, partly into the space between the mound and
the newly-built crescent piece of wall,—partly, as far as they could
reach, into other parts of the city: pitch and other combustibles
were next added, and the whole mass set on fire. The conflagration
was tremendous, such as had never been before seen: a large portion
of the town became unapproachable, and the whole of it narrowly
escaped destruction. Nothing could have preserved it, had the wind
been rather more favorable: there was indeed a farther story, of a
most opportune thunder-storm coming to extinguish the flames, which
Thucydidês does not seem to credit.[331] In spite of much partial
damage, the town remained still defensible, and the spirit of the
inhabitants unsubdued.

  [331] Thucyd. ii, 77.

There now remained no other resource except to build a wall of
circumvallation round Platæa, and trust to the slow process of
famine. The task was distributed in suitable fractions among the
various confederate cities, and completed about the middle of
September, a little before the autumnal equinox.[332] Two distinct
walls were constructed, with sixteen feet of intermediate space all
covered in, so as to look like one very thick wall: there were,
moreover, two ditches, out of which the bricks for the wall had
been taken,—one on the inside towards Platæa, and the other on the
outside against any foreign relieving force. The interior covered
space between the walls was intended to serve as permanent quarters
for the troops left on guard, consisting half of Bœotians and half of

  [332] Thucyd. ii, 78. καὶ ἐπειδὴ πᾶν ἐξείργαστο περὶ Ἀρκτούρου
  ἐπιτολάς, etc. at the period of the year when the star Arcturus
  rises immediately before sunrise,—that is, sometime between the
  12th and 17th of September: see Göller’s note on the passage.
  Thucydidês does not often give any fixed marks to discriminate
  the various periods of the year, as we find it here done. The
  Greek months were all lunar months, or nominally so: the names
  of months, as well as the practice of intercalation to rectify
  the calendar, varied from city to city; so that if Thucydidês
  had specified the day of the Attic month Boêdromion (instead
  of specifying the rising of Arcturus) on which this work
  was finished, many of his readers would not have distinctly
  understood him. Hippokratês also, in indications of time for
  medical purposes, employs the appearance of Arcturus and other

  [333] Thucyd. ii, 78; iii, 21. From this description of the
  double wall and covered quarters provided for what was foreknown
  as a long blockade, we may understand the sufferings of the
  Athenian troops (who probably had no double wall), in the two
  years’ blockade of Potidæa,—and their readiness to grant an easy
  capitulation to the besieged: see a few pages above.

At the same time that Archidamus began the siege of Platæa, the
Athenians on their side despatched a force of two thousand hoplites
and two hundred horsemen, to the Chalkidic peninsula, under Xenophon
son of Euripidês (with two colleagues), the same who had granted so
recently the capitulation of Potidæa. It was necessary doubtless,
to convoy and establish the new colonists who were about to occupy
the deserted site of Potidæa: moreover, the general had acquired
some knowledge of the position and parties of the Chalkidic towns,
and hoped to be able to act against them with effect. They first
invaded the territory belonging to the Bottiæan town of Spartôlus,
not without hopes that the city itself would be betrayed to them
by intelligences within: but this was prevented by the arrival
of an additional force from Olynthus, partly hoplites, partly
peltasts. These peltasts, a species of troops between heavy-armed
and light-armed, furnished with a pelta (or light shield), and short
spear, or javelin, appear to have taken their rise among these
Chalkidic Greeks, being equipped in a manner half Greek and half
Thracian: we shall find them hereafter much improved and turned
to account by some of the ablest Grecian generals. The Chalkidic
hoplites are generally of inferior merit: on the other hand, their
cavalry and their peltasts are very good: in the action which now
took place under the walls of Spartôlus, the Athenian hoplites
defeated those of the enemy, but their cavalry and their light troops
were completely worsted by the Chalkidic. These latter, still farther
strengthened by the arrival of fresh peltasts from Olynthus, ventured
even to attack the Athenian hoplites, who thought it prudent to fall
back upon the two companies left in reserve to guard the baggage.
During this retreat they were harassed by the Chalkidic horse and
light-armed, who retired when the Athenians turned upon them, but
attacked them on all sides when on their march; and employed missiles
so effectively that the retreating hoplites could no longer maintain
a steady order, but took to flight, and sought refuge at Potidæa.
Four hundred and thirty hoplites, near one-fourth of the whole force,
together with all three generals, perished in this defeat, and the
expedition returned in dishonor to Athens.[334]

  [334] Thucyd. ii, 79.

In the western parts of Greece, the arms of Athens and her allies
were more successful. The repulse of the Ambrakiots from the
Amphilochian Argos, during the preceding year, had only exasperated
them and induced them to conceive still larger plans of aggression
against both the Akarnanians and Athenians. In concert with their
mother-city Corinth, where they obtained warm support, they prevailed
upon the Lacedæmonians to take part in a simultaneous attack of
Akarnania, by land as well as by sea, which would prevent the
Akarnanians from concentrating their forces in any one point, and put
each of their townships upon an isolated self-defence; so that all
of them might be overpowered in succession, and detached, together
with Kephallênia and Zakynthus, from the Athenian alliance. The
fleet of Phormio at Naupaktus, consisting only of twenty triremes,
was accounted incompetent to cope with a Peloponnesian fleet such as
might be fitted out at Corinth. There was even some hope that the
important station at Naupaktus might itself be taken, so as to expel
the Athenians completely from those parts.

The scheme of operations now projected was far more comprehensive
than anything which the war had yet afforded. The land-force of the
Ambrakiots, together with their neighbors and fellow-colonists the
Leukadians and Anaktorians, assembled near their own city, while
their maritime force was collected at Leukas, on the Akarnanian
coast. The force at Ambrakia was joined, not only by Knêmus, the
Lacedæmonian admiral, with one thousand Peloponnesian hoplites, who
found means to cross over from Peloponnesus, eluding the vigilance
of Phormio,—but also by a numerous body of Epirotic and Macedonian
auxiliaries, collected even from the distant and northernmost
tribes. A thousand Chaonians were present, under the command of
Photyus and Nikanor, two annual chiefs chosen from the regal gens.
Neither this tribe, nor the Thesprotians who came along with them,
acknowledged any hereditary king. The Molossians and Atintânes, who
also joined the force, were under Sabylinthus, regent on behalf of
the young prince Tharypas. There came, besides, the Paranæi, from
the banks of the river Aôus under their king Orœdus, together with
one thousand Orestæ, a tribe rather Macedonian than Epirot, sent by
their king Antiochus. Even king Perdikkas, though then nominally in
alliance with Athens, sent one thousand of his Macedonian subjects,
who, however, arrived too late to be of any use.[335] This large
and diverse body of Epirotic invaders, a new phenomenon in Grecian
history, and got together doubtless by the hopes of plunder, proves
the extensive relations of the tribes of the interior with the city
of Ambrakia,—a city destined to become in later days the capital of
the Epirotic king Pyrrhus.

  [335] Thucyd. ii, 80.

It had been concerted that the Peloponnesian fleet from Corinth
should join that already assembled at Leukas, and act upon the coast
of Akarnania at the same time that the land-force marched into that
territory. But Knêmus finding the land-force united and ready, near
Ambrakia, deemed it unnecessary to await the fleet from Corinth, and
marched straight into Akarnania, through Limnæa, a frontier village
territory belonging to the Amphilochian Argos. He directed his march
upon Stratus,—an interior town, and the chief place in Akarnania,—the
capture of which would be likely to carry with it the surrender of
the rest; especially as the Akarnanians, distracted by the presence
of the ships at Leukas, and alarmed by the large body of invaders
on their frontier, did not dare to leave their own separate homes,
so that Stratus was left altogether to its own citizens. Nor was
Phormio, though they sent an urgent message to him, in any condition
to help them; since he could not leave Naupaktus unguarded, when the
large fleet from Corinth was known to be approaching. Under such
circumstances, Knêmus and his army indulged the most confident hopes
of overpowering Stratus without difficulty. They marched in three
divisions: the Epirots in the centre,—the Leukadians and Anaktorians
on the right,—the Peloponnesians and Ambrakiots, together with
Knêmus himself, on the left. So little expectation was entertained
of resistance, that these three divisions took no pains to keep near
or even in sight of each other. Both the Greek divisions, indeed,
maintained a good order of march, and kept proper scouts on the look
out; but the Epirots advanced without any care or order whatever;
especially the Chaonians, who formed the van. These men, accounted
the most warlike of all the Epirotic tribes, were so full of conceit
and rashness, that when they approached near to Stratus, they would
not halt to encamp and assail the place conjointly with the Greeks;
but marched along with the other Epirots right forward to the town,
intending to attack it single-handed, and confident that they should
carry it at the first assault, before the Greeks came up, so that
the entire glory would be theirs. The Stratians watched and profited
by this imprudence. Planting ambuscades in convenient places, and
suffering the Epirots to approach without suspicion near to the
gates, they then suddenly sallied out and attacked them, while the
troops in ambuscade rose up and assailed them at the same time. The
Chaonians who formed the van, thus completely surprised, were routed
with great slaughter; while the other Epirots fled, after but little
resistance. So much had they hurried forward in advance of their
Greek allies, that neither the right nor the left division were at
all aware of the battle, until the flying barbarians, hotly pursued
by the Akarnanians, made it known to them. The two divisions then
joined, protected the fugitives, and restrained farther pursuit,—the
Stratians declining to come to hand-combat with them until the other
Akarnanians should arrive. They seriously annoyed the forces of
Knêmus, however, by distant slinging, in which the Akarnanians were
preëminently skilful; nor did Knêmus choose to persist in his attack
under such discouraging circumstances. As soon as night arrived,
so that there was no longer any fear of slingers, he retreated to
the river Anapus, a distance of between nine and ten miles. Well
aware that the news of the victory would attract other Akarnanian
forces immediately to the aid of Stratus, he took advantage of the
arrival of his own Akarnanian allies from Œniadæ (the only town in
the country which was attached to the Lacedæmonian interest), and
sought shelter near their city. From thence his troops dispersed, and
returned to their respective homes.[336]

  [336] Thucyd. ii, 82; Diodor. xii, 48.

Meanwhile, the Peloponnesian fleet from Corinth, which had been
destined to coöperate with Knêmus off the coast of Akarnania, had
found difficulties in its passage, alike unexpected and insuperable.
Mustering forty-seven triremes of Corinth, Sikyon, and other
places, with a body of soldiers on board, and with accompanying
store-vessels,—it departed from the harbor of Corinth, and made
its way along the northern coast of Achaia. Its commanders, not
intending to meddle with Phormio and his twenty ships at Naupaktus,
never for a moment imagined that he would venture to attack a
number so greatly superior: the triremes were, accordingly, fitted
out more as transports for numerous soldiers than with any view to
naval combat,—and with little attention to the choice of skilful

  [337] Thucyd. ii, 83. οὐχ ὡς ἐπὶ ναυμαχίαν, ἀλλὰ στρατιωτικώτερον
  παρεσκευασμένοι: compare the speech of Knêmus, c. 87. The
  unskilfulness of the rowers is noticed (c. 84).

Except in the combat near Korkyra, and there only partially, the
Peloponnesians had never yet made actual trial of Athenian maritime
efficiency, at the point of excellence which it had now reached:
themselves retaining the old unimproved mode of fighting and of
working ships at sea, they had no practical idea of the degree
to which it had been superseded by Athenian training. Among the
Athenians, on the contrary, not only the seamen generally had a
confirmed feeling of their own superiority,—but Phormio especially,
the ablest of all their captains, always familiarized his men with
the conviction, that no Peloponnesian fleet, be its number ever
so great, could possibly contend against them with success.[338]
Accordingly, the Corinthian admirals, Machaon and his two colleagues,
were surprised to observe that Phormio with his small Athenian
squadron, instead of keeping safe in Naupaktus, was moving in
parallel line with them and watching their progress until they
should get out of the Corinthian gulf into the more open sea. Having
advanced along the northern coast of Peloponnesus as far as Patræ in
Achaia, they then altered their course, and bore to the northwest
in order to cross over towards the Ætolian coast, in their way to
Akarnania. In doing this, however, they perceived that Phormio was
bearing down upon them from Chalkis and the mouth of the river
Euenus, and they now discovered for the first time that he was going
to attack them. Disconcerted by this incident, and not inclined for
a naval combat in the wide and open sea, they altered their plan
of passage, returned to the coast of Peloponnesus, and brought to
for the night at some point near to Rhium, the narrowest breadth of
the strait. Their bringing to was a mere feint intended to deceive
Phormio, and induce him to go back for the night to his own coast:
for, during the course of the night, they left their station, and
tried to get across the breadth of the gulf, where it was near the
strait, and comparatively narrow, before Phormio could come down
upon them: and if the Athenian captain had really gone back to take
night-station on his own coast, they would probably have got across
to the Ætolian or northern coast without any molestation in the
wide sea: but he watched their movements closely, kept the sea all
night, and was thus enabled to attack them in mid-channel, even
during the shorter passage near the strait, at the first dawn of
morning.[339] On seeing his approach, the Corinthian admirals ranged
their triremes in a circle with the prows outward, like the spokes
of a wheel; the circle was made as large as it could be without
leaving opportunity to the Athenian assailing ships to practise the
manœuvre of the diekplus,[340] and the interior space was sufficient,
not merely for the store-vessels, but also for five chosen triremes,
who were kept as a reserve, to dart out when required through the
intervals between the outer triremes.

  [338] Thucyd. ii, 88. πρότερον μὲν γὰρ ~ἀεὶ αὐτοῖς ἔλεγε~
  (Phormio) καὶ προπαρεσκεύαζε τὰς γνώμας, ὡς οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς πλῆθος
  νεῶν τοσοῦτον, ἢν ἐπιπλέῃ, ὅ,τι οὐχ ὑπομενετέον αὐτοῖς ἐστί·
  καὶ οἱ στρατιῶται ἐκ πολλοῦ ἐν σφίσιν αὐτοῖς τὴν ἀξίωσιν ταύτην
  εἰλήφεσαν, ~μηδένα ὄχλον Ἀθηναῖοι ὄντες Πελοποννησίων νεῶν

  This passage is not only remarkable as it conveys the striking
  persuasion entertained by the Athenians of their own naval
  superiority, but also as it discloses the frank and intimate
  communication between the Athenian captain and his seamen,—so
  strongly pervading and determining the feelings of the latter.
  Compare what is told respecting the Syracusan Hermokratês,
  Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 30.

  [339] Thucyd. ii, 83. Ἐπειδὴ μέντοι ἀντιπαραπλέοντάς τε ἑώρων
  αὐτοὺς (that is, when the Corinthians saw the Athenian ships)
  παρὰ γῆν σφῶν κομιζομένων, καὶ ἐκ Πατρῶν τῆς Ἀχαΐας πρὸς τὴν
  ἀντιπέρας ἤπειρον διαβαλλόντων ἐπὶ Ἀκαρνανίας κατεῖδον τοὺς
  Ἀθηναίους ἀπὸ τῆς Χαλκίδος καὶ τοῦ Εὐήνου ποταμοῦ προσπλέοντας
  σφίσι, ~καὶ οὐκ ἔλαθον νυκτὸς ὐφορμισάμενοι~, οὕτω δὴ
  ἀναγκάζονται ναυμαχεῖν κατὰ μέσον τὸν πορθμόν.

  There is considerable difficulty in clearly understanding what
  was here done, especially what is meant by the words οὐκ ἔλαθον
  νυκτὸς ὐφορμισάμενοι, which words the Scholiast construed as
  if the nominative case to ἔλαθον were οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι, whereas the
  natural structure of the sentence, as well as the probabilities
  of fact, lead the best commentators to consider οἱ Πελοποννήσιοι
  as the nominative case to that verb. The remark of the Scholiast,
  however, shows us, that the difficulty of understanding the
  sentence dates from ancient times.

  Dr. Arnold—whose explanation is adopted by Poppo and Göller—says:
  “The two fleets were moving parallel to one another along the
  opposite shores of the Corinthian gulf. But even when they had
  sailed out of the strait at Rhium, the opposite shores were still
  so near, that the Peloponnesians hoped to cross over without
  opposition, if they could so far deceive the Athenians, as to
  the spot where they brought to for the night, as to induce them
  either to stop too soon, or to advance too far, that they might
  not be exactly opposite to them to intercept the passage. If they
  could lead the Athenians to think that they meant to advance in
  the night beyond Patræ, the Athenian fleet was likely to continue
  its own course along the northern shore, to be ready to intercept
  them when they should endeavor to run across to Acarnania. But
  the Athenians, aware that they had stopped at Patræ, stopped
  themselves at Chalkis, instead of proceeding further to the
  westward; and thus were so nearly opposite to them, that the
  Peloponnesians had not time to get more than half-way across,
  before they found themselves encountered by their watchful enemy.”

  This explanation seems to me not satisfactory, nor does it take
  account of all the facts of the case. The first belief of the
  Peloponnesians was, that Phormio would not dare to attack them
  at all: accordingly, having arrived at Patræ, they stretched
  from thence across the gulf to the mouth of the Euenus,—the
  natural way of proceeding according to ancient navigation,—going
  in the direction of Akarnania (ἐπὶ Ἀκαρνανίας). As they were
  thus stretching across, they perceived Phormio bearing down upon
  them from the Euenus: this was a surprise to them, and as they
  wished to avoid a battle in the mid-channel, they desisted from
  proceeding farther that day, in hopes to be able to deceive
  Phormio in respect of their night-station. They made a feint of
  taking night-station on the shore between Patræ and Rhium, near
  the narrow part of the strait; but, in reality, they “slipped
  anchor and put to sea during the night,” as Mr. Bloomfield says,
  in hopes of getting across the shorter passage under favor of
  darkness, before Phormio could come upon them. That they must
  have done this is proved by the fact, that the subsequent battle
  was fought on the morrow in the mid-channel _very little after
  daybreak_ (we learn this from what Thucydidês says about the
  gulf-breeze, for which Phormio waited before he would commence
  his attack—ὅπερ ἀναμένων τε περιέπλει, καὶ εἰώθει γίγνεσθαι ~ἐπι
  τὴν ἕω~). If Phormio had returned to Chalkis, they would probably
  have succeeded; but he must have kept the sea all night, which
  would be the natural proceeding of a vigilant captain, determined
  not to let the Peloponnesians get across without fighting: so
  that he was upon them in the mid-channel immediately that day

  Putting all the statements of Thucydidês together, we may be
  convinced that this is the way in which the facts occurred. But
  of the precise sense of ὐφορμισάμενοι, I confess I do not feel
  certain: Haack says, it means “clam appellere ad littus,” but
  here, I think, that sense will not do: for the Peloponnesians did
  not wish, and could indeed hardly hope, to conceal from Phormio
  the spot where they brought to for the night, and to make him
  suppose that they brought to at some point of the shore west of
  Patræ, when in reality they passed the night in Patræ,—which
  is what Dr. Arnold supposes. The shore west of Patræ makes a
  bend to the southwest,—forming the gulf of Patras,—so that the
  distance from the northern, or Ætolian and Akarnanian, side of
  the gulf becomes for a considerable time longer and longer, and
  the Peloponnesians would thus impose upon themselves a longer
  crossing, increasing the difficulty of getting over without a
  battle. But ὐφορμισάμενοι may reasonably be supposed to mean,
  especially in conjunction with οὐκ ἔλαθον, “taking up a simulated
  or imperfect night-station,” in which they did not really intend
  to stay all night, and which could be quitted at short notice and
  with ease. The preposition ὑπὸ, in composition, would thus have
  the sense, not of _secrecy_ (_clam_) but of _sham-performance_,
  or of mere going through the forms of an act for the purpose of
  making a false impression (like ὑποφέρειν, Xenoph. Hell. iv, 72).
  Mr. Bloomfield proposes conjecturally ἀφορμισάμενοι, meaning,
  “that the Peloponnesians slipped their anchors in the night:” I
  place no faith in the conjecture, but I believe him to be quite
  right in supposing, that the Peloponnesians _did actually_ slip
  their anchors in the night.

  Another point remains to be adverted to. The battle took
  place κατὰ μέσον τὸν πορθμόν. Now we need not understand this
  expression to allude to the narrowest part of the sea, or the
  strait, strictly and precisely; that is, the line of seven stadia
  between Rhium and Antirrhium. But I think we must understand it
  to mean a portion of sea not far westward of the strait, where
  the breadth, though greater than that of the strait itself,
  is yet not so great as it becomes in the line drawn northward
  from Patræ. We cannot understand πορθμὸς (as Mr. Bloomfield and
  Poppo do,—see the note of the latter on the Scholia) to mean
  _trajectus_ simply, that is to say, the passage across even
  the widest portion of the gulf of Patras: nor does the passage
  cited out of c. 86 require us so to understand it. Πορθμὸς, in
  Thucydidês, means a strait, or narrow crossing of sea, and Poppo
  himself admits that Thucydidês always uses it so: nor would it be
  reasonable to believe that he would call the line of sea across
  the gulf, from Patræ to the mouth of the Euenus, a πορθμός. See
  the note of Göller, on this point.

  [340] Thucyd. ii, 86. μὴ δíδοντες διέκπλουν. The great object of
  the fast-sailing Athenian trireme was, to drive its beak against
  some weak part of the adversary’s ship: the stern, the side, or
  the oars,—not against the beak, which was strongly constructed as
  well for defence as for offence. The Athenian, therefore, rowing
  through the intervals of the adversary’s line, and thus getting
  in their rear, turned rapidly, and got the opportunity, before
  the ship of the adversary could change its position, of striking
  it either in the stern or some weak part. Such a manœuvre was
  called the _diekplus_. The success of it, of course, depended
  upon the extreme rapidity and precision of the movements of the
  Athenian vessel, so superior in this respect to its adversary,
  not only in the better construction of the ship, but the
  excellence of rowers and steersmen.

In this position they were found and attacked shortly after daybreak,
by Phormio, who bore down upon them with his ships in single file,
all admirable sailors, and his own ship leading; all being strictly
forbidden to attack until he should give the signal. He rowed swiftly
round the Peloponnesian circle, nearing the prows of their ships
as closely as he could, and making constant semblance of being
about to come to blows. Partly from the intimidating effect of this
manœuvre, altogether novel to the Peloponnesians,—partly from the
natural difficulty, well known to Phormio, of keeping every ship
in its exact stationary position,—the order of the circle, both
within and without, presently became disturbed. It was not long
before a new ally came to his aid, on which he fully calculated,
postponing his actual attack until this favorable incident occurred.
The strong land-breeze out of the gulf of Corinth, always wont to
begin shortly after daybreak, came down upon the Peloponnesian
fleet with its usual vehemence, at a moment when the steadiness
of their order was already somewhat giving way, and forced their
ships more than ever out of proper relation one to the other. The
triremes began to run foul of each other, or become entangled with
the store-vessels: so that in every ship the men aboard were obliged
to keep pushing off their neighbors on each side with poles,—not
without loud clamor and mutual reproaches, which prevented both the
orders of the captain, and the cheering sound or song whereby the
keleustês animated the rowers and kept them to time, from being
at all audible. Moreover, the fresh breeze had occasioned such a
swell, that these rowers, unskilful under all circumstances, could
not get their oars clear of the water, and the pilots thus lost all
command over their vessels.[341] The critical moment was now come,
and Phormio gave the signal for attack. He first drove against and
disabled one of the admiral’s ships,—his comrades next assailed
others with equal success,—so that the Peloponnesians, confounded and
terrified, attempted hardly any resistance, but broke their order
and sought safety in flight. They fled partly to Patræ, partly to
Dymê, in Achaia, pursued by the Athenians; who, with scarcely the
loss of a man, captured twelve triremes, took aboard and carried away
almost the entire crews, and sailed off with them to Molykreium, or
Antirrhium, the northern cape at the narrow mouth of the Corinthian
gulf, opposite to the corresponding cape called Rhium in Achaia.
Having erected at Antirrhium a trophy for the victory, dedicating
one of the captive triremes to Poseidon, they returned to Naupaktus;
while the Peloponnesian ships sailed along the shore from Patræ to
Kyllênê, the principal port in the territory of Elis. They were here
soon afterwards joined by Knêmus, who passed over with his squadron
from Leukas.[342]

  [341] See Dr. Arnold’s note upon this passage of Thucydidês,
  respecting the keleustês and his functions: to the passages
  which he indicates as reference, I will add two more of Plautus,
  Mercat. iv, 2, 5, and Asinaria, iii, 1, 15.

  When we conceive the structure of an ancient trireme, we shall
  at once see, first, how essential the keleustês was, to keep the
  rowers in harmonious action,—next, how immense the difference
  must have been between practised and unpractised rowers. The
  trireme had, in all, one hundred and seventy rowers, distributed
  into three tiers. The upper tier, called thranitæ, were sixty-two
  in number, or thirty-one on each side: the middle tier, or
  zygitæ, as well as the lowest tier, or thalamitæ, were each
  fifty-four in number, or twenty-seven on each side. Besides
  these, there were belonging to each trireme a certain number,
  seemingly about thirty, of supplementary oars (κῶπαι περινέω),
  to be used by the epibatæ, or soldiers, serving on board, in
  case of rowers being killed, or oars broken. Each tier of
  rowers was distributed along the whole length of the vessel,
  from head to stern, or at least along the greater part of it;
  but the seats of the higher tiers were not placed in the exact
  perpendicular line above the lower. Of course, the oars of the
  thranitæ, or uppermost tier, were the longest: those of the
  thalamitæ, or lowest tier, the shortest: those of the zygitæ, of
  a length between the two. Each oar was rowed only by one man. The
  thranitæ, as having the longest oars, were most hardly worked and
  most highly paid. What the length of the oars was, belonging to
  either tier, we do not know, but some of the supplementary oars
  appear to have been about fifteen feet in length.

  What is here stated, appears to be pretty well ascertained,
  chiefly from the inscriptions discovered at Athens a few years
  ago, so full of information respecting the Athenian marine,—and
  from the most instructive commentary appended to these
  inscriptions by M. Boeckh, Seewesen der Athener, ch. ix, pp.
  94, 104, 115. But there is a great deal still, respecting the
  equipment of an ancient trireme, unascertained and disputed.

  Now there was nothing but the voice of the keleustês to keep
  these one hundred and seventy rowers all to good time with their
  strokes. With oars of different length, and so many rowers, this
  must have been no easy matter, and apparently quite impossible,
  unless the rowers were trained to act together. The difference
  between those who were so trained and those who were not, must
  have been immense. We may imagine the difference between the
  ships of Phormio and those of his enemies, and the difficulty of
  the latter in contending with the swell of the sea,—when we read
  this description of the ancient trireme.

  About two hundred men, that is to say, one hundred and seventy
  rowers and thirty supernumeraries, mostly epibatæ or hoplites
  serving on board, besides the pilot, the man at the ship’s bow,
  the keleustês, etc., probably some half dozen officers, formed
  the crew of a trireme: compare Herodot. viii, 17; vii, 184, where
  he calculates the thirty epibatæ over and above the two hundred.
  Dr. Arnold thinks that, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian
  war, the epibatæ on board an Athenian trireme were no more than
  ten: but this seems not quite made out: see his note on Thucyd.
  iii, 95.

  The Venetian galleys in the thirteenth century were manned by
  about the same number of men. “Les galères Vénitiens du convoi de
  Flandre devaient être montées par deux cent hommes libres, dont
  180 rameurs, et 12 archers. Les arcs ou balistes furent préscrits
  en 1333 pour toutes les galères de commerce armées.” (Depping,
  Histoire du Commerce entre le Levant et l’Europe, vol. i, p. 163.)

  [342] Thucyd. ii, 84.

These two incidents, just recounted, with their details,—the
repulse of Knêmus and his army from Stratus, and the defeat of the
Peloponnesian fleet by Phormio,—afford ground for some interesting
remarks. The first of the two displays the great inferiority of the
Epirots to the Greeks,—and even to the less advanced portion of the
Greeks,—in the qualities of order, discipline, steadiness, and power
of coöperation for a joint purpose. Confidence of success with them
is exaggerated into childish rashness, so that they despise even the
commonest precautions either in march or attack; while the Greek
divisions on their right and on their left are never so elate as to
omit either. If, on land, we thus discover the inherent superiority
of Greeks over Epirots involuntarily breaking out,—so in the
sea-fight we are no less impressed with the astonishing superiority
of the Athenians over their opponents; a superiority, indeed, noway
inherent, such as that of Greeks over Epirots, but depending in
this case on previous toil, training, and inventive talent, on the
one side, compared with neglect and old-fashioned routine on the
other. Nowhere does the extraordinary value of that seamanship,
which the Athenians had been gaining by years of improved practice,
stand so clearly marked as in these first battles of Phormio. It
gradually becomes less conspicuous as we advance in the war, since
the Peloponnesians improve, learning seamanship as the Russians,
under Peter the Great, learned the art of war from the Swedes, under
Charles the Twelfth,—while the Athenian triremes and their crews
seem to become less choice and effective, even before the terrible
disaster at Syracuse, and are irreparably deteriorated after that

To none did the circumstances of this memorable sea-fight seem so
incomprehensible as to the Lacedæmonians. They had heard, indeed,
of the seamanship of Athens, but had never felt it, and could not
understand what it meant: so they imputed the defeat to nothing
but disgraceful cowardice, and sent indignant orders to Knêmus at
Kyllênê, to take the command, equip a larger and better fleet,
and repair the dishonor. Three Spartan commissioners—Brasidas,
Timokratês, and Lykophron—were sent down to assist him with their
advice and exertions in calling together naval contingents from
the different allied cities: and by this means, under the general
resentment occasioned by the recent defeat, a large fleet of
seventy-seven triremes was speedily mustered at Panormus,—a harbor
of Achaia near to the promontory of Rhium, and immediately within
the interior gulf. A land-force was also collected at the same place
ashore, to aid the operations of the fleet. Such preparations did
not escape the vigilance of Phormio, who transmitted to Athens news
of his victory, at the same time urgently soliciting reinforcements
to contend with the increasing strength of the enemy. The Athenians
immediately sent twenty fresh ships to join him: but they were
induced by the instances of a Kretan named Nikias, their proxenus
at Gortyn, to allow him to take the ships first to Krete, on the
faith of his promise to reduce the hostile town of Kydonia. He
had made this promise as a private favor to the inhabitants of
Polichna, border enemies of Kydonia; but when the fleet arrived he
was unable to fulfil it: nothing was effected except ravage of the
Kydonian lands, and the fleet was long prevented by adverse winds
and weather from getting away.[343] This ill-advised diversion of
the fleet from its straight course to join Phormio is a proof how
much the counsels of Athens were beginning to suffer from the loss
of Periklês, who was just now in his last illness and died shortly
afterwards. That liability to be seduced by novel enterprises and
projects of acquisition, against which he so emphatically warned his
countrymen,[344] was even now beginning to manifest its disastrous

  [343] Thucyd. ii, 85.

  [344] Thucyd. i, 144. Πολλὰ δὲ καὶ ἄλλα ἔχω ἐς ἐλπίδα τοῦ
  περιέσεσθαι, ἢν ἐθέλητε ἀρχήν τε μὴ ἐπικτᾶσθαι ἅμα πολεμοῦντες,
  καὶ κινδύνους αὐθαιρέτους μὴ προστίθεσθαι· μᾶλλον γὰρ πεφόβημαι
  τὰς οἰκείας ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίας ἢ τὰς τῶν ἐναντίων διανοίας.

Through the loss of this precious interval, Phormio now found
himself, with no more than his original twenty triremes, opposed to
the vastly increased forces of the enemy,—seventy-seven triremes,
with a large force on land to back them: the latter, no mean help in
ancient warfare. He took up his station near the Cape Antirrhium,
or the Molykric Rhium, as it was called,—the opposite cape to the
Achaic Rhium: the line between them, seemingly about an English mile
in breadth, forms the entrance of the Corinthian gulf. The Messenian
force from Naupaktus attended him, and served on land. But he kept
on the outside of the gulf, anxious to fight in a large and open
breadth of sea, which was essential to Athenian manœuvring: while his
adversaries on their side remained on the inside of the Achaic cape,
from the corresponding reason,—feeling that to them the narrow sea
was advantageous, as making the naval battle like to a land battle,
effacing all superiority of nautical skill.[345] If we revert back
to the occasion of the battle of Salamis, we find that narrowness of
space was at that time accounted the best of all protections for a
smaller fleet against a larger. But such had been the complete change
of feeling, occasioned by the system of manœuvring introduced since
that period in the Athenian navy, that amplitude of sea room is now
not less coveted by Phormio than dreaded by his enemies. The improved
practice of Athens had introduced a revolution in naval warfare.

  [345] Thucyd. ii, 86-89: compare vii, 36-49.

For six or seven days successively, the two fleets were drawn out
against each other,—Phormio trying to entice the Peloponnesians to
the outside of the gulf, while they on their side did what they could
to bring him within it.[346] To him, every day’s postponement was
gain, since it gave him a new chance of his reinforcements arriving:
for that very reason, the Peloponnesian commanders were eager to
accelerate an action, and at length resorted to a well-laid plan for
forcing it on. But in spite of immense numerical superiority, such
was the discouragement and reluctance, prevailing among their seamen,
many of whom had been actual sufferers in the recent defeat,—that
Knêmus and Brasidas had to employ emphatic exhortations; insisting
on the favorable prospect before them,—pointing out that the late
battle had been lost only by mismanagement and imprudence, which
would be for the future corrected,—and appealing to the inherent
bravery of the Peloponnesian warrior. They concluded by a hint, that
while those who behaved well in the coming battle would receive due
honor, the laggards would assuredly be punished:[347] a topic rarely
touched upon by ancient generals in their harangues on the eve of
battle, and demonstrating conspicuously the reluctance of many of
the Peloponnesian seamen, who had been brought to the fight again
chiefly by the ascendency and strenuous commands of Sparta. To this
reluctance Phormio pointedly alluded, in the encouraging exhortations
which he on his side addressed to his men: for they too, in spite of
their habitual confidence at sea, strengthened by the recent victory,
were dispirited by the smallness of their numbers. He reminded them
of their long practice and rational conviction of superiority at
sea, such as no augmentation of numbers, especially with an enemy
conscious of his own weakness, could overbalance: and he called upon
them to show their habitual discipline and quick apprehension of
orders, and above all to perform their regular movements in perfect
silence during the actual battle,[348]—useful in all matters of
war, and essential to the proper conduct of a sea-fight. The idea
of entire silence on board the Athenian ships while a sea-fight was
going on, is not only striking as a feature in the picture, but is
also one of the most powerful evidences of the force of self-control
and military habits among these citizen-seamen.

  [346] Thucyd. ii, 86.

  [347] Thucyd. ii, 87. Τῶν δὲ πρότερον ἡγεμόνων οὐ χεῖρον τὴν
  ἐπιχείρησιν ἡμεῖς παρασκευάσομεν, καὶ οὐκ ἐνδώσομεν πρόφασιν
  οὐδενὶ κακῷ γενέσθαι· ἢν δέ τις ἄρα καὶ βουληθῇ, κολασθήσεται τῇ
  πρεπούσῃ ζημίᾳ, οἱ δὲ ἀγαθοὶ τιμήσονται τοῖς προσήκουσιν ἄθλοις
  τῆς ἀρετῆς.

  [348] Thucyd. ii, 89. Καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ ~κόσμον καὶ σιγὴν~ περὶ
  πλείστου ἡγεῖσθε, ὃ ἔς τε τὰ πολλὰ τῶν πολεμικῶν ξυμφέρει, καὶ
  ναυμαχίᾳ οὐχ ἥκιστα, etc.

The habitual position of the Peloponnesian fleet off Panormus was
within the strait, but nearly fronting the breadth of it,—opposite to
Phormio, who lay on the outer side of the strait, as well as off the
opposite cape: in the Peloponnesian line, therefore, the right wing
occupied the north, or northeast side towards Naupaktus. Knêmus and
Brasidas now resolved to make a forward movement up the gulf, as if
against that town, which was the main Athenian station; for they knew
that Phormio would be under the necessity of coming to the defence
of the place, and they hoped to pin him up and force him to action
close under the land, where Athenian manœuvring would be unavailing.
Accordingly, they commenced this movement early in the morning,
sailing in line of four abreast towards the northern coast of the
inner gulf; the right squadron, under the Lacedæmonian Timokratês,
was in the van, according to its natural position,[349] and care had
been taken to place in it twenty of the best sailing ships, since
the success of the plan of action was known beforehand to depend
upon their celerity. As they had foreseen, Phormio the moment he
saw their movement, put his men on shipboard, and rowed into the
interior of the strait, though with the greatest reluctance; for the
Messenians were on land alongside of him, and he knew that Naupaktus,
with their wives and families, and a long circuit of wall,[350] was
utterly undefended. He ranged his ships in line of battle ahead,
probably his own the leading ship; and sailed close along the land
towards Naupaktus, while the Messenians marching ashore kept near to
him. Both fleets were thus moving in the same direction, and towards
the same point, the Athenian close along shore, the Peloponnesians
somewhat farther off.[351] The latter had now got Phormio into the
position which they wished, pinned up against the land, with no
room for tactics. On a sudden the signal was given, and the whole
Peloponnesian fleet facing to the left, changed from column into
line, and instead of continuing to sail along the coast, rowed
rapidly with their prows shore-ward to come to close quarters with
the Athenians. The right squadron of the Peloponnesians occupying
the side towards Naupaktus, was especially charged with the duty of
cutting off the Athenians from all possibility of escaping thither;
and the best ships had been placed on the right for that important
object. As far as the commanders were concerned, the plan of action
completely succeeded; the Athenians were caught in a situation where
resistance was impossible, and had no chance of escape except in
flight. But so superior were they in rapid movement even to the
best Peloponnesians, that eleven ships, the headmost out of the
twenty, just found means to run by,[352] before the right wing of the
enemy closed in upon the shore; and made the best of their way to
Naupaktus. The remaining nine ships were caught and driven ashore
with serious damage,—their crews being partly slain, partly escaping
by swimming. The Peloponnesians towed off one trireme with its entire
crew, and some others empty; but more than one of them was rescued by
the bravery of the Messenian hoplites, who, in spite of their heavy
panoply, rushed into the water and got aboard them, fighting from the
decks and driving off the enemy even after the rope had been actually
made fast, and the process of dragging off had begun.[353]

  [349] Thucyd. ii, 90. ἐπὶ τεσσάρων ταξάμενοι τὰς ναῦς. Matthiæ
  in his Grammar (sect. 584), states that ἐπὶ τεσσάρων means “four
  deep,” and cites this passage of Thucydidês as an instance of it.
  But the words certainly mean here _four abreast_; though it is to
  be recollected that a column four abreast, when turned into line,
  becomes four deep.

  [350] Thucyd. iii, 102.

  [351] Thucyd. ii, 90. Οἱ δὲ Πελοποννήσιοι, ἐπειδὴ αὐτοῖς οἱ
  Ἀθηναῖοι οὐκ ἐπέπλεον ἐς τὸν κόλπον καὶ τὰ στενὰ, βουλόμενοι
  ἄκοντας ἔσω προαγαγεῖν αὐτοὺς, ἀναγόμενοι ἅμα ἕῳ ἔπλεον, ἐπὶ
  τεσσάρων ταξάμενοι τὰς ναῦς, ~ἐπὶ τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν ἔσω~ ἐπὶ τοῦ
  κόλπου, δεξιῷ κέρᾳ ἡγουμένῳ, ὥσπερ καὶ ὥρμουν· ἐπὶ δ᾽ αὐτῷ
  εἴκοσι νῆας ἔταξαν τὰς ἄριστα πλεούσας, ὅπως, εἰ ἄρα νομίσας ἐπὶ
  τὴν Ναύπακτον αὐτοὺς πλεῖν ὁ Φορμίων καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπιβοηθῶν ταύτῃ
  παραπλέοι, μὴ διαφύγοιεν πλέοντα τὸν ἐπίπλουν σφῶν οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι
  ~ἔξω τοῦ ἑαυτῶν κέρως~, ἀλλ᾽ αὗται αἱ νῆες περικλῄσειαν.

  It will be seen that I have represented in the text the
  movement of the Peloponnesian fleet as directed ostensibly
  and to all appearance against Naupaktus: and I translate the
  words in the fourth line of the above passage—ἐπὶ τὴν ἑαυτῶν
  γῆν ἔσω ἐπὶ τοῦ κόλπου—as meaning “_against the station of the
  Athenians up the gulf within_,” that is, against Naupaktus. Mr.
  Bloomfield gives that meaning to the passage, though not to the
  words; but the Scholiast, Dr. Arnold, Poppo, and Göller, all
  construe it differently, and maintain that the words τὴν ἐαυτῶν
  γῆν mean _the Peloponnesian shore_. To my view, this latter
  interpretation renders the whole scheme of the battle confused
  and unintelligible; while with the other meaning it is perfectly
  clear, and all the circumstances fit in with each other.

  Dr. Arnold does not seem even to admit that τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν can
  mean anything else but the coast of Peloponnesus. He says: “The
  Scholiast says that ἐπὶ is here used for παρά. It would be better
  to say that it has a mixed signification of motion towards a
  place and neighborhood to it: expressing that the Peloponnesians
  sailed _towards_ their own land (_i. e._ towards Corinth, Sikyon,
  and Pellênê, to which places the greater number of the ships
  belonged), instead of standing over to the opposite coast, which
  belonged to their enemies: and at the same time kept close _upon_
  their own land, in the sense of ἐπὶ with a dative case.”

  It appears to me that Dr. Arnold’s supposition of Corinth and
  Sikyon as the meaning of τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν is altogether far-fetched
  and improbable. As a matter of fact, it would only be true of
  part of the confederate fleet; while it would be false with
  regard to ships from Elis, Leukas, etc. And if it had been
  true with regard to all, yet the distance of Corinth from the
  Peloponnesian station was so very great, that Thucydidês would
  hardly mark _direction_ by referring to a city so very far off.
  Then again, both the Scholiast and Dr. Arnold do great violence
  to the meaning of the preposition ἐπὶ with an accusative case,
  and cite no examples to justify it. What the sense of ἐπὶ is with
  an accusative case signifying locality, is shown by Thucydidês
  in this very passage.—εἰ ἄρα νομίσας ~ἐπὶ τὴν Ναύπακτον~ αὐτοὺς
  πλεῖν ὁ Φορμίων, etc. (again, c. 85. ἐπὶ Κυδωνίαν πλεῦσαι; and
  i. 29, ἐπὶ Ἐπίδαμνον, etc.—ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν αὐτοῦ of Perdikkas, i,
  57), that is, against, or to go thither with a hostile purpose.
  So sensible does the Scholiast seem to be of this, that he
  affirms ἐπὶ to be used instead of παρά. This is a most violent
  supposition, for nothing can be more different than the two
  phrases ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν and παρὰ τὴν γῆν. Dr. Arnold again assigns
  to ἐπὶ with an accusative case another sense, which he himself
  admits that it only has with a dative.

  I make these remarks with a view to show that the sense which
  Dr. Arnold and others put upon the words of Thucydidês,—ἔπλεον
  ἐπὶ τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν,—departs from the usual, and even from the
  legitimate meaning of the words. But I have a stronger objection
  still. If that sense be admitted, it will be found quite
  inconsistent with the subsequent proceedings, as Thucydidês
  describes; and any one who will look at the map in reading this
  chapter, will see plainly that the fact is so. If, as Dr. Arnold
  supposes, the Peloponnesian fleet kept close along the shore of
  Peloponnesus, what was there in their movements to alarm Phormio
  for the safety of Naupaktus, or to draw him so reluctantly into
  the strait? Or if we even grant this, and suppose that Phormio
  construed the movement along the coast of Achaia to indicate
  designs against Naupaktus, and that he therefore came into the
  gulf and sailed along his own shore to defend the town,—still the
  Peloponnesians would be separated from him by the whole breadth
  of the gulf at that point; and as soon as they altered their line
  of direction for the purpose of crossing the gulf and attacking
  him, he would have the whole breadth of the gulf in which to take
  his measures for meeting them, so that instead of finding himself
  jammed up against the land, he would have been able to go out
  and fight them in the wide water, which he so much desired. The
  whole description given by Thucydidês, of the sudden wheeling of
  the Peloponnesian fleet, whereby Phormio’s ships were assailed,
  and nine of them cut off, shows that the two fleets must have
  been very close together when that movement was undertaken. If
  they had not been close,—if the Peloponnesians had had to row
  any considerable distance after wheeling,—all the Athenian ships
  might have escaped along shore without any difficulty. In fact,
  the words of Thucydidês imply that _both_ the two fleets, at the
  time when the wheel of the Peloponnesians was made, _were sailing
  in parallel directions along the northern coast in the direction
  of Naupaktus_,—ὅπως εἰ ἄρα νομίσας ἐπὶ τὴν Ναύπακτον αὐτοὺς πλεῖν
  ὁ Φορμίων ~καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπιβοηθῶν~ ταύτῃ παραπλέοι,—“if he _also_,
  with a view to defend the place, should sail along that coast,”
  (that is, if he, _as well as they_:) which seems to be the
  distinct meaning of the particle καὶ in this place.

  Now if we suppose the Peloponnesian fleet to have sailed from
  its original station towards Naupaktus, all the events which
  follow become thoroughly perspicuous and coherent. I apprehend
  that no one would ever have entertained any other idea, except
  from the words of Thucydidês,—ἔπλεον ἐπὶ τὴν ~ἑαυτῶν~ γῆν ἔσω
  ἐπὶ τοῦ κόλπου. Since the subject or nominative case of the verb
  ἔπλεον is οἱ Πελοποννήσιοι, it has been supposed that the word
  ~ἑαυτῶν~ must necessarily refer to the Peloponnesians; and Mr.
  Bloomfield, with whom I agree as to the signification of the
  passage, proposes to alter ~ἑαυτῶν~ into ~αὐτῶν~. It appears
  to me that this alteration is not necessary, and that ἑαυτῶν
  may very well be construed so as to refer to the _Athenians_,
  not to the Lacedæmonians. The reflective meaning of the pronoun
  ἑαυτῶν is _not necessarily_ thrown back upon the subject of the
  action _immediately_ preceding it, in a complicated sentence
  where there is more than one subject and more than one action.
  Thus, for instance, in this very passage of Thucydidês which I
  have transcribed, we find the word ἑαυτῶν a second time used,
  and used so that its meaning is thrown back, not upon the
  subject immediately preceding, but upon a subject more distant
  from it,—ἐπὶ δ᾽ αὐτῷ (τῷ κέρατι) εἴκοσι ναῦς ἔταξαν τὰς ἄριστα
  πλεούσας, ὅπως, εἰ ἄρα..., μὴ διαφύγοιεν πλέοντα τὸν ἐπίπλουν
  σφῶν οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι ~ἔξω τοῦ ἑαυτῶν κέρως~, ἀλλ᾽ αὗται αἱ νῆες
  περικλῄσειαν. Now here the words τοῦ ἑαυτῶν κέρως, allude to
  the Peloponnesian fleet, not to the Athenians, which latter is
  the subject immediately preceding. Poppo and Göller both admit
  such to be the true meaning; and if this be admissible, there
  appears to me no greater difficulty in construing the words ἐπὶ
  τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν to mean, “the land of the _Athenians_,” _not_
  “the land of the _Peloponnesians_.” Ἑαυτῶν might have been more
  unambiguously expressed by ἐκείνων αὑτῶν; for the reflective
  signification embodied in αὑτῶν is here an important addition to
  the meaning: “Since the Athenians did not sail into the interior
  of the gulf and the narrow waters, the Peloponnesians, wishing to
  bring them in even reluctantly, sailed _against the Athenians’
  own land_ in the interior.”

  Another passage may be produced from Thucydidês, in which the
  two words ἑαυτοῦ and ἐκείνου are both used in the same sentence
  and designate the same person, ii, 13. Περικλῆς, ὑποτοπήσας,
  ὅτι Ἀρχίδαμος αὐτῷ ξένος ὢν ἐτύγχανε, μὴ πολλάκις ἢ αὐτὸς ἰδίᾳ
  βουλόμενος χαρίζεσθαι τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ παραλίπῃ καὶ μὴ δῃώσῃ,
  ἢ καὶ Λακεδαιμονίων κελευσάντων ἐπὶ διαβολῇ τῇ ~ἑαυτοῦ~ γένηται
  τοῦτο, ὥσπερ καὶ τὰ ἄγη ἐλαύνειν προεῖπον ἕνεκα ~ἐκείνου~·
  προηγόρευε τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ὅτι Ἀρχίδαμος μὲν οἱ
  ξένος εἴη, οὐ μέντοι ἐπὶ κακῷ γε τῆς πόλεως γένοιτο, τοὺς δ᾽
  ἀγροὺς ~τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ~ καὶ οἰκίας ἢν ἄρα μὴ δῃώσωσιν οἱ πολέμιοι
  ὥσπερ καὶ τὰ τῶν ἄλλων, ἀφίησιν αὐτὰ δημόσια εἶναι. Here ἑαυτοῦ
  and ἐκείνου (compare an analogous passage, Xenophon, Hellen. i,
  1, 27) both refer to Periklês; and ἑαυτοῦ is twice used, so that
  it reflects back not upon the subject of the action immediately
  preceding it, but upon another subject farther behind. Again, iv,
  99. Οἱ δὲ Βοιωτοὶ ἀπεκρίναντο, εἰ μὲν ἐν τῇ Βοιωτίᾳ εἰσίν (οἱ
  Ἀθηναῖοι), ἀπιόντας ~ἐκ τῆς ἑαυτῶν~ ἀποφέρεσθαι τὰ σφέτερα· εἰ δ᾽
  ἐν τῇ ~ἐκείνων~, αὐτοὺς γιγνώσκειν τὸ ποιητέον. Here the use of
  ἑαυτῶν and ἐκείνων is remarkable. Ἑαυτῶν refers to the Bœotians,
  though the Athenians are the subject of the action immediately
  preceding; while ἐκείνων refers to the Athenians, in another case
  where they are the subject of the action immediately preceding.
  We should almost have expected to find the position of the two
  words reversed. Again, in iv, 57, we have—Καὶ τούτους μὲν οἱ
  Ἀθηναῖοι ἐβουλεύσαντο καταθέσθαι ἐς τὰς νήσους, καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους
  Κυθηρίους ~οἰκοῦντας τὴν ἑαυτῶν~ φόρον τέσσαρα τάλαντα φέρειν.
  Here ἑαυτῶν refers to the subject of the action immediately
  preceding—that is, to Κυθηρίους, not to Ἀθηναῖοι: but when we
  turn to another chapter, iii, 78: οἱ δὲ Ἀθηναῖοι φοβούμενοι τὸ
  πλῆθος καὶ τὴν περικύκλωσιν, ἁθρόαις μέν οὐ προσέπιπτον οὐδὲ
  κατὰ μέσον ~ταῖς ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτοὺς τεταγμέναις~ (ναυσὶ)—we find ἑαυτῶν
  thrown back upon the subject, _not_ immediately preceding it.
  The same, iv, 47—εἴ πού τίς τινα ἴδοι ἐχθρὸν ἑαυτοῦ; and ii, 95.
  Ὁ γὰρ Περδίκκας αὐτῷ ὑποσχόμενος, εἰ Ἀθηναίοις τε διαλλάξειεν
  ~ἑαυτὸν~ (_i. e._ Perdikkas), κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς τῷ πολέμῳ πιεζόμενον,

  Compare also Homer, Odyss. xvii, 387. Πτωχὸν δ᾽ οὐκ ἄν τις
  καλέοι, τρύξοντα ἓ αὐτόν; and Xenophon, Memorab. iv, 2, 28; i, 6,
  3; v, 2, 24; Anabas. vii. 2, 10; 6, 43; Hellen. v, 2, 39.

  It appears to me, that when we study the use of the pronoun
  ἑαυτὸς, we shall see reason to be convinced that in the passage
  of Thucydidês now before us, the phrase οἱ Πελοποννήσιοι ἔπλεον
  ἐς τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν, need not necessarily be referred to the
  _Peloponnesian_ land, but may in perfect conformity with analogy
  be understood to mean the _Athenian_ land. I am sure that, in so
  construing it, we shall not put so much violence upon the meaning
  as the Scholiast and Dr. Arnold have put upon the preposition
  ἐπὶ, when the Scholiast states that ἐπὶ τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν means the
  same thing as παρὰ τὴν ἑαυτῶν γῆν, and when Dr. Arnold admits
  this opinion, only adding a new meaning which does not usually
  belong to ἐπὶ with an accusative case.

  An objection to the meaning which I propose may possibly be
  grounded on the word νομίσας, applied to Phormio. If the
  Peloponnesian fleet was sailing directly towards Naupaktus, it
  may be urged, Phormio would not be said to _think_ that they
  were going thither, but _to see_ or _become aware_ of it. But
  in reply to this we may observe, that the Peloponnesians never
  really intended to attack Naupaktus, though they directed their
  course towards it; they wished in reality to draw Phormio within
  the strait, and there to attack him. The historian, therefore,
  says with propriety, that Phormio would _believe_, and not that
  he would _perceive_, them to be going thither, since his belief
  would really be erroneous.

  [352] Thucyd. ii, 90. How narrow the escape was, is marked in
  the words of the historian—τῶν δὲ ἕνδεκα μὲν αἵπερ ἡγοῦντο
  ~ὑπεκφεύγουσι~ τὸ κέρας τῶν Πελοποννησίων καὶ τὴν ἐπιστροφήν, ἐς
  τὴν εὐρυχωρίαν.

  The proceedings of the Syracusan fleet against that of the
  Athenians in the harbor of Syracuse, and the reflections of the
  historian upon them, illustrate this attack of the Peloponnesians
  upon the fleet of Phormio (Thucyd. vii. 36).

  [353] Compare the like bravery on the part of the Lacedæmonian
  hoplites at Pylus (Thucyd. iv, 14).

The victory of the Peloponnesians seemed assured, and while their
left and centre were thus occupied, the twenty ships of their right
wing parted company with the rest, in order to pursue the eleven
fugitive Athenian ships which they had failed in cutting off. Ten of
these got clear away into the harbor of Naupaktus, and there posted
themselves in an attitude of defence near the temple of Apollo,
before any of the pursuers could come near; while the eleventh,
somewhat less swift, was neared by the Lacedæmonian admiral; who, on
board a Leukadian trireme, pushed greatly ahead of his comrades, in
hopes of overtaking at least this one prey. There happened to lie
moored a merchant vessel, at the entrance of the harbor of Naupaktus;
and the Athenian captain in his flight, observing that the Leukadian
pursuer was for the moment alone, seized the opportunity for a bold
and rapid manœuvre. He pulled swiftly round the merchant vessel,
directed his trireme so as to meet the advancing Leukadian, and drove
his beak against her midships with an impact so violent as to disable
her at once; her commander, the Lacedæmonian admiral, Timokratês, was
so stung with anguish at this unexpected catastrophe, that he slew
himself forthwith, and fell overboard into the harbor. The pursuing
vessels coming up behind, too, were so astounded and dismayed by it,
that the men, dropping their oars, held water, and ceased to advance;
while some even found themselves half aground, from ignorance of the
coast. On the other hand, the ten Athenian triremes in the harbor
were beyond measure elated by the incident, so that a single word
from Phormio sufficed to put them in active forward motion, and to
make them strenuously attack the embarrassed enemy: whose ships,
disordered by the heat of pursuit, and having been just suddenly
stopped, could not be speedily got again under way, and expected
nothing less than renewed attack. First, the Athenians broke the
twenty pursuing ships, on the right wing; next, they pursued their
advantage against the left and centre, who had probably neared to the
right; so that after a short resistance, the whole were completely
routed, and fled across the gulf to their original station at
Panormus.[354] Not only did the eleven Athenian ships thus break,
terrify, and drive away the entire fleet of the enemy, with the
capture of six of the nearest Peloponnesian triremes,—but they also
rescued those ships of their own which had been driven ashore and
taken in the early part of the action: moreover, the Peloponnesian
crews sustained a considerable loss, both in killed and in prisoners.

  [354] Thucyd. ii, 92. It is sufficiently evident that
  the Athenians defeated and drove off not only the twenty
  Peloponnesian ships of the right or pursuing wing,—but also
  the left and centre. Otherwise, they would not have been able
  to recapture those Athenian ships which had been lost at the
  beginning of the battle. Thucydidês, indeed, does not expressly
  mention the Peloponnesian left and centre as following the
  right in their pursuit towards Naupaktus. But we may presume
  that they partially did so, probably careless of much order, as
  being at first under the impression that the victory was gained.
  They were probably, therefore, thrown into confusion without
  much difficulty, when the twenty ships of the right were beaten
  and driven back upon them,—even though the victorious Athenian
  triremes were no more than eleven in number.

Thus, in spite not only of the prodigious disparity of numbers, but
also of the disastrous blow which the Athenians had sustained at
first, Phormio ended by gaining a complete victory; a victory, to
which even the Lacedæmonians were forced to bear testimony, since
they were obliged to ask a truce for burying and collecting their
dead, while the Athenians on their part picked up the bodies of their
own warriors. The defeated party, however, still thought themselves
entitled, in token of their success in the early part of the action,
to erect a trophy on the Rhium of Achaia, where they also dedicated
the single Athenian trireme which they had been able to carry off.
Yet they were so completely discomfited,—and farther, so much in
fear of the expected reinforcement from Athens,—that they took
advantage of the night to retire, and sail into the gulf to Corinth:
all except the Leukadians, who returned to their own home.

Nor was it long before the reinforcement actually arrived, after
that untoward detention which had wellnigh exposed Phormio and his
whole fleet to ruin. It confirmed his mastery of the entrance of
the gulf and of the coast of Akarnania, where the Peloponnesians
had now no naval force at all. To establish more fully the Athenian
influence in Akarnania, he undertook during the course of the autumn
an expedition, landing at Astakus, and marching into the Akarnanian
inland country with four hundred Athenian hoplites and four hundred
Messenians. Some of the leading men of Stratus and Koronta, who were
attached to the Peloponnesian interest, he caused to be sent into
exile, while the chief named Kynês, of Koronta, who seems to have
been hitherto in exile, was reëstablished in his native town. The
great object was, to besiege and take the powerful town of Œniadæ,
near the mouth of the Achelôus; a town at variance with the other
Akarnanians, and attached to the Peloponnesians. But the great spread
of the waters of the Achelôus rendered this siege impracticable
during the winter, and Phormio returned to the station at Naupaktus.
From hence he departed to Athens towards the end of the winter,
carrying home both his prize-ships and such of his prisoners as were
freemen. The latter were exchanged man for man against Athenian
prisoners in the hands of Sparta.[355]

  [355] Thucyd. ii, 102, 103.

After abandoning the naval contest at Rhium, and retiring to
Corinth, Knêmus and Brasidas were prevailed upon by the Megarians,
before the fleet dispersed, to try the bold experiment of a sudden
inroad upon Peiræus. Such was the confessed superiority of the
Athenians at sea, that, while they guarded amply the coasts of
Attica against privateers, they never imagined the possibility of
an attack upon their own main harbor. Accordingly, Peiræus was not
only unprotected by any chain across the entrance, but destitute
even of any regular guard-ships manned and ready. The seamen of
the retiring Peloponnesian armament, on reaching Corinth, were
immediately disembarked and marched, first across the isthmus, next
to Megara,—each man carrying his sitting-cloth,[356] and his oar,
together with the loop whereby the oar was fastened to the oar-hole
in the side, and thus prevented from slipping. There lay forty
triremes in Nisæa, the harbor of Megara, which, though old and out
of condition, were sufficient for so short a trip; and the seamen
immediately on arriving, launched these and got aboard. But such was
the awe entertained of Athens and her power, that when the scheme
came really to be executed, the courage of the Peloponnesians failed,
though there was nothing to hinder them from actually reaching
Peiræus: but it was pretended that the wind was adverse, and they
contented themselves with passing across to the station of Budorum,
in the opposite Athenian island of Salamis, where they surprised and
seized the three guard-ships which habitually blockaded the harbor of
Megara, and then landed upon the island. They spread themselves over
a large part of Salamis, ravaged the properties, and seized men as
well as goods. Fire-signals immediately made known this unforeseen
aggression, both at Peiræus and at Athens, occasioning in both the
extreme of astonishment and alarm; for the citizens in Athens, not
conceiving distinctly the meaning of the signals, fancied that
Peiræus itself had fallen into the hands of the enemy. The whole
population rushed down to the Peiræus at break of day, and put to sea
with all the triremes that were ready against the Peloponnesians;
but these latter, aware of the danger which menaced them, made haste
to quit Salamis with their booty, and the three captured guard-ships.
The lesson was salutary to the Athenians: from henceforward Peiræus
was furnished with a chain across the mouth, and a regular guard,
down to the end of the war.[357] Forty years afterwards, however,
we shall find it just as negligently watched, and surprised with
much more boldness and dexterity, by the Lacedæmonian captain

  [356] Thucyd. ii, 93. ἐδόκει δὲ λαβόντα τῶν ναυτῶν ἕκαστον τὴν
  κώπην, καὶ τὸ ὑπηρέσιον, καὶ τὸν τροπωτῆρα, etc. On these words
  there is an interesting letter of Dr. Bishop’s published in the
  Appendix to Dr. Arnold’s Thucydidês, vol. i. His remarks upon
  ὑπηρέσιον are more satisfactory than those upon τροπωτήρ. Whether
  the fulcrum of the oar was formed by a thowell, or a notch, on
  the gunwale, or by a perforation in the ship’s side, there must
  in both cases have been required—since it seems to have had
  nothing like what Dr. Bishop calls a _nut_—a thong to prevent it
  from slipping down towards the water; especially with the oars of
  the thranitæ, or upper tier of rowers, who pulled at so great an
  elevation, comparatively speaking, above the water. Dr. Arnold’s
  explanation of τροπωτὴρ is suited to the case of a boat, but not
  to that of a trireme. Dr. Bishop shows that the explanation of
  the purpose of the ὑπηρέσιον, given by the Scholiast, is not the
  true one.

  [357] Thucyd. ii, 94.

  [358] Xenophon, Hellen. v. 1, 19.

As during the summer of this year, the Ambrakiots had brought down
a numerous host of Epirotic tribes to the invasion of Akarnania,
in conjunction with the Peloponnesians,—so during the autumn, the
Athenians obtained aid against the Chalkidians of Thrace from a
still more powerful barbaric prince, Sitalkês, king of the Odrysian
Thracians. Amidst the numerous tribes, between the Danube and the
Ægean sea,—who all bore the generic name of Thracians, though
each had a special name besides,—the Odrysians were at this time
the most warlike and powerful. The Odrysian king Têrês, father of
Sitalkês, had made use of this power to subdue[359] and render
tributary a great number of these different tribes, especially those
whose residence was in the plain rather than in the mountains. His
dominion, the largest existing between the Ionian sea and the Euxine,
extended from Abdêra, or the mouth of the Nestus, in the Ægean sea,
to the mouth of the Danube in the Euxine; though it seems that this
must be understood with deductions, since many intervening tribes,
especially mountain tribes, did not acknowledge his authority.
Sitalkês himself had invaded and conquered some of the Pæonian
tribes who joined the Thracians on the west, between the Axius and
the Strymon.[360] Dominion, in the sense of the Odrysian king, meant
tribute, presents, and military force when required; and with the two
former, at least, we may conclude that he was amply supplied, since
his nephew and successor Seuthes, under whom the revenue increased
and attained its maximum, received four hundred talents annually in
gold and silver as tribute, and the like sum in various presents,
over and above many other presents of manufactured articles and
ornaments. These latter came from the Grecian colonies on the coast,
which contributed moreover largely to the tribute, though in what
proportions we are not informed: even Grecian cities not in Thrace
sent presents to forward their trading objects, as purchasers for the
produce, the plunder, and the slaves, acquired by Thracian chiefs or
tribes.[361] The residence of the Odrysians properly so called, and
of the princes of that tribe now ruling over so many of the remaining
tribes, appears to have been about twelve days’ journey inland from
Byzantium,[362] in the upper regions of the Hebrus and Strymon, south
of Mount Hæmus, and northeast of Rhodopê. The Odrysian chiefs were
connected by relationship more or less distant with those of the
subordinate tribes, and by marriage even with the Scythian princes
north of the Danube: the Scythian prince Ariapeithês[363] had married
the daughter of the Odrysian Têrês, the first who extended the
dominion of his tribe over any considerable portion of Thrace.

  [359] Thucyd. ii, 29, 95, 96.

  [360] Thucyd. ii, 99.

  [361] See Xenophon, Anabas. vii, 3, 16; 4, 2. Diodorus (xii, 50)
  gives the revenue of Sitalkês as more than one thousand talents
  annually. This sum is not materially different from that which
  Thucydidês states to be the annual receipt of Seuthes, successor
  of Sitalkês,—revenue, properly so called, and presents, both
  taken together.

  Traders from Parium, on the Asiatic coast of the Propontis, are
  among those who come with presents to the Odrysian king, Mêdokus
  (Xenophon _ut supra_).

  [362] Xenoph. Anabas. _l. c._

  [363] Herodot. iv, 80.

The natural state of the Thracian tribes—in the judgment of
Herodotus, permanent and incorrigible—was that of disunion and
incapacity of political association; were such association possible,
he says, they would be strong enough to vanquish every other
nation,—though Thucydidês considers them as far inferior to the
Scythians. The Odrysian dominion had probably not reached, at the
period when Herodotus made his inquiries, the same development
which Thucydidês describes in the third year of the Peloponnesian
war, and which imparted to these tribes an union, partial indeed
and temporary, but such as they never reached either before or
afterwards. It has been already mentioned that the Odrysian prince
Sitalkês, had taken for his wife, or rather for one of his wives,
the sister of Nymphodôrus, a Greek, of Abdêra; by whose mediation
he had been made the ally, and his son Sadokus even a citizen, of
Athens,—and had been induced to promise that he would reconquer the
Chalkidians of Thrace for the benefit of the Athenians,[364]—his
ancient kinsmen, according to the mythe of Tereus as interpreted
by both parties. At the same time, Perdikkas, king of Macedonia,
had offended him by refusing to perform a promise made of giving
him his sister in marriage,—a promise made as consideration for
the interference of Sitalkês and Nymphodôrus in procuring for him
peace with Athens, at a moment when he was much embarrassed by civil
dissensions with his brother Philip. The latter prince, ruling
in his own name, and seemingly independent of Perdikkas, over a
portion of the Macedonians along the upper course of the Axius,
had been expelled by his more powerful brother, and taken refuge
with Sitalkês: he was now apparently dead, but his son Amyntas
received from the Odrysian prince the promise of restoration. The
Athenians had ambassadors resident with Sitalkês, and they sent
Agnon as special envoy to concert arrangements for his march against
the Chalkidians, with which an Athenian armament was destined to
coöperate. In treating with Sitalkês, it was necessary to be liberal
in presents, both to himself and to the subordinate chieftains who
held power dependent upon him: nothing could be accomplished among
the Thracians except by the aid of bribes,[365] and the Athenians
were more competent to supply this exigency than any other people
in Greece. The joint expedition against the Chalkidians was finally

  [364] Xenophon, Anabas. vii, 2, 31; Thucyd. ii, 29; Aristophan.
  Aves, 366. Thucydidês goes out of his way to refute this current
  belief,—a curious exemplification of ancient legend applied to
  the convenience of present politics.

  [365] Thucyd. ii, 97. Φόρος δὲ ἐκ πάσης τῆς βαρβάρου καὶ τῶν
  Ἑλληνίδων πόλεων, ὅσον προσῆξαν ἐπὶ Σεύθου, ὃς ὕστερον Σιτάλκου
  βασιλεύσας πλεῖστον δὴ ἐποίησε, τετρακοσίων ταλάντων μάλιστα
  δύναμις, ἃ χρυσὸς καὶ ἄργυρος εἴη· καὶ δῶρα οὐκ ἐλάσσω τούτων
  χρυσοῦ τε καὶ ἀργύρου προσεφέρετο, χωρὶς δὲ ὅσα ὑφαντά τε
  καὶ λεῖα, καὶ ἡ ἄλλη κατασκευὴ, καὶ οὐ μόνον αὐτῷ ἀλλὰ καὶ
  τοῖς παραδυναστεύουσι καὶ γενναίοις Ὀδρυσῶν· κατεστήσαντο
  γὰρ τοὐναντίον τῆς Περσῶν βασιλείας τὸν νόμον, ὄντα μὲν καὶ
  τοῖς ἄλλοις Θρᾳξὶ, λαμβάνειν μᾶλλον ἢ διδόναι, καὶ αἴσχιον ἦν
  αἰτηθέντα μὴ δοῦναι ἢ αἰτήσαντα μὴ τυχεῖν· ὅμως δὲ κατὰ τὸ
  δύνασθαι ἐπὶ πλέον αὐτῷ ἐχρήσαντο· οὐ γὰρ ἦν πρᾶξαι οὐδὲν μὴ
  διδόντα δῶρα· ὥστε ἐπὶ μέγα ἡ βασιλεία ἦλθεν ἰσχύος.

  This universal necessity of presents and bribes may be seen
  illustrated in the dealings of Xenophon and the Cyreian army with
  the Thracian prince Seuthes, described in the Anabasis, vii,
  chapters 1 and 2. It appears that even at that time, B.C. 401,
  the Odrysian dominion, though it had passed through disturbances
  and had been practically enfeebled, still extended down to the
  neighborhood of Byzantium. In commenting upon the venality of the
  Thracians, the Scholiast has a curious comparison with his own
  time—καὶ οὐκ ἦν τι πρᾶξαι παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς τὸν μὴ διδόντα χρήματα·
  ~ὅπερ καὶ νῦν ἐν Ῥωμαίοις~. The Scholiast here tells us that the
  venality in his time as to public affairs, in the Roman empire,
  was not less universal: of what century of the Roman empire he
  speaks, we do not know: perhaps about 500-600 A.D.

  The contrast which Thucydidês here draws between the Thracians
  and the Persians is also illustrated by what Xenophon says
  respecting the habits of the younger Cyrus: (Anabas. i, 9, 22):
  compare also the romance of the Cyropædia, viii, 14, 31, 32.

But the forces of Sitalkês, collected from many different portions
of Thrace, were tardy in coming together. He summoned all the tribes
under his dominion, between Hæmus, Rhodopê, and the two seas:
the Getæ, between Mount Hæmus and the Danube, equipped like the
Scythians, their neighbors on the other side of the river, with bow
and arrow on horseback, also joined him, as well as the Agrianes,
the Lææi, and the other Pæonian tribes subject to his dominion;
lastly, several of the Thracian tribes called Dii, distinguished by
their peculiar short swords, and maintaining a fierce independence
on the heights of Rhodopê, were tempted by the chance of plunder,
or the offer of pay, to flock to his standard. Altogether, his
army amounted, or was supposed to amount, to one hundred and fifty
thousand men, one third of it cavalry, who were for the most part
Getæ and Odrysians proper. The most formidable warriors in his camp
were the independent tribes of Rhodopê; but the whole host, alike
numerous, warlike, predatory, and cruel, spread terror amidst all
those who were within even the remote possibilities of its march.

Starting from the central Odrysian territory, and bringing with him
Agnon and the other Athenian envoys, he first crossed the uninhabited
mountain called Kerkinê, which divided the Pæonians on the west from
the Thracian tribes called Sinti and Mædi on the east, until he
reached the Pæonian town or district called Dobêrus;[366] it was
here that many troops and additional volunteers reached him, making
up his full total. From Dobêrus, probably marching down along one
of the tributary streams of the Axius, he entered into that portion
of Upper Macedonia, which lies along the higher Axius, and which
had constituted the separate principality of Philip: the presence
in his army of Amyntos son of Philip, induced some of the fortified
places, Gortynia, Atalantê, and others, to open their gates without
resistance, while Eidomenê was taken by storm, and Eurôpus in vain
attacked. From hence, he passed still farther southward into Lower
Macedonia, the kingdom of Perdikkas; ravaging the territory on both
sides of the Axius even to the neighborhood of the towns Pella and
Kyrrhus; and apparently down as far south as the mouth of the river
and the head of the Thermaic gulf. Farther south than this he did not
go, but spread his force over the districts between the left bank of
the Axius and the head of the Strymonic gulf,—Mygdonia, Krestônia,
and Anthemus,—while a portion of his army was detached to overrun the
territory of the Chalkidians and Bottiæans. The Macedonians under
Perdikkas, renouncing all idea of contending on foot against so
overwhelming a host, either fled or shut themselves up in the small
number of fortified places which the country presented. The cavalry
from Upper Macedonia, indeed, well armed and excellent, made some
orderly and successful charges against the Thracians, lightly armed
with javelins, short swords, and the pelta, or small shield,—but it
was presently shut in, harassed on all sides by superior numbers, and
compelled to think only of retreat and extrication.[367]

  [366] See Gatterer (De Herodoti et Thucydidis Thraciâ), sects.
  44-57; Poppo (Prolegom. ad Thucydidem), vol. ii, ch. 31, about
  the geography of this region, which is very imperfectly known,
  even in modern times. We can hardly pretend to assign a locality
  to these ancient names.

  Thucydidês, in his brief statements respecting this march of
  Sitalkês, speaks like one who had good information about the
  inland regions; as he was likely to have from his familiarity
  with the coasts, and resident proprietorship in Thrace (Thucyd.
  ii, 100; Herodot. v, 16).

  [367] Thucyd. ii, 100; Xenophon, Memorab. iii, 9, 2.

Luckily for the enemies of the Odrysian king, his march was not made
until the beginning of winter, seemingly about November or December.
We may be sure that the Athenians, when they concerted with him the
joint attack upon the Chalkidians, intended that it should be in a
better time of the year: having probably waited to hear that his
army was in motion, and waited long in vain, they began to despair
of his coming at all, and thought it not worth while to despatch
any force of their own to the spot.[368] Some envoys and presents
only were sent as compliments, instead of the coöperating armament;
and this disappointment, coupled with the severity of the weather,
the nakedness of the country, and the privations of his army at
that season, induced Sitalkês soon to enter into negotiations with
Perdikkas; who, moreover, gained over Seuthes, nephew of the Odrysian
prince, by promising his sister Stratonikê in marriage, together
with a sum of money, on condition that the Thracian host should be
speedily withdrawn. This was accordingly done, after it had been
distributed for thirty days over Macedonia: during eight of those
days his detachment had ravaged the Chalkidic lands. But the interval
had been quite long enough to diffuse terror all around: such a
host of fierce barbarians had never before been brought together,
and no one knew in what direction they might be disposed to carry
their incursions. The independent Thracian tribes (Panæi, Odomantê,
Drôi, and Dersæi) in the plains on the northeast of the Strymon, and
near Mount Pangæus, not far from Amphipolis, were the first to feel
alarm lest Sitalkês should take the opportunity of trying to conquer
them; on the other side, the Thessalians, Magnêtes, and other Greeks
north of Thermopylæ, anticipated that he would carry his invasion
farther south, and began to organize means for resisting him: even
the general Peloponnesian confederacy heard with uneasiness of this
new ally whom Athens was bringing into the field, perhaps against
them. All such alarms were dissipated, when Sitalkês, after remaining
thirty days, returned by the way he came, and the formidable
avalanche was thus seen to melt away without falling on them. The
faithless Perdikkas, on this occasion, performed his promise to
Seuthes, having drawn upon himself much mischief by violating his
previous similar promise to Sitalkês.[369]

  [368] Thucyd. ii, 101. ἐπειδὴ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι οὐ παρῆσαν ταῖς ναυσὶν,
  ἀπιστοῦντες αὐτὸν μὴ ἥξειν, etc.

  [369] Thucyd. ii, 101.



The second and third years of the war had both been years of great
suffering with the Athenians, from the continuance of the epidemic,
which did not materially relax until the winter of the third
year (B.C. 429-428). It is no wonder that, under the pressure of
such a calamity, their military efforts were enfeebled, although
the victories of Phormio had placed their maritime reputation
at a higher point than ever. To their enemies, the destructive
effects of this epidemic—effects still felt, although the disorder
itself was suspended during the fourth year of the war—afforded
material assistance as well as encouragement to persevere; and the
Peloponnesians, under Archidamus, again repeated during this year
their invasion and ravage of Attica, which had been intermitted
during the year preceding. As before, they met with no serious
resistance: entering the country about the beginning of May, they
continued the process of devastation until their provisions were
exhausted.[370] To this damage the Athenians had probably now
accustomed themselves: but they speedily received, even while the
invaders were in their country, intelligence of an event far more
embarrassing and formidable,—the revolt of Mitylênê and of the
greater part of Lesbos.

  [370] Thucyd. iii, 1.

This revolt, indeed, did not come even upon the Athenians wholly
unawares; but the idea of it was of longer standing than they
suspected, for the Mitylenæan oligarchy had projected it before the
war, and had made secret application to Sparta for aid, but without
success. Some time after hostilities broke out, they resumed the
design, which was warmly promoted by the Bœotians, kinsmen of the
Lesbians in Æolic lineage and dialect. The Mitylenæan leaders appear
to have finally determined on revolt during the preceding autumn or
winter; but they thought it prudent to make ample preparations before
they declared themselves openly: and, moreover, they took measures
for constraining three other towns in Lesbos—Antissa, Eresus,
and Pyrrha—to share their fortunes, to merge their own separate
governments, and to become incorporated with Mitylênê. Methymna,
the second town in Lesbos, situated on the north of the island, was
decidedly opposed to them and attached to Athens. The Mitylenæans
built new ships, put their walls in an improved state of defence,
carried out a mole in order to narrow the entrance of their harbor,
and render it capable of being closed with a chain, despatched
emissaries to hire Scythian bowmen and purchase corn in the Euxine,
and took such other measures as were necessary for an effective
resistance. Though the oligarchical character of their government
gave them much means of secrecy, and above all, dispensed with the
necessity of consulting the people beforehand,—still, measures of
such importance could not be taken without provoking attention.
Intimation was sent to the Athenians by various Mitylenæan citizens,
partly from private feeling, partly in their capacity of _proxeni_
(or _consuls_, to use a modern word which approaches to the meaning)
for Athens,—especially by a Mitylenæan named Doxander, incensed with
the government for having disappointed his two sons of a marriage
with two orphan heiresses.[371] Not less communicative were the
islanders of Tenedos, animated by ancient neighborly jealousy towards
Mitylênê; so that the Athenians were thus forewarned both of the
intrigues between Mitylênê and the Spartans and of her certain
impending revolt unless they immediately interfered.[372]

  [371] Aristotel. Politic. v, 2, 3. The fact respecting Doxander
  here mentioned is stated by Aristotle, and there is no reason to
  question its truth. But Aristotle states it in illustration of a
  general position,—that the private quarrels of principal citizens
  are often the cause of great misfortune to the commonwealth. He
  represents Doxander and his private quarrel as having brought
  upon Mitylênê the resentment of the Athenians and the war with
  Athens—Δόξανδρος—ἦρξε τῆς στάσεως, καὶ παρώξυνε τοὺς Ἀθηναίους,
  πρόξενος ὢν τῆς πόλεως.

  Having the account of Thucydidês before us, we are enabled to
  say that this is an incorrect conception, as far as concerns the
  _cause_ of the war,—though the fact in itself may be quite true.

  [372] Thucyd. iii, 2.

This news seems to have become certain about February or March
428 B.C.: but such was then the dispirited condition of the
Athenians,—arising from two years’ suffering under the epidemic,
and no longer counteracted by the wholesome remonstrances of
Periklês,—that they could not at first bring themselves to believe
what they were so much afraid to find true. Lesbos, like Chios,
was their ally, upon an equal footing, still remaining under those
conditions which had been at first common to all the members of
the confederacy of Delos. Mitylênê paid no tribute to Athens: it
retained its walls, its large naval force, and its extensive landed
possessions on the opposite Asiatic continent: its government was
oligarchical, administering all internal affairs without the least
reference to Athens. Its obligations as an ally were, that, in
case of war, it was held bound to furnish armed ships, whether in
determinate number or not, we do not know: it would undoubtedly be
restrained from making war upon Tenedos, or any other subject-ally
of Athens: and its government or its citizens would probably be
held liable to answer before the Athenian dikasteries, in case of
any complaint of injury from the government or citizens of Tenedos
or of any other ally of Athens,—these latter being themselves also
accountable before the same tribunals, under like complaints from
Mitylênê. That city was thus in practice all but independent, and
so extremely powerful that the Athenians in their actual state
of depression were fearful of coping with it, and therefore loth
to believe the alarming intelligence which reached them. They
sent envoys with a friendly message to persuade the Mitylenæans
to suspend their proceedings, and it was only when these envoys
returned without success that they saw the necessity of stronger
measures. Ten Mitylenæan triremes, serving as contingent in the
Athenian fleet, were seized, and their crews placed under guard;
while Kleïppidês, then on the point of starting, along with two
colleagues, to conduct a fleet of forty triremes round Peloponnesus,
was directed to alter his destination and to proceed forthwith to
Mitylênê.[373] It was expected that he would reach that town about
the time of the approaching festival of Apollo Maloeis, celebrated in
its neighborhood,—on which occasion the whole Mitylenæan population
was in the habit of going forth to the temple: so that the town,
while thus deserted, might easily be surprised and seized by the
fleet. In case this calculation should be disappointed, Kleïppidês
was instructed to require that the Mitylenæans should surrender their
ships of war and raze their fortifications, and, in case of refusal,
to attack them immediately.

  [373] Thucyd. iii, 3.

But the publicity of debate at Athens was far too great to allow
such a scheme to succeed. The Mitylenæans had their spies in the
city, and the moment the resolution was taken, one of them set off
to communicate it at Mitylênê. Crossing over to Geræstus in Eubœa,
he got aboard a merchantman on the point of departure, and reached
Mitylênê with a favorable wind on the third day from Athens: so that
when Kleïppidês arrived shortly afterwards, he found the festival
adjourned and the government prepared for him. The requisition
which he sent in was refused, and the Mitylenæan fleet even came
forth from the harbor to assail him, but was beaten back with
little difficulty: upon which, the Mitylenæan leaders, finding
themselves attacked before their preparations were completed, and
desiring still to gain time before they declared their revolt,
opened negotiations with Kleïppidês, and prevailed on him to suspend
hostilities until ambassadors could be sent to Athens,—protesting
that they had no serious intention of revolting. This appears to
have been about the middle of May, soon after the Lacedæmonian
invasion of Attica. Kleïppidês was induced, not very prudently, to
admit this proposition, under the impression that his armament was
insufficient to cope with a city and island so powerful; and he
remained moored off the harbor at the north of Mitylênê until the
envoys, among whom was included one of the very citizens of Mitylênê
who had sent to betray the intended revolt, but who had since changed
his opinion, should return from Athens. Meanwhile the Mitylenæan
government, unknown to Kleïppidês, and well aware that the embassy
would prove fruitless, took advantage of the truce to send secret
envoys to Sparta, imploring immediate aid: and on the arrival of
the Lacedæmonian Meleas and the Theban Hermæondas, who had been
despatched to Mitylênê earlier, but had only come in by stealth since
the arrival of Kleïppidês, a second trireme was sent along with them,
carrying additional envoys to reiterate the solicitation. These
arrivals and despatches were carried on without the knowledge of the
Athenian admiral, chiefly in consequence of the peculiar site of the
town, which had originally been placed upon a little islet divided
from Lesbos by a narrow channel, or _euripus_, and had subsequently
been extended across into the main island,—like Syracuse, and so
many other Grecian settlements. It had consequently two harbors, one
north, the other south of the town: Kleïppidês was anchored off the
former, but the latter remained unguarded.[374]

  [374] Thucyd. iii, 3, 4: compare Strabo, xiii, p. 617; and Plehn,
  Lesbiaca, pp. 12-18.

  Thucydidês speaks of the spot at the mouth of the northern harbor
  as being called Malea, which was also undoubtedly the name of the
  southeastern promontory of Lesbos. We must therefore presume that
  there were two places on the seaboard of Lesbos which bore that

  The easternmost of the two southern promontories of Peloponnesus
  was also called Cape Malea.

During the absence of the Mitylenæan envoys at Athens, reinforcements
reached the Athenian admiral from Lemnos, Imbros, and some other
allies, as well as from the Lesbian town of Methymna: so that when
the envoys returned, as they presently did, with an unfavorable
reply, war was resumed with increased vigor. The Mitylenæans, having
made a general sally with their full military force, gained some
advantage in the battle; yet, not feeling bold enough to maintain
the field, they retreated back behind their walls. The news of
their revolt, when first spread abroad, had created an impression
unfavorable to the stability of the Athenian empire: but when it
was seen that their conduct was irresolute, and their achievements
disproportionate to their supposed power, a reaction of feeling took
place,—and the Chians and other allies came in with increased zeal
in obedience to the summons of Athens for reinforcements. Kleïppidês
soon found his armament large enough to establish two separate camps,
markets for provision, and naval stations, north and south of the
town, so as to watch and block up both the harbors at once.[375] But
he commanded little beyond the area of his camp, and was unable to
invest the city by land; especially as the Mitylenæans had received
reinforcements from Antissa, Pyrrha, and Eresus, the other towns of
Lesbos which acted with them. They were even sufficiently strong to
march against Methymna, in hopes that it would be betrayed to them
by a party within; but this expectation was not realized, nor could
they do more than strengthen the fortifications, and confirm the
Mitylenæan supremacy, in the other three subordinate towns; in such
manner that the Methymnæans, who soon afterwards attacked Antissa,
were repulsed with considerable loss. In this undecided condition
the island continued, until, somewhere about the month of August
B.C. 428, the Athenians sent Pachês to take the command, with a
reinforcement of one thousand hoplites, who rowed themselves thither
in triremes. The Athenians were now in force enough not only to keep
the Mitylenæans within their walls, but also to surround the city
with a single wall of circumvallation, strengthened by separate forts
in suitable positions. By the beginning of October, Mitylênê was thus
completely blockaded, by land as well as by sea.[376]

  [375] Thucyd. iii, 6.

  [376] Thucyd. iii, 18.

Meanwhile, the Mitylenæan envoys, after a troublesome voyage, reached
Sparta a little before the Olympic festival, about the middle of
June. The Spartans directed them to come to Olympia at the festival,
where all the members of the Peloponnesian confederacy would
naturally be present,—and there to set forth their requests, after
the festival was concluded, in presence of all.[377] Thucydidês has
given us, at some length, his version of the speech wherein this was
done,—a speech not a little remarkable. Pronounced as it was by men
who had just revolted from Athens, having the strongest interest to
raise indignation against her as well as sympathy for themselves,—and
before an audience exclusively composed of the enemies of Athens,
all willing to hear, and none present to refute, the bitterest
calumnies against her, we should have expected a confident sense of
righteous and well-grounded though perilous effort on the part of the
Mitylenæans, and a plausible collection of wrongs and oppressions
alleged against the common enemy. Instead of which, the speech is
apologetic and embarrassed: the speaker not only does not allege any
extortion or severe dealing from Athens towards the Mitylenæans, but
even admits the fact that they had been treated by her with marked
honor;[378] and that, too, during a long period of peace, during
which she stood less in awe of her allies generally, and would have
had much more facility in realizing any harsh purposes towards them,
than she could possibly enjoy now that the war had broken out, when
their discontents would be likely to find powerful protectors.[379]
According to his own showing, the Mitylenæans, while they had been
perfectly well treated by Athens during the past, had now acquired,
by the mere fact of war, increased security for continuance of the
like treatment during the future. It is upon this ground of security
for the future, nevertheless, that he rests the justification of the
revolt, not pretending to have any subject of positive complaint.
The Mitylenæans, he contends, could have no prospective security
against Athens: for she had successively and systematically brought
into slavery all her allies, except Lesbos and Chios, though all had
originally been upon an equal footing: and there was every reason
for fearing that she would take the first convenient opportunity of
reducing the two last remaining to the same level,—the rather as
their position was now one of privilege and exception, offensive
to her imperial pride and exaggerated ascendency. It had hitherto
suited the policy of Athens to leave these two exceptions, as a
proof that the other allies had justly incurred their fate, since
otherwise Lesbos and Chios, having equal votes, would not have
joined forces in reducing them:[380] but this policy was now no
longer necessary, and the Mitylenæans, feeling themselves free only
in name, were imperatively called upon by regard for their own
safety to seize the earliest opportunity for emancipating themselves
in reality. Nor was it merely regard for their own safety, but a
farther impulse of Pan-Hellenic patriotism; a desire to take rank
among the opponents, and not among the auxiliaries of Athens, in her
usurpation of sovereignty over so many free Grecian states.[381] The
Mitylenæans had, however, been compelled to revolt with preparations
only half-completed, and had therefore a double claim upon the succor
of Sparta,—the single hope and protectress of Grecian autonomy. And
Spartan aid—if now lent immediately and heartily, in a renewed attack
on Attica during this same year, by sea as well as by land—could
not fail to put down the common enemy, exhausted as she was by
pestilence as well as by the cost of three years’ war, and occupying
her whole maritime force, either in the siege of Mitylênê or round
Peloponnesus. The orator concluded by appealing not merely to the
Hellenic patriotism and sympathies of the Peloponnesians, but also to
the sacred name of the Olympic Zeus, in whose precinct the meeting
was held, that his pressing entreaty might not be disregarded.[382]

  [377] Thucyd. iii, 9.

  [378] Thucyd. iii, 10. μηδέ τῳ χείρους δόξωμεν εἶναι, εἰ ~ἐν τῇ
  εἰρήνῃ τιμώμενοι ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν~ ἐν τοῖς δεινοῖς ἀφιστάμεθα.

  The language in which the Mitylenæan envoys describe the
  treatment which their city had received from Athens, is
  substantially as strong as that which Kleon uses afterwards
  in his speech at Athens, when he reproaches them with their
  ingratitude,—Kleon says (iii, 39), αὐτόνομοί τε οἰκοῦντες, καὶ
  ~τιμώμενοι ἐς τὰ πρῶτα ὑφ᾽ ἡμῶν~, τοιαῦτα εἰργάσαντο, etc.

  [379] Thucyd. iii, 12. οὐ μέντοι ἐπὶ πολύ γ᾽ ἂν ἐδοκοῦμεν
  δυνηθῆναι (περιγίγνεσθαι), εἰ μὴ ὁ πόλεμος ὅδε κατέστη,
  παραδείγμασι χρώμενοι τοῖς ἐς τοὺς ἄλλους. Τίς οὖν αὐτὴ ἡ
  φιλία ἐγίγνετο ἢ ἐλευθερία πιστὴ, ἐν ᾗ παρὰ γνώμην ἀλλήλους
  ὑπεδεχόμεθα, καὶ οἱ μὲν ἡμᾶς ἐν τῷ πολέμῳ δεδιότες ἐθεράπευον,
  ἡμεῖς δὲ ἐκείνους ἐν τῇ ἡσυχίᾳ τὸ αὐτὸ ἐποιοῦμεν.

  [380] Thucyd. iii, 11. Αὐτόνομοι δὲ ἐλείφθημεν οὐ δι᾽ ἄλλο τι ἢ
  ὅσον αὐτοῖς ἐς τὴν ἀρχὴν εὐπρεπείᾳ τε λόγου, καὶ γνώμης μᾶλλον
  ἐφόδῳ ἢ ἰσχύος, τὰ πράγματα ἐφαίνετο καταληπτά. Ἅμα μὲν γὰρ
  μαρτυρίῳ ἐχρῶντο, μὴ ἂν ~τούς γε ἰσοψήφους ἄκοντας~, εἰ μή τι
  ἠδίκουν οἷς ἐπῄεσαν, ~ξυστρατεύειν~.

  [381] Thucyd. iii, 13.

  [382] Thucyd. iii, 13, 14.

In following this speech of the orator, we see the plain confession
that the Mitylenæans had no reason whatever to complain of the
conduct of Athens towards themselves: she had respected alike their
dignity, their public force, and their private security. This
important fact helps us to explain, first, the indifference which the
Mitylenæan people will be found to manifest in the revolt; next, the
barbarous resolution taken by the Athenians after its suppression.
The reasons given for the revolt are mainly two. 1. The Mitylenæans
had no security that Athens would not degrade them into the condition
of subject-allies like the rest. 2. They did not choose to second
the ambition of Athens, and to become parties to a war, for the sake
of maintaining an empire essentially offensive to Grecian political
instincts. In both these two reasons there is force; and both touch
the sore point of the Athenian empire. That empire undoubtedly
contradicted one of the fundamental instincts of the Greek mind,—the
right of every separate town to administer its own political affairs
apart from external control. The Peloponnesian alliance recognized
this autonomy in theory, by the general synod and equal voting of all
the members at Sparta, on important occasions; though it was quite
true,[383] as Periklês urged at Athens, that in practice nothing more
was enjoyed than an autonomy confined by Spartan leading-strings,—and
though Sparta held in permanent custody hostages for the fidelity of
her Arcadian allies, summoning their military contingents without
acquainting them whither they were destined to march. But Athens
proclaimed herself a despot, effacing the autonomy of her allies not
less in theory than in practice: far from being disposed to cultivate
in them any sense of a real common interest with herself, she did not
even cheat them with those forms and fictions which so often appease
discontent in the absence of realities. Doubtless, the nature of
her empire, at once widely extended, maritime, and unconnected, or
only partially connected, with kindred of race, rendered the forms
of periodical deliberation difficult to keep up; at the same time
that it gave to her as naval chief an ascendency much more despotic
than could have been exercised by any chief on land. It is doubtful
whether she could have overcome—it is certain that she did not try
to overcome—these political difficulties; so that her empire stood
confessed as a despotism, opposed to the political instinct of the
Greek mind; and the revolts against it, like this of Mitylênê,—in
so far as they represented a genuine feeling, and were not merely
movements of an oligarchical party against their own democracy,—were
revolts of this offended instinct, much more than consequences of
actual oppression. The Mitylenæans might certainly affirm that they
had no security against being one day reduced to the common condition
of subject-allies like the rest; yet an Athenian speaker, had he
been here present, might have made no mean reply to this portion
of their reasoning;—he would have urged that, had Athens felt any
dispositions towards such a scheme, she would have taken advantage
of the fourteen years’ truce to execute it; and he would have shown
that the degradation of the allies by Athens, and the change in her
position from president to despot had been far less intentional and
systematic than the Mitylenæan orator affirmed.

  [383] Thucyd. i, 144. Καὶ ὅταν κἀκεῖνοι (the Lacedæmonians) ταῖς
  αὐτῶν ἀποδῶσι πόλεσι, μὴ ~σφίσι τοῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις ἐπιτηδείως
  αὐτονομεῖσθαι, ἀλλ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἑκάστοις, ὡς βούλονται~.

  About the hostages detained by Sparta for the fidelity of her
  allies, see Thucyd. v, 54, 61.

To the Peloponnesian auditors, however, the speech of the latter
proved completely satisfactory; the Lesbians were declared members
of the Peloponnesian alliance, and a second attack upon Attica was
decreed. The Lacedæmonians, foremost in the movement, summoned
contingents from their various allies, and were early in arriving
with their own at the isthmus: they there began to prepare carriages
or trucks for dragging across the isthmus the triremes which had
fought against Phormio, from the harbor of Lechæum into the Saronic
gulf, in order to employ them against Athens. But the remaining
allies did not answer to the summons, remaining at home occupied
with their harvest; and the Lacedæmonians, sufficiently disappointed
with this languor and disobedience, were still farther confounded
by the unexpected presence of one hundred Athenian triremes off the
coast of the isthmus. The Athenians, though their own presence at
the Olympic festival was forbidden by the war, had doubtless learned
more or less thoroughly the proceedings which had taken place there
respecting Mitylênê. Perceiving the general belief entertained of
their depressed and helpless condition, they determined to contradict
this by a great and instant effort, and accordingly manned forthwith
one hundred triremes, requiring the personal service of all men,
citizens as well as metics; and excepting only the two richest
classes of the Solonian census, _i. e._ the pentakosiomedimni, and
the hippeis, or horsemen. With this prodigious fleet they made a
demonstration along the isthmus in view of the Lacedæmonians, and
landed in various parts of the Peloponnesian coast to inflict damage.
At the same time, thirty other Athenian triremes, despatched sometime
previously to Akarnania, under Asôpius, son of Phormio, landed at
different openings in Laconia, for the same purpose; and this news
reached the Lacedæmonians at the isthmus while the other great
Athenian fleet was parading before their eyes.[384] Amazed at so
unexpected a demonstration of strength, they began to feel how much
the Mitylenæans had misled them respecting the exhaustion of Athens,
and how incompetent they were, especially without the presence of
their allies, to undertake any joint effective movement by sea and
land against Attica. They therefore returned home, resolving to send
an expedition of forty triremes, under Alkidas, to the relief of
Mitylênê itself; at the same time transmitting requisitions to their
various allies, in order that these triremes might be furnished.[385]

  [384] Thucyd. iii, 7-16.

  [385] Thucyd. iii, 15, 16.

Meanwhile, Asôpius, with his thirty triremes, had arrived in
Akarnania, from whence all the ships except twelve were sent home.
He had been nominated commander as the son of Phormio, who appears
either to have died, or to have become unfit for service, since his
victories of the preceding year; and the Akarnanians had preferred
a special request that a son, or at least some relative of Phormio,
should be invested with the command of the squadron; so beloved was
his name and character among them. Asôpius, however, accomplished
nothing of importance, though he again undertook conjointly with the
Akarnanians a fruitless march against Œniadæ. Ultimately, he was
defeated and slain, in attempting a disembarkation on the territory
of Leukas.[386]

  [386] Thucyd. iii, 7.

The sanguine announcement made by the Mitylenæans at Olympia, that
Athens was rendered helpless by the epidemic, had indeed been
strikingly contradicted by her recent display; since, taking numbers
and equipment together, the maritime force which she had put forth
this summer, manned as it was by a higher class of seamen, surpassed
all former years; although, in point of number only, it was inferior
to the two hundred and fifty triremes which she had sent out during
the first summer of the war.[387] But the assertion that Athens was
impoverished in finances was not so destitute of foundation: for
the whole treasure in the acropolis, six thousand talents at the
commencement of the war, was now consumed, with the exception of
that reserve of one thousand talents which had been solemnly set
aside against the last exigences of defensive resistance. This is not
surprising, when we learn that every hoplite engaged for near two
years and a half in the blockade of Potidæa, received two drachmas
per day, one for himself and a second for an attendant: there were
during the whole time of the blockade three thousand hoplites engaged
there,—and for a considerable portion of the time, four thousand six
hundred; besides the fleet, all the seamen of which received one
drachma per day per man. Accordingly the Athenians were now for the
first time obliged to raise a direct contribution among themselves,
to the amount of two hundred talents, for the purpose of prosecuting
the siege of Mitylênê: and they at the same time despatched Lysiklês
with four colleagues, in command of twelve triremes, to collect
money. What relation these money-gathering ships bore to the regular
tribute paid by the subject-allies, or whether they were allowed to
visit these latter, we do not know: in the present case, Lysiklês
landed at Myus, near the mouth of the Mæander, and marched up the
country to levy contributions on the Karian villages in the plain of
that river: but he was surprised by the Karians, perhaps aided by the
active Samian exiles at Anæa in the neighborhood, and slain, with a
considerable number of his men.[388]

  [387] Thucyd. iii, 17. Καὶ κατὰ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον, ὃν αἱ νῆες
  ἔπλεον, ἐν τοῖς πλεῖσται δὴ νῆες ἅμ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἐνεργοὶ κάλλει
  ἐγένοντο, παραπλήσιαι δὲ καὶ ἔτι πλείους ἀρχομένου τοῦ πολέμου.
  Τήν τε γὰρ Ἀττικὴν καὶ Εὔβοιαν καὶ Σαλαμῖνα ἑκατὸν ἐφύλασσον, καὶ
  περὶ Πελοπόννησον ἕτεραι ἑκατὸν ἦσαν, χωρὶς δὲ αἱ περὶ Ποτίδαιαν
  καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις χωρίοις, ὥστε αἱ πᾶσαι ἅμα ἐγίγνοντο ἐν ἑνὶ
  θέρει διακόσιαι καὶ πεντήκοντα. Καὶ τὰ χρήματα τοῦτο μάλιστα
  ὑπανάλωσε μετὰ Ποτιδαίας, etc.

  I have endeavored to render as well as I can this obscure and
  difficult passage; difficult both as to grammar and as to sense,
  and not satisfactorily explained by any of the commentators,—if,
  indeed, it can be held to stand now as Thucydidês wrote it.
  In the preceding chapter, he had mentioned that this fleet of
  one hundred sail was manned largely from the hoplite class of
  citizens (iii, 16). Now we know from other passages in his
  work (see v, 8; vi, 31) how much difference there was in the
  appearance and efficiency of an armament, according to the class
  of citizens who served on it. We may then refer the word κάλλος
  to the excellence of outfit hence arising: I wish, indeed, that
  any instance could be produced of κάλλος in this sense, but we
  find the adjective κάλλιστος (Thucyd. v, 60) στρατόπεδον γὰρ δὴ
  τοῦτο ~κάλλιστον~ Ἑλληνικὸν τῶν μέχρι τοῦδε ξυνῆλθεν. In v, 8,
  Thucydidês employs the word ἀξίωμα to denote the same meaning;
  and in vi, 31, he says: παρασκευὴ γὰρ αὑτὴ πρώτη ἐκπλεύσασα μιᾶς
  πόλεως δυνάμει Ἑλληνικῇ πολυτελεστάτη δὴ καὶ εὐπρεπεστάτη τῶν
  εἰς ἐκεῖνον τὸν χρόνον ἐγένετο. It may be remarked that in that
  chapter too, he contrasts the expedition against Sicily with two
  other Athenian expeditions, equal to it in number, but inferior
  in equipment: the same comparison which I believe he means to
  take in this passage.

  [388] Thucyd. iii, 19.

While the Athenians thus held Mitylênê under siege, their faithful
friends, the Platæans, had remained closely blockaded by the
Peloponnesians and Bœotians for more than a year, without any
possibility of relief. At length, provisions began to fail, and
the general, Eupompidês, backed by the prophet Theænetus,—these
prophets[389] were often among the bravest soldiers in the
army,—persuaded the garrison to adopt the daring but seemingly
desperate resolution of breaking out over the blockading wall, and
in spite of its guards. So desperate, indeed, did the project seem,
that at the moment of execution, one half of the garrison shrank from
it as equivalent to certain death: the other half, about two hundred
and twelve in number, persisted and escaped. Happy would it have been
for the remainder had they even perished in the attempt, and thus
forestalled the more melancholy fate in store for them!

  [389] Thucyd. iii, 20. Compare Xenophon, Hellen. ii, 4, 19;
  Herodot. ix, 37; Plutarch, Aratus, c. 25.

It has been already stated, that the circumvallation of Platæa was
accomplished by a double wall and a double ditch, one ditch without
the encircling walls, another between them and the town; the two
walls being sixteen feet apart, joined together, and roofed all
round, so as to look like one thick wall, and to afford covered
quarters for the besiegers. Both the outer and inner circumference
were furnished with battlements, and after every ten battlements
came a roofed tower, covering the whole breadth of the double
wall,—allowing a free passage inside, but none outside. In general,
the entire circuit of the roofed wall was kept under watch night
and day: but on wet nights the besiegers had so far relaxed their
vigilance as to retire under cover of the towers, and leave the
intermediate spaces unguarded: and it was upon this omission that
the plan of escape was founded. The Platæans prepared ladders of a
proper height to scale the blockading double wall, ascertaining its
height by repeatedly counting the ranges of bricks, which were quite
near enough for them to discern, and not effectually covered with
whitewash. On a cold and dark December night, amidst rain, sleet, and
a roaring wind, they marched forth from the gates, lightly armed,
some few with shields and spears, but most of them with breastplates,
javelins, and bows and arrows: the right foot was naked, and the left
foot alone shod, so as to give to it a more assured footing on the
muddy ground.[390] Taking care to sally out with the wind in their
faces, and at such a distance from each other as to prevent any
clattering of arms, they crossed the inner ditch and reached the foot
of the wall without being discovered: the ladders, borne in the van,
were immediately planted, and Ammeas, son of Korœbus, followed by
eleven others, armed only with a short sword and breastplate, mounted
the wall: others, armed with spears, followed him, their shields
being carried and handed to them when on the top by comrades behind.
It was the duty of this first company to master and maintain the two
towers, right and left, so as to keep the intermediate space free for
passing over. This was successfully done, the guards in both towers
being surprised and slain, without alarming the remaining besiegers:
and many of the Platæans had already reached the top of the wall,
when the noise of a tile accidently knocked down by one of them,
betrayed what was passing. Immediately a general clamor was raised,
alarm was given, and the awakened garrison rushed up from beneath
to the top of the wall, yet not knowing where the enemy was to be
found; a perplexity farther increased by the Platæans in the town,
who took this opportunity of making a false attack on the opposite
side. Amidst such confusion and darkness, the blockading detachment
could not tell where to direct their blows, and all remained at
their posts, except a reserve of three hundred men, kept constantly
in readiness for special emergencies, who marched out and patrolled
the outside of the ditch to intercept any fugitives from within.
At the same time, fire-signals were raised to warn their allies at
Thebes,—but here again the Platæans in the town had foreseen and
prepared fire-signals on their part, which they hoisted forthwith,
in order to deprive this telegraphic communication of all special

  [390] Thucyd. iii, 22. Dr. Arnold, in his note, construes this
  passage as if the right or bare foot were the _least_ likely to
  slip in the mud, and the left or shod foot the _most_ likely.
  The Scholiast and Wasse maintain the opposite opinion, which is
  certainly the more obvious sense of the text, though the sense
  of Dr. Arnold would also be admissible. The naked foot is very
  liable to slip in the mud, and might easily be rendered less
  liable, by sandals, or covering particularly adapted to that
  purpose. Besides, Wasse remarks justly, that the warrior who is
  to use his _right_ arm requires to have his _left_ foot firmly

  [391] Thucyd. iii, 22. φρυκτοί τε ᾔροντο ἐς τὰς Θήβας πολέμιοι,
  etc. It would seem by this statement that the blockaders must
  have been often in the habit of transmitting intelligence to
  Thebes by means of fire-signals; each particular combination of
  lights having more or less of a special meaning. The Platæans
  had observed this, and foresaw that the same means would be used
  on the night of the outbreak, to bring assistance from Thebes
  forthwith. If they had not observed it _before_, they could
  not have prepared for the moment when the new signal would be
  hoisted, so as to confound its meaning—ὅπως ἀσαφῆ τὰ σημεῖα ᾖ....

  Compare iii, 80. I agree with the general opinion stated in Dr.
  Arnold’s note respecting these fire-signals, and even think that
  it might have been sustained more strongly.

  “Non enim (observes Cicero, in the fifth oration against
  Verres, c. 36), sicut erat nuper consuetudo, prædonum adventum
  significabat _ignis è speculà sublatus aut tumulo_: sed flamma
  ex ipso incendio navium et calamitatem acceptam et periculum
  reliquum nuntiabat.”

Meanwhile, the escaping Platæans, masters of the two adjoining
towers,—on the top of which some of them mounted, while others
held the doorway through, so as to repel with spears and darts
all approach of the blockaders,—prosecuted their flight without
interruption over the space between, shoving down the battlements in
order to make it more level and plant a greater number of ladders.
In this manner they all successively got over and crossed the outer
ditch; every man, immediately after crossing, standing ready on the
outer bank, with bow and javelin, to repel assailants and maintain
safe passages for his comrades in the rear. At length, when all had
descended, there remained the last and greatest difficulty,—the
escape of those who occupied the two towers and kept the intermediate
portion of wall free: yet even this was accomplished successfully and
without loss. The outer ditch was, however, found embarrassing,—so
full of water from the rain as to be hardly fordable, yet with
thin ice on it also, from a previous frost: for the storm, which
in other respects was the main help to their escape, here retarded
their passage of the ditch by an unusual accumulation of water. It
was not, however, until all had crossed except the defenders of the
towers,—who were yet descending and scrambling through,—that the
Peloponnesian reserve of three hundred were seen approaching the spot
with torches. Their unshielded right side was turned towards the
ditch, and the Platæans, already across and standing on the bank,
immediately assailed them with arrows and javelins,—in which the
torches enabled them to take tolerable aim, while the Peloponnesians
on their side could not distinguish their enemies in the dark, and
had no previous knowledge of their position. They were thus held in
check until the rearmost Platæans had surmounted the difficulties
of the passage: after which the whole body stole off as speedily as
they could, taking at first the road towards Thebes, while their
pursuers were seen with their torch-lights following the opposite
direction, on the road which led by the heights called Dryos-Kephalæ
to Athens: after having marched about three quarters of a mile on the
road to Thebes, leaving the chapel of the Hero Androkratês on their
right hand, the fugitives quitted it, and striking to the eastward
towards Erythræ and Hysiæ, soon found themselves in safety among
the mountains which separate Bœotia from Attica at that point; from
whence they passed into the glad harbor and refuge of Athens.[392]

  [392] Thucyd. iii, 24. Diodorus (xii, 56) gives a brief summary
  of these facts, without either novelty or liveliness.

Two hundred and twelve brave men thus emerged to life and liberty,
breaking loose from that impending fate which too soon overtook the
remainder, and preserving for future times the genuine breed and
honorable traditions of Platæa. One man alone was taken prisoner
at the brink of the outer ditch, while a few, who had enrolled
themselves originally for the enterprise, lost courage and returned
in despair even from the foot of the inner wall; telling their
comrades within that the whole band had perished. Accordingly, at
daybreak, the Platæans within sent out a herald to solicit a truce
for burial of the dead bodies, and it was only by the answer made
to this request, that they learned the actual truth. The description
of this memorable outbreak exhibits not less daring in the execution
than skill and foresight in the design; and is the more interesting,
inasmuch as the men who thus worked out their salvation were
precisely the bravest men, who best deserved it.

Meanwhile, Pachês and the Athenians kept Mitylênê closely blocked
up, the provisions were nearly exhausted, and the besieged were
already beginning to think of capitulation,—when their spirits were
raised by the arrival of the Lacedæmonian envoy Salæthus, who had
landed at Pyrrha on the west of Lesbos, and contrived to steal in
through a ravine which obstructed the continuity of the blockading
wall,—about February 427 B.C. He encouraged the Mitylenæans to hold
out, assuring them that a Peloponnesian fleet under Alkidas was on
the point of setting out to assist them, and that Attica would be
forthwith invaded by the general Peloponnesian army. His own arrival,
also, and his stay in the town, was in itself no small encouragement:
we shall see hereafter, when we come to the siege of Syracuse by the
Athenians, how much might depend upon the presence of one single
Spartan. All thought of surrender was accordingly abandoned, and
the Mitylenæans awaited with impatience the arrival of Alkidas, who
started from Peloponnesus at the beginning of April, with forty-two
triremes; while the Lacedæmonian army at the same time invaded
Attica, in order to keep the attention of Athens fully employed.
Their ravages on this occasion were more diligent, searching, and
destructive to the country than before, and were continued the longer
because they awaited the arrival of news from Lesbos. But none
reached them, their stock of provisions was exhausted, and the army
was obliged to break up.[393]

  [393] Thucyd. iii, 25, 26.

The news, when it did arrive, proved very unsatisfactory.

Salæthus and the Mitylenæans had held out until their provisions
were completely exhausted, but neither relief, nor tidings, reached
them from Peloponnesus. At length, even Salæthus became convinced
that no relief would come; he projected, therefore, as a last hope,
a desperate attack upon the Athenians and their wall of blockade.
For this purpose, he distributed full panoplies among the mass of
the people, or commons, who had hitherto been without them, having
at best nothing more than bows or javelins.[394] But he had not
sufficiently calculated the consequences of this important step.
The Mitylenæan multitude, living under an oligarchical government,
had no interest whatever in the present contest, which had been
undertaken without any appeal to their opinion. They had no reason
for aversion to Athens, seeing that they suffered no practical
grievance from the Athenian alliance: and we shall find hereafter
that even among the subject-allies—to say nothing of a privileged
ally like Mitylênê—the bulk of the citizens were never forward,
sometimes positively reluctant, to revolt. The Mitylenæan oligarchy
had revolted, in spite of the absence of practical wrongs, because
they desired an uncontrolled town-autonomy as well as security for
its continuance: but this was a feeling to which the people were
naturally strangers, having no share in the government of their own
town, and being kept dead and passive, as it was the interest of the
oligarchy that they should be, in respect to political sentiment. A
Grecian oligarchy might obtain from its people quiet submission under
ordinary circumstances, but if ever it required energetic effort,
the genuine devotion under which alone such effort could be given,
was found wanting. Accordingly, the Mitylenæan demos, so soon as
they found themselves strengthened and ennobled by the possession of
heavy armor, refused obedience to the orders of Salæthus for marching
out and imperiling their lives in a desperate struggle. They were
under the belief—not unnatural under the secrecy of public affairs
habitually practised by an oligarchy, but which, assuredly, the
Athenian demos would have been too well informed to entertain—that
their governors were starving them, and had concealed stores of
provisions for themselves. Accordingly, the first use which they
made of their arms was, to demand that these concealed stores should
be brought out and fairly apportioned to all, threatening, unless
their demand was complied with at once, to enter into negotiations
with the Athenians, and surrender the city. The ruling Mitylenæans,
unable to prevent this, but foreseeing that it would be their
irretrievable ruin, preferred the chance of negotiating themselves
for a capitulation. It was agreed with Pachês, that the Athenian
armament should enter into possession of Mitylênê; that the fate of
its people and city should be left to the Athenian assembly, and
that the Mitylenæans should send envoys to Athens to plead their
cause: until the return of these envoys, Pachês engaged that no one
should be either killed, or put in chains, or sold into slavery.
Nothing was said about Salæthus, who hid himself as well as he could
in the city. In spite of the guarantee received from Pachês, so
great was the alarm of those Mitylenæans who had chiefly instigated
the revolt, that when he actually took possession of the city, they
threw themselves as suppliants upon the altars for protection; but
being induced, by his assurances, to quit their sanctuary, were
placed in the island of Tenedos until answer should be received from

  [394] Thucyd. iii, 27. ὁ Σάλαιθος, καὶ αὐτὸς οὐ προσδεχόμενος ἔτι
  τὰς ναῦς, ὁπλίζει τὸν δῆμον, πρότερον ψιλὸν ὄντα, ὡς ἐπεξιὼν τοῖς

  [395] Thucyd. iii, 28.

Having thus secured possession of Mitylênê, Pachês sent round some
triremes to the other side of the island, and easily captured
Antissa. But before he had time to reduce the two remaining towns
of Pyrrha and Eresus, he received news which forced him to turn his
attention elsewhere.

To the astonishment of every one, the Peloponnesian fleet of
Alkidas was seen on the coast of Ionia. It ought to have been there
much earlier, and had Alkidas been a man of energy, it would have
reached Mitylênê even before the surrender of the city. But the
Peloponnesians, when about to advance into the Athenian waters
and brave the Athenian fleet, were under the same impressions of
conscious weakness and timidity—especially since the victories of
Phormio in the preceding year—as that which beset land-troops who
marched up to attack the Lacedæmonian heavy-armed.[396] Alkidas,
though unobstructed by the Athenians, who were not aware of his
departure,—though pressed to hasten forward by Lesbian and Ionian
exiles on board, and aided by expert pilots from those Samian
exiles who had established themselves at Anæa,[397] on the Asiatic
continent, and acted as zealous enemies of Athens,—nevertheless,
instead of sailing straight to Lesbos, lingered first near
Peloponnesus, next at the island of Delos, making capture of private
vessels with their crews; until at length, on reaching the islands of
Ikarus and Mykonus, he heard the unwelcome tidings that the besieged
town had capitulated. Not at first crediting the report, he sailed
onward to Embaton, in the Erythræan territory on the coast of Asia
Minor, where he found the news confirmed. As only seven days had
elapsed since the capitulation had been concluded, Teutiaplus, an
Eleian captain in the fleet, strenuously urged the daring project
of sailing on forthwith, and surprising Mitylênê by night in its
existing unsettled condition: no preparation would have been made for
receiving them, and there was good chance that the Athenians might
be suddenly overpowered, the Mitylenæans again armed, and the town

  [396] Thucyd. iv, 34. τῇ γνώμῃ δεδουλωμένοι ὡς ἐπὶ Λακεδαιμονίους.

  [397] Thucyd. iv, 75.

Such a proposition, which was indeed something more than daring,
did not suit the temper of Alkidas. Nor could he be induced by the
solicitation of the exiles to fix and fortify himself either in any
port of Ionia, or in the Æolic town of Kymê, so as to afford support
and countenance to such subjects of the Athenian empire as were
disposed to revolt; though he was confidently assured that many of
them would revolt on his proclamation, and that the satrap Pissuthnês
of Sardis would help him to defray the expense. Having been sent for
the express purpose of relieving Mitylênê, Alkidas believed himself
interdicted from any other project, and determined to return to
Peloponnesus at once, dreading nothing so much as the pursuit of
Pachês and the Athenian fleet. From Embaton, accordingly, he started
on his return, coasting southward along Asia Minor as far as Ephesus.
But the prisoners taken in his voyage were now an encumbrance to
his flight; and their number was not inconsiderable, since all the
merchant-vessels in his route had approached the fleet without
suspicion, believing it to be Athenian: a Peloponnesian fleet near
the coast of Ionia was as yet something unheard of and incredible. To
get rid of his prisoners, Alkidas stopped at Myonnêsus, near Teos,
and there put to death the greater number of them,—a barbarous
proceeding, which excited lively indignation among the neighboring
Ionic cities to which they belonged; insomuch that when he reached
Ephesus, the Samian exiles dwelling at Anæa, who had come forward so
actively to help him, sent him a spirited remonstrance, reminding him
that the slaughter of men neither engaged in war, nor enemies, nor
even connected with Athens, except by constraint, was disgraceful
to one who came forth as the liberator of Greece,—and that, if he
persisted, he would convert his friends into enemies, not his enemies
into friends. So keenly did Alkidas feel this animadversion, that he
at once liberated the remainder of his prisoners, several of them
Chians; and then started from Ephesus, taking his course across sea
towards Krete and Peloponnesus. After much delay off the coast of
Krete from stormy weather, which harassed and dispersed his fleet, he
at length reached in safety the harbor of Kyllênê in Elis, where his
scattered ships were ultimately reunited.[398]

  [398] Thucyd. iii, 32, 33-69.

Thus inglorious was the voyage of the first Peloponnesian admiral
who dared to enter that _Mare clausum_ which passed for a portion
of the territory of Athens.[399] But though he achieved little, his
mere presence excited everywhere not less dismay than astonishment:
for the Ionic towns were all unfortified, and Alkidas might take and
sack any one of them by sudden assault, even though unable to hold
it permanently. Pressing messages reached Pachês from Erythræ and
from several other places, while the Athenian triremes called Paralus
and Salaminia, the privileged vessels which usually carried public
and sacred deputations, had themselves seen the Peloponnesian fleet
anchored at Ikarus, and brought him the same intelligence. Pachês,
having his hands now free by the capture of Mitylênê, set forth
immediately in pursuit of the intruder, whom he chased as far the
island of Patmos. It was there ascertained that Alkidas had finally
disappeared from the eastern waters, and the Athenian admiral, though
he would have rejoiced to meet the Peloponnesian fleet in the open
sea, accounted it fortunate that they had not taken up a position in
some Asiatic harbor,—in which case it would have been necessary for
him to undertake a troublesome and tedious blockade,[400] besides all
the chances of revolt among the Athenian dependencies. We shall see
how much, in this respect, depended upon the personal character of
the Lacedæmonian commander, when we come hereafter to the expedition
of Brasidas.

  [399] Thucyd. v, 56. Ἀργεῖοι δ᾽ ἐλθόντες παρ᾽ Ἀθηναίους ἐπεκάλουν
  ὅτι, γεγραμμένον ἐν ταῖς σπονδαῖς ~διὰ τῆς ἑαυτῶν~ ἑκάστους μὴ
  ἐᾶν πολεμίους διιέναι, ἐάσειαν ~κατὰ θάλασσαν~ (Λακεδαιμονίους)

  We see that the sea is here reckoned as a portion of the Athenian
  territory; and even the portion of sea near to Peloponnesus,—much
  more, that on the coast of Ionia.

  [400] Thucyd. iii, 33.

On his return from Patmos to Mitylênê, Pachês was induced to stop at
Notium by the solicitations of some exiles. Notium was the port of
Kolophon, from which it was some little distance, as Peiræus was from

  [401] The dissensions between Notium and Kolophon are noticed by
  Aristot. Politic. v, 3, 2.

About three years before, a violent internal dissension had taken
place in Kolophon, and one of the parties, invoking the aid of
the Persian Itamanes (seemingly one of the generals of the satrap
Pissuthnês), had placed him in possession of the town; whereupon the
opposite party, forced to retire, had established itself separately
and independently at Notium. But the Kolophonians who remained in
the town soon contrived to procure a party in Notium, whereby they
were enabled to regain possession of it, through the aid of a body of
Arcadian mercenaries in the service of Pissuthnês. These Arcadians
formed a standing garrison at Notium, in which they occupied a
separate citadel, or fortified space, while the town became again
attached as harbor to Kolophon. A considerable body of exiles,
however, expelled on that occasion, now invoked the aid of Pachês to
reinstate them, and to expel the Arcadians. On reaching the place,
the Athenian general prevailed upon Hippias, the Arcadian captain,
to come forth to a parley, under the promise that, if nothing
mutually satisfactory could be settled, he would again replace
him, “safe and sound,” in the fortification. But no sooner had the
Arcadian come forth to this parley, than Pachês, causing him to be
detained under guard, but without fetters or ill-usage, immediately
attacked the fortification while the garrison were relying on the
armistice, carried it by storm, and put to death both the Arcadians
and the Persians who were found within. Having got possession of
the fortification, he next brought Hippias again into it, “safe and
sound,” according to the terms of the convention, which was thus
literally performed, and then immediately afterwards caused him to
be shot with arrows and javelins. Of this species of fraud, founded
on literal performance and real violation of an agreement, there are
various examples in Grecian history; but nowhere do we read of a
more flagitious combination of deceit and cruelty than the behavior
of Pachês at Notium. How it was noticed at Athens, we do not know:
but we may remark, not without surprise, that Thucydidês recounts it
plainly and calmly without a single word of comment.[402]

  [402] Thucyd. iii, 34.

Notium was separated from Kolophon, and placed in possession of
those Kolophonians who were opposed to the Persian supremacy in the
upper town. But as it had been down to this time a mere appendage of
Kolophon and not a separate town, the Athenians soon afterwards sent
œkists and performed for it the ceremonies of colonization according
to their own laws and customs, inviting from every quarter the
remaining exiles of Kolophon.[403] Whether any new settlers went from
Athens itself, we do not know: but the step was intended to confer a
sort of Hellenic citizenship, and recognized collective personality,
on the new-born town of Notium; without which, neither its theôry or
solemn deputation would have been admitted to offer public sacrifice,
nor its private citizens to contend for the prize, at Olympic and
other great festivals.

  [403] Thucyd. iii, 34; C. A. Pertz, Colophoniaca, p. 36.
  (Göttingen, 1848.)

Having cleared the Asiatic waters from the enemies of Athens, Pachês
returned to Lesbos, reduced the towns of Pyrrha and Eresus, and
soon found himself so completely master both of Mitylênê and the
whole island, as to be able to send home the larger part of his
force; carrying with them as prisoners those Mitylenæans who had
been deposited in Tenedos, as well as others, prominently implicated
in the late revolt, to the number altogether of rather more than a
thousand. The Lacedæmonian Salæthus, being recently detected in his
place of concealment, was included among the prisoners transmitted.

Upon the fate of these prisoners the Athenians had now to pronounce,
and they entered upon the discussion in a temper of extreme wrath
and vengeance. As to Salæthus, their resolution to put him to death
was unanimous and immediate, nor would they listen to his promises,
assuredly delusive, of terminating the blockade of Platæa, in case
his life were spared. What to do with Mitylênê and its inhabitants
was a point more doubtful, and was submitted to formal debate in the
public assembly.

It is in this debate that Thucydidês first takes notice of Kleon,
who is, however, mentioned by Plutarch as rising into importance
some few years earlier, during the lifetime of Periklês. Under the
great increase of trade and population in Athens and Peiræus during
the last forty years, a new class of politicians seem to have grown
up, men engaged in various descriptions of trade and manufacture,
who began to rival more or less in importance the ancient families
of Attic proprietors. This change was substantially analogous to
that which took place in the cities of mediæval Europe, when the
merchants and traders of the various guilds gradually came to compete
with, and ultimately supplanted, the patrician families in whom the
supremacy had originally resided. In Athens, persons of ancient
family and station enjoyed at this time no political privilege,
and since the reforms of Ephialtês and Periklês, the political
constitution had become thoroughly democratical. But they still
continued to form the two highest classes in the Solonian census
founded on property,—the pentakosiomedimni, and the hippeis, or
knights: new men enriched by trade doubtless got into these classes,
but probably only in minority, and imbibed the feeling of the class
as they found it, instead of bringing into it any new spirit. Now an
individual Athenian of this class, though without any legal title
to preference, yet when he stood forward as candidate for political
influence, continued to be decidedly preferred and welcomed by the
social sentiment at Athens, which preserved in its spontaneous
sympathies distinctions effaced from the political code.[404]
Besides this place ready prepared for him in the public sympathy,
especially advantageous at the outset of political life,—he found
himself farther borne up by the family connections, associations,
and political clubs, etc., which exercised very great influence both
on the politics and the judicature of Athens, and of which he became
a member as a matter of course. Such advantages were doubtless only
auxiliary, carrying a man up to a certain point of influence, but
leaving him to achieve the rest by his own personal qualities and
capacity. But their effect was nevertheless very real, and those who,
without possessing them, met and buffeted him in the public assembly,
contended against great disadvantages. A person of such low or
middling station obtained no favorable presumptions or indulgence on
the part of the public to meet him half-way,—nor had he established
connections to encourage first successes, or help him out of early
scrapes. He found others already in possession of ascendency, and
well-disposed to keep down new competitors; so that he had to win
his own way unaided, from the first step to the last, by qualities
personal to himself; by assiduity of attendance, by acquaintance with
business, by powers of striking speech, and withal by unflinching
audacity, indispensable to enable him to bear up against that
opposition and enmity which he would incur from the high-born
politicians, and organized party clubs, as soon as he appeared to be
rising up into ascendency.

  [404] Thucyd. v, 43. Ἀλκιβιάδης—ἀνὴρ ἡλικίᾳ μὲν ὢν ἔτι τότε
  νέος, ὡς ἐν ἄλλῃ πόλει, ἀξιώματι δὲ προγόνων τιμώμενος. Compare
  Xenophon, Memorabil. i, 2, 25; iii, 6, 1.

The free march of political and judicial affairs raised up several
such men, during the years beginning and immediately preceding
the Peloponnesian war. Even during the lifetime of Periklês, they
appear to have arisen in greater or less numbers: but the personal
ascendency of that great man,—who combined an aristocratical position
with a strong and genuine democratical sentiment, and an enlarged
intellect rarely found attached to either,—impressed a peculiar
character on Athenian politics. The Athenian world was divided into
his partisans and his opponents, among each of whom there were
individuals high-born and low-born,—though the aristocratical party,
properly so called, the majority of wealthy and high-born Athenians,
either opposed or disliked him. It is about two years after his death
that we begin to hear of a new class of politicians: Eukratês, the
rope-seller; Kleon, the leather-seller; Lysiklês, the sheep-seller;
Hyperbolus, the lamp-maker;[405] the two first of whom must have
been already well-known as speakers in the ekklesia, even during the
lifetime of Periklês. Among them all, the most distinguished was
Kleon, son of Kleænetus.

  [405] Aristophan. Equit. 130, _seqq._, and Scholia; Eupolis,
  Demi, Fram. xv, p. 466, ed. Meineke. See the remarks in Ranck,
  Commentat. de Vitâ Aristophanis, p. cccxxxiv, _seqq._

Kleon acquired his first importance among the speakers against
Periklês, so that he would thus obtain for himself, during his early
political career, the countenance of the numerous and aristocratical
anti-Perikleans. He is described by Thucydidês in general terms as
a person of the most violent temper and character in Athens,—as
being dishonest in his calumnies, and virulent in his invective
and accusation.[406] Aristophanês, in his comedy of the Knights,
reproduces these features, with others new and distinct, as well
as with exaggerated details, comic, satirical, and contemptuous.
His comedy depicts Kleon in the point of view in which he would
appear to the knights of Athens,—a leather-dresser, smelling of the
tan-yard,—a low-born brawler, terrifying opponents by the violence
of his criminations, the loudness of his voice, the impudence of his
gestures,—moreover, as venal in his politics, threatening men with
accusations, and then receiving money to withdraw them; a robber of
the public treasury, persecuting merit as well as rank, and courting
the favor of the assembly by the basest and most guilty cajolery. The
general attributes set forth by Thucydidês (apart from Aristophanês,
who does not profess to write history), we may well accept; the
powerful and violent invective of Kleon, often dishonest, together
with his self-confidence and audacity in the public assembly. Men of
the middling class, like Kleon and Hyperbolus, who persevered in
addressing the public assembly and trying to take a leading part in
it, against persons of greater family pretension than themselves,
were pretty sure to be men of more than usual audacity. Had they
not possessed this quality, they would never have surmounted the
opposition made to them: we may well believe that they had it to
a displeasing excess,—and even if they had not, the same measure
of self-assumption which in Alkibiadês would be tolerated from his
rank and station, would in them pass for insupportable impudence.
Unhappily, we have no specimens to enable us to appreciate the
invective of Kleon. We cannot determine whether it was more virulent
than that of Demosthenês and Æschinês, seventy years afterwards,—each
of those eminent orators imputing to the other the grossest
impudence, calumny, perjury, corruption, loud voice, and revolting
audacity of manner, in language which Kleon can hardly have surpassed
in intensity of vituperation, though he doubtless fell immeasurably
short of it in classical finish. Nor can we even tell in what degree
Kleon’s denunciations of the veteran Periklês were fiercer than those
memorable invectives against the old age of Sir Robert Walpole,
with which Lord Chatham’s political career opened. The talent for
invective possessed by Kleon, employed first against Periklês, would
be counted as great impudence by the partisans of that illustrious
statesman, as well as by impartial and judicious citizens; but among
the numerous enemies of Periklês, it would be applauded as a burst
of patriotic indignation, and would procure for the orator that
extraneous support at first which would sustain him until he acquired
his personal hold on the public assembly.[407]

  [406] Thucyd. iii, 36. Κλέων—ὢν καὶ ἐς τὰ ἄλλα βιαιότατος τῶν
  πολιτῶν, καὶ τῷ δήμῳ παραπολὺ ἐν τῷ τότε πιθανώτατος.

  He also mentions Kleon a second time, two years afterwards, but
  in terms which also seem to imply a first introduction,—μάλιστα
  δὲ αὐτοὺς ἐνῆγε Κλέων ὁ Κλεαινέτου, ἀνὴρ δημαγωγὸς κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον
  τὸν χρόνον ὢν καὶ τῷ πλήθει πιθανώτατος, iv, 21-28, also v, 16.
  Κλέων—νομίζων καταφανέστερος ἂν εἶναι κακουργῶν, καὶ ἀπιστότερος
  διαβάλλων, etc.

  [407] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 33. Ἐπεφύετο δὲ καὶ Κλέων, ἤδη διὰ
  τῆς πρὸς ἐκεῖνον ὀργῆς τῶν πολιτῶν πορευόμενος εἰς τὴν δημαγωγίαν.

  Periklês was δηχθεὶς αἴθωνι Κλέωνι—in the words of the comic
  author Hermippus.

By what degrees or through what causes that hold was gradually
increased, we do not know; but at the time when the question of
Mitylênê came on for discussion, it had grown into a sort of
ascendency which Thucydidês describes by saying that Kleon was
“at that time by far the most persuasive speaker in the eyes of
the people.” The fact of Kleon’s great power of speech, and his
capacity of handling public business in a popular manner, is better
attested than anything else respecting him, because it depends upon
two witnesses both hostile to him,—Thucydidês and Aristophanês. The
assembly and the dikastery were Kleon’s theatre and holding-ground:
for the Athenian people taken collectively in their place of meeting,
and the Athenian people taken individually, were not always the
same person and had not the same mode of judgment: Demos sitting in
the Pnyx, was a different man from Demos at home.[408] The lofty
combination of qualities possessed by Periklês exercised ascendency
over both one and the other; but the qualities of Kleon swayed
considerably the former without standing high in the esteem of the

  [408] Aristophan. Equit. 750.

When the fate of Mitylênê and its inhabitants was submitted to the
Athenian assembly, Kleon took the lead in the discussion. There never
was a theme more perfectly suited to his violent temperament and
power of fierce invective. Taken collectively, the case of Mitylênê
presented a revolt as inexcusable and aggravated as any revolt
could be: and we have only to read the grounds of it, as set forth
by the Mitylenæan speakers themselves before the Peloponnesians at
Olympia, to be satisfied that such a proceeding, when looked at from
the Athenian point of view, would be supposed to justify, and even
to require, the very highest pitch of indignation. The Mitylenæans
admit, not only that they have no ground of complaint against Athens,
but that they have been well and honorably treated by her, with
special privilege. But they fear that she may oppress them in future:
they hate the very principle of her empire, and eagerly instigate,
as well as aid, her enemies to subdue her: they select the precise
moment in which she has been worn down by a fearful pestilence,
invasion, and cost of war. Nothing more than this would be required
to kindle the most intense wrath in the bosom of an Athenian patriot:
but there was yet another point which weighed as much as the rest, if
not more: the revolters had been the first to invite a Peloponnesian
fleet across the Ægean, and the first to proclaim, both to Athens and
her allies, the precarious tenure of her empire.[409] The violent
Kleon would on this occasion find in the assembly an audience hardly
less violent than himself, and would easily be able to satisfy them
that anything like mercy to the Mitylenæans was treason to Athens.
He proposed to apply to the captive city the penalties tolerated by
the custom of war in their harshest and fullest measure: to kill
the whole Mitylenæan male population of military age, probably
about six thousand persons,—and to sell as slaves all the women and
children.[410] The proposition, though strongly opposed by Diodotus
and others, was sanctioned and passed by the assembly, and a trireme
was forthwith despatched to Mitylênê, enjoining Pachês to put it in

  [409] Thucyd. iii, 36. προσξυνεβάλετο οὐκ ἐλάχιστον τῆς ὁρμῆς,

  [410] I infer this total number from the fact that the number
  sent to Athens by Pachês, as foremost instigators, was rather
  more than one thousand (Thucyd. iii, 50). The total of ἡβῶντες,
  or males of military age, must have been (I imagine) six times
  this number.

  [411] Thucyd. iii, 36.

Such a sentence was, in principle, nothing more than a very rigorous
application of the received laws of war. Not merely the reconquered
rebel, but even the prisoner of war, apart from any special
convention, was at the mercy of his conqueror, to be slain, sold,
or admitted to ransom: and we shall find the Lacedæmonians carrying
out the maxim without the smallest abatement towards the Platæan
prisoners, in the course of a very short time. And doubtless the
Athenian people, so long as they remained in assembly, under that
absorbing temporary intensification of the common and predominant
sentiment which springs from the mere fact of multitude, and so
long as they were discussing the principle of the case, What had
Mitylênê deserved? thought only of this view. Less than the most
rigorous measure of war, they would conceive, would be inadequate
to the wrong done by the Mitylenæans. But when the assembly broke
up,—when the citizen, no longer wound up by sympathizing companions
and animated speakers in the Pnyx, subsided into the comparative
quiescence of individual life,—when the talk came to be, not about
the propriety of passing such a resolution, but about the details
of executing it, a sensible change and marked repentance became
presently visible. We must also recollect, and it is a principle of
no small moment in human affairs, especially among a democratical
people like the Athenians, who stand charged with so many
resolutions passed and afterwards unexecuted, that the sentiment of
wrath against the Mitylenæans had been really in part discharged by
the mere _passing_ of the sentence, quite apart from its execution;
just as a furious man relieves himself from overboiling anger by
imprecations against others which he would himself shrink from
afterwards realizing. The Athenians, on the whole the most humane
people in Greece,—though humanity, according to our ideas, cannot be
predicated of any Greeks,—became sensible that they had sanctioned
a cruel and frightful decree, and the captain and seamen,[412] to
whom it was given to carry, set forth on their voyage with mournful
repugnance. The Mitylenæan envoys present in Athens, who had probably
been allowed to speak in the assembly and plead their own cause,
together with those Athenians who had been proxeni and friends of
Mitylênê, and the minority generally of the previous assembly, soon
discerned, and did their best to foster, this repentance; which
became, during the course of the same evening, so powerful as well
as so wide-spread, that the stratêgi acceded to the prayer of the
envoys, and convoked a fresh assembly for the morrow to reconsider
the proceeding. By so doing, they committed an illegality, and
exposed themselves to the chance of impeachment: but the change of
feeling among the people was so manifest as to overbear any such

  [412] Thucyd. iii, 36. Καὶ τῇ ὑστεραίᾳ μετάνοιά τις εὐθὺς ἦν
  αὐτοῖς καὶ ἀναλογισμὸς, ὠμὸν τὸ βούλευμα καὶ μέγα ἐγνῶσθαι, πόλιν
  ὅλην διαφθεῖραι μᾶλλον ἢ οὐ τοὺς αἰτίους.

  The feelings of the seamen, in the trireme appointed to carry
  the order of execution, are a striking point of evidence in this
  case: τῆς προτέρας νεὼς οὐ σπουδῇ πλεούσης ἐπὶ πρᾶγμα ἀλλόκοτον,
  etc. (iii, 50).

  [413] Thucyd. iii, 36. As to the illegality, see Thucyd. vi,
  14, which I think is good evidence to prove that there was
  illegality. I agree with Schömann on this point, in spite of the
  doubts of Dr. Arnold.

Though Thucydidês had given us only a short summary, without any
speeches, of what passed in the first assembly,—yet as to the second
assembly, he gives us at length the speeches both of Kleon and
Diodotus, the two principal orators of the first also. We may be
sure that this second assembly was in all points one of the most
interesting and anxious of the whole war; and though we cannot
certainly determine what were the circumstances which determined
Thucydidês in his selection of speeches, yet this cause, as well
as the signal defeat of Kleon, whom he disliked, may probably be
presumed to have influenced him here. That orator came forward to
defend his proposition passed on the preceding day, and denounced
in terms of indignation the unwise tenderness and scruples of the
people, who could not bear to treat their subject-allies, according
to the plain reality, as men held only by naked fear. He dwelt upon
the mischief and folly of reversing on one day what had been decided
on the day preceding,—upon the guilty ambition of orators, who
sacrificed the most valuable interests of the commonwealth either to
pecuniary gains, or to the personal credit of speaking with effect,
triumphing over rivals, and setting up their own fancies in place
of fact and reality. He deprecated the mistaken encouragement given
to such delusions by a public “wise beyond what was written,” who
came to the assembly, not to apply their good sense in judging of
public matters, but merely for the delight of hearing speeches.[414]
He restated the heinous and unprovoked wrong committed by the
Mitylenæans,—and the grounds for inflicting upon them that maximum
of punishment which “justice” enjoined. He called for “justice”
against them; nothing less, but nothing more: warning the assembly
that the imperial necessities of Athens essentially required the
constant maintenance of a sentiment of fear in the minds of unwilling
subjects, and that they must prepare to see their empire pass away
if they suffered themselves to be guided either by compassion for
those who, if victors, would have no compassion on them,[415]—or by
unseasonable moderation towards those who would neither feel nor
requite it,—or by the mere impression of seductive discourses.
Justice against the Mitylenæans, not less than the strong political
interests of Athens, required the infliction of the sentence decreed
on the day preceding.[416]

  [414] Thucyd. iii, 37. οἱ μὲν γὰρ τῶν τε νόμων σοφώτεροι
  βούλονται φαίνεσθαι, τῶν τε ἀεὶ λεγομένων ἐς τὸ κοινὸν
  περιγίγνεσθαι ... οἱ δ᾽ ἀπιστοῦντες τῇ ἐαυτῶν ξυνέσει ἀμαθέστεροι
  μὲν τῶν νόμων ἀξιοῦσιν εἶναι, ἀδυνατώτεροι δὲ τοῦ καλῶς εἰπόντος
  μέμψασθαι λόγον.

  Compare the language of Archidamus at Sparta in the congress,
  where he takes credit to the Spartans for being ἀμαθέστερον τῶν
  νόμων τῆς ὑπεροψίας παιδευόμενοι, etc. (Thucyd. i, 84)—very
  similar in spirit to the remarks of Kleon about the Athenians.

  [415] Thucyd. iii, 40. μηδὲ τρισὶ τοῖς ἀξυμφορωτάτοις τῇ ἀρχῇ,
  οἴκτῳ, καὶ ἡδονῇ λόγων, καὶ ἐπιεικείᾳ, ἁμαρτάνειν.

  [416] Thucyd. iii, 40. πειθόμενοι δὲ ἐμοὶ τά τε δίκαια ἐς
  Μυτιληναίους καὶ τὰ ξύμφορα ἅμα ποιήσετε· ἄλλως δὲ γνόντες τοῖς
  μὲν οὐ χαριεῖσθε, ὑμᾶς δὲ αὐτοὺς μᾶλλον δικαιώσεσθε.

The harangue of Kleon is in many respects remarkable. If we are
surprised to find a man, whose whole importance resided in his
tongue, denouncing so severely the license and the undue influence of
speech in the public assembly, we must recollect that Kleon had the
advantage of addressing himself to the intense prevalent sentiment of
the moment,—that he could, therefore, pass off the dictates of this
sentiment as plain, downright, honest sense and patriotism; while the
opponents, speaking against the reigning sentiment, and therefore
driven to collateral argument, circumlocution, and more or less of
manœuvre, might be represented as mere clever sophists, showing
their talents in making the worse appear the better reason,—if not
actually bribed, at least unprincipled, and without any sincere moral
conviction. As this is a mode of dealing with questions both of
public concern and of private morality, not less common at present
than it was in the time of the Peloponnesian war,—to seize upon some
strong and tolerably wide-spread sentiment among the public, to treat
the dictates of that sentiment as plain common sense and obvious
right, and then to shut out all rational estimate of coming good
and evil as if it were unholy or immoral, or at best mere uncandid
subtlety,—we may well notice a case in which Kleon employs it to
support a proposition now justly regarded as barbarous.

Applying our modern views to this proposition, indeed, the prevalent
sentiment would not only not be in favor of Kleon, but would be
irresistibly in favor of his opponents. To put to death in cold
blood some six thousand persons, would so revolt modern feelings,
as to overbalance all considerations of past misconduct in the
persons to be condemned. Nevertheless, the speech of Diodotus, who
followed and opposed Kleon, not only contains no appeal to any such
merciful predispositions, but even positively disclaims appealing
to them: the orator deprecates, not less than Kleon, the influence
of compassionate sentiment, or of a spirit of mere compromise and
moderation.[417] He farther discards considerations of justice or
the analogies of criminal judicature,[418]—and rests his opposition
altogether upon reasons of public prudence, bearing upon the future
welfare and security of Athens.

  [417] Thucyd. iii. 48: compare the speech of Kleon. iii, 40.
  ὑμεῖς δὲ γνόντες ἀμείνω τάδε εἶναι, καὶ μήτε οἴκτῳ πλέον
  νείμαντες μήτε ἐπιεικείᾳ, ~οἷς οὐδὲ ἐγὼ ἐῶ προσάγεσθαι~, ἀπ᾽
  αὐτῶν δὲ τῶν παραινουμένων, etc.

  Dr. Arnold distinguishes οἶκτος (or ἔλεος) from ἐπιεικεία,
  by saying that “the former is a feeling, the latter a habit:
  οἶκτος, pity or compassion, may occasionally touch those who are
  generally very far from being ἐπιεικεῖς—mild or gentle. Ἐπιεικεία
  relates to all persons,—οἶκτος, to particular individuals.” The
  distinction here taken is certainly in itself just, and ἐπιεικὴς
  sometimes has the meaning ascribed to it by Dr. Arnold: but in
  this passage I believe it has a different meaning. The contrast
  between οἶκτος and ἐπιεικεία—as Dr. Arnold explains them—would be
  too feeble, and too little marked, to serve the purpose of Kleon
  and Diodotus. Ἐπιεικεία here rather means the disposition to stop
  short of your full rights; a spirit of fairness and adjustment;
  an abatement on your part likely to be requited by abatement on
  the part of your adversary: compare Thucyd. i, 76; iv, 19; v, 86;
  viii, 93.

  [418] Thucyd. iii, 44. ἐγὼ δὲ παρῆλθον οὔτε ἀντερῶν περὶ
  Μυτιληναίων οὔτε κατηγορήσων· οὐ γὰρ περὶ τῆς ἐκείνων ἀδικίας
  ἡμῖν ὁ ἀγὼν, εἰ σωφρονοῦμεν, ἀλλὰ περὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας εὐβουλίας ...
  ~δικαιότερος γὰρ ὢν αὐτοῦ (Κλέωνος) ὁ λόγος πρὸς τὴν νῦν ὑμετέραν
  ὀργὴν ἐς Μυτιληναίους~, τάχα ἂν ἐπισπάσαιτο· ~ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐ
  δικαζόμεθα πρὸς αὐτοὺς, ὥστε τῶν δικαίων δεῖν~, ἀλλὰ βουλευόμεθα
  περὶ αὐτῶν, ὅπως χρησίμως ἕξουσιν.

  So Mr. Burke, in his speech on Conciliation with America (Burke’s
  Works, vol. iii. pp. 69-74), in discussing the proposition of
  prosecuting the acts of the refractory colonies as criminal: “The
  thing seems a great deal too big for my ideas of jurisprudence.
  It should seem, to my way of conceiving such matters, that there
  is a wide difference in reason and policy, between the mode of
  proceeding on the irregular conduct of scattered individuals, or
  even of bands of men who disturb order within the state,—and the
  civil dissensions which may from time to time agitate the several
  communities which compose a great empire. It looks to me to be
  narrow and pedantic, to apply the ordinary ideas of criminal
  justice to this great public contest. I do not know the method
  of drawing up an indictment against a whole people,” etc.—“My
  consideration is narrow, confined, and wholly limited to the
  policy of the question.”

He begins by vindicating[419] the necessity of reconsidering the
resolution just passed, and insists on the mischief of deciding so
important a question in haste or under strong passion; he enters
a protest against the unwarrantable insinuations of corruption or
self-conceit by which Kleon had sought to silence or discredit his
opponents;[420] and then, taking up the question on the ground of
public wisdom and prudence, he proceeds to show that the rigorous
sentence decreed on the preceding day was not to be defended. That
sentence would not prevent any other among the subject-allies from
revolting, if they saw, or fancied that they saw, a fair chance of
success: but it might perhaps drive them,[421] if once embarked in
revolt, to persist even to desperation, and bury themselves under
the ruins of their city. While every means ought to be employed to
prevent them from revolting, by precautions beforehand, it was a
mistaken reckoning to try to deter them by enormity of punishment,
inflicted afterwards upon such as were reconquered. In developing
this argument, the speaker gives some remarkable views on the
theory of punishment generally, and on the small addition obtained
in the way of preventive effect even by the greatest aggravation
of the suffering inflicted upon the condemned criminal,—views
which might have passed as rare and profound even down to the last
century.[422] And he farther supports his argument by emphatically
setting forth the impolicy of confounding the Mitylenæan Demos in
the same punishment with their oligarchy: the revolt had been the
act exclusively of the latter, and the former had not only taken
no part in it, but, as soon as they obtained possession of arms,
had surrendered the city spontaneously. In all the allied cities,
it was the commons who were well-affected to Athens, and upon whom
her hold chiefly depended against the doubtful fidelity of the
oligarchies:[423] but this feeling could not possibly continue,
if it were now seen that all the Mitylenæans indiscriminately
were confounded in one common destruction. Diodotus concludes by
recommending that those Mitylenæans whom Pachês had sent to Athens as
chiefs of the revolt, should be put upon their trial separately; but
that the remaining population should be spared.[424]

  [419] Thucyd. iii, 42.

  [420] Thucyd. iii, 43.

  [421] Thucyd. iii, 45, 46.

  [422] Compare this speech of Diodotus with the views of
  punishment implied by Xenophon in his Anabasis, where he is
  describing the government of Cyrus the younger:—

  “Nor can any man contend, that Cyrus suffered criminals and
  wrong-doers to laugh at him: he punished them with the most
  unmeasured severity (ἀφειδέστατα πάντων ἐτιμωρεῖτο). And you
  might often see along the frequented roads men deprived of their
  eyes, their hands, and their feet: so that in his government
  either Greek or barbarian, if he had no criminal purpose, might
  go fearlessly through and carry whatever he found convenient.”
  (Anabasis, i, 9, 13.)

  The severity of the punishment is, in Xenophon’s mind, the
  measure both of its effects in deterring criminals, and of the
  character of the ruler inflicting it.

  [423] Thucyd. iii, 47. Νῦν μὲν γὰρ ὑμῖν ὁ δῆμος ἐν πάσαις ταῖς
  πόλεσιν εὔνους ἐστὶ, καὶ ἢ οὐ ξυναφίσταται τοῖς ὀλίγοις, ἢ
  ἐὰν βιασθῇ, ὑπάρχει τοῖς ἀποστήσασι πολέμιος εὐθὺς, καὶ τῆς
  ἀντικαθισταμένης πόλεως τὸ πλῆθος ξύμμαχον ἔχοντες ἐς πόλεμον

  [424] Thucyd. iii, 48.

This speech is that of a man who feels that he has the reigning
and avowed sentiment of the audience against him, and that he must
therefore win his way by appeals to their reason. The same appeals,
however, might have been made, and perhaps had been made, during the
preceding discussion, without success; but Diodotus knew that the
reigning sentiment, though still ostensibly predominant, had been
silently undermined during the last few hours, and that the reaction
towards pity and moderation, which had been growing up under it,
would work in favor of his arguments, though he might disclaim all
intention of invoking its aid. After several other discourses, both
for and against,—the assembly came to a vote, and the proposition of
Diodotus was adopted; but adopted by so small a majority, that the
decision seemed at first doubtful.[425]

  [425] Thucyd. iii, 49. ἐγένοντο ἐν τῇ χειροτονίᾳ ἀγχώμαλοι,
  ἐκράτησε δ᾽ ἡ τοῦ Διοδότου.

But the trireme carrying the first vote had started the day before,
and was already twenty-four hours on its way to Mitylênê. A second
trireme was immediately put to sea, bearing the new decree; yet
nothing short of superhuman exertions could enable it to reach the
condemned city before the terrific sentence now on its way might be
actually in course of execution. The Mitylenæan envoys stored the
vessel well with provisions, promising large rewards to the crew
if they arrived in time; and an intensity of effort was manifested,
without parallel in the history of Athenian seamanship,—the oar
being never once relaxed between Athens and Mitylênê, and the rowers
merely taking turns for short intervals of rest, with refreshment
of barley-meal steeped with wine and oil swallowed on their seats.
Luckily, there was no unfavorable wind to retard them: but the object
would have been defeated, if it had not happened that the crew of the
first trireme were as slow and averse in the transmission of their
rigorous mandate, as those of the second were eager for the delivery
of the reprieve in time. And, after all, it came no more than just
in time; the first trireme had arrived, the order for execution
was actually in the hands of Pachês, and his measures were already
preparing. So near was the Mitylenæan population to this wholesale
destruction:[426] so near was Athens to the actual perpetration of
an enormity which would have raised against her throughout Greece a
sentiment of exasperation more deadly than that which she afterwards
incurred even from the proceedings at Melos, Skiônê, and elsewhere.
Had the execution been realized, the person who would have suffered
most by it, and most deservedly, would have been the proposer,
Kleon. For if the reaction in Athenian sentiment was so immediate
and sensible after the mere passing of the sentence, far more
violent would it have been when they learned that the deed had been
irrevocably done, and when all its painful details were presented to
their imaginations: and Kleon would have been held responsible as the
author of that which had so disgraced them in their own eyes. As the
case turned out, he was fortunate enough to escape this danger; and
his proposition, to put to death those Mitylenæans whom Pachês had
sent home as the active revolting party, was afterwards adopted and
executed. It doubtless appeared so moderate after the previous decree
passed but rescinded, as to be adopted with little resistance, and to
provoke no after-repentance: yet the men so slain were rather more
than one thousand in number.[427]

  [426] Thucyd. iii, 49. παρὰ τοσοῦτον μὲν ἡ Μυτιλήνη ἦλθε κινδύνου.

  [427] Thucyd. iii, 50.

Besides this sentence of execution, the Athenians razed the
fortifications of Mitylênê, and took possession of all her ships of
war. In lieu of tribute, they farther established a new permanent
distribution of the land of the island; all except Methymna, which
had remained faithful to them. They distributed it into three
thousand lots, of which three hundred were reserved for consecration
to the gods, and the remainder assigned to Athenian kleruchs, or
proprietary settlers, chosen by lot among the citizens; the Lesbian
proprietors still remaining on the land as cultivating tenants, and
paying to the Athenian kleruch an annual rent of two minæ, near four
pounds sterling, for each lot. We should have been glad to learn more
about this new land-settlement than the few words of the historian
suffice to explain. It would seem that two thousand seven hundred
Athenian citizens, with their families must have gone to reside,
for the time at least, in Lesbos, as kleruchs; that is, without
abnegating their rights as Athenian citizens, and without being
exonerated either from Athenian taxation, or from personal military
service. But it seems certain that these men did not continue long
to reside in Lesbos: and we may even suspect that the kleruchic
allotment of the island must have been subsequently abrogated. There
was a strip on the opposite mainland of Asia, which had hitherto
belonged to Mitylênê; this was now separated from that town, and
henceforward enrolled among the tributary subjects of Athens.[428]

  [428] Thucyd. iii, 50; iv, 52. About the Lesbian kleruchs,
  see Boeckh, Public Econ. of Athens, B. iii, c. 18; Wachsmuth,
  Hell. Alt. i. 2, p. 36. These kleruchs must originally have
  gone thither as a garrison, as M. Boeckh remarks; and may
  probably have come back, either all or a part, when needed for
  military service at home, and when it was ascertained that the
  island might be kept without them. Still, however, there is
  much which is puzzling in this arrangement. It seems remarkable
  that the Athenians, at a time when their accumulated treasure
  had been exhausted, and when they were beginning to pay direct
  contributions from their private property, should sacrifice
  five thousand four hundred minæ (ninety talents) annual revenue
  capable of being appropriated by the state, unless that sum were
  required to maintain the kleruchs as resident garrison for the
  maintenance of Lesbos. And as it turned out afterwards that their
  residence was not necessary, we may doubt whether the state did
  not convert the kleruchic grants into a public tribute, wholly or

  We may farther remark, that if the kleruch be supposed a citizen
  resident at Athens, but receiving rent from his lot of land in
  some other territory,—the analogy between him and the Roman
  colonist fails. The Roman colonists, though retaining their
  privileges as citizens, were sent out to reside on their grants
  of land, and to constitute a sort of resident garrison over
  the prior inhabitants, who had been despoiled of a portion of
  territory to make room for them.

  See, on this subject and analogy, the excellent Dissertation of
  Madwig: De jure et conditione coloniarum Populi Romani quæstio
  historica,—Madwig, Opuscul. Copenhag. 1834. Diss. viii, p. 246.

  M. Boeckh and Dr. Arnold contend justly that at the time of the
  expedition of Athens against Syracuse and afterwards (Thucyd.
  vii, 57; viii, 23), there could have been but few, if any,
  Athenian kleruchs resident in Lesbos. We might even push this
  argument farther, and apply the same inference to an earlier
  period, the eighth year of the war (Thucyd. iv, 75), when the
  Mitylenæan exiles were so active in their aggressions upon
  Antandrus and the other towns, originally Mitylenæan possessions,
  on the opposite mainland. There was no force near at hand on the
  part of Athens to deal with these exiles except the ἀργυρόλογαι
  νῆες,—had there been kleruchs at Mitylênê, they would probably
  have been able to defeat the exiles in their first attempts, and
  would certainly have been among the most important forces to put
  them down afterwards,—whereas Thucydidês makes no allusion to

  Farther, the oration of Antipho (De Cæde Herod. c. 13) makes
  no allusion to Athenian kleruchs, either as resident in the
  island, or even as absentees receiving the annual rent mentioned
  by Thucydidês. The Mitylenæan citizen, father of the speaker
  of that oration, had been one of those implicated—as he says,
  unwillingly—in the past revolt of the city against Athens: since
  the deplorable termination of that revolt he had continued
  possessor of his Lesbian property, and continued also to
  discharge his obligations as well (choregic obligations—χορηγίας)
  towards Mitylênê as (his obligations of pecuniary payment—τέλη)
  towards Athens. If the arrangement mentioned by Thucydidês had
  been persisted in, this Mitylenæan proprietor would have paid
  nothing towards the city of Athens, but merely a rent of two
  minæ to some Athenian kleruch, or citizen; which can hardly be
  reconciled with the words of the speaker as we find them in

To the misfortunes of Mitylênê belongs, as a suitable appendix, the
fate of Pachês, the Athenian commander, whose perfidy at Notium has
been recently recounted. It appears, that having contracted a passion
for two beautiful free women at Mitylênê, Hellânis and Lamaxis, he
slew their husbands, and got possession of them by force. Possibly,
they may have had private friends at Athens, which must of course
have been the case with many Mitylenæan families: at all events they
repaired thither, bent on obtaining redress for this outrage, and
brought their complaint against Pachês before the Athenian dikastery,
in that trial of accountability to which every officer was liable
at the close of his command. So profound was the sentiment which
their case excited, in this open and numerous assembly of Athenian
citizens, that the guilty commander, not waiting for sentence, slew
himself with his sword in open court.[429]

  [429] See the Epigram of Agathias, 57, p. 377. Agathias, ed. Bonn.

    Ἑλλανὶς τριμάκαιρα, καὶ ἁ χαρίεσσα Λάμαξις,
      ἤστην μὲν πάτρας φέγγεα Λεσβιάδος.
    Ὅκκα δ᾽ Ἀθηναίῃσι σὺν ὅλκασιν ἔνθαδε κέλσας
      τὰν Μιτυληναίαν γᾶν ἀλάπαξε Πάχης,
    Τᾶν κουρᾶν αδίκως ἡράσσατο, τὼς δὲ συνεύνως
      ἔκτανεν, ὡς τήνας τῇδε βιησόμενος.
    Ταὶ δὲ κατ᾽ Αἰγαίοιο ῥόου πλατὺ λαῖτμα φερέσθην,
      καὶ ποτὶ τὰν κραναὰν Μοψοπίαν δραμέτην,
    Δάμῳ δ᾽ ἀγγελέτην ἀλιτήμονος ἔργα Πάχητος
      μέσφα μιν εἰς ὀλοὴν κῆρα συνηλασάτην.
    Τοῖα μὲν, ὦ κούρα, πεπονήκατον· ἄψ δ᾽ ἐπὶ πάτραν
      ἥκετον, ἐν δ᾽ αὐτᾷ κεῖσθον ἀποφθιμένα.
    Εὖ δὲ πόνων ἀπόνασθον, ἐπεὶ ποτὶ σᾶμα συνεύνων
      εὕδετον, ἐς κλεινᾶς μνᾶμα σαοφροσύνας·
    Ὑμνεῦσιν δ᾽ ἔτι πάντες ὁμόφρονας ἡρωΐνας,
      πάτρας καὶ ποσίων πήματα τισαμένας.

  Plutarch (Nikias, 6: compare Plutarch, Aristeidês, c. 26) states
  the fact of Pachês having slain himself before the dikastery
  on occasion of his trial of accountability. Πάχητα τὸν ἕλοντα
  Λέσβον, ὃς, εὐθύνας δίδους τῆς στρατηγίας, ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ δικαστηρίῳ
  σπασάμενος ξίφος ἀνεῖλεν ἑαυτὸν, etc.

  The statement in Plutarch, and that in the Epigram, hang together
  so perfectly well, that each lends authority to the other, and
  I think there is good reason for crediting the Epigram. The
  suicide of Pachês, and that too before the dikasts, implies
  circumstances very different from those usually brought in
  accusation against a general on trial: it implies an intensity
  of anger in the numerous dikasts greater than that which acts
  of peculation would be likely to raise, and such as to strike a
  guilty man with insupportable remorse and humiliation. The story
  of Lamaxis and Hellânis would be just of a nature to produce
  this vehement emotion among the Athenian dikasts. Moreover, the
  words of the Epigram,—μέσφα μιν εἰς ὀλοὴν κῆρα συνηλασάτην,—are
  precisely applicable to a self-inflicted death. It would seem by
  the Epigram, moreover, that, even in the time of Agathias (A.D.
  550—the reign of Justinian), there must have been preserved at
  Mitylênê a sepulchral monument commemorating this incident.

  Schneider (ad Aristotel. Politic. v, 3, 2) erroneously identifies
  this story with that of Doxander and the two ἐπίκληροι whom he
  wished to obtain in marriage for his two sons.

The surrender of Platæa to the Lacedæmonians took place not long
after that of Mitylênê to the Athenians,—somewhat later in the same
summer. Though the escape of one-half of the garrison had made the
provisions last longer for the rest, still they had now come to be
exhausted, and the remaining defenders were enfeebled and on the
point of perishing by starvation. The Lacedæmonian commander of the
blockading force, knowing their defenceless condition, could easily
have taken the town by storm, had he not been forbidden by express
orders from Sparta. For the Spartan government, calculating that
peace might one day be concluded with Athens on terms of mutual
cession of places acquired by war, wished to acquire Platæa, not by
force but by capitulation and voluntary surrender, which would serve
as an excuse for not giving it up: though such a distinction, between
capture by force and by capitulation, not admissible in modern
diplomacy, was afterwards found to tell against the Lacedæmonians
quite as much as in their favor.[430] Acting upon these orders, the
Lacedæmonian commander sent in a herald, summoning the Platæans to
surrender voluntarily, and submit themselves to the Lacedæmonians
as judges,—with a stipulation “that the wrong-doers[431] should
be punished, but that none should be punished unjustly.” To the
besieged, in their state of hopeless starvation, all terms were
nearly alike, and they accordingly surrendered the city. After a
few days’ interval, during which they received nourishment from the
blockading army, five persons arrived from Sparta to sit in judgment
upon their fate,—one, Aristomenidas, a Herakleid of the regal

  [430] Thucyd. v, 17.

  [431] Thucyd. iii, 52. προσπέμπει δ᾽ αὐτοῖς κήρυκα λέγοντα, εἰ
  βούλονται παραδοῦναι τὴν πόλιν ~ἑκόντες~ τοῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις,
  καὶ δικασταῖς ἐκείνοις χρήσασθαι, τούς τε ἀδίκους κολάζειν, παρὰ
  δίκην δὲ οὐδένα.

  [432] Pausan. iii, 9, 1.

The five Spartans having taken their seat as judges, doubtless
in full presence of the blockading army, and especially with the
Thebans, the great enemies of Platæa, by their side,—the prisoners
taken, two hundred Platæans and twenty-five Athenians, were brought
up for trial, or sentence. No accusation was preferred against
them by any one: but the simple question was put to them by the
judges: “Have you, during the present war, rendered any service to
the Lacedæmonians or to their allies?” The Platæans were confounded
at a question alike unexpected and preposterous: it admitted but
of one answer,—but before returning any categorical answer at all,
they entreated permission to plead their cause at length. In spite
of the opposition of the Thebans,[433] their request was granted:
and Astymachus and Lakon, the latter proxenus of Sparta at Platæa,
were appointed to speak on behalf of the body. Possibly, both these
delegates may have spoken: if so, Thucydidês has blended the two
speeches into one.

  [433] Thucyd. iii, 60. ἐπειδὴ καὶ ἐκείνοις ~παρὰ γνώμην τὴν
  αὑτῶν~ μακρότερος λόγος ἐδόθη τῆς πρὸς τὸ ἐρώτημα ἀποκρίσεως.
  αὑτῶν here means _the Thebans_.

A more desperate position cannot be imagined, for the interrogatory
was expressly so framed as to exclude allusion to any facts preceding
the Peloponnesian war,—but the speakers, though fully conscious
how slight was their chance of success, disregarded the limits of
the question itself, and while upholding with unshaken courage the
dignity of their little city, neglected no topic which could touch
the sympathies of their judges. After remonstrating against the
mere mockery of trial and judgment to which they were submitted,
they appealed to the Hellenic sympathies, and lofty reputation for
commanding virtue, of the Lacedæmonians,—they adverted to the first
alliance of Platæa with Athens, concluded at the recommendation of
the Lacedæmonians themselves, who had then declined, though formally
solicited, to undertake the protection of the town against Theban
oppression. They next turned to the Persian war, wherein Platæan
patriotism towards Greece was not less conspicuous than Theban
treason,[434]—to the victory gained over the Persians on their soil,
whereby it had become hallowed under the promises of Pausanias, and
by solemn appeals to the local gods. From the Persian war, they
passed on to the flagitious attack made by the Thebans on Platæa, in
the midst of the truce,—nor did they omit to remind the judges of an
obligation personal to Sparta,—the aid which they had rendered, along
with the Athenians, to Sparta, when pressed by the revolt of the
Helots at Ithôme. This speech is as touching as any which we find in
Thucydidês, and the skill of it consists in the frequency with which
the hearers are brought back, time after time, and by well-managed
transitions, to these same topics.[435] And such was the impression
which it seemed to make on the five Lacedæmonian judges, that the
Thebans near at hand found themselves under the necessity of making
a reply to it: although we see plainly that the whole scheme of
proceeding—the formal and insulting question, as well as the sentence
destined to follow upon answer given—had been settled beforehand
between them and the Lacedæmonians.

  [434] See this point emphatically set forth in Orat. xiv, called
  Λόγος Πλαταϊκὸς, of Isokratês, p. 308, sect. 62.

  The whole of that oration is interesting to be read in
  illustration of the renewed sufferings of the Platæans near fifty
  years after this capture.

  [435] Thucyd. iii, 54-59. Dionysius of Halikarnassus bestows
  especial commendation on the speech of the Platæan orator (De
  Thucyd. Hist. Judic. p. 921). Concurring with him as to its
  merits, I do not concur in the opinion which he expresses that
  it is less artistically put together than those other harangues
  which he considers inferior.

  Mr. Mitford doubts whether these two orations are to be taken
  as approximating to anything really delivered on the occasion.
  But it seems to me that the means possessed by Thucydidês for
  informing himself of what was actually said at this scene before
  the captured Platæa must have been considerable and satisfactory:
  I therefore place full confidence in them, as I do in most of the
  other harangues in his work, so far as _the substance_ goes.

The Theban speakers contended that the Platæans had deserved,
and brought upon themselves by their own fault, the enmity of
Thebes,—that they had stood forward earnestly against the Persians,
only because Athens had done so too, and that all the merit, whatever
it might be, which they had thereby acquired, was counterbalanced
and cancelled by their having allied themselves with Athens
afterwards for the oppression and enslavement of the Æginetans, and
of other Greeks equally conspicuous for zeal against Xerxes, and
equally entitled to protection under the promises of Pausanias. The
Thebans went on to vindicate their nocturnal surprise of Platæa,
by maintaining that they had been invited by the most respectable
citizens of the town,[436] who were anxious only to bring back Platæa
from its alliance with a stranger to its natural Bœotian home,—and
that they had abstained from anything like injurious treatment of the
inhabitants, until constrained to use force in their own defence.
They then reproached the Platæans, in their turn, with that breach of
faith whereby ultimately the Theban prisoners in the town had been
put to death. And while they excused their alliance with Xerxes, at
the time of the Persian invasion, by affirming that Thebes was then
under a dishonest party-oligarchy, who took this side for their own
factious purposes, and carried the people with them by force,—they at
the same time charged the Platæans with permanent treason against the
Bœotian customs and brotherhood.[437] All this was farther enforced
by setting forth the claims of Thebes to the gratitude of Lacedæmon,
both for having brought Bœotia into the Lacedæmonian alliance, at the
time of the battle of Korôneia, and for having furnished so large a
portion of the common force in the war then going on.[438]

  [436] Thucyd. iii, 65.

  [437] Thucyd. iii, 66. τὰ πάντων Βοιωτῶν πάτρια—iii, 62. ἔξω τῶν
  ἄλλων Βοιωτῶν παραβαίνοντες τὰ πάτρια.

  [438] Thucyd. iii, 61-68. It is probable that the slaughter of
  the Theban prisoners taken in the town of Platæa was committed
  by the Platæans in breach of a convention concluded with the
  Thebans: and on this point, therefore, the Thebans had really
  ground to complain. Respecting this convention, however, there
  were two conflicting stories, between which Thucydidês does not
  decide: see Thucyd. ii, 3, 4, and this History, above, chap.

The discourse of the Thebans, inspired by bitter, and as yet
unsatisfied hatred against Platæa, proved effectual: or rather it was
superfluous,—the minds of the Lacedæmonians having before been made
up. After the proposition twice made by Archidamus to the Platæans,
inviting them to remain neutral, and even offering to guarantee
their neutrality,—after the solemn apologetic protest tendered by
him upon their refusal, to the gods, before he began the siege,—the
Lacedæmonians conceived themselves exonerated from all obligation to
respect the sanctity of the place;[439] looking upon the inhabitants
as having voluntarily renounced their inviolability and sealed their
own ruin. Hence the importance attached to that protest, and the
emphatic detail with which it is set forth in Thucydidês. The five
judges, as their only reply to the two harangues, again called the
Platæans before them, and repeated to every one of them individually,
the same question which had before been put: each one of them, as he
successively replied in the negative,[440] was taken away and killed,
together with the twenty-five Athenian prisoners. The women captured
were sold as slaves: and the town and territory of Platæa were
handed over to the Thebans, who at first established in them a few
oligarchical Platæan exiles, together with some Megarian exiles,—but
after a few months recalled this step, and blotted out Platæa,[441]
as a separate town and territory, from the muster-roll of Hellas.
They pulled down all the private buildings and employed the materials
to build a vast barrack all round the Heræum, or temple of Hêrê, two
hundred feet in every direction, with apartments of two stories above
and below; partly as accommodation for visitors to the temple, partly
as an abode for the tenant-farmers or graziers who were to occupy the
land. A new temple of one hundred feet in length, was also built in
honor of Hêrê, and ornamented with couches, prepared from the brass
and iron furniture found in the private houses of the Platæans.[442]
The Platæan territory was let out for ten years, as public property
belonging to Thebes, and was hired by private Theban cultivators.

  [439] Thucyd. iii, 68; ii, 74. To construe the former of these
  passages (iii, 68) as it now stands, is very difficult, if not
  impossible; we can only pretend to give what seems to be its
  substantial meaning.

  [440] Diodorus (xii, 56) in his meagre abridgment of the siege
  and fate of Platæa, somewhat amplifies the brevity and simplicity
  of the question as given by Thucydidês.

  [441] Thucyd. iii, 57. ὑμᾶς δὲ (you Spartans) καὶ ἐκ παντὸς τοῦ
  Ἑλληνικοῦ πανοικησίᾳ διὰ Θηβαίους (Πλάταιαν) ~ἐξαλεῖψαι~.

  [442] Thucyd. iii, 69.

Such was the melancholy fate of Platæa, after sustaining a blockade
of about two years.[443] Its identity and local traditions seemed
thus extinguished, and the sacrifices, in honor of the deceased
victors who had fought under Pausanias, suspended,—which the Platæan
speakers had urged upon the Lacedæmonians as an impiety not to be
tolerated,[444] and which perhaps the latter would hardly have
consented to under any other circumstances except from an anxious
desire of conciliating the Thebans in their prominent antipathy.
It is in this way that Thucydidês explains the conduct of Sparta,
which he pronounces to have been rigorous in the extreme.[445] And
in truth it was more rigorous, considering only the principle of
the case, and apart from the number of victims, than even the first
unexecuted sentence of Athens against the Mitylenæans: for neither
Sparta, nor even Thebes, had any fair pretence for considering Platæa
as a revolted town, whereas Mitylênê was a city which had revolted
under circumstances peculiarly offensive to Athens. Moreover, Sparta
promised trial and justice to the Platæans on their surrender: Pachês
promised nothing to the Mitylenæans, except that their fate should
be reserved for the decision of the Athenian people. This little
city—interesting from its Hellenic patriotism, its grateful and
tenacious attachments, and its unmerited suffering—now existed only
in the persons of its citizens harbored at Athens: we shall find it
hereafter restored, destroyed again, and finally again restored:
so checkered was the fate of a little Grecian state swept away by
the contending politics of the greater neighbors. The slaughter of
the twenty-five Athenian prisoners, like that of Salæthus by the
Athenians, was not beyond the rigor admitted and tolerated, though
not always practised, on both sides, towards prisoners of war.

  [443] Demosthenês—or the Pseudo-Demosthenês—in the oration
  against Neæra (p. 1380, c. 25), says that the blockade of Platæa
  was continued for ten years before it surrendered,—ἐπολιόρκουν
  αὐτοὺς διπλῷ τείχει περιτειχίσαντες δέκα ἔτη. That the real
  duration of the blockade was only _two_ years, is most certain:
  accordingly, several eminent critics—Palmerius, Wasse, Duker,
  Taylor, Auger, etc., all with one accord confidently enjoin us
  to correct the text of Demosthenês from δέκα to δύο. “Repone
  _fidenter_ δύο,” says Duker.

  I have before protested against corrections of the text of
  ancient authors grounded upon the reason which all these
  critics think so obvious and so convincing; and I must again
  renew the protest here. It shows how little the principles of
  historical evidence have been reflected upon, when critics can
  thus concur in forcing dissentient witnesses into harmony, and
  in substituting a true statement of their own in place of an
  erroneous statement which one of these witnesses gives them. And
  in the present instance, the principle adopted by these critics
  is the less defensible, because the Pseudo-Demosthenês introduces
  a great many other errors and inaccuracies respecting Platæa,
  besides his mistake about the duration of the siege. The ten
  years’ siege of Troy was constantly present to the imaginations
  of these literary Greeks.

  [444] Thucyd. iii, 59.

  [445] Thucyd. iii, 69. σχεδὸν δέ τι καὶ τὸ ξύμπαν περὶ Πλαταιῶν
  οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι οὕτως ἀποτετραμμένοι ἐγένοντο Θηβαίων ἕνεκα,
  νομίζοντες ἐς τὸν πόλεμον αὐτοὺς ἄρτι τότε καθιστάμενον ὠφελίμους

We have now gone through the circumstances, painfully illustrating
the manners of the age, which followed on the surrender of Mitylênê
and Platæa. We next pass to the west of Greece,—the island of
Korkyra,—where we shall find scenes not less bloody, and even more

It has been already mentioned,[446] that in the naval combats
between the Corinthians and Korkyræans during the year before the
Peloponnesian war, the former had captured two hundred and fifty
Korkyræan prisoners, men of the first rank and consequence in
the island. Instead of following the impulse of blind hatred in
slaughtering their prisoners, the Corinthians displayed, if not
greater humanity, at least a more long-sighted calculation: they
had treated the prisoners well, and made every effort to gain them
over, with a view of employing them on the first opportunity to
effect a revolution in the island,—to bring it into alliance with
Corinth,[447] and disconnect it from Athens. Such an opportunity
appears first to have occurred during the winter or spring of the
present year, while both Mitylênê and Platæa were under blockade;
probably about the time when Alkidas departed for Ionia, and when
it was hoped that not only Mitylênê would be relieved, but the
neighboring dependencies of Athens excited to revolt, and her whole
attention thus occupied in that quarter. Accordingly, the Korkyræan
prisoners were then sent home from Corinth, nominally under a heavy
ransom of eight hundred talents, for which those Korkyræan citizens
who acted as proxeni to Corinth made themselves responsible:[448] the
proxeni, lending themselves thus to the deception, were doubtless
participant in the entire design.

  [446] See above, chap. xlvii.

  [447] Thucyd. i, 55.

  [448] Thucyd. iii, 70: compare Diodor. xii, 57.

But it was soon seen in what form the ransom was really to be paid.
The new-comers, probably at first heartily welcomed, after so long
a detention, employed all their influence, combined with the most
active personal canvass, to bring about a complete rupture of all
alliance with Athens. Intimation being sent to Athens of what was
going on, an Athenian trireme arrived with envoys to try and defeat
these manœuvres; while a Corinthian trireme also brought envoys from
Corinth to aid the views of the opposite party. The mere presence
of Corinthian envoys indicated a change in the political feeling of
the island: but still more conspicuous did this change become, when
a formal public assembly, after hearing both envoys, decided,—that
Korkyra would maintain her alliance with Athens according to the
limited terms of simple mutual defence originally stipulated;[449]
but would at the same time be in relations of friendship with the
Peloponnesians, as she had been before the Epidamnian quarrel. But
the alliance between Athens and Korkyra had since become practically
more intimate, and the Korkyræan fleet had aided the Athenians in
the invasion of Peloponnesus:[450] accordingly, the resolution, now
adopted, abandoned the present to go back to the past,—and to a past
which could not be restored.

  [449] Thucyd. i, 44.

  [450] Thucyd. ii, 25.

Looking to the war then raging between Athens and the Peloponnesians,
such a declaration was self-contradictory: nor, indeed, did the
oligarchical party intend it as anything else than a step to a more
complete revolution, both foreign and domestic. They followed it up
by a political prosecution against Peithias, the citizen of greatest
personal influence among the people, who acted by his own choice as
proxenus to the Athenians. They accused him of practising to bring
Korkyra into slavery to Athens. What were the judicial institutions
of the island, under which he was tried, we do not know: but he was
acquitted of the charge; and he then revenged himself by accusing in
his turn five of the richest among his oligarchical prosecutors, of
the crime of sacrilege,—as having violated the sanctity of the sacred
grove of Zeus and Alkinous, by causing stakes, for their vine-props,
to be cut in it.[451] This was an act distinctly forbidden by law,
under penalty of a stater or four drachms for every stake so cut:
but it is no uncommon phenomenon, even in societies politically
better organized than Korkyra, to find laws existing and unrepealed,
yet habitually violated, sometimes even by every one, but still
oftener by men of wealth and power, whom most people would be afraid
to prosecute: moreover, in this case, no individual was injured by
the act, and any one who came forward to prosecute would incur the
odium of an informer,—which probably Peithias might not have chosen
to brave under ordinary circumstances, though he thought himself
justified in adopting this mode of retaliation against those who
had prosecuted him. The language of Thucydidês implies that the
fact was not denied: nor is there any difficulty in conceiving that
these rich men may have habitually resorted to the sacred property
for vine-stakes. On being found guilty and condemned, they cast
themselves as suppliants at the temples, and entreated the indulgence
of being allowed to pay the fine by instalments: but Peithias, then
a member of the (annual) senate, to whom the petition was referred,
opposed it, and caused its rejection, leaving the law to take its
course. It was moreover understood, that he was about to avail
himself of his character of senator,—and of his increased favor,
probably arising from the recent judicial acquittal,—to propose in
the public assembly a reversal of the resolution recently passed,
and a new resolution to recognize only the same friends and the same
enemies as Athens.

  [451] Thucyd. iii, 70. φάσκων τέμνειν χάρακας ἐκ τοῦ τε Διὸς
  τεμένους καὶ τοῦ Ἀλκίνου· ζημία δὲ καθ᾽ ἑκάστην χάρακα ἐπέκειτο

  The present tense τέμνειν seems to indicate that they were
  going on habitually making use of the trees in the grove for
  this purpose. Probably it is this cutting and fixing of stakes
  to support the vines, which is meant by the word χαρακισμὸς in
  Pherekratês. Pers. ap. Athenæum, vi, p. 269.

  The Oration of Lysias (Or. vii), against Nikomachus, ὑπὲρ τοῦ
  σηκοῦ ἀπολογία, will illustrate this charge made by Peithias at
  Korkyra. There were certain ancient olive-trees near Athens,
  consecrated and protected by law, so that the proprietors of
  the ground on which they stood were forbidden to grub them up,
  or to dig so near as to injure the roots. The speaker in that
  oration defends himself against a charge of having grubbed up one
  of these and sold the wood. It appears that there were public
  visitors whose duty it was to watch over these old trees: see the
  note of Markland on that oration, p. 270.

Pressed by the ruinous fine upon the five persons condemned,
as well as by the fear that Peithias might carry his point and
thus completely defeat their project of Corinthian alliance, the
oligarchical party resolved to carry their point by violence
and murder. They collected a party armed with daggers, burst
suddenly into the senate-house during full sitting, and there slew
Peithias with sixty other persons, partly senators, partly private
individuals: some others of his friends escaped the same fate by
getting aboard the Attic trireme which had brought the envoys, and
which was still in the harbor, but now departed forthwith to Athens.
These assassins, under the fresh terror arising from their recent
act, convoked an assembly, affirmed that what they had done was
unavoidable to guard Korkyra against being made the slave of Athens,
and proposed a resolution of full neutrality, both towards Athens
and towards the Peloponnesians,—to receive no visit from either of
the belligerents, except of a pacific character, and with one single
ship at a time. And this resolution the assembly was constrained
to pass,—it probably was not very numerous, and the oligarchical
partisans were at hand in arms.[452] At the same time they sent
envoys to Athens, to communicate the recent events with such coloring
as suited their views, and to dissuade the fugitive partisans of
Peithias from provoking any armed Athenian intervention, such as
might occasion a counter-revolution in the island.[453] With some of
the fugitives, representations of this sort, or perhaps the fear of
compromising their own families, left behind, prevailed: but most
of them, and the Athenians along with them, appreciated better both
what had been done, and what was likely to follow. The oligarchical
envoys, together with such of the fugitives as had been induced to
adopt their views, were seized by the Athenians as conspirators,
and placed in detention at Ægina; while a fleet of sixty Athenian
triremes, under Eurymedon, was immediately fitted out to sail
for Korkyra,—for which there was the greater necessity, as the
Lacedæmonian fleet, under Alkidas, lately mustered at Kyllênê after
its return from Ionia, was understood to be on the point of sailing

  [452] Thucyd. iii, 71. ὡς δὲ εἶπον, καὶ ~ἐπικυρῶσαι ἠνάγκασαν τὴν

  [453] Thucyd. iii, 71. καὶ τοὺς ἐκεῖ καταπεφευγότας πείσοντας
  μηδὲν ἀνεπιτήδειον πράσσειν, ὅπως μή τις ἐπιστροφὴ γένηται.

  [454] Thucyd. iii, 80.

But the oligarchical leaders at Korkyra knew better than to rely
on the chances of this mission to Athens, and proceeded in the
execution of their conspiracy with that rapidity which was best
calculated to insure its success. On the arrival of a Corinthian
trireme, which brought ambassadors from Sparta, and probably also
brought news that the fleet of Alkidas would shortly appear,—they
organized their force, and attacked the people and the democratical
authorities. The Korkyræan Demos were at first vanquished and
dispersed; but during the night they collected together and fortified
themselves in the upper parts of the town near the acropolis, and
from thence down to the Hyllaic harbor, one of the two harbors which
the town possessed; while the other harbor and the chief arsenal,
facing the mainland of Epirus, was held by the oligarchical party,
together with the market-place near to it, in and around which the
wealthier Korkyræans chiefly resided. In this divided state the
town remained throughout the ensuing day, during which the Demos
sent emissaries round the territory soliciting aid from the working
slaves, and promising to them emancipation as a reward; while the
oligarchy also hired and procured eight hundred Epirotic mercenaries
from the mainland. Reinforced by the slaves, who flocked in at the
call received, the Demos renewed the struggle on the morrow, more
furiously than before. Both in position and numbers they had the
advantage over the oligarchy, and the intense resolution with which
they fought communicated itself even to the women, who, braving
danger and tumult, took active part in the combat, especially by
flinging tiles from the housetops. Towards the afternoon, the people
became decidedly victorious, and were even on the point of carrying
by assault the lower town, together with the neighboring arsenal,
both held by the oligarchy,—nor had the latter any other chance of
safety except the desperate resource of setting fire to that part of
the town, with the market-place, houses, and buildings all around it,
their own among the rest. This proceeding drove back the assailants,
but destroyed much property belonging to merchants in the warehouses,
together with a large part of the town: indeed, had the wind been
favorable the entire town would have been consumed. The people being
thus victorious, the Corinthian trireme, together with most of the
Epirotic mercenaries, thought it safer to leave the island; while the
victors were still farther strengthened on the ensuing morning by the
arrival of the Athenian admiral Nikostratus, with twelve triremes
from Naupaktus,[455] and five hundred Messenian hoplites.

  [455] Thucyd. iii, 74, 75.

Nikostratus did his best to allay the furious excitement prevailing,
and to persuade the people to use their victory with moderation.
Under his auspices, a convention of amnesty and peace was concluded
between the contending parties, save only ten proclaimed individuals
of the most violent oligarchs, who were to be tried as ringleaders:
these men of course soon disappeared, so that there would have been
no trial at all, which seems to have been what Nikostratus desired.
At the same time an alliance offensive and defensive was established
between Korkyra and Athens, and the Athenian admiral was then on
the point of departing, when the Korkyræan leaders entreated him to
leave with them, for greater safety, five ships out of his little
fleet of twelve,—offering him five of their own triremes instead.
Notwithstanding the peril of this proposition to himself, Nikostratus
acceded to it, and the Korkyræans, preparing the five ships to be
sent along with him, began to enroll among the crews the names of
their principal enemies. To the latter this presented the appearance
of sending them to Athens, which they accounted a sentence of death.
Under this impression they took refuge as suppliants in the temple
of the Dioskuri, where Nikostratus went to visit them and tried to
reassure them by the promise that nothing was intended against their
personal safety. But he found it impossible to satisfy them, and as
they persisted in refusing to serve, the Korkyræan Demos began to
suspect treachery. They took arms again, searched the houses of the
recusants for arms, and were bent on putting some of them to death,
if Nikostratus had not taken them under his protection. The principal
men of the defeated party, to the number of about four hundred,
now took sanctuary in the temple and sacred ground of Hêrê; and
the leaders of the people, afraid that in this inviolable position
they might still cause further insurrection in the city, opened a
negotiation and prevailed upon them to be ferried across to the
little island immediately opposite to the Heræum; where they were
kept under watch, with provisions regularly transmitted across to
them, for four days.[456]

  [456] Thucyd. iii, 75, 76.

At the end of these four days, while the uneasiness of the
popular leaders still continued, and Nikostratus still adjourned
his departure, a new phase opened in this melancholy drama. The
Peloponnesian fleet under Alkidas arrived at the road of Sybota on
the opposite mainland,—fifty-three triremes in number, for the forty
triremes brought back from Ionia had been reinforced by thirteen
more from Leukas and Ambrakia, and the Lacedæmonians had sent down
Brasidas as advising companion,—himself worth more than the new
thirteen triremes, if he had been sent to supersede Alkidas, instead
of bringing nothing but authority to advise.[457] Despising the
small squadron of Nikostratus, then at Naupaktus, they were only
anxious to deal with Korkyra before reinforcements should arrive from
Athens: but the repairs necessary for the ships of Alkidas, after
their disastrous voyage home, occasioned an unfortunate delay. When
the Peloponnesian fleet was seen approaching from Sybota at break
of day, the confusion in Korkyra was unspeakable: the Demos and the
newly-emancipated slaves were agitated alike by the late terrible
combat and by fear of the invaders,—the oligarchical party, though
defeated, was still present and forming a considerable minority, and
the town was half burnt. Amidst such elements of trouble, there was
little authority to command, and still less confidence or willingness
to obey. Plenty of triremes were indeed at hand, and orders were
given to man sixty of them forthwith,—while Nikostratus, the only man
who preserved the cool courage necessary for effective resistance,
entreated the Korkyræan leaders to proceed with regularity, and to
wait till all were manned, so as to sail forth from the harbor in
a body. He offered himself with his twelve Athenian triremes to go
forth first alone, and occupy the Peloponnesian fleet, until the
Korkyræan sixty triremes could all come out in full array to support
him. He accordingly went forth with his squadron; but the Korkyræans,
instead of following his advice, sent their ships out one by one and
without any selection of crews. Two of them deserted forthwith to
the enemy, while others presented the spectacle of crews fighting
among themselves; even those which actually joined battle came up by
single ships, without the least order or concert.

  [457] Thucyd. iii, 69-76.

The Peloponnesians, soon seeing that they had little to fear from
such enemies, thought it sufficient to set twenty of their ships
against the Korkyræans, while with the remaining thirty-three they
moved forward to contend with the twelve Athenians. Nikostratus,
having plenty of sea-room, was not afraid of this numerical
superiority,—the more so, as two of his twelve triremes were
the picked vessels of the Athenian navy,—the Salaminia and the
Paralus.[458] He took care to avoid entangling himself with the
centre of the enemy, and to keep rowing about their flanks; and as
he presently contrived to disable one of their ships, by a fortunate
blow with the beak of one of his vessels, the Peloponnesians, instead
of attacking him with their superior numbers, formed themselves into
a circle and stood on the defensive, as they had done in the first
combat with Phormio in the middle of the strait at Rhium. Nikostratus
(like Phormio) rowed round this circle, trying to cause confusion by
feigned approach, and waiting to see some of the ships lose their
places or run foul of each other, so as to afford him an opening
for attack. And he might perhaps have succeeded, if the remaining
twenty Peloponnesian ships, seeing the proceeding, and recollecting
with dismay the success of a similar manœuvre in the former battle,
had not quitted the Korkyræan ships, whose disorderly condition they
despised, and hastened to join their comrades. The whole fleet of
fifty-three triremes now again took the aggressive, and advanced to
attack Nikostratus, who retreated before them, but backing astern and
keeping the head of his ships towards the enemy. In this manner he
succeeded in drawing them away from the town, so as to leave to most
of the Korkyræan ships opportunity for getting back to the harbor;
while such was the superior manœuvring of the Athenian triremes,
that the Peloponnesians were never able to come up with him or force
him to action. They returned back in the evening to Sybota, with no
greater triumph than their success against the Korkyræans, thirteen
of whose triremes they carried away as prizes.[459]

  [458] These two triremes had been with Pachês at Lesbos (Thucyd.
  iii, 33), immediately on returning from thence, they must have
  been sent round to join Nikostratus at Naupaktus. We see in what
  constant service they were kept.

  [459] Thucyd. iii, 77, 78, 79.

It was the expectation in Korkyra, that they would on the morrow make
a direct attack—which could hardly have failed of success—on the
town and harbor; and we may easily believe (what report afterwards
stated), that Brasidas advised Alkidas to this decisive proceeding.
And the Korkyræan leaders, more terrified than ever, first removed
their prisoners from the little island to the Heræum, and then tried
to come to a compromise with the oligarchical party generally,
for the purpose of organizing some effective and united defence.
Thirty triremes were made ready and manned, wherein some even of the
oligarchical Korkyræans were persuaded to form part of the crews.
But the slackness of Alkidas proved their best defence: instead of
coming straight to the town, he contented himself with landing in
the island at some distance from it, on the promontory of Leukimnê:
after ravaging the neighboring lands for some hours, he returned to
his station at Sybota. He had lost an opportunity which never again
returned: for on the very same night the fire-signals of Leukas
telegraphed to him the approach of the fleet under Eurymedon from
Athens,—sixty triremes. His only thought was now for the escape of
the Peloponnesian fleet, which was in fact saved by this telegraphic
notice. Advantage was taken of the darkness to retire close along
the land as far as the isthmus which separates Leukas from the
mainland,—across which isthmus the ships were dragged by hand or
machinery, so that they might not fall in with or be descried by the
Athenian fleet in sailing round the Leukadian promontory. From hence
Alkidas made the best of his way home to Peloponnesus, leaving the
Korkyræan oligarchs to their fate.[460]

  [460] Thucyd. iii, 80.

That fate was deplorable in the extreme. The arrival of Eurymedon
opens a third unexpected transition in this checkered narrative,—the
Korkyræan Demos passing, abruptly and unexpectedly, from intense
alarm and helplessness to elate and irresistible mastery. In the
bosom of Greeks, and in a population seemingly amongst the least
refined of all Greeks,—including too a great many slaves just
emancipated against the will of their masters, and of course the
fiercest and most discontented of all the slaves in the island,—such
a change was but too sure to kindle a thirst for revenge almost
ungovernable, as the only compensation for foregone terror and
suffering. As soon as the Peloponnesian fleet was known to have
fled, and that of Eurymedon was seen approaching, the Korkyræan
leaders brought into the town the five hundred Messenian hoplites
who had hitherto been encamped without; thus providing a resource
against any last effort of despair on the part of their interior
enemies. Next, the thirty ships recently manned,—and held ready, in
the harbor facing the continent, to go out against the Peloponnesian
fleet, but now no longer needed, were ordered to sail round to the
other or Hyllaic harbor. Even while they were thus sailing round,
some obnoxious men of the defeated party, being seen in public, were
slain: but when the ships arrived at the Hyllaic harbor, and the
crews were disembarked, a more wholesale massacre was perpetrated,
by singling out those individuals of the oligarchical faction who
had been persuaded on the day before to go aboard as part of the
crews, and putting them to death.[461] Then came the fate of those
suppliants, about four hundred in number, who had been brought back
from the islet opposite, and were yet under sanctuary in the sacred
precinct of the Heræum. It was proposed to them to quit sanctuary and
stand their trial; and fifty of them having accepted the proposition,
were put on their trial,—all condemned, and all executed. Their
execution took place, as it seems, immediately on the spot, and
within actual view of the unhappy men still remaining in the sacred
ground;[462] who, seeing that their lot was desperate, preferred
dying by their own hands to starvation or the sword of their enemies.
Some hung themselves on branches of the trees surrounding the temple,
others helped their friends in the work of suicide, and, in one
way or another, the entire band thus perished: it was probably a
consolation to them to believe, that this desecration of the precinct
would bring down the anger of the gods upon their surviving enemies.

  [461] Thucyd. iii, 80, 81. καὶ ἐκ τῶν νεῶν, ὅσους ἔπεισαν
  ἐσβῆναι, ἐκβιβάζοντες ἀπεχώρησαν. It is certain that the reading
  ἀπεχώρησαν here must be wrong: no satisfactory sense can be made
  out of it. The word substituted by Dr. Arnold is ἀνεχρῶντο; that
  preferred by Göller is ἀπεχρῶντο; others recommend ἀπεχρήσαντο;
  Hermann adopts ἀπεχώρισαν, and Dionysius, in his copy, read
  ἀνεχώρησαν. I follow the meaning of the words proposed by
  Dr. Arnold and Göller, which appear to be both equivalent to
  ἐκτεῖνον. This meaning is at least plausible and consistent;
  though I do not feel certain that we have the true sense of the

  [462] Thucyd. iii, 81. οἱ δὲ πολλοὶ τῶν ἱκετῶν, ὅσοι οὐκ
  ἐπείσθησαν, ~ὡς ἑώρων τὰ γιγνόμενα~, διέφθειραν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ
  ἀλλήλους, etc. The meagre abridgment of Diodorus (xii, 57) in
  reference to these events in Korkyra, is hardly worth notice.

Eurymedon remained with his fleet for seven days, during all which
time the victorious Korkyræans carried on a sanguinary persecution
against the party who had been concerned in the late oligarchical
revolution. Five hundred of this party contrived to escape by flight
to the mainland; while those who did not, or could not flee, were
slain wherever they could be found. Some received their death-wounds
even on the altar itself,—others shared the same fate, after having
been dragged away from it by violence. In one case, a party of
murderers having pursued their victims to the temple of Dionysius,
refrained from shedding their blood, but built up the doorway and
left them to starve; as the Lacedæmonians had done on a former
occasion respecting Pausanias. Such was the ferocity of the time,
that in one case a father slew his own son. Nor was it merely the
oligarchical party who thus suffered: the floodgates of private feud
were also opened, and various individuals, under false charges of
having been concerned in the oligarchical movements, were slain by
personal enemies or debtors. This deplorable suspension of legal, as
well as moral restraints, continued during the week of Eurymedon’s
stay,—a period long enough to satiate the fierce sentiment out of
which it arose;[463] yet without any apparent effort on his part to
soften the victors or protect the vanquished. We shall see farther
reason hereafter to appreciate the baseness and want of humanity
in his character: but had Nikostratus remained in command, we may
fairly presume, judging by what he had done in the earlier part of
the sedition, with very inferior force, that he would have set much
earlier limits to the Korkyræan butchery: unfortunately, Thucydidês
tells us nothing at all about Nikostratus, after the naval battle of
the preceding day.[464]

  [463] Thucyd. iii, 85. Οἱ μὲν οὖν κατὰ τὴν πόλιν Κερκυραῖοι
  ~τοιαύταις ὀργαῖς ταῖς πρώταις~ ἐς ἀλλήλους ἐχρήσαντο, etc.

  [464] In reading the account of the conduct of Nikostratus, as
  well as that of Phormio, in the naval battles of the preceding
  summer, we contract a personal interest respecting both of them.
  Thucydidês does not seem to have anticipated that his account
  would raise such a feeling in the minds of his readers, otherwise
  he probably would have mentioned something to gratify it.
  Respecting Phormio, his omission is the more remarkable; since we
  are left to infer, from the request made by the Akarnanians to
  have his son sent as commander, that he must have died or become
  disabled: yet the historian does not distinctly say so (iii, 7).

  The Scholiast on Aristophanês (Pac. 347) has a story that Phormio
  was asked for by the Akarnanians, but that he could not serve in
  consequence of being at that moment under sentence for a heavy
  fine, which he was unable to pay: accordingly, the Athenians
  contrived a means of evading the fine, in order that he might
  be enabled to serve. It is difficult to see how this can be
  reconciled with the story of Thucydidês, who says that the son of
  Phormio went instead of his father.

  Compare Meineke, Histor. Critic. Comicc. Græc. vol. i, p. 144,
  and Fragment. Eupolid. vol. ii, p. 527. Phormio was introduced as
  a chief character in the Ταξίαρχοι of Eupolis; as a brave, rough,
  straightforward soldier something like Lamachus in the Acharneis
  of Aristophanês.

We should have been glad to hear something about the steps taken in
the way of restoration or healing, after this burst of murderous
fury, in which doubtless the newly-emancipated slaves were not
the most backward, and after the departure of Eurymedon. But here
again Thucydidês disappoints our curiosity. We only hear from him,
that the oligarchical exiles who had escaped to the mainland were
strong enough to get possession of the forts and most part of the
territory there belonging to Korkyra; just as the exiles from Samos
and Mitylênê became more or less completely masters of the Peræa
or mainland possessions belonging to those islands. They even sent
envoys to Corinth and Sparta, in hopes of procuring aid to accomplish
their restoration by force, but their request found no favor, and
they were reduced to their own resources. After harassing for some
time the Korkyræans in the island by predatory incursions, so as to
produce considerable dearth and distress, they at length collected a
band of Epirotic mercenaries, passed over to the island, and there
established a fortified position on the mountain called Istônê, not
far from the city. They burned their vessels in order to cut off all
hopes of retreat, and maintained themselves for near two years on
a system of ravage and plunder which inflicted great misery on the
island.[465] This was a frequent way whereby, of old, invaders wore
out and mastered a city, the walls of which they found impregnable.
The ultimate fate of these occupants of Istônê, which belongs to a
future chapter, will be found to constitute a close suitable to the
bloody drama yet unfinished in Korkyra.

  [465] Thucyd. iii, 85.

Such a drama could not be acted, in an important city belonging to
the Greek name, without producing a deep and extensive impression
throughout all the other cities. And Thucydidês has taken advantage
of it to give a sort of general sketch of Grecian politics during
the Peloponnesian war; violence of civil discord in each city,
aggravated by foreign war, and by the contending efforts of Athens
and Sparta,—the former espousing the democratical party everywhere;
the latter, the oligarchical. The Korkyræan sedition was the
first case in which these two causes of political antipathy and
exasperation were seen acting with full united force, and where
the malignity of sentiment and demoralization flowing from such an
union was seen without disguise. The picture drawn by Thucydidês,
of moral and political feeling under these influences, will ever
remain memorable as the work of an analyst and a philosopher: he
has conceived and described the perverting causes with a spirit
of generalization which renders these two chapters hardly less
applicable to other political societies, far distant both in time and
place,—especially, under many points of view, to France between 1789
and 1799,—than to Greece in the fifth century before the Christian
era. The deadly bitterness infused into intestine party contests by
the accompanying dangers of foreign war and intervention of foreign
enemies,—the mutual fears between political rivals, where each thinks
that the other will forestall him in striking a mortal blow, and
where constitutional maxims have ceased to carry authority either
as restraint or as protection,—the superior popularity of the man
who is most forward with the sword, or who runs down his enemies in
the most unmeasured language, coupled with the disposition to treat
both prudence in action and candor in speech as if it were nothing
but treachery or cowardice,—the exclusive regard to party ends, with
the reckless adoption, and even admiring preference, of fraud or
violence as the most effectual means,—the loss of respect for legal
authority, as well as of confidence in private agreement, and the
surrender even of blood and friendship to the overruling ascendency
of party-ties,—the perversion of ordinary morality, bringing with
it altered signification of all the common words importing blame
or approbation,—the unnatural predominance of the ambitious and
contentious passions, overpowering in men’s minds all real public
objects, and equalizing for the time the better and the worse cause,
by taking hold of democracy on one side and aristocracy on the other
as mere pretences to sanctify personal triumph,—all these gloomy
social phenomena, here indicated by the historian, have their causes
deeply seated in the human mind, and are likely, unless the bases
of constitutional morality shall come to be laid more surely and
firmly than they have hitherto been, to recur from time to time,
under diverse modifications, “so long as human nature shall be the
same as it is now,” to use the language of Thucydidês himself.[466]
He has described, with fidelity not inferior to his sketch of the
pestilence at Athens, the symptoms of a certain morbid political
condition, wherein the vehemence of intestine conflict, instead
of being kept within such limits as consists with the maintenance
of one society among the contending parties, becomes for the time
inflamed and poisoned with all the unscrupulous hostility of foreign
war, chiefly from actual alliance between parties within the state
and foreigners without. In following the impressive description of
the historian, we have to keep in mind the general state of manners
in his time, especially the cruelties tolerated by the laws of war,
as compared with that greater humanity and respect for life which
has grown up during the last two centuries in modern Europe. And we
have farther to recollect that if he had been describing the effects
of political fury among Carthaginians and Jews, instead of among
his contemporary Greeks, he would have added to his list of horrors
mutilation, crucifixion, and other refinements on simple murder.

  [466] Thucyd. iii, 82. γιγνόμενα μὲν καὶ ἀεὶ ἐσόμενα ἕως ἂν ἡ
  αὐτὴ φύσις ἀνθρώπων ᾖ, μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἡσυχαίτερα καὶ τοῖς εἴδεσι
  διηλλαγμένα, ὡς ἂν ἕκασται αἱ μεταβολαὶ τῶν ξυντυχιῶν ἐφιστῶνται,

  The many obscurities and perplexities of construction which
  pervade these memorable chapters, are familiar to all readers of
  Thucydidês, ever since Dionysius of Halikarnassus, whose remarks
  upon them are sufficiently severe (Judic. de Thucyd. p. 883). To
  discuss difficulties which the best commentators are sometimes
  unable satisfactorily to explain, is no part of the business of
  this work: yet there is one sentence which I venture to notice as
  erroneously construed by most of them, following the Scholiast.

  Τὸ δ᾽ ἐμπλήκτως ὀξὺ ἀνδρὸς μοίρᾳ προσετέθη, ἀσφάλεια δὲ
  (Dr. Arnold and others read ἀσφαλείᾳ in the dative) τὸ
  ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι, ἀποτροπῆς πρόφασις εὔλογος.

  The Scholiast explains the latter half of this as follows:
  τὸ ἐπιπολὺ βουλεύσασθαι δι᾽ ἀσφάλειαν πρόφασις ἀποτροπῆς
  ἐνομίζετο,,—and this explanation is partly adopted by Poppo,
  Göller, and Dr. Arnold, with differences about ἀσφάλεια and
  ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι, but all agreeing about the word ἀποτροπὴ so that
  the sentence is made to mean, in the words of Dr. Arnold: “But
  safely to concert measures against an enemy, was accounted but a
  decent pretence for _declining the contest with him altogether_.”

  Now the signification here assigned to ἀποτροπὴ is one which does
  not belong to it. Ἀποτροπὴ, in Thucydidês as well as elsewhere,
  does not mean “tergiversation, or declining the contest:” it
  has an active sense, and means, “the deterring, preventing,
  or dissuading another person from something which he might be
  disposed to do,—or the warding off of some threatening danger or
  evil:” the remarkable adjective ἀποτροπαῖος is derived from it,
  and προτροπὴ, in rhetoric, is its contrary term. In Thucydidês
  it is used in this active sense (iii, 45): compare also Plato,
  Legg. ix, c. 1, p. 853; Isokratês, Areopagatic. Or. vii, p. 143,
  sect. 17; Æschinês cont. Ktesiphon. c. 68, p. 442: Æschyl. Pers.
  217; nor do the commentators produce any passage to sustain
  the passive sense which they assign to it in the sentence here
  under discussion, whereby they would make it equivalent to
  ἀναχωρεῖν—ἀναχώρησις—or ἐξαναχωρεῖν (Thucyd. iv, 28; v, 65), “a
  backing out.”

  Giving the meaning which they do to ἀποτροπὴ, the commentators
  are farther unavoidably embarrassed how to construe ἀσφάλεια
  δὲ τὸ ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι, as may be seen by the notes of Poppo,
  Göller, and Dr. Arnold. The Scholiast and Göller give to the word
  ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι the very unusual meaning of “repeated and careful
  deliberation,” instead of its common meaning of “laying snares
  for another, concerting secret measures of hostility:” and Poppo
  and Dr. Arnold alter ἀσφάλεια into the dative case ἀσφαλείᾳ,
  which, if it were understood to be governed by προσετέθη, might
  make a fair construction,—but which they construe along with τὸ
  ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι, though the position of the particle δὲ, upon
  that supposition, appears to me singularly awkward.

  The great difficulty of construing the sentence arises from the
  erroneous meaning attached to the word ἀποτροπὴ. But when we
  interpret that word “deterrence, or prevention,” according to the
  examples which I have cited, the whole meaning of the sentence
  will become clear and consistent. Of the two modes of hurting a
  party-enemy—1. violent and open attack; 2. secret manœuvre and
  conspiracy—Thucydidês remarks first, what was thought of the one;
  next, what was thought of the other, in the perverted state of
  morality which he is discussing.

  Τὸ δ᾽ ἐμπλήκτως ὀξὺ ἀνδρὸς μοίρᾳ προσετέθη—ἀσφάλεια δὲ τὸ
  ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι, ἀποτροπῆς πρόφασις εὔλογος.

  “Sharp and reckless attack was counted among the necessities of
  the manly character: secret conspiracy against an enemy was held
  to be safe precaution,—a specious pretence of preventing him from
  doing the like.”

  According to this construction, τὸ ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι is the
  subject; ἀσφάλεια belongs to the predicate and the concluding
  words, ἀποτροπῆς πρόφασις εὔλογος, are an epexegesis, or
  explanatory comment, upon ἀσφάλεια. Probably we ought to consider
  some such word as ἐνομίζετο to be understood,—just as the
  Scholiast understands that word for his view of the sentence.

The language of Thucydidês is to be taken rather as a generalization
and concentration of phenomena which he had observed among different
communities, rather than as belonging altogether to any one of them.
Nor are we to believe—what a superficial reading of his opening words
might at first suggest—that the bloodshed in Korkyra was only the
earliest, but by no means the worst, of a series of similar horrors
spread over the Grecian world. The facts stated in his own history
suffice to show that though the same causes which worked upon this
unfortunate island became disseminated, and produced analogous
mischiefs throughout many other communities, yet the case of Korkyra,
as it was the first, so it was also the worst and most aggravated in
point of intensity. Fortunately, the account of Thucydidês enables us
to understand it from beginning to end, and to appreciate the degree
of guilt of the various parties implicated, which we can seldom do
with certainty; because when once the interchange of violence has
begun, the feelings arising out of the contest itself presently
overpower in the minds of both parties the original cause of dispute,
as well as all scruples as to fitness of means. Unjustifiable acts
in abundance are committed by both, and in comparing the two, we are
often obliged to employ the emphatic language which Tacitus uses
respecting Otho and Vitellius: “Deteriorem fore, quisquis vicisset;”
of two bad men, all that the Roman world could foresee was, that the
victor, whichsoever he was, would prove the worst.

But in regard to the Korkyræan revolution, we can arrive at a more
discriminating criticism. We see that it is from the beginning the
work of a selfish oligarchical party, playing the game of a foreign
enemy, and the worst and most ancient enemy of the island,—aiming to
subvert the existing democracy and acquire power for themselves, and
ready to employ any measure of fraud or violence for the attainment
of these objects. While the democracy which they attack is purely
defensive and conservative, the oligarchical movers, having tried
fair means in vain, are the first to employ foul means, which
latter they find retorted with greater effect against themselves.
They set the example of judicial prosecution against Peithias,
for the destruction of a political antagonist; in the use of this
same weapon, he proves more than a match for them, and employs it
to their ruin. Next, they pass to the use of the dagger in the
senate-house, against him and his immediate fellow-leaders, and
to the wholesale application of the sword against the democracy
generally. The Korkyræan Demos are thus thrown upon the defensive,
and instead of the affections of ordinary life, all the most intense
anti-social sentiments,—fear, pugnacity, hatred, vengeance, obtain
unqualified possession of their bosoms; exaggerated too through
the fluctuations of victory and defeat successively brought by
Nikostratus, Alkidas, and Eurymedon. Their conduct as victors is such
as we should expect under such maddening circumstances, from coarse
men, mingled with liberated slaves: it is vindictive and murderous in
the extreme, not without faithless breach of assurances given. But
we must remember that they are driven to stand upon their defence,
and that all their energies are indispensable to make that defence
successful. They are provoked by an aggression no less guilty in
the end than in the means,—an aggression, too, the more gratuitous,
because, if we look at the state of the island at the time when the
oligarchical captives were restored from Corinth, there was no
pretence for affirming that it had suffered, or was suffering, any
loss, hardship, or disgrace, from its alliance with Athens. These
oligarchical insurgents find the island in a state of security and
tranquillity,—since the war imposed upon it little necessity for
effort,—they plunge it into a sea of blood, with enormities as well
as suffering on both sides, which end at length in their own complete
extermination. Our compassion for their final misery must not hinder
us from appreciating the behavior whereby it was earned.

In the course of a few years from this time, we shall have occasion
to recount two political movements in Athens, similar in principle
and general result to this Korkyræan revolution; exhibiting
oligarchical conspirators against an existing and conservative
democracy, with this conspiracy at first successful, but afterwards
put down, and the Demos again restored. The contrast between
Athens and Korkyra, under such circumstances, will be found highly
instructive, especially in regard to the Demos, both in the hours of
defeat and in those of victory. It will then be seen how much the
habit of active participation in political and judicial affairs,—of
open, conflicting discussion, discharging the malignant passions
by way of speech, and followed by appeal to the vote,—of having
constantly present, to the mind of every citizen, in his character of
dikast or ekklesiast, the conditions of a pacific society, and the
paramount authority of a constitutional majority,—how much all these
circumstances, brought home as they were at Athens more than in any
other democracy to the feelings of individuals, contributed to soften
the instincts of intestine violence and revenge, even under very
great provocation.

But the case of Korkyra, as well as that of Athens, different in
so many respects, conspire to illustrate another truth, of much
importance in Grecian history. Both of them show how false and
impudent were the pretensions set up by the rich and great men of the
various Grecian cities, to superior morality, superior intelligence,
and greater fitness for using honorably and beneficially the powers
of government, as compared with the mass of the citizens. Though
the Grecian oligarchies, exercising powerful sway over fashion,
and more especially over the meaning of words, bestowed upon
themselves the appellation of “the best men, the honorable and good,
the elegant, the superior,” etc., and attached to those without
their own circle epithets of a contrary tenor, implying low moral
attributes,—no such difference will be found borne out by the facts
of Grecian history.[467] Abundance of infirmity, with occasional bad
passions, was doubtless liable to work upon the people generally,
often corrupting and misguiding even the Athenian democracy, the
best apparently of all the democracies in Greece. But after all, the
rich and great men were only a part of the people, and taking them
as a class, apart from honorable individual exceptions, by no means
the best part. If exempted by their position from some of the vices
which beset smaller and poorer men, they imbibed from that same
position an unmeasured self-importance, and an excess of personal
ambition as well as of personal appetite, peculiar to themselves,
not less anti-social in tendency, and operating upon a much grander
scale. To the prejudices and superstitions belonging to the age,
they were noway superior, considering them as a class; while their
animosities among one another, virulent and unscrupulous, were among
the foremost causes of misfortune in Grecian commonwealth,—and indeed
many of the most exceptionable acts committed by the democracies,
consisted in their allowing themselves to be made the tools of one
aristocrat for the ruin of another. Of the intense party-selfishness
which characterized them as a body, sometimes exaggerated into
the strongest anti-popular antipathy, as we see in the famous
oligarchical oath cited by Aristotle,[468] we shall find many
illustrations as we advance in the history, but none more striking
than this Korkyræan revolution.

  [467] See the valuable preliminary discourse, prefixed to
  Welcker’s edition of Theognis, page xxi, sect. 9, _seq._

  [468] Aristotel. Politic. v. 7, 19. Καὶ τῷ δήμῳ κακόνους ἔσομαι,
  καὶ βουλεύσω ὅ,τι ἂν ἔχω κακόν.



About the same time as the troubles of Korkyra occurred, Nikias, the
Athenian general, conducted an armament against the rocky island
of Minôa, which lay at the mouth of the harbor of Megara, and was
occupied by a Megarian fort and garrison. The narrow channel, which
separated it from the Megarian port of Nisæa, and formed the entrance
of the harbor, was defended by two towers projecting out from Nisæa,
which Nikias attacked and destroyed by means of battering machines
from his ships. He thus cut off Minôa from communication on that
side with the Megarians, and fortified it on the other side, where
it communicated with the mainland by a lagoon bridged over with
a causeway. Minôa, thus becoming thoroughly insulated, was more
completely fortified and made an Athenian possession; since it was
eminently convenient to keep up an effective blockade against the
Megarian harbor, which the Athenians had hitherto done only from the
opposite shore of Salamis.[469]

  [469] Thucyd. iii, 51. See the note of Dr. Arnold, and the plan
  embodied in his work, for the topography of Minôa, which has now
  ceased to be an island, and is a hill on the mainland near the

Though Nikias, son of Nikeratus, had been for some time conspicuous
in public life, and is said to have been more than once stratêgus
along with Periklês, this is the first occasion on which Thucydidês
introduces him to our notice. He was now one of the stratêgi, or
generals of the commonwealth, and appears to have enjoyed, on the
whole, a greater and more constant personal esteem than any citizen
of Athens, from the present time down to his death. In wealth
and in family he ranked among the first class of Athenians: in
political character, Aristotle placed him, together with Thucydidês
son of Melêsias and Theramenês, above all other names in Athenian
history,—seemingly even above Periklês.[470] Such a criticism, from
Aristotle, deserves respectful attention, though the facts before
us completely belie so lofty an estimate. It marks, however, the
position occupied by Nikias in Athenian politics, as the principal
person of what maybe called the oligarchical party, succeeding
Kimon and Thucydidês, and preceding Theramenês. In looking to the
conditions under which this party continued to subsist, we shall
see that, during the interval between Thucydidês (son of Melêsias)
and Nikias, the democratical forms had acquired such confirmed
ascendency, that it would not have suited the purpose of any
politician to betray evidence of positive hostility to them, prior to
the Sicilian expedition, and the great embarrassment in the foreign
relations of Athens which arose out of that disaster. After that
change, the Athenian oligarchs became emboldened and aggressive,
so that we shall find Theramenês among the chief conspirators in
the revolution of the Four Hundred: but Nikias represents the
oligarchical party in its previous state of quiescence and torpidity,
accommodating itself to a sovereign democracy, and existing in the
form of common sentiment rather than of common purposes. And it is a
remarkable illustration of the real temper of the Athenian people,
that a man of this character, known as an oligarch but not feared
as such, and doing his duty sincerely to the democracy, should have
remained until his death the most esteemed and influential man in
the city. He was a man of a sort of even mediocrity, in intellect,
in education, and in oratory: forward in his military duties, and
not only personally courageous in the field, but also competent as a
general under ordinary circumstances:[471] assiduous in the discharge
of all political duties at home, especially in the post of stratêgus,
or one of the ten generals of the state, to which he was frequently
chosen and rechosen. Of the many valuable qualities combined in his
predecessor Periklês, the recollection of whom was yet fresh in
the Athenian mind, Nikias possessed two, on which, most of all his
influence rested,—though, properly speaking, that influence belongs
to the sum total of his character, and not to any special attributes
in it: First, he was thoroughly incorruptible, as to pecuniary
gains,—a quality so rare in Grecian public men of all the cities,
that when a man once became notorious for possessing it, he acquired
a greater degree of trust than any superiority of intellect could
have bestowed upon him: next, he adopted the Periklêan view as to
the necessity of a conservative or stationary foreign policy for
Athens, and of avoiding new acquisitions at a distance, adventurous
risks, or provocation to fresh enemies. With this important point of
analogy, there were at the same time material differences between
them, even in regard to foreign policy. Periklês was a conservative,
resolute against submitting to loss or abstraction of empire,
as well as refraining from aggrandizement: Nikias was in policy
faint-hearted, averse to energetic effort for any purpose whatever,
and disposed, not only to maintain peace, but even to purchase it by
considerable sacrifices. Nevertheless, he was the leading champion
of the conservative party of his day, always powerful at Athens: and
as he was constantly familiar with the details and actual course
of public affairs, capable of giving full effect to the cautious
and prudential point of view, and enjoying unqualified credit for
honest purposes,—his value as a permanent counsellor was steadily
recognized, even though in particular cases his counsel might not be

  [470] Plutarch, Nikias, c. 2, 3.

  [471] Καίτοι ἔγωγε καὶ τιμῶμαι ἐκ τοῦ τοιούτου (says Nikias, in
  the Athenian assembly, Thucyd. vi, 9) ~καὶ ἧσσον ἑτέρων περὶ τῷ
  ἐμαυτοῦ σώματι ὀῤῥωδῶ~· νομίζων ὁμοίως ἀγαθὸν πολίτην εἶναι, ὃς
  ἂν καὶ τοῦ σώματός τι καὶ τῆς οὐσίας προνοῆται.

  The whole conduct of Nikias before Syracuse, under the most
  trying circumstances, more than bears out this boast.

Besides these two main points, which Nikias had in common with
Periklês, he was perfect in the use of those minor and collateral
modes of standing well with the people, which that great man had
taken little pains to practise. While Periklês attached himself
to Aspasia, whose splendid qualities did not redeem, in the eyes
of the public, either her foreign origin or her unchastity, the
domestic habits of Nikias appear to have been strictly conformable
to the rules of Athenian decorum. Periklês was surrounded by
philosophers, Nikias by prophets,—whose advice was necessary both as
a consolation to his temperament, and as a guide to his intelligence
under difficulties; one of them was constantly in his service and
confidence, and his conduct appears to have been sensibly affected by
the difference of character between one prophet and another,[472]
just as the government of Louis the Fourteenth, and other Catholic
princes, has been modified by the change of confessors. To a life
thus rigidly decorous and ultra-religious—both eminently acceptable
to the Athenians—Nikias added the judicious employment of a large
fortune with a view to popularity. Those liturgies—or expensive
public duties undertaken by rich men each in his turn, throughout
other cities of Greece as well as in Athens—which fell to his lot
were performed with such splendor, munificence, and good taste,
as to procure for him universal encomiums; and so much above his
predecessors as to be long remembered and extolled. Most of these
liturgies were connected with the religious service of the state,
so that Nikias, by his manner of performing them, displayed his
zeal for the honor of the gods at the same time that he laid up for
himself a store of popularity. Moreover, the remarkable caution
and timidity—not before an enemy, but in reference to his own
fellow-citizens—which marked his character, rendered him preëminently
scrupulous as to giving offence or making personal enemies. While
his demeanor towards the poorer citizens generally was equal and
conciliating, the presents which he made were numerous, both to gain
friends and to silence assailants. We are not surprised to hear that
various bullies, whom the comic writers turn to scorn, made their
profit out of this susceptibility,—but most assuredly Nikias as a
public man, though he might occasionally be cheated out of money, was
greatly assisted by the reputation which he thus acquired.

  [472] Thucyd. vii. 50; Plutarch, Nikias, c. 4, 5, 23. Τῷ μέντοι
  Νικίᾳ συνηνέχθη τότε μηδὲ μάντιν ἔχειν ἔμπειρον· ὁ γὰρ συνήθης
  αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ πολὺ τῆς δεισιδαιμονίας ἀφαιρῶν Στιλβίδης ἐτεθνήκει
  μικρὸν ἔμπροσθεν. This is suggested by Plutarch as an excuse for
  mistakes on the part of Nikias.

The expenses unavoidable in such a career, combined with strict
personal honesty, could not have been defrayed except by another
quality, which ought not to count as discreditable to Nikias,
though in this too he stood distinguished from Periklês. He was
a careful and diligent money-getter; a speculator in the silver
mines of Laurium, and proprietor of one thousand slaves, whom he
let out for work in them, receiving a fixed sum per head for each:
the superintending slaves who managed the details of this business
were men of great ability and high pecuniary value.[473] Most of the
wealth of Nikias was held in this form, and not in landed property.
Judging by what remains to us of the comic authors, this must have
been considered as a perfectly gentlemanlike way of making money:
for while they abound with derision of the leather-dresser Kleon,
the lamp-maker Hyperbolus, and the vegetable-selling mother to whom
Euripidês owes his birth, we hear nothing from them in disparagement
of the slave-letter Nikias. The degree to which the latter was thus
occupied with the care of his private fortune, together with the
general moderation of his temper, made him often wish to abstract
himself from public duty: but such unambitious reluctance, rare
among the public men of the day, rather made the Athenians more
anxious to put him forward and retain his services. In the eyes of
the Pentakosiomedimni and the Hippeis, the two richest classes in
Athens, he was one of themselves,—and on the whole, the best man, as
being so little open to reproach or calumny, whom they could oppose
to the leather-dressers and lamp-makers who often out-talked them in
the public assembly. The hoplites, who despised Kleon,—and did not
much regard even the brave, hardy, and soldierlike Lamachus, because
he happened to be poor,[474]—respected in Nikias the union of wealth
and family with honesty, courage, and carefulness in command. The
maritime and trading multitude esteemed him as a decorous, honest,
religious gentleman, who gave splendid choregies, treated the poorest
men with consideration, and never turned the public service into a
job for his own profit,—who, moreover, if he possessed no commanding
qualities, so as to give to his advice imperative and irresistible
authority, was yet always worthy of being consulted, and a steady
safeguard against public mischief. Before the fatal Sicilian
expedition, he had never commanded on any very serious or difficult
enterprise, but what he had done had been accomplished successfully;
so that he enjoyed the reputation of a fortunate as well as a
prudent commander.[475] He appears to have acted as proxenus to
the Lacedæmonians at Athens; probably by his own choice, and among
several others.

  [473] Xenophon, Memorab. ii, 5, 2; Xenophon, De Vectigalibus, iv,

  [474] Thucyd. v, 7; Plutarch, Alkibiadês, c. 21. Ὁ γὰρ Λάμαχος ἦν
  μὲν πολεμικὸς καὶ ἀνδρώδης, ἀξίωμα δ᾽ οὐ προσῆν οὐδ᾽ ὄγκος αὐτῷ
  διὰ πενίαν; compare Plutarch, Nikias, c. 15.

  [475] Thucyd. v, 16. Νικίας πλεῖστα τῶν τότε εὖ φερόμενος ἐν
  στρατηγίαις,—Νικίας μὲν βουλόμενος, ἐν ᾧ ἀπαθὴς ἦν καὶ ἠξιοῦτο,
  διασώσασθαι ~τὴν εὐτυχίαν~, etc.—vi, 17. ἕως ἐγώ τε (Alkibiadês)
  ἔτι ἀκμάζω μετ᾽ αὐτῆς καὶ ὁ Νικίας ~εὐτυχὴς~ δοκεῖ εἶναι, etc.

The first half of the political life of Nikias,—after the time
when he rose to enjoy full consideration in Athens, being already
of mature age,—was spent in opposition to Kleon; the last half,
in opposition to Alkibiadês. To employ terms which are not fully
suitable to the Athenian democracy, but which yet bring to view
the difference intended to be noted better than any others, Nikias
was a minister or ministerial man, often actually exercising and
always likely to exercise official functions,—Kleon was a man of
the opposition, whose province it was to supervise and censure
official men for their public conduct. We must divest these words of
that sense which they are understood to carry in English political
life,—a standing parliamentary majority in favor of one party: Kleon
would often carry in the public assembly resolutions, which his
opponents Nikias and others of like rank and position,—who served
in the posts of stratêgus, ambassador, and other important offices
designated by the general vote, were obliged against their will
to execute. In attaining such offices they were assisted by the
political clubs, or established _conspiracies_ (to translate the
original literally), among the leading Athenians, to stand by each
other both for acquisition of office and for mutual insurance under
judicial trial. These clubs, or hetæries, must without doubt have
played a most important part in the practical working of Athenian
politics, and it is much to be regretted that we are possessed of no
details respecting them. We know that in Athens they were thoroughly
oligarchical in disposition,[476]—while equality, or something near
to it, in rank and position must have been essential to the social
harmony of the members: in some towns, it appears that such political
associations existed under the form of gymnasia,[477] for the mutual
exercise of the members, or of syssitia for joint banquets. At Athens
they were numerous, and doubtless not habitually in friendship with
each other, since the antipathies among different oligarchical men
were exceedingly strong, and the union brought about between them
at the time of the Four Hundred arose only out of common desire
to put down the democracy, and lasted but a little while. But the
designation of persons to serve in the capacity of stratêgus and
other principal offices greatly depended upon them,—as well as the
facility of passing through that trial of accountability to which
every man was liable after his year of office. Nikias, and men
generally of his rank and fortune, helped by these clubs, and lending
help in their turn, composed what may be called the ministers, or
executive individual functionaries of Athens: the men who acted,
gave orders to individual men as to specific acts, and saw to the
execution of that which the senate and the public assembly resolved.
Especially in regard to the military and naval force of the city, so
large and so actively employed at this time, the powers of detail
possessed by the stratêgi must have been very great and essential to
the safety of the state.

  [476] Thucyd. viii, 54. Καὶ ὁ μὲν Πείσανδρος τάς τε ξυνωμοσίας,
  αἵπερ ἐτύγχανον πρότερον ἐν τῇ πόλει οὖσαι ἐπὶ δίκαις καὶ ἀρχαῖς,
  ἁπάσας ἐπελθὼν, καὶ παρακελευσάμενος ὅπως ξυστραφέντες καὶ κοινῇ
  βουλευσάμενοι καταλύσουσι τὸν δῆμον, καὶ τἆλλα παρασκευάσας, etc.

  After having thus organized the hetæries, and brought them
  into coöperation for his revolutionary objects against the
  democracy, Peisander departed from Athens to Samos: on his
  return, he finds that these hetæries have been very actively
  employed, and had made great progress towards the subversion of
  the democracy: they had assassinated the demagogue Androklês and
  various other political enemies,—οἱ δὲ ἀμφὶ τὸν Πείσανδρον—ἦλθον
  ἐς τὰς Ἀθήνας,—καὶ καταλαμβάνουσι τὰ πλεῖστα τοῖς ἑταίροις
  προειργασμένα, etc. (viii, 65.)

  The political ἑταίρεια to which Alkibiadês belonged is mentioned
  in Isokratês, De Bigis, Or. xvi, p. 348, sect. 6. λέγοντες ὡς ὁ
  πατὴρ ~συνάγοι τὴν ἑταίρειαν ἐπὶ νεωτέροις πράγμασι~. Allusions
  to these ἑταιρεῖαι and to their well-known political and judicial
  purposes (unfortunately they are only allusions), are found in
  Plato, Theætet. c. 79, p. 173, σπουδαὶ δὲ ἑταιρειῶν ἐπ᾽ ἀρχὰς,
  etc.: also Plato, Legg. ix, c. 3, p. 856; Plato, Republic, ii,
  c. 8, p. 365, where they are mentioned in conjunction with
  συνωμοσίαι—ἐπὶ γὰρ τὸ λανθάνειν ξυνωμοσίας τε καὶ ἑταιρείας
  συνάξομεν—also in Pseudo-Andokidês cont. Alkibiad. c. 2, p.
  112. Compare the general remarks of Thucydidês, iii, 82, and
  Demosthenês cont. Stephan. ii, p. 1157.

  Two Dissertations, by Messrs. Vischer and Büttner, collect the
  scanty indications respecting these hetæries, together with some
  attempts to enlarge and speculate upon them, which are more
  ingenious than trustworthy (Die Oligarchische Partei und die
  Hetairien in Athen, von W. Vischer, Basel, 1836; Geschichte der
  politischen Hetairien zu Athen, von Hermann Büttner, Leipsic,

  [477] About the political workings of the Syssitia and Gymnasia,
  see Plato Legg. i, p. 636; Polybius, xx, 6.

While Nikias was thus in what may be called ministerial function,
Kleon was not of sufficient importance to attain the same, but
was confined to the inferior function of opposition: we shall see
in the coming chapter how he became as it were promoted, partly
by his own superior penetration, partly by the dishonest artifice
and misjudgment of Nikias and other opponents, in the affair of
Sphakteria. But his vocation was now to find fault, to censure, to
denounce; his theatre of action was the senate, the public assembly,
the dikasteries; his principal talent was that of speech, in which he
must unquestionably have surpassed all his contemporaries. The two
gifts which had been united in Periklês—superior capacity for speech
as well as for action—were now severed, and had fallen, though both
in greatly inferior degree, the one to Nikias, the other to Kleon. As
an opposition-man, fierce and violent in temper, Kleon was extremely
formidable to all acting functionaries; and from his influence in
the public assembly, he was doubtless the author of many important
positive measures, thus going beyond the functions belonging to what
is called opposition. But though the most effective speaker in the
public assembly, he was not for that reason the most influential
person in the democracy: his powers of speech in fact, stood out the
more prominently, because they were found apart from that station,
and those qualities which were considered, even at Athens, all but
essential to make a man a leader in political life. To understand the
political condition of Athens at this time, it has been necessary to
take this comparison between Nikias and Kleon, and to remark, that
though the latter might be a more victorious speaker, the former was
the more guiding and influential leader; the points gained by Kleon
were all noisy and palpable, sometimes however, without doubt, of
considerable moment,—but the course of affairs was much more under
the direction of Nikias.

It was during the summer of this year, the fifth of the war,—B.C.
427, that the Athenians began operations on a small scale in Sicily;
probably contrary to the advice both of Nikias and Kleon, neither of
them seemingly favorable to these distant undertakings. I reserve,
however, the series of Athenian measures in Sicily—which afterwards
became the turning-point of the fortunes of the state—for a
department by themselves. I shall take them up separately, and bring
them down to the Athenian expedition against Syracuse, when I reach
the date of that important event.

During the autumn of the same year, the epidemic disorder, after
having intermitted for some time, resumed its ravages at Athens,
and continued for one whole year longer, to the sad ruin both of
the strength and the comfort of the city. And it seems that this
autumn, as well as the ensuing summer, were distinguished by violent
atmospheric and terrestrial disturbance. Numerous earthquakes
were experienced at Athens, in Eubœa, in Bœotia, especially near
Orchomenus. Sudden waves of the sea and unexampled tides were also
felt on the coast of Eubœa and Lokris, and the islands of Atalantê
and Peparêthus; the Athenian fort and one of the two guard-ships
at Atalantê were partially destroyed. The earthquakes produced one
effect favorable to Athens; they deterred the Lacedæmonians from
invading Attica. Agis, king of Sparta, had already reached the
isthmus for that purpose; but the repeated earthquakes were looked
upon as an unfavorable portent, and the scheme was abandoned.[478]

  [478] Thucyd. iii, 87, 89, 90.

These earthquakes, however, were not considered as calculated to
deter the Lacedæmonians from the foundation of Herakleia, a new
colony near the strait of Thermopylæ. On this occasion, we hear of
a branch of the Greek population not before mentioned during the
war. The coast immediately north of the strait of Thermopylæ was
occupied by the three subdivisions of the Malians,—Paralii, Hierês,
and Trachinians. These latter, immediately adjoining Mount Œta on
its north side,—as well as the Dorians, the little tribe properly
so called, which was accounted the primitive hearth of the Dorians
generally, who joined the same mountain-range on the south,—were
both of them harassed and plundered by the predatory mountaineers,
probably Ætolians, on the high lands between them. At first, the
Trachinians were disposed to throw themselves on the protection
of Athens; but not feeling sufficiently assured as to the way in
which she would deal with them, they joined with the Dorians in
claiming aid from Sparta: in fact, it does not appear that Athens,
possessing naval superiority only, and being inferior on land, could
have given them effective aid. The Lacedæmonians eagerly embraced
the opportunity, and determined to plant a strong colony in this
tempting situation: there was wood in the neighboring regions for
ship-building,[479] so that they might hope to acquire a naval
position for attacking the neighboring island of Eubœa, while the
passage of troops against the subject-allies of Athens in Thrace,
would also be facilitated; the impracticability of such passage had
forced them, three years before, to leave Potidæa to its fate. A
considerable body of colonists, Spartans and Lacedæmonian Periœki,
was assembled under the conduct of three Spartan œkists,—Leon,
Damagon, and Alkidas; the latter we are to presume, though Thucydidês
does not say so, was the same admiral who had met with such little
success in Ionia and at Korkyra. Proclamation was farther made to
invite the junction of all other Greeks as colonists, excepting by
name Ionians, Achæans, and some other tribes not here specified.
Probably the distinct exclusion of the Achæans must have been rather
the continuance of ancient sentiment than dictated by any present
reasons; since the Achæans were not now pronounced enemies of Sparta.
A number of colonists, stated as not less than ten thousand, flocked
to the place, having confidence in the stability of the colony under
the powerful protection of Sparta; and a new town, of large circuit,
was built and fortified under the name of Herakleia;[480] not far
from the site of Trachis, about two miles and a quarter from the
nearest point of the Maliac gulf, but about double that distance
from the strait of Thermopylæ. Near to the latter, and for the
purpose of keeping effective possession of it, a port, with dock and
accommodation for shipping, was constructed.

  [479] Respecting this abundance of wood, as well as the site of
  Herakleia generally, consult Livy, xxxvi, 22.

  [480] Diodor. xii, 59. Not merely was Hêraklês the mythical
  progenitor of the Spartan kings, but the whole region near Œta
  and Trachis was adorned by legends and heroic incidents connected
  with him: see the drama of the Trachiniæ by Sophoklês.

A populous city, established under Lacedæmonian protection in this
important post, alarmed the Athenians, and created much expectation
in every part of Greece: but the Lacedæmonian œkists were harsh and
unskilful in their management, and the Thessalians, to whom the
Trachinian territory was tributary, considered the colony as an
encroachment upon their soil. Anxious to prevent its increase, they
harassed it with hostilities from the first moment, while the Œtæan
assailants were not idle: and Herakleia, thus pressed from without,
and misgoverned within, dwindled down from its original numbers and
promise, barely maintaining its existence.[481] We shall find it in
later times, however, revived, and becoming a place of considerable

  [481] Thucyd. iii, 92, 93; Diodor xi, 49; xii, 59.

The main Athenian armament of this summer, consisting of sixty
triremes, under Nikias, undertook an expedition against the island
of Melos. Melos and Thera, both inhabited by ancient colonists from
Lacedæmon, had never been from the beginning, and still refused to
be, members of the Athenian alliance, or subjects of the Athenian
empire. They thus stood out as exceptions to all the other islands in
the Ægean, and the Athenians thought themselves authorized to resort
to constraint and conquest; believing themselves entitled to command
over all the islands. They might indeed urge, and with considerable
plausibility, that the Melians now enjoyed their share of the
protection of the Ægean from piracy, without contributing at all to
the cost of it: but considering the obstinate reluctance and strong
Lacedæmonian prepossessions of the Melians, who had taken no part in
the war, and given no ground of offence to Athens, the attempt to
conquer them by force could hardly be justified even as a calculation
of gain and loss, and was a mere gratification to the pride of power
in carrying out what, in modern days, we should call the principle
of maritime empire. Melos and Thera formed awkward corners, which
defaced the symmetry of a great proprietor’s field;[482] and the
former ultimately entailed upon Athens the heaviest of all losses,—a
deed of blood which deeply dishonored her annals. On this occasion,
Nikias visited the island with his fleet, and after vainly summoning
the inhabitants, ravaged the lands, but retired without undertaking
a siege. He then sailed away, and came to Orôpus, on the northeast
frontier of Attica, bordering on Bœotia: the hoplites on board his
ships landed in the night, and marched into the interior of Bœotia,
to the vicinity of Tanagra. They were here met, according to signal
raised, by a military force from Athens, which marched thither by
land; and the joint Athenian army ravaged the Tanagræan territory,
gaining an insignificant advantage over its defenders. On retiring,
Nikias reassembled his armament, sailed northward along the coast of
Lokris with the usual ravages, and returned home without effecting
anything farther.[483]

  [482] Horat. Sat. ii, 6, 8:—

            O! si angulus iste
    Proximus accedat, qui nunc denormat agellum!

  [483] Thucyd. iii, 91.

About the same time that he started, thirty other Athenian triremes,
under Demosthenês and Proklês, had been sent round Peloponnesus
to act upon the coast of Akarnania. In conjunction with the whole
Akarnanian force, except the men of Œniade,—with fifteen triremes
from Korkyra, and some troops from Kephallênia and Zakynthus,—they
ravaged the whole territory of Leukas, both within and without the
isthmus, and confined the inhabitants to their town, which was
too strong to be taken by anything but a wall of circumvallation
and a tedious blockade. And the Akarnanians, to whom the city was
especially hostile, were urgent with Demosthenês to undertake this
measure forthwith, since the opportunity might not again recur, and
success was nearly certain.

But this enterprising officer committed the grave imprudence of
offending them on a matter of great importance, in order to attack a
country of all others the most impracticable,—the interior of Ætolia.
The Messenians of Naupaktus, who suffered from the depredations
of the neighboring Ætolian tribes, inflamed his imagination by
suggesting to him a grand scheme of operations,[484] more worthy of
the large force which he commanded than the mere reduction of Leukas.
The various tribes of Ætolians,—rude, brave, active, predatory, and
unrivalled in the use of the javelin, which they rarely laid out of
their hands,—stretched across the country from between Parnassus
and Œta to the eastern bank of the Achelôus. The scheme suggested
by the Messenians was, that Demosthenês should attack the great
central Ætolian tribes,—the Apodôti, Ophioneis, and Eurytânes: if
they were conquered, all the remaining continental tribes between the
Ambrakian gulf and Mount Parnassus might be invited or forced into
the alliance of Athens,—the Akarnanians being already included in
it. Having thus got the command of a large continental force,[485]
Demosthenês contemplated the ulterior scheme of marching at the head
of it on the west of Parnassus, through the territory of the Ozolian
Lokrians,—inhabiting the north of the Corinthian gulf, friendly to
Athens, and enemies to the Ætolians, whom they resembled both in
their habits and in their fighting,—until he arrived at Kytinium,
in Doris, in the upper portion of the valley of the river Kephisus.
He would then easily descend that valley into the territory of the
Phocians, who were likely to join the Athenians if a favorable
opportunity occurred, but who might at any rate be constrained to
do so. From Phocis, the scheme was to invade from the northward the
conterminous territory of Bœotia, the great enemy of Athens: which
might thus perhaps be completely subdued, if assailed at the same
time from Attica. Any Athenian general, who could have executed
this comprehensive scheme, would have acquired at home a high and
well-merited celebrity. But Demosthenês had been ill-informed, both
of the invincible barbarians and the pathless country comprehended
under the name of Ætolia: some of the tribes spoke a language
scarcely intelligible to Greeks, and even eat their meat raw, while
the country has even down to the present time remained not only
unconquered, but untraversed, by an enemy in arms.

  [484] Thucyd. iii, 95. Δημοσθένης δ᾽ ἀναπείθεται κατὰ τὸν
  χρόνον τοῦτον ὑπὸ Μεσσηνίων ὡς καλὸν αὐτῷ στρατιᾶς τοσαύτης
  ξυνειλεγμένης, etc.

  [485] Thucyd. iii, 95. τὸ ἄλλο ἠπειρωτικὸν τὸ ταύτῃ. None of
  the tribes properly called Epirots, would be comprised in this
  expression: the name ἠπειρῶται is here a general name, not
  a proper name, as Poppo and Dr. Arnold remark. Demosthenês
  would calculate on getting under his orders the Akarnanians
  and Ætolians, and some other tribes besides; but _what_ other
  tribes, it is not easy to specify: perhaps the Agræi, east of
  Amphilochia, among them.

Demosthenês accordingly retired from Leukas, in spite of the
remonstrance of the Akarnanians, who not only could not be induced to
accompany him, but went home in visible disgust, He then sailed with
his other forces—Messenians, Kephallenians, and Zakynthians—to Œneon,
in the territory of the Ozolian Lokrians, a maritime township on the
Corinthian gulf, not far eastward of Naupaktus,—where his army was
disembarked, together with three hundred epibatæ (or marines) from
the triremes,—including on this occasion, what was not commonly the
case on shipboard,[486] some of the choice hoplites, selected all
from young men of the same age, on the Athenian muster-roll. Having
passed the night in the sacred precinct of Zeus Nemeus at Œneon,
memorable as the spot where the poet Hesiod was said to have been
slain, he marched early in the morning, under the guidance of the
Messenian Chromon, into Ætolia; on the first day he took Potidania,
on the second Krokyleium, on the third Teichium,—all of them
villages unfortified and undefended, for the inhabitants abandoned
them and fled to the mountains above. He was here inclined to halt
and wait the junction of the Ozolian Lokrians, who had engaged to
invade Ætolia at the same time, and were almost indispensable to his
success, from their familiarity with Ætolian warfare and similarity
of weapons. But the Messenians again persuaded him to advance
without delay into the interior, in order that the villages might be
separately attacked and taken before any collective force could be
gathered together: and Demosthenês was so encouraged by having as yet
encountered no resistance, that he advanced to Ægitium, which he also
found deserted, and captured without opposition.

  [486] Thucyd. iii, 98. The epibatæ, or soldiers serving on
  shipboard (marines), were more usually taken from the thetes,
  or the poorest class of citizens, furnished by the state with a
  panoply for the occasion,—not from the regular hoplites on the
  muster-roll. Maritime soldiery is, therefore, usually spoken
  of as something inferior: the present triremes of Demosthenês
  are noticed in the light of an exception (ναυτικῆς καὶ φαύλου
  στρατιᾶς, Thucyd. vi, 21).

  So among the Romans, service in the legions was accounted higher
  and more honorable than that of the classiarii milites (Tacit.
  Histor. i, 87).

  The Athenian epibatæ, though not forming a corps permanently
  distinct, correspond in function to the English marines, who
  seem to have been first distinguished permanently from other
  foot-soldiers about the year 1684. “It having been found
  necessary on many occasions to embark a number of soldiers
  on board our ships of war, and mere landsmen being at first
  extremely unhealthy,—and at first, until they had been accustomed
  to the sea, in a great measure unserviceable,—it was at length
  judged expedient to appoint certain regiments for that service,
  who were trained to the different modes of sea-fighting, and also
  made useful in some of those manœuvres of a ship where a great
  many hands were required. These, from the nature of their duty,
  were distinguished by the appellation of _maritime soldiers_, or
  marines.”—Grose’s Military Antiquities of the English Army, vol.
  i, p. 186. (London, 1786.)

Here however was the term of his good fortune. The mountains round
Ægitium were occupied not only by the inhabitants of that village,
but also by the entire force of Ætolia, collected even from the
distant tribes Bomiês and Kalliês, who bordered on the Maliac
gulf. The invasion of Demosthenês had become known beforehand to
the Ætolians, who not only forewarned all their tribes of the
approaching enemy, but also sent ambassadors to Sparta and Corinth to
ask for aid.[487] However, they showed themselves fully capable of
defending their own territory, without foreign aid: and Demosthenês
found himself assailed, in his position at Ægitium, on all sides
at once, by these active highlanders, armed with javelins, pouring
down from the neighboring hills. Not engaging in any close combat,
they retreated when the Athenians advanced forward to charge
them,—resuming their aggression the moment that the pursuers, who
could never advance far in consequence of the ruggedness of the
ground, began to return to the main body. The small number of bowmen
along with Demosthenês for some time kept their unshielded assailants
at bay; but the officer commanding the bowmen was presently slain,
and the stock of arrows became nearly exhausted; and what was still
worse, Chromon, the Messenian, the only man who knew the country, and
could serve as guide, was slain also. The bowmen became thus either
ineffective or dispersed; while the hoplites exhausted themselves
in vain attempts to pursue and beat off an active enemy, who always
returned upon them, and in every successive onset thinned and
distressed them more and more. At length the force of Demosthenês
was completely broken, and compelled to take flight; but without
beaten roads, without guides, and in a country not only strange to
them, but impervious from continual mountain, rock, and forest. Many
of them were slain in the flight by pursuers, superior not less in
rapidity of movement than in knowledge of the country: some even
lost themselves in the forest, and perished miserably in flames
kindled around them by the Ætolians: and the fugitives were at
length reassembled at Œneon, near the sea, with the loss of Proklês,
the colleague of Demosthenês in command, as well as of one hundred
and twenty hoplites, among the best-armed and most vigorous in the
Athenian muster-roll.[488] The remaining force was soon transported
back from Naupaktus to Athens, but Demosthenês remained behind, being
too much afraid of the displeasure of his countrymen to return at
such a moment. It is certain that his conduct was such as justly to
incur their displeasure; and that the expedition against Ætolia,
alienating an established ally and provoking a new enemy, had been
conceived with a degree of rashness which nothing but the unexpected
favor of fortune could have counterbalanced.

  [487] Thucyd. iii, 100. Προπέμψαντες πρότερον ἔς τε Κόρινθον καὶ
  ἐς Λακεδαίμονα πρέσβεις—πείθουσιν ὥστε σφίσι πέμψαι στρατιὰν ἐπὶ
  Ναύπακτον διὰ τὴν τῶν ~Ἀθηναίων ἐπαγωγήν~.

  It is not here meant, I think—as Göller and Dr. Arnold
  suppose—that the Ætolians sent envoys to Lacedæmon before there
  was any talk or thought of the invasion of Ætolia, simply
  in prosecution of the standing antipathy which they bore to
  Naupaktus: but that they had sent envoys immediately when they
  heard of the preparations for invading Ætolia,—yet before the
  invasion actually took place. The words διὰ τὴν τῶν Ἀθηναίων
  ἐπαγωγήν show that this is the meaning.

  The word ἐπαγωγὴ is rightly construed by Haack, against the
  Scholiast: “Because the Naupaktians were bringing in the
  Athenians to invade Ætolia.”

  [488] Thucyd. iii, 98.

The force of the new enemy whom his unsuccessful attack had raised
into activity, soon made itself felt. The Ætolian envoys despatched
to Sparta and Corinth found it easy to obtain the promise of a
considerable force to join them in an expedition against Naupaktus:
and about the month of September, a body of three thousand
Peloponnesian hoplites, including five hundred from the newly-founded
colony of Herakleia, was assembled at Delphi, under the command of
Eurylochus, Makarius, and Menedemus. Their road of march to Naupaktus
lay through the territory of the Ozolian Lokrians, whom they proposed
either to gain over or to subdue. With Amphissa, the largest Lokrian
township, and in the immediate neighborhood of Delphi, they had
little difficulty,—for the Amphissians were in a state of feud with
their neighbors on the other side of Parnassus, and were afraid that
the new armament might become the instrument of Phocian antipathy
against them. On the very first application they joined the Spartan
alliance, and gave hostages for their fidelity to it: moreover, they
persuaded many other Lokrian petty villages—among others the Myoneis,
who were masters of the most difficult pass on the road—to do the
same. Eurylochus received from these various townships reinforcements
for his army, as well as hostages for their fidelity, whom he
deposited at Kytinium in Doris: and he was thus enabled to march
through all the territory of the Ozolian Lokrians without resistance;
except from Œneon and Eupalion, both which places he took by force.
Having arrived in the territory of Naupaktus, he was there joined
by the full force of the Ætolians; and their joint efforts, after
laying waste all the neighborhood, captured the Corinthian colony of
Molykreion, which had become subject to the Athenian empire.[489]

  [489] Thucyd. iii, 101, 102.

Naupaktus, with a large circuit of wall and thinly defended, was
in the greatest danger, and would certainly have been taken, had
it not been saved by the efforts of the Athenian Demosthenês, who
had remained there ever since the unfortunate Ætolian expedition.
Apprized of the coming march of Eurylochus, he went personally to
the Akarnanians, and persuaded them to send a force to aid in the
defence of Naupaktus: for a long time they turned a deaf ear to his
solicitations, in consequence of the refusal to blockade Leukas, but
they were at length induced to consent. At the head of one thousand
Akarnanian hoplites, Demosthenês threw himself into Naupaktus;
and Eurylochus, seeing that the town had thus been placed out of
the reach of attack, abandoned all his designs upon it,—marching
farther westward to the neighboring territories of Ætolia, Kalydon,
Pleuron, and Proschium, near the Achelôus and the borders of
Akarnania. The Ætolians, who had come down to join him for the common
purpose of attacking Naupaktus, here abandoned him and retired to
their respective homes. But the Ambrakiots, rejoiced to find so
considerable a Peloponnesian force in their neighborhood, prevailed
upon him to assist them in attacking the Amphilochian Argos as well
as Akarnania; assuring him that there was now a fair prospect of
bringing the whole of the population of the mainland, between the
Ambrakian and Corinthian gulfs, under the supremacy of Lacedæmon.
Having persuaded Eurylochus thus to keep his forces together and
ready, they themselves with three thousand Ambrakiot hoplites invaded
the territory of the Amphilochian Argos, and captured the fortified
hill of Olpæ immediately bordering on the Ambrakian gulf, about three
miles from Argos itself: this hill had been in former days employed
by the Akarnanians as a place for public judicial congress of the
whole nation.[490]

  [490] Thucyd. iii, 102-105.

This enterprise, communicated forthwith to Eurylochus, was the
signal for movement on both sides. The Akarnanians marched with
their whole force to the protection of Argos, and occupied a post
called Krênæ in the Amphilochian territory, hoping to be able to
prevent Eurylochus from effecting his junction with the Ambrakiots
at Olpæ. They at the same time sent urgent messages to Demosthenês
at Naupaktus, and to the Athenian guard-squadron of twenty triremes
under Aristotelês and Hierophon, entreating their aid in the present
need, and inviting Demosthenês to act as their commander. They had
forgotten their displeasure against him arising out of his recent
refusal to blockade at Leukas,—for which they probably thought that
he had been sufficiently punished by his disgrace in Ætolia; while
they knew and esteemed his military capacity. In fact, the accident
whereby he had been detained at Naupaktus, now worked fortunately for
them as well as for him: it secured to them a commander whom all of
them respected, obviating the jealousies among their own numerous
petty townships,—it procured for him the means of retrieving his
own reputation at Athens. Demosthenês, not backward in seizing this
golden opportunity, came speedily into the Ambrakian gulf with the
twenty Athenian triremes, conducting two hundred Messenian hoplites
and sixty Athenian bowmen. He found the whole Akarnanian force
concentrated at the Amphilochian Argos, and was named general along
with the Akarnanian generals, but in reality enjoying the whole
direction of the operations.

He found also the whole of the enemy’s force, both the three thousand
Ambrakiot hoplites and the Peloponnesian division under Eurylochus,
already united and in position at Olpæ, about three miles off. For
Eurylochus, as soon as he was apprized that the Ambrakiots had
reached Olpæ, broke up forthwith his camp at Proschium in Ætolia,
knowing that his best chance of traversing the hostile territory of
Akarnania consisted in celerity: the whole Akarnanian force, however,
had already gone to Argos, so that his march was unopposed through
that country. He crossed the Achelôus, marched westward of Stratus,
through the Akarnanian townships of Phytia, Medeon, and Limnæa, then
quitting both Akarnania and the direct road from Akarnania to Argos,
he struck rather eastward into the mountainous district of Thyamus,
in the territory of the Agræans, who were enemies of the Akarnanians.
From hence he descended at night into the territory of Argos, and
passed unobserved under cover of the darkness between Argos itself,
and the Akarnanian force at Krênæ; so as to join in safety the three
thousand Ambrakiots at Olpæ; to their great joy,—for they had feared
that the enemy at Argos and Krênæ would have arrested his passage;
and feeling their force inadequate to contend alone, they had sent
pressing messages home to demand large reinforcements for themselves
and their own protection.[491]

  [491] Thucyd. iii, 105, 106, 107.

Demosthenês thus found an united and formidable enemy, superior in
number to himself, at Olpæ, and conducted his troops from Argos and
Krênæ to attack them. The ground was rugged and mountainous, and
between the two armies lay a steep ravine which neither liked to
be the first to pass, so that they lay for five days inactive. If
Herodotus had been our historian, he would probably have ascribed
this delay to unfavorable sacrifices (which may probably have been
the case), and would have given us interesting anecdotes respecting
the prophets on both sides; but the more positive and practical
genius of Thucydidês merely acquaints us, that on the sixth day
both armies put themselves in order of battle,—both probably tired
of waiting. The ground being favorable for ambuscade, Demosthenês
hid in a bushy dell four hundred hoplites and light-armed, so that
they might spring up suddenly in the midst of the action upon the
Peloponnesian left, which outflanked his right. He was himself on the
right with the Messenians and some Athenians, opposed to Eurylochus
on the left of the enemy: the Akarnanians, with the Amphilochian
akontists, or darters, occupied his left, opposed to the Ambrakiot
hoplites: Ambrakiots and Peloponnesians were, however, intermixed in
the line of Eurylochus, and it was only the Mantineans who maintained
a separate station of their own towards the left centre. The battle
accordingly began, and Eurylochus with his superior numbers was
proceeding to surround Demosthenês, when on a sudden the men in
ambush rose up and set upon his rear. A panic seized his men, and
they made no resistance worthy of their Peloponnesian reputation:
they broke and fled, while Eurylochus, doubtless exposing himself
with peculiar bravery in order to restore the battle, was early
slain. Demosthenês, having near him his best troops, pressed them
vigorously and their panic communicated itself to the troops in the
centre, so that all were put to flight and pursued to Olpæ. On the
right of the line of Eurylochus, the Ambrakiots, the most warlike
Greeks in the Epirotic regions, completely defeated the Akarnanians
opposed to them, and carried their pursuit even as far as Argos.
So complete, however, was the victory gained by Demosthenês over
the remaining troops, that these Ambrakiots had great difficulty in
fighting their way back to Olpæ, which was not accomplished without
severe loss, and late in the evening. Among all the beaten troops,
the Mantineans were those who best maintained their retreating
order.[492] The loss in the army of Demosthenês was about three
hundred: that of the opponents much greater, but the number is not

  [492] Thucyd. iii, 107, 108: compare Polyænus, iii, 1.

Of the three Spartan commanders, two, Eurylochus and Makarius, had
been slain: the third, Menedæus, found himself beleaguered both by
sea and land,—the Athenian squadron being on guard along the coast.
It would seem, indeed, that he might have fought his way to Ambrakia,
especially as he would have met the Ambrakiot reinforcement coming
from the city. But whether this were possible or not, the commander,
too much dispirited to attempt it, took advantage of the customary
truce granted for burying the dead, to open negotiations with
Demosthenês and the Akarnanian generals, for the purpose of obtaining
an unmolested retreat. This was peremptorily refused: but Demosthenês
(with the consent of the Akarnanian leaders) secretly intimated to
the Spartan commander and those immediately around him, together
with the Mantineans and other Peloponnesian troops,—that if they
chose to make a separate and surreptitious retreat, abandoning their
comrades, no opposition would be offered: for he designed by this
means, not merely to isolate the Ambrakiots, the great enemies of
Argos and Akarnania, along with the body of miscellaneous mercenaries
who had come under Eurylochus, but also to obtain the more permanent
advantage of disgracing the Spartans and Peloponnesians in the
eyes of the Epirotic Greeks, as cowards and traitors to military
fellowship. The very reason which prompted Demosthenês to grant a
separate facility of escape, ought to have been imperative with
Menedæus and the Peloponnesians around him, to make them spurn it
with indignation: yet such was their anxiety for personal safety,
that this disgraceful convention was accepted, ratified, and carried
into effect forthwith. It stands alone in Grecian history, as a
specimen of separate treason in officers, to purchase safety for
themselves by abandoning those under their command. Had the officers
been Athenian, it would have been doubtless quoted as an example of
the pretended faithlessness of democracy: but as it was the act of a
Spartan commander in conjunction with many leading Peloponnesians,
we can only remark upon it as a farther manifestation of that
intra-Peloponnesian selfishness, and carelessness of obligation
towards extra-Peloponnesian Greeks, which we found so lamentably
prevalent during the invasion of Xerxes; in this case indeed
heightened by the fact that the men deserted were fellow-Dorians and
fellow-soldiers, who had just fought in the same ranks.

As soon as the ceremony of burying the dead had been completed,
Menedæus, and the Peloponnesians who were protected by this secret
convention, stole away slyly and in small bands under pretence of
collecting wood and vegetables: on getting to a little distance,
they quickened their pace and made off,—much to the dismay of the
Ambrakiots, who ran after them and tried to overtake them. The
Akarnanians pursued, and their leaders had much difficulty in
explaining to them the secret convention just concluded. Nor was
it without some suspicions of treachery, and even personal hazard,
from their own troops, that they at length caused the fugitive
Peloponnesians to be respected; while the Ambrakiots, the most
obnoxious of the two to Akarnanian feeling, were pursued without any
reserve, and two hundred of them were slain before they could escape
into the friendly territory of the Agræans.[493] To distinguish
Ambrakiots from Peloponnesians, similar in race and dialect, was,
however, no easy task, and much dispute arose in individual cases.

  [493] Thucyd. iii, 111.

Unfairly as this loss fell upon Ambrakia, a far more severe calamity
was yet in store for her. The large reinforcement from the city,
which had been urgently invoked by the detachment at Olpæ, started
in due course as soon as it could be got ready, and entered the
territory of Amphilochia about the time when the battle of Olpæ was
fought, but ignorant of that misfortune, and hoping to arrive soon
enough to stand by their friends. Their march was made known to
Demosthenês, on the day after the battle, by the Amphilochians; who,
at the same time, indicated to him the best way of surprising them
in the rugged and mountainous road along which they had to march, at
the two conspicuous peaks called Idomenê, immediately above a narrow
pass leading farther on to Olpæ. It was known beforehand, by the
line of march of the Ambrakiots, that they would rest for the night
at the lower of these two peaks, ready to march through the pass on
the next morning. On that same night, a detachment of Amphilochians,
under direction from Demosthenês, seized the higher of the two peaks;
while that commander himself, dividing his forces into two divisions,
started from his position at Olpæ in the evening after supper. One of
these divisions, having the advantage of Amphilochian guides in their
own country, marched by an unfrequented mountain road to Idomenê;
the other, under Demosthenês himself, went directly through the pass
leading from Idomenê to Olpæ. After marching all night, they reached
the camp of the Ambrakiots a little before daybreak,—Demosthenês
himself with his Messenians in the van. The surprise was complete;
the Ambrakiots were found still lying down and asleep, while even
the sentinels, uninformed of the recent battle,—hearing themselves
accosted in the Doric dialect by the Messenians, whom Demosthenês
had placed in front for that express purpose, and not seeing very
clearly in the morning twilight, mistook them for some of their own
fellow-citizens coming back from the other camp. The Akarnanians
and Messenians thus fell among the Ambrakiots sleeping and unarmed,
and without any possibility of resistance. Large numbers of them
were destroyed on the spot, and the remainder fled in all directions
among the neighboring mountains, none knowing the roads and the
country; it was the country of the Amphilochians, subjects of
Ambrakia, but subjects averse to their condition, and now making
use of their perfect local knowledge and light-armed equipment, to
inflict a terrible revenge on their masters. Some of the Ambrakiots
became entangled in ravines,—others fell into ambuscades laid by the
Amphilochians. Others again, dreading most of all to fall into the
hands of the Amphilochians, barbaric in race as well as intensely
hostile in feeling, and seeing no other possibility of escaping
them, swam off to the Athenian ships cruising along the shore.
There were but a small proportion of them who survived to return to

  [494] Thucyd. iii, 112.

The complete victory of Idomenê, admirably prepared by Demosthenês,
was achieved with scarce any loss: and the Akarnanians, after
erecting their trophy, despoiled the enemy’s dead and carried off the
arms thus taken to Argos.

On the morrow they were visited by a herald, coming from those
Ambrakiots who had fled into the Agræan territory, after the battle
of Olpæ, and the subsequent pursuit. He came with the customary
request from defeated soldiers, for permission to bury their dead who
had fallen in that pursuit. Neither he, nor those from whom he came,
knew anything of the destruction of their brethren at Idomenê,—just
as these latter had been ignorant of the defeat at Olpæ; while,
on the other hand, the Akarnanians in the camp, whose minds were
full of the more recent and capital advantage at Idomenê, supposed
that the message referred to the men slain in that engagement. The
numerous panoplies just acquired at Idomenê lay piled up in the
camp, and the herald, on seeing them, was struck with amazement at
the size of the heap, so much exceeding the number of those who were
missing in his own detachment. An Akarnanian present asked the reason
of his surprise, and inquired how many of his comrades had been
slain,—meaning to refer to the slain at Idomenê. “About two hundred,”
the herald replied. “Yet these arms here show, not that number, but
more than a thousand men.” “Then they are not the arms of those who
fought with us.” “Nay, but they are; if ye were the persons who
fought yesterday at Idomenê.” “We fought with no one yesterday: it
was the day before yesterday, in the retreat.” “O, then ye have to
learn, that _we_ were engaged yesterday with these others, who were
on their march as reinforcement from the city of Ambrakia.”

The unfortunate herald now learned for the first time that the large
reinforcement from his city had been cut to pieces. So acute was his
feeling of mingled anguish and surprise, that he raised a loud cry of
woe, and hurried away at once, without saying another word; not even
prosecuting his request about the burial of the dead bodies,—which
appears on this fatal occasion to have been neglected.[495]

  [495] Thucyd. iii, 113.

His grief was justified by the prodigious magnitude of the calamity,
which Thucydidês considers to have been the greatest that afflicted
any Grecian city during the whole war prior to the peace of Nikias;
so incredibly great, indeed, that though he had learned the number
slain, he declines to set it down, from fear of not being believed,—a
scruple which we, his readers, have much reason to regret. It appears
that nearly the whole adult military population of Ambrakia was
destroyed, and Demosthenês was urgent with the Akarnanians to march
thither at once: had they consented, Thucydidês tells us positively
that the city would have surrendered without a blow.[496] But they
refused to undertake the enterprise, fearing, according to the
historian, that the Athenians at Ambrakia would be more troublesome
neighbors to them than the Ambrakiots. That this reason was
operative, we need not doubt: but it can hardly have been either the
single, or even the chief, reason; for, had it been so, they would
have been equally afraid of Athenian coöperation in the blockade of
Leukas, which they had strenuously solicited from Demosthenês, and
had quarrelled with him for refusing. Ambrakia was less near to them
than Leukas, and in its present exhausted state, inspired less fear:
but the displeasure arising from the former refusal of Demosthenês
had probably never been altogether appeased, nor were they sorry to
find an opportunity of mortifying him in a similar manner.

  [496] Thucyd. iii, 113. πάθος γὰρ τοῦτο μιᾷ πόλει Ἑλληνίδι
  μέγιστον δὴ τῶν ~κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον τόνδε~ ἐγένετο. Καὶ ἀριθμὸν
  οὐκ ἔγραψα τῶν ἀποθανόντων, διότι ἄπιστον τὸ πλῆθος λέγεται
  ἀπολέσθαι, ὡς πρὸς τὸ μέγεθος τῆς πόλεως. Ἀμπρακίαν μέντοι
  ~οἶδα~ ὅτι, εἰ ἐβουλήθησαν Ἀκαρνᾶνες καὶ Ἀμφίλοχοι, Ἀθηναίοις
  καὶ Δημοσθένει πειθόμενοι, ἐξελεῖν, αὐτοβοεὶ ἂν εἷλον· νῦν δὲ
  ἔδεισαν, μὴ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι ἔχοντες αὐτὴν χαλεπώτεροι σφίσι πάροικοι

  We may remark that the expression κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον τόνδε, when it
  occurs in the first, second, third, or first half of the fourth
  Book of Thucydidês, seems to allude to the first ten years of the
  Peloponnesian war, which ended with the peace of Nikias.

  In a careful dissertation, by Franz Wolfgang Ullrich, analyzing
  the structure of the history of Thucydidês, it is made to appear
  that the first, second, and third Books, with the first half of
  the fourth, were composed during the interval between the peace
  of Nikias and the beginning of the last nine years of the war,
  called the Dekeleian war; allowing for two passages in these
  early books which must have been subsequently introduced.

  The later books seem to have been taken up by Thucydidês as a
  separate work, continuing the former, and a sort of separate
  preface is given for them (v, 26), γέγραφε δὲ καὶ ταῦτα ὁ αὐτὸς
  Θουκυδίδης Ἀθηναῖος ἑξῆς, etc. It is in this later portion that
  he first takes up the view peculiar to him, of reckoning the
  whole twenty-seven years as one continued war only nominally
  interrupted (Ullrich, Beiträge zur Erklärung des Thukydidês, pp.
  85, 125, 138, etc. Hamburgh, 1846).

  Compare ἐν τῷ πολέμῳ τῷδε (iii, 98), which in like manner means
  the war prior to the peace of Nikias.

In the distribution of the spoil, three hundred panoplies were
first set apart as the perquisite of Demosthenês: the remainder
were then distributed, one-third for the Athenians, the other
two-thirds among the Akarnanian townships. The immense reserve,
personally appropriated to Demosthenês, enables us to make some
vague conjecture as to the total loss of Ambrakiots. The fraction of
one-third, assigned to the Athenian people, must have been, we may
imagine, six times as great, and perhaps even in larger proportion,
than the reserve of the general: for the latter was at that time
under the displeasure of the people, and anxious above all things
to regain their favor,—an object which would be frustrated rather
than promoted, if his personal share of the arms were not greatly
disproportionate to the collective claim of the city. Reasoning upon
this supposition, the panoplies assigned to Athens would be eighteen
hundred, and the total of Ambrakiot slain, whose arms became public
property, would be five thousand four hundred. To which must be
added some Ambrakiots killed in their flight from Idomenê by the
Amphilochians, in dells, ravines, and by-places: probably those
Amphilochians, who slew them, would appropriate the arms privately,
without bringing them into the general stock. Upon this calculation,
the total number of Ambrakiot slain in both battles and both
pursuits, would be about six thousand: a number suitable to the grave
expressions of Thucydidês, as well as to his statements, that the
first detachment which marched to Olpæ was three thousand strong, and
that the message sent home invoked as reinforcement the total force
of the city. How totally helpless Ambrakia had become, is still more
conclusively proved by the fact that the Corinthians were obliged
shortly afterwards to send by land a detachment of three hundred
hoplites for its defence.[497]

  [497] Thucyd. iii, 114. Diodorus (xii, 60) abridges the narrative
  of Thucydidês.

The Athenian triremes soon returned to their station at Naupaktus,
after which a convention was concluded between the Akarnanians
and Amphilochians on the one side, and the Ambrakiots and
Peloponnesians—who had fled after the battle of Olpæ into the
territory of Salynthius and the Agræi—on the other, insuring a safe
and unmolested egress to both of the latter.[498] With the Ambrakiots
a more permanent pacification was effected: the Akarnanians and
Amphilochians concluded with them a peace and alliance for one
hundred years, on condition that they should surrender all the
Amphilochian territory and hostages in their possession, and should
bind themselves to furnish no aid to Anaktorium, then in hostility
to the Akarnanians. Each party, however, maintained its separate
alliance,—the Ambrakiots with the Peloponnesian confederacy, the
Akarnanians with Athens: it was stipulated that the Akarnanians
should not be required to assist the Ambrakiots against Athens, nor
the Ambrakiots to assist the Akarnanians against the Peloponnesian
league; but against all other enemies, each engaged to lend aid to
the other.[499]

  [498] Thucyd. iii, 114. Ἀκαρνᾶνες δὲ καὶ Ἀμφίλοχοι, ἀπελθόντων
  Ἀθηναίων καὶ Δημοσθένους, τοῖς ὡς Σαλύνθιον καὶ Ἀγραίους
  καταφυγοῦσιν Ἀμπρακιώταις καὶ Πελοποννησίοις ἀναχώρησιν
  ἐσπείσαντο ἐξ Οἰνιαδῶν, οἵπερ καὶ μετανέστησαν παρὰ Σαλυνθίον.

  This is a very difficult passage. Hermann has conjectured, and
  Poppo, Göller, and Dr. Arnold all approve, the reading παρὰ
  Σαλυνθίου instead of the two last words of this sentence. The
  passage might certainly be construed with this emendation, though
  there would still be an awkwardness in the position of the
  relative οἵπερ with regard to its antecedent, and in the position
  of the particle καὶ, which ought then properly to come after
  μετανέστησαν, and not before it. The sentence would then mean,
  that “the Ambrakiots and Peloponnesians, who had originally taken
  refuge with Salynthius, had moved away from his territory to
  Œniadæ,” from which place they were now to enjoy safe departure.

  I think, however, that the sentence would construe equally well,
  or at least with no greater awkwardness, without any conjectural
  alteration of the text, if we suppose Οἰνιαδῶν to be not merely
  the name of the place, but the name of the inhabitants: and the
  word seems to be used in this double sense (Thucyd. ii, 100). As
  the word is already in the patronymic form, it would be difficult
  to deduce from it a new _nomen gentile_. Several of the Attic
  demes, which are in the patronymic form, present this same double
  meaning. If this supposition be admitted, the sentence will mean,
  that “safe retreat was granted to Ambrakiots and Peloponnesians
  from the Œniade, who _also_—καὶ, that is, they as well as the
  Ambrakiots and Peloponnesians—went up to the territory of
  Salynthius.” These Œniadæ were enemies of the general body of
  Akarnanians (ii, 100), and they may well have gone thither to
  help in extricating the fugitive Ambrakiots and Peloponnesians.

  [499] Thucyd. iii, 114.

To Demosthenês personally, the events on the coast of the Ambrakian
gulf proved a signal good fortune, well-earned indeed by the skill
which he had displayed. He was enabled to atone for his imprudence
in the Ætolian expedition, and to reëstablish himself in the favor
of the Athenian people. He sailed home in triumph to Athens, during
the course of the winter, with his reserved present of three hundred
panoplies, which acquired additional value from the accident, that
the larger number of panoplies, reserved out of the spoil for the
Athenian people, were captured at sea, and never reached Athens.
Accordingly, those brought by Demosthenês were the only trophy of
the victory, and as such were deposited in the Athenian temples,
where Thucydidês mentions them as still existing at the time when he

  [500] Thucyd. iii, 114. Τὰ δὲ ~νῦν ἀνακείμενα ἐν τοῖς Ἀττικοῖς
  ἱεροῖς~ Δημοσθένει ἐξῃρέθησαν, τριακόσιαι πανοπλίαι, καὶ ἄγων
  αὐτὰς κατέπλευσε. Καὶ ἐγένετο ἅμα αὐτῷ μετὰ τὴν ἐκ τῆς Αἰτωλίας
  ξυμφορὰν ἀπὸ ταύτης τῆς πράξεως ἀδεεστέρα ἡ κάθοδος.

It was in the same autumn that the Athenians were induced by an
oracle to undertake the more complete purification of the sacred
island of Delos. This step was probably taken to propitiate Apollo,
since they were under the persuasion that the terrible visitation
of the epidemic was owing to his wrath. And as it was about this
period that the second attack of the epidemic, after having lasted a
year, disappeared,—many of them probably ascribed this relief to the
effect of their pious cares at Delos. All the tombs in the island
were opened; the dead bodies were then exhumed, and reinterred in
the neighboring island of Rheneia: and orders were given that for
the future no deaths and no births should take place in the sacred
island. Moreover, the ancient Delian festival—once the common point
of meeting and solemnity for the whole Ionic race, and celebrated
for its musical contests, before the Lydian and Persian conquests
had subverted the freedom and prosperity of Ionia—was now renewed.
The Athenians celebrated the festival with its accompanying matches,
even the chariot-race, in a manner more splendid than had ever been
known in former times: and they appointed a similar festival to be
celebrated every fourth year. At this period they were excluded both
from the Olympic and the Pythian games, which probably made the
revival of the Delian festival more gratifying to them. The religious
zeal and munificence of Nikias was strikingly displayed at Delos.[501]

  [501] Thucyd. iii, 104; Plutarch, Nikias, c. 3, 4; Diodor. xii,



The invasion of Attica by the Lacedæmonians had now become an
ordinary enterprise, undertaken in every year of the war except
the third and sixth, and then omitted only from accidental causes;
though the same hopes were no longer entertained from it as at the
commencement of the war. During the present spring, Agis king of
Sparta conducted the Peloponnesian army into the territory, seemingly
about the end of April, and repeated the usual ravages.

It seemed, however, as if Korkyra were about to become the principal
scene of the year’s military operations: for the exiles of the
oligarchical party, having come back to the island and fortified
themselves on Mount Istônê, carried on war with so much activity
against the Korkyræans in the city, that distress and even famine
reigned there; while sixty Peloponnesian triremes were sent thither
to assist the aggressors. As soon as it became known at Athens how
hardly the Korkyræans in the city were pressed, orders were given to
an Athenian fleet of forty triremes, about to sail for Sicily under
Eurymedon and Sophoklês, to halt in their voyage at Korkyra, and
to lend whatever aid might be needed.[502] But during the course
of this voyage, an incident occurred elsewhere, neither foreseen
nor imagined by any one, which gave a new character and promise to
the whole war,—illustrating forcibly the observations of Periklês
and Archidamus before its commencement, on the impossibility of
calculating what turn events might take.[503]

  [502] Thucyd. iv, 2, 3.

  [503] Thucyd. i, 140; ii, 11.

So high did Demosthenês stand in the favor of his countrymen, after
his brilliant successes in the Ambrakian gulf, that they granted
him permission, at his own request, to go aboard and to employ the
fleet in any descent which he might think expedient on the coast of
Peloponnesus. The attachment of this active officer to the Messenians
at Naupaktus, inspired him with the idea of planting a detachment
of them on some well-chosen maritime post in the ancient Messenian
territory, from whence they would be able permanently to harass the
Lacedæmonians and provoke revolt among the Helots,—the more so,
from their analogy of race and dialect. The Messenians, active in
privateering, and doubtless well acquainted with the points of this
coast, all of which had formerly belonged to their ancestors, had
probably indicated to him Pylus, on the southwestern shore. That
ancient and Homeric name was applied specially and properly to denote
the promontory which forms the northern termination of the modern
bay of Navarino, opposite to the island of Sphagia, or Sphakteria;
though in vague language the whole neighboring district seems also
to have been called Pylus. Accordingly, in circumnavigating Laconia,
Demosthenês requested that the fleet might be detained at this spot
long enough to enable him to fortify it, engaging himself to stay
afterwards and maintain it with a garrison. It was an uninhabited
promontory, about forty-five miles from Sparta; that is, as far
distant as any portion of her territory, presenting rugged cliffs,
and easy of defence both by sea and land: but its great additional
recommendation, with reference to the maritime power of Athens,
consisted in its overhanging the spacious and secure basin now called
the bay of Navarino. That basin was fronted and protected by the
islet called Sphakteria, or Sphagia, untrodden, untenanted, and full
of wood, which stretched along the coast for about a mile and three
quarters, leaving only two narrow entrances: one at its northern end,
opposite to the position fixed on by Demosthenês, so confined as
to admit only two triremes abreast,—the other at the southern end,
about four times as broad; while the inner water approached by these
two channels was both roomy and protected. It was on the coast of
Peloponnesus, a little within the northern or narrowest of the two
channels, that Demosthenês proposed to plant his little fort,—the
ground being itself eminently favorable, and a spring of fresh
water[504] in the centre of the promontory.[505]

  [504] Thucyd. iv, 26.

  [505] Topography of Sphakteria and Pylus. The description given
  by Thucydidês, of the memorable incidents in or near Pylus and
  Sphakteria, is perfectly clear, intelligible, and consistent with
  itself, as to topography. But when we consult the topography of
  the scene as it stands now, we find various circumstances which
  cannot possibly be reconciled with Thucydidês. Both Colonel
  Leake (Travels in the Morea, vol. i, pp. 402-415) and Dr. Arnold
  (Appendix to the second and third volume of his Thucydidês, p.
  444) have given plans of the coast, accompanied with valuable

  The main discrepancy, between the statement of Thucydidês and the
  present state of the coast, is to be found in the breadth of the
  two channels between Sphakteria and the mainland. The southern
  entrance into the bay of Navarino is now between thirteen hundred
  and fourteen hundred yards, with a depth of water varying
  from five, seven, twenty-eight, thirty-three fathoms; whereas
  Thucydidês states it as being only a breadth adequate to admit
  eight or nine triremes abreast. The northern entrance is about
  one hundred and fifty yards in width, with a shoal or bar of
  sand lying across it on which there are not more than eighteen
  inches of water: Thucydidês tells us that it afforded room for no
  more than two triremes, and his narrative implies a much greater
  depth of water, so as to make the entrance for triremes perfectly

  Colonel Leake supposes that Thucydidês was misinformed as to
  the breadth of the southern passage; but Dr. Arnold has on this
  point given a satisfactory reply,—that the narrowness of the
  breadth is not merely affirmed in the numbers of Thucydidês, but
  is indirectly implied in his narrative, where he tells us that
  the Lacedæmonians intended to choke up both of them by triremes
  closely packed. Obviously, this expedient could not be dreamt
  of, except for a very narrow mouth. The same reply suffices
  against the doubts which Bloomfield and Poppo (Comment. p. 10)
  raise about the genuineness of the numerals ὀκτὼ or ἐννέα in
  Thucydidês; a doubt which merely transfers the supposed error
  from Thucydidês to the writer of the MS.

  Dr. Arnold has himself raised a still graver doubt; whether the
  island now called Sphagia be really the same as Sphakteria,
  and whether the bay of Navarino be the real harbor of Pylus.
  He suspects that the Pale-Navarino which has been generally
  understood to be Pylus, was in reality the ancient Sphakteria,
  separated from the mainland in ancient times by a channel at the
  north as well as by another at the southeast,—though now it is
  not an island at all. He farther suspects that the lake or lagoon
  called Lake of Osmyn Aga, north of the harbor of Navarino, and
  immediately under that which he supposes to have been Sphakteria,
  was the ancient harbor of Pylus, in which the sea-fight between
  the Athenians and Lacedæmonians took place. He does not, indeed,
  assert this as a positive opinion, but leans to it as the most
  probable, admitting that there are difficulties either way.

  Dr. Arnold has stated some of the difficulties which beset this
  hypothesis (p. 447), but there was one which he has not stated,
  which appears to me the most formidable of all, and quite fatal
  to the admissibility of his opinion. If the Paleokastro of
  Navarino was the real ancient Sphakteria, it must have been a
  second island situated to the northward of Sphagia. There must
  therefore have been _two_ islands close together off the coast
  and near the scene. Now if the reader will follow the account of
  Thucydidês, he will see that there certainly was no more than
  _one_ island,—Sphakteria, without any other near or adjoining to
  it; see especially c. 13: the Athenian fleet under Eurymedon,
  on first arriving, was obliged to go back some distance to the
  island of Prôtê, because _the island_ of Sphakteria was full of
  Lacedæmonian hoplites: if Dr. Arnold’s hypothesis were admitted,
  there would have been nothing to hinder them from landing on
  Sphagia itself,—the same inference may be deduced from c. 8. The
  statement of Pliny (H. N. iv, 12) that there were _tres Sphagiæ_
  off Pylus, unless we suppose with Hardouin that two of them
  were mere rocks, appears to me inconsistent with the account of

  I think that there is no alternative except to suppose that
  a great alteration has taken place in the two passages which
  separate Sphagia from the mainland, during the interval of two
  thousand four hundred years which separates us from Thucydidês.
  The mainland to the south of Navarino must have been much nearer
  than it is now to the southern portion of Sphagia, while the
  northern passage also must have been then both narrower and
  clearer. To suppose a change in the configuration of the coast to
  this extent, seems noway extravagant: any other hypothesis which
  may be started will be found involved in much greater difficulty.

But Eurymedon and Sophoklês decidedly rejected all proposition of
delay; and with much reason, since they had been informed (though
seemingly without truth) that the Peloponnesian fleet had actually
reached Korkyra: they might well have remembered the mischief which
had ensued three years before from the delay of the reinforcement
sent to Phormio in some desultory operations on the coast of Krete.
The fleet accordingly passed by Pylus without stopping: but a
terrible storm drove them back and forced them to seek shelter in
the very harbor which Demosthenês had fixed upon,—the only harbor
anywhere near. That officer took advantage of this accident to
renew his proposition, which however appeared to the commanders
chimerical: there were plenty of desert capes round Peloponnesus,
they said, if he chose to waste the resources of the city in
occupying them,[506]—nor were they at all moved by his reasons in
reply. Finding himself thus unsuccessful, Demosthenês presumed upon
the undefined permission granted to him by the Athenian people, to
address himself first to the soldiers, last of all to the taxiarchs,
or inferior officers, and to persuade them to second his project,
even against the will of the commanders. Much inconvenience might
well have arisen from such clashing of authority: but it happened
that both the soldiers and the taxiarchs took the same view of
the case as their commanders, and refused compliance: nor can we
be surprised at such reluctance, when we reflect upon the seeming
improbability of being able to maintain such a post against the
great real, and still greater supposed, superiority of Lacedæmonian
land-force. It happened, however, that the fleet was detained there
for some days by stormy weather; so that the soldiers, having
nothing to do, were seized with the spontaneous impulse of occupying
themselves with the fortification, and crowded around to execute
it with all the emulation of eager volunteers. Having contemplated
nothing of the kind on starting from Athens, they had neither tools
for cutting stone, nor hods for carrying mortar:[507] accordingly,
they were compelled to build their wall by collecting such pieces
of rock or stones as they found, and putting them together as each
happened to fit in: whenever mortar was needed, they brought it up on
their backs bent inwards, with hands joined behind them to prevent
it from slipping away. Such deficiencies were made up, however,
partly by the unbounded ardor of the soldiers, partly by the natural
difficulties of the ground, which hardly required fortification
except at particular points; the work was completed in a rough way
in six days, and Demosthenês was left in garrison with five ships,
while Eurymedon with the main fleet sailed away to Korkyra. The
crews of the five ships, two of which, however, were sent away to
warn Eurymedon afterwards, would amount to about one thousand in
all: but there presently arrived two armed Messenian privateers,
from which Demosthenês obtained a reinforcement of forty Messenian
hoplites, together with a supply of wicker shields, though more fit
for show than for use, wherewith to arm his rowers. Altogether, it
appears that he must have had about two hundred hoplites, besides the
half-armed seamen.[508]

  [506] Thucyd. iv, 3. The account, alike meagre and inaccurate,
  given by Diodorus, of these interesting events in Pylus and
  Sphakteria, will be found in Diodor. xii, 61-64.

  [507] Thucyd. iv, 4.

  [508] Thucyd. iv, 9. Demosthenês placed the _greater number_
  (τοὺς πολλοὺς) of his hoplites round the walls of his post, and
  selected _sixty_ of them to march down to the shore. This implies
  a total which can hardly be less than two hundred.

Intelligence of this attempt to plant, even upon the Lacedæmonian
territory, the annoyance and insult of a hostile post, was soon
transmitted to Sparta,—yet no immediate measures were taken to
march to the spot; as well from the natural slowness of the Spartan
character, strengthened by a festival which happened to be then going
on, as from the confidence entertained that, whenever attacked, the
expulsion of the enemy was certain. A stronger impression, however,
was made by the news upon the Lacedæmonian army invading Attica, who
were at the same time suffering from want of provisions, the corn
not being yet ripe, and from an unusually cold spring: accordingly,
Agis marched them back to Sparta, and the fortification of Pylus thus
produced the effect of abridging the invasion to the unusually short
period of fifteen days. It operated in like manner to the protection
of Korkyra: for the Peloponnesian fleet, recently arrived thither,
or still on its way, received orders immediately to return for the
attack of Pylus. Having avoided the Athenian fleet by transporting
the ships across the isthmus at Leukas, it reached Pylus about the
same time as the Lacedæmonian land-force from Sparta, composed of the
Spartans themselves and the neighboring Periœki: for the more distant
Periœki, as well as the Peloponnesian allies, being just returned
from Attica, were summoned to come as soon as they could, but did not
accompany this first march.[509]

  [509] Thucyd. iv, 8.

At the last moment, before the Peloponnesian fleet came in and
occupied the harbor, Demosthenês detached two out of his five
triremes to warn Eurymedon and the main fleet, and to entreat
immediate succor: the remaining ships he hauled ashore under the
fortification, protecting them by palisades planted in front, and
preparing to defend himself in the best manner he could. Having
posted the larger portion of his force,—some of them mere seamen
without arms, and many only half-armed,—round the assailable points
of the fortification, to resist attacks from the land-force, he
himself, with sixty chosen hoplites and a few bowmen, marched out of
the fortification down to the sea-shore. It was on that side that
the wall was weakest, for the Athenians, confident in their naval
superiority, had given themselves little trouble to provide against
an assailant fleet. Accordingly, Demosthenês foresaw that the great
stress of the attack would lie on the sea-side, and his only chance
of safety consisted in preventing the enemy from landing; a purpose,
seconded by the rocky and perilous shore, which left no possibility
of approach for ships, except on a narrow space immediately under the
fortification. It was here that he took post, on the water’s edge,
addressing a few words of encouragement to his men, and warning them
that it was useless now to display acuteness in summing up perils
which were but too obvious,—and that the only chance of escape lay
in boldly encountering the enemy before they could set foot ashore;
the difficulty of effecting a landing from ships in the face of
resistance being better known to Athenian mariners than to any one

  [510] Thucyd. iv, 10.

With a fleet of forty-three triremes, under Thrasymelidas, and a
powerful land-force, simultaneously attacking, the Lacedæmonians
had good hopes of storming at once a rock so hastily converted into
a military post. But as they foresaw that the first attack might
possibly fail, and that the fleet of Eurymedon would probably return,
they resolved to occupy forthwith the island of Sphakteria, the
natural place where the Athenian fleet would take station for the
purpose of assisting the garrison ashore. The neighboring coast on
the mainland of Peloponnesus was both harborless and hostile, so
that there was no other spot near, where they could take station.
And the Lacedæmonian commanders reckoned upon being able to stop up,
as it were mechanically, both the two entrances into the harbor, by
triremes lashed together, from the island to the mainland, with their
prows pointing outwards; so that they would be able at any rate,
occupying the island as well as the two channels, to keep off the
Athenian fleet, and to hold Demosthenês closely blocked up[511] on
the rock of Pylus, where his provisions would quickly fail him. With
these views, they drafted off by lot some hoplites from each of the
Spartan lochi, accompanied as usual by Helots, and sent them across
to Sphakteria; while their land-force and their fleet approached at
once to attack the fortification.

  [511] Thucyd. iv, 8. τοὺς μὲν οὖν ἔσπλους ταῖς ναυσὶν ἀντιπρώροις
  βύζην κλῄσειν ἔμελλον.

Of the assault on the land-side, we hear little: the Lacedæmonians
were proverbially unskilful in the attack of anything like a
fortified place, and they appear now to have made little impression.
But the chief stress and vigor of the attack came on the sea-side, as
Demosthenês had foreseen. The landing-place, even where practicable,
was still rocky and difficult,—and so narrow in dimensions, that
the Lacedæmonian ships could only approach by small squadrons at a
time; while the Athenians maintained their ground firmly to prevent
a single man from setting foot on land. The assailing triremes rowed
up with loud shouts and exhortations to each other, striving to get
so placed as that the hoplites in the bow could effect a landing:
but such were the difficulties arising partly from the rocks and
partly from the defence, that squadron after squadron tried this
in vain. Nor did even the gallant example of Brasidas procure for
them any better success. That officer, commanding a trireme, and
observing that some of the pilots near him were cautious in driving
their ships close in shore for fear of breaking them against the
rocks, indignantly called to them not to spare the planks of their
vessels, when the enemy had insulted them by erecting a fort in the
country: Lacedæmonians, he exclaimed, ought to carry the landing by
force, even though their ships should be dashed to pieces,—nor ought
the Peloponnesian allies to be backward in sacrificing their ships
for Sparta, in return for the many services which she had rendered
to them.[512] Foremost in performance as well as in exhortation,
Brasidas constrained his own pilot to drive his ship close in, and
advanced in person even on to the landing-steps for the purpose of
leaping first ashore. But here he stood exposed to all the weapons
of the Athenian defenders, who beat him back and pierced him with so
many wounds, that he fainted away, and fell back into the bows, or
foremost part of the trireme, beyond the rowers; while his shield,
slipping away from the arm, dropped down and rolled overboard into
the sea. His ship was obliged to retire, like the rest, without
having effected any landing: and all these successive attacks
from the sea, repeated for one whole day and a part of the next
were repulsed by Demosthenês and his little band with victorious
bravery. To both sides it seemed a strange reversal of ordinary
relations,[513] that the Athenians, essentially maritime, should
be fighting on land—and that, too, Lacedæmonian land—against the
Lacedæmonians, the select land-warriors of Greece, now on shipboard,
and striving in vain to compass a landing on their own shore. The
Athenians, in honor of their success, erected a trophy, the chief
ornament of which was the shield of Brasidas, which had been cast
ashore by the water.

  [512] Thucyd. iv, 11, 12; Diodor. xii. Consult an excellent
  note of Dr. Arnold on this passage, in which he contrasts
  the looseness and exaggeration of Diodorus with the modest
  distinctness of Thucydidês.

  [513] Thucyd. iv, 12. ἐπὶ πολὺ γὰρ ἐποίει τῆς δόξης ~ἐν τῷ τότε~,
  τοῖς μὲν ἠπειρώταις μάλιστα εἶναι καὶ τὰ πεζὰ κρατίστοις, τοῖς δὲ
  θαλασσίοις τε καὶ ταῖς ναυσὶ πλεῖστον προέχειν.

On the third day, the Lacedæmonians did not repeat their attack, but
sent some of their vessels round to Asinê, in the Messenian gulf,
for timber to construct battering machines; which they intended to
employ against the wall of Demosthenês, on the side towards the
harbor, where it was higher, and could not be assailed without
machines, but where, at the same time, there was great facility
in landing,—for their previous attack had been made on the side
fronting the sea, where the wall was lower, but the difficulties
of landing insuperable.[514] But before these ships came back, the
face of affairs was seriously changed by the unwelcome return of
the Athenian fleet from Zakynthus, under Eurymedon, reinforced by
four Chian ships, and some of the guard-ships at Naupaktus, so as
now to muster fifty sail. The Athenian admiral, finding the enemy’s
fleet in possession of the harbor, and seeing both the island of
Sphakteria occupied, and the opposite shore covered with Lacedæmonian
hoplites,[515]—for the allies from all parts of Peloponnesus had
now arrived,—looked around in vain for a place to land, and could
find no other night-station except the uninhabited island of Prôtê,
not very far distant. From hence he sailed forth in the morning to
Pylus, prepared for a naval engagement,—hoping that perhaps the
Lacedæmonians might come out to fight him in the open sea, but
resolved, if this did not happen, to force his way in and attack
the fleet in the harbor; the breadth of sea between Sphakteria and
the mainland being sufficient to admit of nautical manœuvre.[516]
The Lacedæmonian admirals, seemingly confounded by the speed of the
Athenian fleet in coming back, never thought of sailing out of the
harbor to fight, nor did they even realize their scheme of blocking
up the two entrances of the harbor with triremes closely lashed
together. Both entrances were left open, though they determined to
defend themselves within: but even here, so defective were their
precautions, that several of their triremes were yet moored, and the
rowers not fully aboard, when the Athenian admirals sailed in by both
entrances at once to attack them. Most of the Lacedæmonian triremes,
afloat, and in fighting trim, resisted the attack for a certain
time, but were at length vanquished, and driven back to the shore,
many of them with serious injury.[517] Five of them were captured
and towed off, one with all her crew aboard, and the Athenians,
vigorously pursuing their success, drove against such as took refuge
on the shore, as well as those which were not manned at the moment
when the attack began, and had not been able to get afloat or into
action. Some of the vanquished triremes being deserted by their
crews, who jumped out upon the land, the Athenians were proceeding
to tow them off, when the Lacedæmonian hoplites on the shore opposed
a new and strenuous resistance. Excited to the utmost pitch by
witnessing the disgraceful defeat of their fleet, and aware of the
cruel consequences which turned upon it,—they marched all armed
into the water, seized the ships to prevent them from being dragged
off, and engaged in a desperate conflict to baffle the assailants:
we have already seen a similar act of bravery, two years before,
on the part of the Messenian hoplites accompanying the fleet of
Phormio near Naupaktus.[518] Extraordinary daring and valor was here
displayed on both sides, in the attack as well as in the defence,
and such was the clamor and confusion, that neither the land skill
of the Lacedæmonians, nor the sea skill of the Athenians, were of
much avail: the contest was one of personal valor and considerable
suffering on both sides. At length the Lacedæmonians carried their
point, and saved all the ships ashore; none being carried away except
those at first captured. Both parties thus separated: the Athenians
retired to the fortress at Pylus, where they were doubtless hailed
with overflowing joy by their comrades, and where they erected a
trophy for their victory, giving up the enemy’s dead for burial, and
picking up the floating wrecks and pieces.[519]

  [514] Thucyd. iv, 13. ἐλπίζοντες τὸ κατὰ τὸν λιμένα τεῖχος ὕψος
  μὲν ἔχειν, ἀποβάσεως δὲ μάλιστα οὔσης ἑλεῖν μηχαναῖς. See Poppo’s
  note upon this passage.

  [515] Thucyd. iv, 14.

  [516] Thucyd. iv, 13. The Lacedæmonians παρεσκευάζοντο, ἢν ἐσπλέῃ
  τις, ὡς ἐν τῷ λιμένι ὄντι οὐ σμικρῷ ναυμαχήσοντες.

  The expression, “the harbor which was not small,” to designate
  the spacious bay of Navarino, has excited much remark from Mr.
  Bloomfield and Dr. Arnold, and was indeed one of the reasons
  which induced the latter to suspect that the harbor meant by
  Thucydidês was _not_ the bay of Navarino, but the neighboring
  lake of Osmyn Aga.

  I have already discussed that supposition in a former note: but
  in reference to the expression οὐ σμικρῷ, we may observe, first,
  that the use of negative expressions to convey a positive idea
  would be in the ordinary manner of Thucydidês.

  But farther, I have stated in a previous note that it is
  indispensable, in my judgment, to suppose the island of
  Sphakteria to have touched the mainland much more closely in the
  time of Thucydidês than it does now. At that time, therefore,
  very probably, the basin of Navarino was not so large as we now
  find it.

  [517] Thucyd. iv, 14. ~ἔτρωσαν~ μὲν πολλὰς, πέντε δ᾽ ἔλαβον. We
  cannot in English speak of _wounding_ a trireme,—though the Greek
  word is both lively and accurate, to represent the blow inflicted
  by the impinging beak of an enemy’s ship.

  [518] See above, in this History, chap. xlix.

  [519] Thucyd. iv, 13, 14.

But the great prize of the victory was neither in the five ships
captured, nor in the relief afforded to the besieged at Pylus. It
lay in the hoplites occupying the island of Sphakteria, who were
now cut off from the mainland, as well as from all supplies. The
Athenians, sailing round it in triumph, already looked upon them as
their prisoners; while the Lacedæmonians on the opposite mainland,
deeply distressed, but not knowing what to do, sent to Sparta for
advice. So grave was the emergency, that the ephors came in person
to the spot forthwith. Since they could still muster sixty triremes,
a greater number than the Athenians,—besides a large force on land,
and the whole command of the resources of the country,—while the
Athenians had no footing on shore except the contracted promontory of
Pylus, we might have imagined that a strenuous effort to carry off
the imprisoned detachment across the narrow strait to the mainland
would have had a fair chance of success. And probably, if either
Demosthenês or Brasidas had been in command, such an effort would
have been made. But Lacedæmonian courage was rather steadfast and
unyielding than adventurous: and, moreover, the Athenian superiority
at sea exercised a sort of fascination over men’s minds, analogous
to that of the Spartans themselves on land; so that the ephors, on
reaching Pylus, took a desponding view of their position, and sent a
herald to the Athenian generals to propose an armistice, in order to
allow time for envoys to go to Athens and treat for peace.

To this Eurymedon and Demosthenês assented, and an armistice was
concluded on the following terms: The Lacedæmonians agreed to
surrender not only all their triremes now in the harbor, but also all
the rest in their ports, altogether to the number of sixty; also,
to abstain from all attack upon the fortress at Pylus, either by
land or sea, for such time as should be necessary for the mission of
envoys to Athens as well as for their return, both to be effected
in an Athenian trireme provided for the purpose. The Athenians
on their side engaged to desist from all hostilities during the
like interval; but it was agreed that they should keep strict and
unremitting watch over the island, yet without landing upon it. For
the subsistence of the detachment in the island, the Lacedæmonians
were permitted to send over every day two chœnikes of barley-meal in
cakes, ready baked, two kotylæ of wine,[520] and some meat, for each
hoplite,—together with half that quantity for each of the attendant
Helots; but this was all to be done under the supervision of the
Athenians, with peremptory obligation to send no secret additional
supplies. It was, moreover, expressly stipulated that if any one
provision of the armistice, small or great, were violated, the whole
should be considered as null and void. Lastly, the Athenians engaged,
on the return of the envoys from Athens, to restore the triremes in
the same condition as they received them.

  [520] Thucyd. iv, 16. The chœnix was equivalent to about two
  pints, English dry measure: it was considered as the usual daily
  sustenance for a slave. Each Lacedæmonian soldier had, therefore,
  double of this daily allowance, besides meat, in weight and
  quantity not specified: the fact that the quantity of meat is not
  specified, seems to show that they did not fear abuse in this

  The kotyla contained about half a pint, English wine measure:
  each Lacedæmonian soldier had, therefore, a pint of wine daily.
  It was always the practice in Greece to drink the wine with a
  large admixture of water.

Such terms sufficiently attest the humiliation and anxiety of the
Lacedæmonians; while the surrender of their entire naval force to
the number of sixty triremes, which was forthwith carried into
effect, demonstrates at the same time that they sincerely believed
in the possibility of obtaining peace. Well aware that they were
themselves the original beginners of the war, at a time when the
Athenians desired peace, and that the latter had besides made
fruitless overtures while under the pressure of the epidemic, they
presumed that the same dispositions still prevailed at Athens, and
that their present pacific wishes would be so gladly welcomed as to
procure without difficulty the relinquishment of the prisoners in

  [521] Thucyd. iv, 21: compare vii, 18.

The Lacedæmonian envoys, conveyed to Athens in an Athenian trireme,
appeared before the public assembly to set forth their mission,
according to custom, prefacing their address with some apologies
for that brevity of speech which belonged to their country. Their
proposition was in substance a very simple one: “Give up to us the
men in the island, and accept, in exchange for this favor, peace,
with the alliance of Sparta.” They enforced their cause, by appeals,
well-turned and conciliatory, partly indeed to the generosity, but
still more to the prudential calculation of Athens; explicitly
admitting the high and glorious vantage-ground on which she was
now placed, as well as their own humbled dignity and inferior
position.[522] They, the Lacedæmonians, the first and greatest power
in Greece, were now smitten by adverse fortune of war,—and that too
without misconduct of their own, so that they were for the first
time obliged to solicit an enemy for peace; which Athens had the
precious opportunity of granting, not merely with honor to herself,
but also in such manner as to create in their minds an ineffaceable
friendship. And it became Athens to make use of her present good
fortune while she had it,—not to rely upon its permanence, nor to
abuse it by extravagant demands; her own imperial prudence, as well
as the present circumstances of the Spartans, might teach her how
unexpectedly the most disastrous casualties occurred. By granting
what was now asked, she might make a peace which would be far
more durable than if it were founded on the extorted compliances
of a weakened enemy, because it would rest on Spartan honor and
gratitude; the greater the previous enmity, the stronger would be
such reactionary sentiment.[523] But if Athens should now refuse,
and if, in the farther prosecution of the war, the men in Sphakteria
should perish,—a new and inexpiable ground of quarrel,[524] peculiar
to Sparta herself, would be added to those already subsisting,
which rather concerned Sparta as the chief of the Peloponnesian
confederacy. Nor was it only the good-will and gratitude of the
Spartans which Athens would earn by accepting the proposition
tendered to her; she would farther acquire the grace and glory of
conferring peace on Greece, which all the Greeks would recognize as
her act. And when once the two preëminent powers, Athens and Sparta,
were established in cordial amity, the remaining Grecian states would
be too weak to resist what they two might prescribe.[525]

  [522] Thucyd. iv, 18. γνῶτε δὲ καὶ ἐς τὰς ἡμετέρας νῦν ξυμφορὰς
  ἀπιδόντες, etc.

  [523] Thucyd. iv, 19.

  [524] Thucyd. iv, 20. ἡμῖν δὲ καλῶς, εἴπερ πότε, ἔχει ἀμφοτέροις
  ἡ ξυναλλαγὴ, πρίν τι ἀνήκεστον διὰ μέσου γενόμενον ἡμᾶς
  καταλαβεῖν, ἐν ᾧ ἀνάγκη ἀΐδιον ὑμῖν ἔχθραν πρὸς τῇ ~κοινῇ καὶ
  ἰδίαν~ ἔχειν, ὑμᾶς δὲ στερηθῆναι ὧν νῦν προκαλούμεθα.

  I understand these words κοινὴ and ἰδία agreeably to the
  explanation of the Scholiast, from whom Dr. Arnold, as well
  as Poppo and Göller, depart, in my judgment erroneously. The
  whole war had been begun in consequence of the complaints of
  the Peloponnesian allies, and of wrongs alleged to have been
  done to _them_ by Athens: Sparta herself had no ground of
  complaint,—nothing of which she desired redress.

  Dr. Arnold translates it: “We shall hate you not only
  nationally, for the wound you have inflicted on Sparta; but also
  individually, because so many of us will have lost our near
  relations from your inflexibility.” “The Spartan aristocracy (he
  adds) would feel it a personal wound to lose at once so many of
  its members, connected by blood or marriage with its principal
  families: compare Thucyd. v, 15.”

  We must recollect, however, that the Athenians could not possibly
  know at this time that the hoplites inclosed in Sphakteria
  belonged in great proportion to the first families in Sparta. And
  the Spartan envoys would surely have the diplomatic prudence to
  abstain from any facts or arguments which would reveal, or even
  suggest, to them so important a secret.

  [525] Thucyd. iv, 20. ἡμῶν γὰρ καὶ ὑμῶν ταὐτὰ λεγόντων τό γε ἄλλο
  Ἑλληνικὸν ἴστε ὅτι ὑποδεέστερον ὂν τὰ μέγιστα τιμήσει.

  Aristophanês, Pac. 1048. Ἐξὸν σπεισαμένοις κοινῇ τῆς Ἑλλάδος

Such was the language held by the Lacedæmonians in the assembly at
Athens. It was discreetly calculated for their purpose, though when
we turn back to the commencement of the war, and read the lofty
declarations of the Spartan ephors and assembly respecting the
wrongs of their allies and the necessity of extorting full indemnity
for them from Athens, the contrast is indeed striking. On this
occasion, the Lacedæmonians acted entirely for themselves and from
consideration of their own necessities; severing themselves from
their allies, and soliciting a special peace for themselves, with as
little scruple as the Spartan general, Menedæus, during the preceding
year, when he abandoned his Ambrakiot confederates after the battle
of Olpæ, to conclude a separate capitulation with Demosthenês.

The course proper to be adopted by Athens in reference to the
proposition, however, was by no means obvious. In all probability,
the trireme which brought the Lacedæmonian envoys also brought the
first news of that unforeseen and instantaneous turn of events which
had rendered the Spartans in Sphakteria certain prisoners,—so it was
then conceived,—and placed the whole Lacedæmonian fleet in their
power; thus giving a totally new character of the war. The sudden
arrival of such prodigious intelligence,—the astounding presence of
Lacedæmonian envoys, bearing the olive-branch, and in an attitude of
humiliation,—must have produced in the susceptible public of Athens
emotions of the utmost intensity; an elation and confidence such as
had probably never been felt since the reconquest of Samos. It was
difficult at first to measure the full bearings of the new situation,
and even Periklês himself might have hesitated what to recommend: but
the immediate and dominant impression with the general public was,
that Athens might now ask her own terms, as consideration for the
prisoners in the island.[526] Of this reigning tendency Kleon[527]
made himself the emphatic organ, as he had done three years before
in the sentence passed on the Mitylenæans; a man who—like leading
journals, in modern times—often appeared to guide the public because
he gave vehement utterance to that which they were already feeling,
and carried it out in its collateral bearings and consequences.
On the present occasion, he doubtless spoke with the most genuine
conviction; for he was full of the sentiment of Athenian force and
Athenian imperial dignity, as well as disposed to a sanguine view of
future chances. Moreover, in a discussion like that now opened, where
there was much room for doubt, he came forward with a proposition
at once plain and decisive. Reminding the Athenians of the
dishonorable truce of thirty years to which they had been compelled
by the misfortunes of the time to accede, fourteen years before the
Peloponnesian war,—Kleon insisted that now was the time for Athens to
recover what she had then lost,—Nisæa, Pegæ, Trœzen, and Achaia. He
proposed that Sparta should be required to restore these to Athens,
in exchange for the soldiers now blocked up in Sphakteria; after
which a truce might be concluded for as long a time as might be
deemed expedient.

  [526] Thucyd. iv, 21.

  [527] Thucyd. iv, 21. μάλιστα δὲ αὐτοὺς ἐνῆγε Κλέων ὁ Κλεαινέτου,
  ἀνὴρ δημαγωγὸς κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν χρόνον ὢν καὶ τῷ δήμῳ
  πιθανώτατος· καὶ ἔπεισεν ἀποκρίνασθαι, etc.

  This sentence reads like a first introduction of Kleon to the
  notice of the reader. It would appear that Thucydidês had
  forgotten that he had before introduced Kleon on occasion
  of the Mitylenæan surrender, and that too in language very
  much the same, iii, 36. καὶ Κλέων ὁ Κλεαινέτου,—ὢν καὶ ἐς τὰ
  ἄλλα βιαιότατος τῶν πολιτῶν, καὶ τῷ δήμῳ παρὰ πολὺ ἐν τῷ τότε
  πιθανώτατος, etc.

This decree, adopted by the assembly, was communicated as the answer
of Athens to the Lacedæmonian envoys, who had probably retired after
their first address, and were now sent for again into the assembly,
to hear it. On being informed of the resolution, they made no comment
on its substance, but invited the Athenians to name commissioners,
who might discuss with them freely and deliberately suitable terms
for a pacification. Here, however, Kleon burst upon them with an
indignant rebuke. He had thought from the first, he said, that they
came with dishonest purposes, but now the thing was clear,—nothing
else could be meant by this desire to treat with some few men apart
from the general public. If they had really any fair proposition to
make, he called upon them to proclaim it openly to all. But this
the envoys could not bring themselves to do. They had probably come
with authority to make certain concessions, but to announce these
concessions forthwith would have rendered negotiation impossible,
besides dishonoring them in the face of their allies. Such dishonor
would be incurred, too, without any advantage, if the Athenians
should after all reject the terms, which the temper of the assembly
before them rendered but too probable. Moreover, they were totally
unpractised in the talents for dealing with a public assembly,
such discussions being so rare as to be practically unknown in the
Lacedæmonian system. To reply to the denunciation of a vehement
speaker like Kleon, required readiness of elocution, dexterity, and
self-command, which they had had no opportunity of acquiring. They
remained silent,—abashed by the speaker and intimidated by the temper
of the assembly: their mission was thus terminated, and they were
reconveyed in the trireme to Pylus.[528]

  [528] Thucyd. iv, 22.

It is probable that if these envoys had been able to make an
effective reply to Kleon, and to defend their proposition against
his charge of fraudulent purpose, they would have been sustained
by Nikias and a certain number of leading Athenians, so that the
assembly might have been brought at least to try the issue of a
private discussion between diplomatic agents on both sides. But
the case was one in which it was absolutely necessary that the
envoys should stand forward with some defence for themselves; which
Nikias might effectively second, but could not originate: and as
they were incompetent to this task, the whole affair broke down.
We shall hereafter find other examples, in which the incapacity
of Lacedæmonian envoys, to meet the open debate of Athenian
political life, is productive of mischievous results. In this case,
the proposition of the envoys to enter into treaty with select
commissioners, was not only quite reasonable, but afforded the
only possibility—though doubtless not a certainty—of some ultimate
pacification: and the manœuvre whereby Kleon discredited it was
a grave abuse of publicity, not unknown in modern, though more
frequent in ancient, political life. Kleon probably thought that
if commissioners were named, Nikias, Lachês, and other politicians
of the same rank and color, would be the persons selected; persons
whose anxiety for peace and alliance with Sparta would make them
over-indulgent and careless in securing the interests of Athens: and
it will be seen, when we come to describe the conduct of Nikias four
years afterwards, that this suspicion was not ill-grounded.

Unfortunately Thucydidês, in describing the proceedings of this
assembly, so important in its consequences because it intercepted a
promising opening for peace, is brief as usual,—telling us only what
was said by Kleon and what was decided by the assembly. But though
nothing is positively stated respecting Nikias and his partisans,
we learn from other sources, and we may infer from what afterwards
occurred, that they vehemently opposed Kleon, and that they looked
coldly on the subsequent enterprise against Sphakteria as upon his
peculiar measure.[529]

  [529] Plutarch, Nikias, c. 7; Philochorus, Fragm. 105, ed. Didot.

It has been common to treat the dismissal of the Lacedæmonian envoys
on this occasion as a peculiar specimen of democratical folly. But
over-estimation of the prospective chances arising out of success,
to a degree more extravagant than that of which Athens was now
guilty, is by no means peculiar to democracy. Other governments,
opposed to democracy not less in temper than in form,—an able
despot like the emperor Napoleon, and a powerful aristocracy like
that of England,[530]—have found success to the full as misleading.
That Athens should desire to profit by this unexpected piece of
good fortune, was perfectly reasonable: that she should make use
of it to regain advantages which former misfortunes had compelled
herself to surrender, was a feeling not unnatural. And whether the
demand was excessive, or by how much, is a question always among
the most embarrassing for any government—kingly, oligarchical, or
democratical—to determine.

  [530] Let us read some remarks of Mr. Burke on the temper of
  England during the American war.

  “You remember that in the beginning of this American war,
  you were greatly divided: and a very strong body, if not the
  strongest, opposed itself to the madness which every art and
  every power were employed to render popular, in order that the
  errors of the rulers might be lost in the general blindness of
  the nation. This opposition continued until after our great,
  but most unfortunate, victory at Long Island. Then all the
  mounds and banks of our constancy were borne down at once; and
  the frenzy of the American war broke in upon us like a deluge.
  This victory, which seemed to put an immediate end to all
  difficulties, perfected in us that spirit of domination which our
  unparalleled prosperity had but too long nurtured. We had been
  so very powerful, and so very prosperous, that even the humblest
  of us were degraded into the devices and follies of kings. We
  lost all measure between means and ends; and our headlong desires
  became our politics and our morals. All men who wished for peace,
  or retained any sentiments of moderation, were overborne or
  silenced: and this city (Bristol) was led by every artifice (and
  probably with the more management, because _I_ was one of your
  members) to distinguish itself by its zeal for that fatal cause.”
  Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol previous to the election
  (Works, vol. iii, p. 365).

  Compare Mr. Burke’s Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, p. 174 of
  the same volume.

We may, however, remark that Kleon gave an impolitic turn to Athenian
feeling, by directing it towards the entire and literal reacquisition
of what had been lost twenty years before. Unless we are to consider
his quadruple demand as a flourish, to be modified by subsequent
negotiation, it seems to present some plausibility, but little of
long-sighted wisdom: for while, on the one hand, it called upon
Sparta to give up much which was not in her possession and must have
been extorted by force from allies,—on the other hand, the situation
of Athens was not the same as it had been when she concluded the
thirty years’ truce; nor does it seem that the restoration of Achaia
and Trœzen would have been of any material value to her. Nisæa and
Pegæ—which would have been tantamount to the entire Megarid, inasmuch
as Megara itself could hardly have been held with both its ports in
the possession of an enemy—would, indeed, have been highly valuable,
since she could then have protected her territory against invasion
from Peloponnesus, besides possessing a port in the Corinthian gulf.
And it would seem that if able commissioners had now been named for
private discussion with the Lacedæmonian envoys, under the present
urgent desire of Sparta, coupled with her disposition to abandon her
allies,—this important point might possibly have been pressed and
carried, in exchange for Sphakteria. Nay, even if such acquisition
had been found impracticable, still, the Athenians would have been
able to effect some arrangement which would have widened the breach,
and destroyed the confidence, between Sparta and her allies; a point
of great moment for them to accomplish. There was therefore every
reason for trying what could be done by negotiation, under the
present temper of Sparta; and the step, by which Kleon abruptly broke
off such hopes, was decidedly mischievous.

On the return of the envoys without success to Pylus,[531] twenty
days after their departure from that place, the armistice immediately
terminated; and the Lacedæmonians redemanded the triremes which
they had surrendered. But Eurymedon refused compliance with this
demand, alleging that the Lacedæmonians had, during the truce, made
a fraudulent attempt to surprise the rock of Pylus, and had violated
the stipulations in other ways besides; while it stood expressly
stipulated in the truce, that the violation by either side even of
the least among its conditions, should cancel all obligation on both
sides. Thucydidês, without distinctly giving his opinion, seems
rather to imply, that there was no just ground for the refusal:
though if any accidental want of vigilance had presented to the
Lacedæmonians an opportunity for surprising Pylus, they would be
likely enough to avail themselves of it, seeing that they would
thereby drive off the Athenian fleet from its only landing-place, and
render the continued blockade of Sphakteria impracticable. However
the truth may be, Eurymedon persisted in his refusal, in spite of
loud protests of the Lacedæmonians against his perfidy. Hostilities
were energetically resumed: the Lacedæmonian army on land began again
to attack the fortifications of Pylus, while the Athenian fleet
became doubly watchful in the blockade of Sphakteria, in which they
were reinforced by twenty fresh ships from Athens, making a fleet of
seventy triremes in all. Two ships were perpetually rowing round the
island in opposite directions, throughout the whole day; while at
night, the whole fleet were kept on watch, except on the sea-side of
the island in stormy weather.[532]

  [531] Thucyd. iv, 39.

  [532] Thucyd. iv, 23.

The blockade, however, was soon found to be more full of privation
in reference to the besiegers themselves, and more difficult of
enforcement in respect to the island and its occupants, than had been
originally contemplated. The Athenians were much distressed for want
of water; they had only one really good spring in the fortification
of Pylus itself, quite insufficient for the supply of a large fleet:
many of them were obliged to scrape the shingle and drink such
brackish water as they could find; while ships as well as men were
perpetually afloat, since they could take rest and refreshment only
by relays successively landing on the rock of Pylus, or even on the
edge of Sphakteria itself, with all the chance of being interrupted
by the enemy,—there being no other landing-place,[533] and the
ancient trireme affording no accommodation either for eating or
sleeping. At first, all this was patiently borne, in the hopes that
Sphakteria would speedily be starved out, and the Spartans forced
to renew the request for capitulation: but no such request came,
and the Athenians in the fleet gradually became sick in body as well
as impatient and angry in mind. In spite of all their vigilance,
clandestine supplies of provisions continually reached the island,
under the temptation of large rewards offered by the Spartan
government. Able swimmers contrived to cross the strait, dragging
after them by ropes skins full of linseed and poppy-seed mixed with
honey; while merchant vessels, chiefly manned by Helots, started
from various parts of the Laconian coast, selecting by preference
the stormy nights, and encountering every risk in order to run their
vessel with its cargo ashore on the sea-side of the island, at a time
when the Athenian guard-ships could not be on the lookout.[534] They
cared little about damage to their vessel in landing, provided they
could get the cargo on shore; for ample compensation was insured to
them, together with emancipation to every Helot who succeeded in
reaching the island with a supply. Though the Athenians redoubled
their vigilance, and intercepted many of these daring smugglers,
still, there were others who eluded them: moreover, the rations
supplied to the island by stipulation during the absence of the
envoys in their journey to Athens had been so ample, that Epitadas
the commander had been able to economize, and thus to make the stock
hold out longer. Week after week passed without any symptoms of
surrender, and the Athenians not only felt the present sufferings
of their own position, but also became apprehensive for their own
supplies, all brought by sea round Peloponnesus to this distant
and naked shore. They began even to mistrust the possibility of
thus indefinitely continuing the blockade against the contingencies
of such violent weather, as would probably ensue at the close of
summer. In this state of weariness and uncertainty, the active
Demosthenês began to organize a descent upon the island, with the
view of carrying it by force. He not only sent for forces from the
neighboring allies, Zakynthus and Naupaktus, but also transmitted an
urgent request to Athens that reinforcements might be furnished to
him for the purpose, making known explicitly both the uncomfortable
condition of the armament, and the unpromising chances of simple

  [533] Thucyd. iv, 25. τῶν νεῶν οὐκ ἐχούσων ὅρμον. This does not
  mean (as some of the commentators seem to suppose, see Poppo’s
  note) that the Athenians had not plenty of sea-room in the
  harbor: it means, that they had no station ashore, except the
  narrow space of Pylus itself.

  [534] Thucyd. iv, 26.

  [535] Thucyd. iv, 27, 29, 30.

The arrival of these envoys caused infinite mortification to the
Athenians at home. Having expected to hear, long before, that
Sphakteria had surrendered, they were now taught to consider even
the ultimate conquest as a matter of doubt: they were surprised that
the Lacedæmonians sent no fresh envoys to solicit peace, and began
to suspect that such silence was founded upon well-grounded hopes of
being able to hold out. But the person most of all discomposed was
Kleon, who observed that the people now regretted their insulting
repudiation of the Lacedæmonian message, and were displeased with him
as the author of it; while, on the contrary, his numerous political
enemies were rejoiced at the turn which events had taken, as it
opened a means of effecting his ruin. At first, Kleon contended
that the envoys had misrepresented the state of facts; to which the
latter replied by entreating, that if their accuracy were mistrusted,
commissioners of inspection might be sent to verify it; and Kleon
himself, along with Theogonês, was forthwith named for this function.

But it did not suit Kleon’s purpose to go as commissioner to Pylus,
since his mistrust of the statement was a mere general suspicion,
not resting on any positive evidence: moreover, he saw that the
dispositions of the assembly tended to comply with the request of
Demosthenês, and to despatch a reinforcing armament. He accordingly
altered his tone at once: “If ye really believe the story (he
said), do not waste time in sending commissioners, but sail at once
to capture the men. It would be easy with a proper force, if our
generals were _men_ (here he pointed reproachfully to his enemy
Nikias, then stratêgus[536]), to sail and take the soldiers in the
island. That is what _I_ at least would do, if _I_ were general.”
His words instantly provoked a hostile murmur from a portion of the
assembly: “Why do you not sail then at once, if you think the matter
so easy?” while Nikias, taking up this murmur, and delighted to have
caught his political enemy in a trap, stood forward in person, and
pressed him to set about the enterprise without delay; intimating the
willingness of himself and his colleagues to grant him any portion
of the military force of the city which he chose to ask for. Kleon
at first closed with this proposition, believing it to be a mere
stratagem of debate and not seriously intended: but so soon as he
saw that what was said was really meant, he tried to back out, and
observed to Nikias: “It is your place to sail: _you_ are general,
not I.”[537] Nikias only replied by repeating his exhortation,
renouncing formally the command against Sphakteria, and calling upon
the Athenians to recollect what Kleon had said, as well as to hold
him to his engagement. The more Kleon tried to evade the duty, the
louder and more unanimous did the cry of the assembly become that
Nikias should surrender it to him, and that _he_ should undertake
it. At last, seeing that there was no possibility of receding,
Kleon reluctantly accepted the charge, and came forward to announce
his intention in a resolute address: “I am not at all afraid of
the Lacedæmonians (he said): I shall sail without even taking with
me any of the hoplites from the regular Athenian muster-roll, but
only the Lemnian and Imbrian hoplites who are now here (that is,
Athenian kleruchs or out-citizens who had properties in Lemnos and
Imbros, and habitually resided there), together with some peltasts,
brought from Ænos, in Thrace, and four hundred bowmen. With this
force, added to what is already at Pylos, I engage in the space of
twenty days either to bring the Lacedæmonians in Sphakteria hither
as prisoners, or to kill them in the island.” The Athenians—observes
Thucydidês—laughed somewhat at Kleon’s looseness of tongue; but
prudent men had pleasure in reflecting that one or other of the two
advantages was now certain: either they would get rid of Kleon,
which they anticipated as the issue at once most probable and most
desirable,—or, if mistaken on this point, the Lacedæmonians in the
island would be killed or taken.[538] The vote was accordingly passed
for the immediate departure of Kleon, who caused Demosthenês to be
named as his colleague in command, and sent intelligence to Pylus at
once that he was about to start with the reinforcement solicited.

  [536] Thucyd. iv, 27. Καὶ ἐς Νικίαν τὸν Νικηράτου στρατηγὸν ὄντα
  ἀπεσήμαινεν, ἐχθρὸς ὢν καὶ ἐπιτιμῶν—ῥᾴδιον εἶναι παρασκευῇ, εἰ
  ἄνδρες εἶεν οἱ στρατηγοὶ, πλεύσαντας λαβεῖν τοὺς ἐν τῇ νήσῳ· καὶ
  αὐτός γ᾽ ἂν, εἰ ἦρχε, ποιῆσαι τοῦτο. Ὁ δὲ Νικίας τῶν τε Ἀθηναίων
  τι ὑποθορυβησάντων ἐς τὸν Κλέωνα, ὅτι οὐ καὶ νῦν πλεῖ, εἰ ῥᾴδιόν
  γε αὐτῷ φαίνεται· καὶ ἅμα ὁρῶν αὐτὸν ἐπιτιμῶντα, ἐκέλευεν ἥντινα
  βούλεται δύναμιν λαβόντα τὸ ἐπὶ σφᾶς εἶναι, ἐπιχειρεῖν.

  [537] Thucyd. iv, 28. ὁ δὲ (Κλέων) τὸ μὲν πρῶτον οἰόμενος
  αὐτὸν (Νικίαν) λόγῳ μόνον ἀφιέναι, ἑτοῖμος ἦν, γνοὺς δὲ τῷ
  ὄντι παραδωσείοντα ἀνεχώρει, καὶ οὐκ ἔφη αὐτὸς ἀλλ᾽ ἐκεῖνον
  στρατηγεῖν, δεδιὼς ἤδη καὶ οὐκ ἂν οἰόμενός οἱ αὐτὸν τολμῆσαι
  ὑποχωρῆσαι. Αὖθις δὲ ὁ Νικίας ἐκέλευε καὶ ἐξίστατο τῆς ἐπὶ
  Πύλῳ ἀρχῆς, καὶ μάρτυρας τοὺς Ἀθηναίους ἐποιεῖτο. Οἱ δὲ, ~οἷον
  ὄχλος φιλεῖ ποιεῖν~, ὅσῳ μᾶλλον ὁ Κλέων ὑπέφευγε τὸν πλοῦν καὶ
  ἐξανεχώρει τὰ εἰρημένα, τόσῳ ἐπεκελεύοντο τῷ Νικίᾳ παραδιδόναι
  τὴν ἀρχὴν καὶ ἐκείνῳ ἐπεβόων πλεῖν. Ὥστε οὐκ ἔχων ὅπως τῶν
  εἰρημένων ἔτι ἐξαπαλλαγῇ, ὑφίσταται τὸν πλοῦν, καὶ παρελθὼν οὔτε
  φοβεῖσθαι ἔφη Λακεδαιμονίους, etc.

  [538] Thucyd. iv, 28. Τοῖς δὲ Ἀθηναίοις ἐνέπεσε μέν τι καὶ
  γέλωτος τῇ κουφολογίᾳ αὐτοῦ· ἀσμένοις δ᾽ ὅμως ἐγίγνετο τοῖς
  σώφροσι τῶν ἀνθρώπων, λογιζομένοις δυοῖν ἀγαθοῖν τοῦ ἑτέρου
  τεύξεσθαι—ἢ Κλέωνος ἀπαλλαγήσεσθαι, ~ὃ μᾶλλον ἤλπιζον, ἢ σφαλεῖσι
  γνώμης~ Λακεδαιμονίους σφίσι χειρώσασθαι.

This curious scene, interesting as laying open the interior feeling
of the Athenian assembly, suggests, when properly considered,
reflections very different from those which have been usually
connected with it. It seems to be conceived by most historians as
a mere piece of levity or folly in the Athenian people, who are
supposed to have enjoyed the excellent joke of putting an incompetent
man against his own will at the head of this enterprise, in order
that they might amuse themselves with his blunders: Kleon is thus
contemptible, and the Athenian people ridiculous. Certainly, if that
people had been disposed to conduct their public business upon such
childish fancies as are here implied, they would have made a very
different figure from that which history actually presents to us.
The truth is, that in regard to Kleon’s alleged looseness of tongue,
which excited more or less of laughter among the persons present,
there was no one really ridiculous except the laughers themselves:
for the announcement which he made was so far from being extravagant,
that it was realized to the letter, and realized, too, let us add,
without any peculiar aid from unforeseen favorable accident. To show
how much this is the case, we have only to contrast the jesters
before the fact with the jesters after it. While the former deride
Kleon as a promiser of extravagant and impossible results, we find
Aristophanês, in his comedy of the Knights, about six months
afterwards,[539] laughing at him as having achieved nothing at
all,—as having cunningly put himself into the shoes of Demosthenês,
and stolen away from that general the glory of taking Sphakteria,
after all the difficulties of the enterprise had been already got
over, and “the cake ready baked,”—to use the phrase of the comic
poet. Both of the jests are exaggerations in opposite directions; but
the last in order of time, if it be good at all against Kleon, is a
galling sarcasm against those who derided Kleon as an extravagant

  [539] Aristophanês, Equit. 54:—

    ... καὶ πρωήν γ᾽ ἐμοῦ
    Μᾶζαν μεμαχότος ἐν Πύλῳ Λακωνικὴν,
    Πανουργότατά πως περιδραμὼν ὑφαρπάσας
    Αὐτὸς παρέθηκε τὴν ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ μεμαγμένην.

  It is Demosthenês who speaks in reference to Kleon,—termed in
  that comedy the Paphlagonian slave of Demos.

  Compare v. 391,

    Κᾆτ᾽ ἀνὴρ ἔδοξεν εἶναι, τἀλλότριον ἀμὼν θέρος, etc.,

  and 740-1197.

  So far from cunningly thrusting himself into the post as general,
  Kleon did everything he possibly could to avoid the post, and
  was only forced into it by the artifices of his enemies. It is
  important to notice how little the jests of Aristophanês can be
  taken as any evidence of historical reality.

If we intend fairly to compare the behavior of Kleon with that of his
political adversaries, we must distinguish between the two occasions:
first, that in which he had frustrated the pacific mission of the
Lacedæmonian envoys; next, the subsequent delay and dilemma which has
been recently described. On the first occasion, his advice appears
to have been mistaken in policy, as well as offensive in manner:
his opponents, proposing a discussion by special commissioners as a
fair chance for honorable terms of peace, took a juster view of the
public interests. But the case was entirely altered when the mission
for peace (wisely or unwisely) had been broken up, and when the
fate of Sphakteria had been committed to the chances of war. There
were then imperative reasons for prosecuting the war vigorously,
and for employing all the force requisite to insure the capture of
that island. And looking to this end, we shall find that there was
nothing in the conduct of Kleon either to blame or to deride; while
his political adversaries, Nikias among them, are deplorably timid,
ignorant, and reckless of the public interest; seeking only to turn
the existing disappointment and dilemma into a party opportunity for
ruining him.

To grant the reinforcement asked for by Demosthenês was obviously
the proper measure, and Kleon saw that the people would go along
with him in proposing it: but he had at the same time good grounds
for reproaching Nikias, and the other stratêgi, whose duty it was
to originate that proposition, with their backwardness in remaining
silent, and in leaving the matter to go by default, as if it were
Kleon’s affair and not theirs. His taunt: “This is what _I_ would
have done, if _I_ were general,” was a mere phrase of the heat of
debate, such as must have been very often used, without any idea
on the part of the hearers of construing it as a pledge which the
speaker was bound to realize: nor was it any disgrace to Kleon to
decline a charge which he had never sought, and to confess his
incompetence to command. The reason why he was forced into the
post, in spite of his own unaffected reluctance, was not, as some
historians would have us believe, because the Athenian people loved
a joke, but from two feelings, both perfectly serious, which divided
the assembly,—feelings opposite in their nature, but coinciding
on this occasion to the same result. His enemies loudly urged him
forward, anticipating that the enterprise under him would miscarry,
and that he would thus be ruined: his friends, perceiving this
manœuvre, but not sharing in such anticipations, and ascribing
his reluctance to modesty, pronounced themselves so much the more
vehemently on behalf of their leader, and repaid the scornful cheer
by cheers of sincere encouragement. “Why do you not try your hand at
this enterprise, Kleon, if you think it so easy? You will soon find
that it is too much for you;” was the cry of his enemies: to which
his friends would reply: “Yes, to be sure, try, Kleon: by all means,
try: do not be backward; we warrant that you will come honorably out
of it, and we will stand by you.” Such cheer and counter-cheer is
precisely in the temper of an animated multitude, as Thucydidês[540]
states it, divided in feeling; and friends as well as enemies thus
concurred to impose upon Kleon a compulsion not to be eluded. Of
all the parties here concerned those whose conduct is the most
unpardonably disgraceful are Nikias and his oligarchical friends;
who force a political enemy into a supreme command against his own
strenuous protest, persuaded that he will fail so as to compromise
the lives of many soldiers, and the destinies of the state on an
important emergency,—but satisfying themselves with the idea that
they shall bring him to disgrace and ruin.

  [540] Thucyd. iv, 28. οἷον ὄχλος φιλεῖ ποιεῖν, etc.

It is to be remarked, that Nikias and his fellow stratêgi were
backward on this occasion, partly because they were really afraid of
the duty. They anticipated a resistance to the death at Sphakteria,
such as that at Thermopylæ: in which case, though victory might
perhaps be won by a superior assailant force, it would not be won
without much bloodshed and peril, besides an inexpiable quarrel with
Sparta. If Kleon took a more correct measure of the chances, he ought
to have credit for it, as one “bene ausus vana contemnere.” And it
seems probable, that if he had not been thus forward in supporting
the request of Demosthenês for reinforcement,—or rather, if he had
not been so placed that he was compelled to be forward,—Nikias and
his friends would have laid aside the enterprise, and reopened
negotiations for peace, under circumstances neither honorable nor
advantageous to Athens. Kleon was in this manner one main author of
the most important success which Athens obtained throughout the whole

On joining Demosthenês with his reinforcement, Kleon found every
preparation for attack made by that general, and the soldiers at
Pylus eager to commence such aggressive measures as would relieve
them from the tedium of a blockade. Sphakteria had become recently
more open to assault in consequence of an accidental conflagration of
the wood, arising from a fire kindled by the Athenian seamen, while
landing at the skirt of the island, and cooking their food: under the
influence of a strong wind, most of the wood in the island had thus
caught fire and been destroyed. To Demosthenês this was an accident
especially welcome; for the painful experience of his defeat in the
forest-covered hills of Ætolia had taught him how difficult it was
for assailants to cope with an enemy whom they could not see, and
who knew all the good points of defence in the country.[541] The
island being thus stripped of its wood, he was enabled to survey
the garrison, to count their number, and to lay his plan of attack
on certain data. He now, too, for the first time, discovered that
he had underrated their real number, having before suspected that
the Lacedæmonians had sent in rations for a greater total than was
actually there. The island was occupied altogether by four hundred
and twenty Lacedæmonian hoplites, out of whom more than one hundred
and twenty were native Spartans, belonging to the first families
in the city. The commander, Epitadas, with the main body, occupied
the centre of the island, near the only spring of water which it
afforded:[542] an advanced guard of thirty hoplites was posted not
far from the sea-shore, in the end of the island farthest from
Pylus; while the end immediately fronting Pylus, peculiarly steep
and rugged, and containing even a rude circuit of stones, of unknown
origin, which served as a sort of defence, was held as a post of

  [541] Thucyd. iv, 30.

  [542] Colonel Leake gives an interesting illustration of these
  particulars in the topography of the island which may even now be
  verified (Travels in Morea, vol. i, p. 408).

  [543] Thucyd. iv, 31.

Such was the prey which Kleon and Demosthenês were anxious to grasp.
On the very day of the arrival of the former, they sent a herald to
the Lacedæmonian generals on the mainland, inviting the surrender of
the hoplites on the island, on condition of being simply detained
under guard without any hardship, until a final pacification should
take place. Of course the summons was refused; after which, leaving
only one day for repose, the two generals took advantage of the night
to put all their hoplites aboard a few triremes, making show as if
they were merely commencing the ordinary nocturnal circumnavigation,
so as to excite no suspicion in the occupants of the island. The
entire body of Athenian hoplites, eight hundred in number, were thus
disembarked in two divisions, one on each side of the island, a
little before daybreak: the advanced guard of thirty Lacedæmonians,
completely unprepared, were surprised even in their sleep and all
slain.[544] At the point of day, the entire remaining force from
the seventy-two triremes was also disembarked, leaving on board
only the thalamii, or lowest tier of rowers, and reserving only a
sufficient number to man the walls of Pylus. Altogether, there could
not have been less than ten thousand troops employed in the attack of
the island,—men of all arms: eight hundred hoplites, eight hundred
peltasts, eight hundred bowmen; the rest armed with javelins, slings,
and stones. Demosthenês kept his hoplites in one compact body, but
distributed the light-armed into separate companies of about two
hundred men each, with orders to occupy the rising grounds all round,
and harass the flanks and rear of the Lacedæmonians.[545]

  [544] Thucyd. iv, 32.

  [545] Thucyd. iv, 32.

To resist this large force, the Lacedæmonian commander Epitadas had
only three hundred and sixty hoplites around him; for his advanced
guard of thirty men had been slain, and as many more must have been
held in reserve to guard the rocky station in his rear: of the Helots
who were with him, Thucydidês says nothing, during the whole course
of the action. As soon as he saw the numbers and disposition of his
enemies, Epitadas placed his men in battle array, and advanced to
encounter the main body of hoplites whom he saw before him. But the
Spartan march was habitually slow:[546] moreover, the ground was
rough and uneven, obstructed with stumps, and overlaid with dust and
ashes, from the recently burnt wood, so that a march at once rapid
and orderly was hardly possible: and he had to traverse the whole
intermediate space, since the Athenian hoplites remained immovable
in their position. No sooner had his march commenced, than he found
himself assailed both in rear and flanks, especially in the right
or unshielded flank, by the numerous companies of light-armed.[547]
Notwithstanding their extraordinary superiority of number, these men
were at first awe-stricken at finding themselves in actual contest
with Lacedæmonian hoplites:[548] still, they began the fight, poured
in their missile weapons, and so annoyed the march that the hoplites
were obliged to halt, while Epitadas ordered the most active among
them to spring out of their ranks and repel the assailants. But
pursuers with spear and shield had little chance of overtaking men
lightly clad and armed, who always retired, in whatever direction
the pursuit was commenced, had the advantage of difficult ground,
redoubled their annoyance against the rear of the pursuers as soon as
the latter retreated to resume their place in the ranks, and always
took care to get round to the rear of the hoplites.

  [546] Thucyd. v, 71.

  [547] Thucyd. iv, 33.

  [548] Thucyd. iv, 33. ὥσπερ ὅτε πρῶτον ἀπέβαινον ~τῇ γνώμῃ
  δεδουλωμένοι~ ὡς ἐπὶ Λακεδαιμονίους, etc.

After some experience of the inefficacy of Lacedæmonian pursuit, the
light-armed, becoming far bolder than at first, closed upon them
nearer and more universally, with arrows, javelins, and stones,
raising shouts and clamor that rent the air, rendering the word of
command inaudible by the Lacedæmonian soldiers, who at the same time
were almost blinded by the thick clouds of dust, kicked up from the
recently spread wood-ashes.[549] Such method of fighting was one
for which the Lykurgean drill made no provision, and the longer it
continued the more painful did the embarrassment of the exposed
hoplites become: their repeated efforts to destroy or even to reach
nimble and ever-returning enemies, all proved abortive, whilst their
own numbers were incessantly diminished by wounds which they could
not return. Their only offensive arms consisted of the long spear and
short sword usual to the Grecian hoplite, without any missile weapons
whatever; nor could they even pick up and throw back the javelins
of their enemies, since the points of these javelins commonly broke
off and stuck in the shields, or sometimes even in the body which
they had wounded. Moreover, the bows of the archers, doubtless
carefully selected before starting from Athens, were powerfully
drawn, so that their arrows may sometimes have pierced and inflicted
wounds even through the shield or the helmet,—but at any rate, the
stuffed doublet, which formed the only defence of the hoplite on his
unshielded side, was a very inadequate protection against them.[550]
Under this trying distress did the Lacedæmonians continue for a
long time, poorly provided for defence, and altogether helpless for
aggression,—without being able to approach at all nearer to the
Athenian hoplites. At length the Lacedæmonian commander, seeing that
his position grew worse and worse, gave orders to close the ranks
and retreat to the last redoubt in the rear: but this movement was
not accomplished without difficulty, for the light-armed assailants
became doubly clamorous and forward, and many wounded men, unable to
move, or at least to keep in rank, were overtaken and slain.[551]

  [549] Thucyd. iv, 34: compare with this the narrative of the
  destruction of the Lacedæmonian mora near Lechæum, by Iphikratês
  and the Peltastæ (Xenophon. Hellen. iv, 5, 11).

  [550] Thucyd. iv, 34. Τό τε ἔργον ἐνταῦθα χαλεπὸν τοῖς
  Λακεδαιμονίοις καθίστατο· οὔτε γὰρ οἱ πῖλοι ἔστεγον τὰ τοξεύματα,
  δοράτιά τε ἐναποκέκλαστο βαλλομένων, εἶχον δὲ οὐδὲν σφίσιν
  αὐτοῖς χρήσασθαι, ἀποκεκλῃμένοι μὲν τῇ ὄψει τοῦ προορᾷν, ὑπὸ δὲ
  τῆς μείζονος βοῆς τῶν πολεμίων τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς παραγγελλόμενα οὐκ
  ἐσακούοντες, κινδύνου δὲ πανταχόθεν περιεστῶτος, καὶ οὐκ ἔχοντες
  ἐλπίδα καθ᾽ ὅ,τι χρὴ ἀμυνομένους σωθῆναι.

  There has been doubt and difficulty in this passage, even from
  the time of the Scholiasts. Some commentators have translated
  πῖλοι _caps_ or _hats_,—others, _padded cuirasses_ of wool or
  felt, round the breast and back: see the notes of Duker, Dr.
  Arnold, Poppo, and Göller. That the word πῖλος is sometimes used
  for the helmet, or head-piece, is unquestionable,—sometimes even
  (with or without χαλκοὺς) for a brazen helmet (see Aristophan.
  Lysis. 562; Antiphanês ap. Athenæ. xi, p. 503); but I cannot
  think that on this occasion Thucydidês would specially indicate
  the head of the Lacedæmonian hoplite as his chief vulnerable
  part. Dr. Arnold, indeed, offers a reason to prove that he
  might naturally do so; but in my judgment the reason is very

  Πῖλοι means stuffed clothing of wool or felt, whether employed
  to protect head, body, or feet: and I conceive, with Poppo
  and others, that it here indicates the body-clothing of the
  Lacedæmonian hoplite; his body being the part most open to be
  wounded on the side undefended by the shield, as well as in the
  rear. That the word πῖλοι will bear this sense may be seen in
  Pollux, vii, 171; Plato, Timæus, p. 74; and Symposion, p. 220,
  c. 35: respecting πῖλος as applied to the foot-covering,—Bekker,
  Chariklês, vol. ii, p. 376.

  [551] Thucyd. iv, 35.

A diminished remnant, however, reached the last post in safety, and
they were here in comparative protection, since the ground was so
rocky and impracticable that their enemies could not attack them
either in flank or rear: though the position at any rate could not
have been long tenable separately, inasmuch as the only spring of
water in the island was in the centre, which they had just been
compelled to abandon. The light-armed being now less available,
Demosthenês and Kleon brought up their eight hundred Athenian
hoplites, who had not before been engaged; but the Lacedæmonians
were here at home[552] with their weapons, and enabled to display
their well-known superiority against opposing hoplites, especially
as they had the advantage of higher ground against enemies charging
from beneath. Although the Athenians were double their own numbers
and withal yet unexhausted, they were repulsed in many successive
attacks. The besieged maintained their ground in spite of all their
previous fatigue and suffering, harder to be borne from the scanty
diet on which they had recently subsisted. The struggle lasted so
long that heat and thirst began to tell even upon the assailants,
when the commander of the Messenians came to Kleon and Demosthenês,
and intimated that they were now laboring in vain; promising at
the same time that if they would confide to him a detachment of
light troops and bowmen, he would find his way round to the higher
cliffs, in the rear of the assailants.[553] He accordingly stole
away unobserved from the rear, scrambling round over pathless crags,
and by an almost impracticable footing on the brink of the sea,
amidst approaches which the Lacedæmonians had left unguarded, never
imagining that they could be molested in that direction. He suddenly
appeared with his detachment on the higher peak above them, so that
their position was thus commanded, and they found themselves, as at
Thermopylæ, between two fires, without any hope of escape. Their
enemies in front, encouraged by the success of the Messenians,
pressed forward with increased ardor, until at length the courage of
the Lacedæmonians gave way, and the position was carried.[554]

  [552] Thucyd. iv, 33. τῇ σφετέρᾳ ἐμπειρίᾳ χρήσασθαι, etc.

  [553] Thucyd. iv, 36.

  [554] Thucyd. iv, 37.

A few moments more, and they would have been all overpowered and
slain, when Kleon and Demosthenês, anxious to carry them as prisoners
to Athens, constrained their men to halt, and proclaimed by herald
an invitation to surrender, on condition of delivering up their
arms and being held at the disposal of the Athenians. Most of them,
incapable of farther effort, closed with the proposition forthwith,
signifying compliance by dropping their shields and waving both
hands above their heads. The battle being thus ended, Styphon the
commander—originally only third in command, but now chief, since
Epitadas had been slain, and the second in command, Hippagretês,
was lying disabled by wounds on the field—entered into conference
with Kleon and Demosthenês, and entreated permission to send across
for orders to the Lacedæmonians on the mainland. The Athenian
commanders, though refusing this request, sent themselves and
invited Lacedæmonian heralds over from the mainland, through whom
communications were exchanged twice or three times between Styphon
and the chief Lacedæmonian authorities. At length the final message
came: “The Lacedæmonians direct you to take counsel for yourselves,
but to do nothing disgraceful.”[555] Their counsel was speedily
taken; they surrendered themselves and delivered up their arms; two
hundred and ninety-two in number, the survivors of the original
total of four hundred and twenty. And out of these, no less than
one hundred and twenty were native Spartans, some of them belonging
to the first families in the city.[556] They were kept under guard
during that night, and distributed on the morrow among the Athenian
trierarchs to be conveyed as prisoners to Athens; while a truce was
granted to the Lacedæmonians on shore, in order that they might carry
across the dead bodies for burial. So careful had Epitadas been
in husbanding the provisions, that some food was yet found in the
island; though the garrison had subsisted for fifty-two days upon
casual supplies, aided by such economies as had been laid by during
the twenty days of the armistice, when food of a stipulated quantity
was regularly furnished. Seventy-two days had thus elapsed, from the
first imprisonment in the island to the hour of their surrender.[557]

  [555] Thucyd. iv. 38. Οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι κελεύουσιν ὑμᾶς αὐτοὺς
  περὶ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν βουλεύεσθαι, μηδὲν αἰσχρὸν ποιοῦντας.

  [556] Thucyd. iv, 38; v, 15.

  [557] Thucyd. iv, 39.

The best troops in modern times would neither incur reproach, nor
occasion surprise, by surrendering, under circumstances in all
respects similar to this gallant remnant in Sphakteria. Yet in Greece
the astonishment was prodigious and universal, when it was learned
that the Lacedæmonians had consented to become prisoners:[558] for
the terror inspired by their name, and the deep-struck impression of
Thermopylæ, had created a belief that they would endure any extremity
of famine, and perish in the midst of any superiority of hostile
force, rather than dream of giving up their arms and surviving as
captives. The events of Sphakteria, shocking as they did this
preconceived idea, discredited the military prowess of Sparta in the
eyes of all Greece, and especially in those of her own allies. Even
in Sparta itself, too, the same feeling prevailed,—partially revealed
in the answer transmitted to Styphon from the generals on shore,
who did not venture to forbid surrender, yet discountenanced it by
implication: and it is certain that the Spartans would have lost less
by their death than by their surrender. But we read with disgust
the spiteful taunt of one of the allies of Athens (not an Athenian)
engaged in the affair, addressed in the form of a question to one of
the prisoners: “Have your best men then been all slain?” The reply
conveyed an intimation of the standing contempt entertained by the
Lacedæmonians for the bow and its chance-strokes in the line: “That
would be a capital arrow which could single out the best man.” The
language which Herodotus puts into the mouth of Demaratus, composed
in the early years of the Peloponnesian war, attests this same belief
in Spartan valor: “The Lacedæmonians die, but never surrender.”[559]
Such impression was from henceforward, not indeed effaced, but
sensibly enfeebled, and never again was it restored to its former

  [558] Thucyd. iv, 40. παρὰ γνώμην τε δὴ μάλιστα τῶν κατὰ τὸν
  πόλεμον τοῦτο τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἐγένετο, etc.

  [559] To adopt a phrase, the counterpart of that which has been
  ascribed to the Vieille Garde of the Emperor Napoleon’s army;
  compare Herodot. vii, 104.

But the general judgment of the Greeks respecting the capture
of Sphakteria, remarkable as it is to commemorate, is far less
surprising than that pronounced by Thucydidês himself. Kleon and
Demosthenês returning with a part of the squadron and carrying all
the prisoners, started from Sphakteria on the next day but one after
the action, and reached Athens within twenty days after Kleon had
left it. Thus, “the promise of Kleon, _insane as it was_, came true,”
observes the historian.[560]

  [560] Thucyd. iv, 39. Καὶ τοῦ Κλέωνος ~καίπερ μανιώδης οὖσα ἡ
  ὑπόσχεσις ἀπέβη~· ἐντὸς γὰρ εἴκοσιν ἡμερῶν ἤγαγε τοὺς ἄνδρας,
  ὥσπερ ὑπέστη.

  Mr. Mitford, in recounting these incidents, after having
  said, respecting Kleon: “In a _very extraordinary train of
  circumstances_ which followed, _his impudence and his fortune_
  (if, in the want of another, we may use that term) wonderfully
  favored him,” goes on to observe, two pages farther:—

  “It however soon appeared, that though for a man like Cleon,
  unversed in military command, the undertaking was rash and the
  bragging promise abundantly ridiculous, yet the business was not
  so desperate as it was in the moment generally imagined: and
  in fact the folly of the Athenian people, in committing such a
  trust to such a man, far exceeded that of the man himself, whose
  impudence seldom carried him beyond the control of his cunning.
  He had received intelligence that Demosthenês had already formed
  the plan and was preparing for the attempt, with the forces upon
  the spot and in the neighborhood. Hence, his apparent moderation
  in the demand for troops; which he judiciously accommodated to
  the gratification of the Athenian people, by avoiding to require
  any Athenians. He farther showed his judgment, when the decree
  was to be passed which was finally to direct the expedition, by
  a request which was readily granted, that Demosthenês might be
  joined with him in the command.” (Mitford, Hist. of Greece, vol.
  iii, ch. xv, sect. vii. pp. 250-253.)

  It appears as if no historian could write down the name of Kleon
  without attaching to it some disparaging verb or adjective. We
  are here told in the same sentence that Kleon was an _impudent
  braggart_ for _promising the execution of the enterprise_,—and
  yet that the enterprise itself was _perfectly feasible_. We
  are told in one sentence that he was rash and ridiculous for
  promising this, _unversed as he was in military command_: a few
  words farther, we are informed that he expressly requested that
  the most competent man to be found, Demosthenês, might be named
  his colleague. We are told of the _cunning of Kleon_, and that
  _Kleon had received intelligence from Demosthenês_,—as if this
  were some private communication to himself. But Demosthenês had
  sent no news to Kleon, nor did Kleon know anything which was not
  equally known to every man in the assembly. _The folly of the
  people in committing the trust to Kleon_ is denounced,—as if
  Kleon had sought it himself, or as if his friends had been the
  first to propose it for him. If the folly of the people was thus
  great, what are we to say of the knavery of the oligarchical
  party, with Nikias at their head, who impelled the people into
  this folly, for the purpose of ruining a political antagonist,
  and who forced Kleon into the post against his own most
  unaffected reluctance? Against this manœuvre of the oligarchical
  party, neither Mr. Mitford nor any other historian says a word.
  When Kleon judges circumstances rightly, as Mr. Mitford allows
  that he did in this case, he has credit for nothing better than

  The truth is, that the people committed no folly in appointing
  Kleon, for he justified the best expectations of his friends. But
  Nikias and his friends committed great knavery in proposing it,
  since they fully believed that he would fail. And, even upon Mr.
  Mitford’s statement of the case, the opinion of Thucydidês which
  stands at the beginning of this note is thoroughly unjustifiable;
  not less unjustifiable than the language of the modern historian
  about the “extraordinary circumstances,” and the way in which
  Kleon was “favored by fortune.” Not a single incident can
  be specified in the narrative to bear out these invidious

Men with arms in their hands have always the option between death
and imprisonment, and Grecian opinion was only mistaken in assuming
as a certainty that the Lacedæmonians would choose the former. But
Kleon had never promised to bring them home as prisoners: his promise
was disjunctive,—that they should be either so brought home, or
slain, within twenty days: and no sentence throughout the whole of
Thucydidês astonishes me so much as that in which he stigmatizes
such an expectation as “insane.” Here are four hundred and twenty
Lacedæmonian hoplites, without any other description of troops to
aid them,—without the possibility of being reinforced,—without
any regular fortification,—without any narrow pass, such as that
of Thermopylæ,—without either a sufficient or a certain supply
of food,—cooped up in a small open island less than two miles in
length. Against them are brought ten thousand troops of diverse arms,
including eight hundred fresh hoplites from Athens, and marshalled
by Demosthenês, a man alike enterprising and experienced: for the
talents as well as the presence and preparations of Demosthenês
are a part of the data of the case, and the personal competence
of Kleon to command alone, is foreign to the calculation. Now if,
under such circumstances, Kleon engaged that this forlorn company of
brave men should be either slain or taken prisoners, how could he
be looked upon, I will not say as indulging in an insane boast, but
even as overstepping the most cautious and mistrustful estimate of
probability? Even to doubt of this result, much more to pronounce
such an opinion as that of Thucydidês, implies an idea not only of
superhuman power in the Lacedæmonian hoplites, but of disgraceful
cowardice on the part of Demosthenês and the assailants. Nor was the
interval of twenty days, named by Kleon, at all extravagantly narrow,
considering the distance of Athens from Pylus: for the attack of this
petty island could not possibly occupy more than one or two days at
the utmost, though the blockade of it might by various accidents have
been prolonged, or might even, by some terrible storm, be altogether
broken off. If, then, we carefully consider this promise made by
Kleon in the assembly, we shall find that so far from deserving
the sentence pronounced upon it by Thucydidês, of being a mad boast
which came true by accident, it was a reasonable and even a modest
anticipation of the future:[561] reserving the only really doubtful
point in the case, whether the garrison of the island would be
ultimately slain or made prisoners. Demosthenês, had he been present
at Athens instead of being at Pylus, would willingly have set his
seal to the engagement taken by Kleon.

  [561] The jest of an unknown comic writer (probably Eupolis or
  Aristophanês, in one of the many lost dramas) against Kleon:
  “that he showed great powers of prophecy after the fact,” (Κλέων
  Προμηθεύς ἐστι μετὰ τὰ πράγματα, Lucian, Prometheus, c. 2), may
  probably have reference to his proceedings about Sphakteria: if
  so, it is certainly undeserved.

  In the letter which he sent to announce the capture of Sphakteria
  and the prisoners to the Athenians, it is affirmed that he began
  with the words—Κλέων Ἀθηναίων τῇ Βουλῇ καὶ τῷ Δήμῳ χαίρειν.
  This was derided by Eupolis, and is even considered as a piece
  of insolence, though it is difficult to see why (Schol. ad
  Aristophan. Plut. 322; Bergk, De Reliquiis Comœdiæ Antiquæ, p.

I repeat with reluctance, though not without belief, the statement
made by one of the biographers of Thucydidês,[562] that Kleon was the
cause of the banishment of the latter as a general, and has therefore
received from him harder measure than was due in his capacity
of historian. But though this sentiment is not probably without
influence in dictating the unaccountable judgment which I have just
been criticizing,—as well as other opinions relative to Kleon, on
which I shall say more in a future chapter,—I nevertheless look upon
that judgment not as peculiar to Thucydidês, but as common to him
with Nikias and those whom we must call, for want of a better name,
the oligarchical party of the time at Athens. And it gives us some
measure of the prejudice and narrowness of vision which prevailed
among that party at the present memorable crisis; so pointedly
contrasting with the clear-sighted and resolute calculations, and the
judicious conduct in action, of Kleon, who, when forced against his
will into the post of general, did the very best which could be done
in his situation,—he selected Demosthenês as colleague and heartily
seconded his operations. Though the military attack of Sphakteria,
one of the ablest specimens of generalship in the whole war, and
distinguished not less by the dextrous employment of different
descriptions of troops, than by care to spare the lives of the
assailants,—belongs altogether to Demosthenês, yet if Kleon had not
been competent to stand up in the Athenian assembly and defy those
gloomy predictions which we see attested in Thucydidês, Demosthenês
would never have been reinforced nor placed in condition to land on
the island. The glory of the enterprise, therefore, belongs jointly
to both: and Kleon, far from stealing away the laurels of Demosthenês
(as Aristophanês represents, in his comedy of the Knights), was
really the means of placing them on his head, though he at the same
time deservedly shared them. It has hitherto been the practice to
look at Kleon only from the point of view of his opponents, through
whose testimony we know him: but the real fact is, that this history
of the events of Sphakteria, when properly surveyed, is a standing
disgrace to those opponents and no inconsiderable honor to him;
exhibiting them as alike destitute of political foresight and of
straightforward patriotism,—as sacrificing the opportunities of war,
along with the lives of their fellow-citizens and soldiers, for the
purpose of ruining a political enemy. It was the duty of Nikias, as
stratêgus, to propose, and undertake in person if necessary, the
reduction of Sphakteria: if he thought the enterprise dangerous,
that was a good reason for assigning to it a larger military force,
as we shall find him afterwards reasoning about the Sicilian
expedition,—but not for letting it slip or throwing it off upon

  [562] Vit. Thucydidis, p. xv, ed. Bekker.

  [563] Plutarch, Nikias, c. 8; Thucyd. v, 7.

The return of Kleon and Demosthenês to Athens, within the twenty
days promised, bringing with them near three hundred Lacedæmonian
prisoners, must have been by far the most triumphant and exhilarating
event which had occurred to the Athenians throughout the whole war.
It at once changed the prospects, position, and feelings of both
the contending parties. Such a number of Lacedæmonian prisoners,
especially one hundred and twenty Spartans, was a source of
almost stupefaction to the general body of Greeks, and a prize of
inestimable value to the captors. The return of Demosthenês in the
preceding year from the Ambrakian gulf, when he brought with him
three hundred Ambrakian panoplies, had probably been sufficiently
triumphant; but the entry into Peiræus on this occasion from
Sphakteria, with three hundred Lacedæmonian prisoners, must doubtless
have occasioned emotions transcending all former experience; and it
is much to be regretted that no description is preserved to us of
the scene, as well as of the elate manifestations of the people when
the prisoners were marched up from Peiræus to Athens. We should be
curious, also, to read some account of the first Athenian assembly
held after this event,—the overwhelming cheers heaped upon Kleon by
his joyful partisans, who had helped to invest him with the duties of
general, in confidence that he would discharge them well,—contrasted
with the silence or retraction of Nikias, and the other humiliated
political enemies. But all such details are unfortunately denied
to us, though they constitute the blood and animation of Grecian
history, now lying before us only in its skeleton.

The first impulse of the Athenians was to regard the prisoners as a
guarantee to their territory against invasion:[564] they resolved
to keep them securely guarded until the peace, but if, at any time
before that event, the Lacedæmonian army should enter Attica, to
bring forth the prisoners and put them to death in sight of the
invaders. They were at the same time full of spirits in regard to the
prosecution of the war, and became farther confirmed in the hope, not
merely of preserving their power undiminished, but even of recovering
much of what they had lost before the thirty years’ truce. Pylus was
placed in an improved state of defence, with the adjoining island of
Sphakteria, doubtless as a subsidiary occupation: the Messenians,
transferred thither from Naupaktus, and overjoyed to find themselves
once more masters even of an outlying rock of their ancestorial
territory, began with alacrity to overrun and ravage Laconia, while
the Helots, shaken by the recent events, manifested inclination
to desert to them. The Lacedæmonian authorities, experiencing
evils before unfelt and unknown, became sensibly alarmed lest such
desertions should spread through the country. Reluctant as they were
to afford obvious evidence of their embarrassments, they nevertheless
brought themselves, probably under the pressure of the friends and
relatives of the Sphakterian captives, to send to Athens several
missions for peace; but all proved abortive.[565] We are not told
what they offered, but it did not come up to the expectations which
the Athenians thought themselves entitled to indulge.

  [564] Thucyd. iv, 41.

  [565] Thucyd. iv, 41: compare Aristophan. Equit. 648 with Schol.

We, who now review these facts with a knowledge of the subsequent
history, see that the Athenians could have concluded a better bargain
with the Lacedæmonians during the six or eight months succeeding
the capture of Sphakteria, than it was ever open to them to make
afterwards; and they had reason to repent that they let slip the
opportunity. Perhaps also Periklês, had he been still alive, might
have taken the same prudent measure of the future, and might have had
ascendency enough over his countrymen to be able to arrest the tide
of success at its highest point, before it began to ebb again. But if
we put ourselves back into the situation of Athens during the autumn
which succeeded the return of Kleon and Demosthenês from Sphakteria,
we shall easily enter into the feelings under which the war was
continued. The actual possession of the captives now placed Athens
in a far better position than she had occupied at a time when they
were only blocked up in Sphakteria, and when the Lacedæmonian envoys
first arrived to ask for peace. She was now certain of being able to
command peace with Sparta on terms at least tolerable, whenever she
chose to invite it,—she had also a fair certainty of escaping the
hardship of invasion. Next, and this was perhaps the most important
feature of the case, the apprehension of Lacedæmonian prowess was now
greatly lowered, and the prospects of success to Athens considered
as prodigiously improved,[566] even in the estimation of impartial
Greeks; much more in the eyes of the Athenians themselves. Moreover,
the idea of a tide of good fortune, of the favor of the gods, now
begun and likely to continue, of future success as a corollary
from past, was one which powerfully affected Grecian calculations
generally. Why not push the present good fortune, and try to regain
the most important points lost before and by the thirty years’
truce, especially in Megara and Bœotia,—points which Sparta could
not concede by negotiation, since they were not in her possession?
Though these speculations failed, as we shall see in the coming
chapter, yet there was nothing unreasonable in undertaking them.
Probably, the almost universal sentiment of Athens was at this moment
warlike,—and even Nikias, humiliated as he must have been by the
success in Sphakteria, would forget his usual caution in the desire
of retrieving his own personal credit by some military exploit.
That Demosthenês, now in full measure of esteem, would be eager
to prosecute the war, with which his prospects of personal glory
were essentially associated, just as Thucydidês[567] observes about
Brasidas on the Lacedæmonian side, can admit of no doubt. The comedy
of Aristophanês, called the Acharnians, was acted about six months
before the affair of Sphakteria, when no one could possibly look
forward to such an event,—the comedy of the Knights, about six months
after it.[568] Now, there is this remarkable difference between the
two,—that while the former breathes the greatest sickness of war,
and presses in every possible way the importance of making peace,
although at that time Athens had an opportunity of coming even to a
decent accommodation,—the latter, running down Kleon with unmeasured
scorn and ridicule, talks in one or two places only of the hardships
of war, and drops altogether that emphasis and repetition with which
peace had been dwelt upon in the Acharnians,—although coming out at a
time when peace was within the reach of the Athenians.

  [566] Thucyd. iv, 79.

  [567] Thucyd. v, 16.

  [568] The Acharneis was performed at the festival of the Lenæa,
  at Athens, January, 425 B.C.: the Knights, at the same festival
  in the ensuing year, 424 B.C.

  The capture of Sphakteria took place about July, B.C. 425:
  between the two dates above. See Mr. Clinton’s Fasti Hellenici,
  ad ann.

To understand properly the history of this period, therefore, we
must distinguish various occasions which are often confounded.
At the moment when Sphakteria was first blockaded, and when the
Lacedæmonians first sent to solicit peace, there was a considerable
party at Athens disposed to entertain the offer, and the ascendency
of Kleon was one of the main causes why it was rejected. But after
the captives were brought home from Sphakteria, the influence of
Kleon, though positively greater than it had been before, was no
longer required to procure the dismissal of Lacedæmonian pacific
offers and the continuance of the war: the general temper of Athens
was then warlike, and there were very few to contend strenuously for
an opposite policy. During the ensuing year, however, the chances
of war turned out mostly unfavorable to Athens, so that by the end
of that year she had become much more disposed to peace.[569] The
truce for one year was then concluded,—but even after that truce was
expired, Kleon still continued eager, and on good grounds, as will
be shown hereafter, for renewing the war in Thrace, at a time when
a large proportion of the Athenian public had grown weary of it. He
was one of the main causes of that resumption of warlike operations,
which ended in the battle of Amphipolis, fatal both to himself and
to Brasidas. There were thus two distinct occasions on which the
personal influence and sanguine character of Kleon seems to have been
of sensible moment in determining the Athenian public to war instead
of peace. But at the moment which we have now reached, that is, the
year immediately following the capture of Sphakteria, the Athenians
were all sufficiently warlike without him; probably Nikias himself as
well as the rest.

  [569] Thucyd. iv, 117; v, 14.

It was one of the earliest proceedings of Nikias, immediately
after the inglorious exhibition which he had made in reference
to Sphakteria, to conduct an expedition, in conjunction with two
colleagues, against the Corinthian territory: he took with him eighty
triremes, two thousand Athenian hoplites, two hundred horsemen aboard
of some horse transports, and some additional hoplites from Milêtus,
Andros, and Karystus.[570] Starting from Peiræus in the evening, he
arrived a little before daybreak on a beach at the foot of the hill
and village of Solygeia,[571] about seven miles from Corinth, and
two or three miles south of the isthmus. The Corinthian troops,
from all the territory of Corinth, within the isthmus, were already
assembled at the isthmus itself to repel him; for intelligence of
the intended expedition had reached Corinth some time before from
Argos, with which latter place the scheme of the expedition may have
been in some way connected. The Athenians having touched the coast
during the darkness, the Corinthians were only apprized of the fact
by fire-signals from Solygeia. Not being able to hinder the landing,
they despatched forthwith half their forces, under Battus and
Lykophron, to repel the invader, while the remaining half were left
at the harbor of Kenchreæ, on the northern side of Mount Oneion, to
guard the port of Krommyon, outside of the isthmus, in case it should
be attacked by sea. Battus with one lochus of hoplites threw himself
into the village of Solygeia, which was unfortified, while Lykophron
conducted the remaining troops to attack the Athenians. The battle
was first engaged on the Athenian right, almost immediately after its
landing, on the point called Chersonesus. Here the Athenian hoplites,
together with their Karystian allies, repelled the Corinthian attack,
after a stout and warmly disputed hand-combat of spear and shield:
but the Corinthians, retreating up to a higher point of ground,
returned to the charge, and with the aid of a fresh lochus, drove
the Athenians back to the shore and to their ships: from hence the
latter again turned, and again recovered a partial advantage.[572]
The battle was no less severe on the left wing of the Athenians:
but here, after a contest of some length, the latter gained a more
decided victory, greatly by the aid of their cavalry,—pursuing the
Corinthians, who fled in some disorder to a neighboring hill and
there took up a position.[573] The Athenians were thus victorious
throughout the whole line, with the loss of about forty-seven men,
while the Corinthians had lost two hundred and twelve, together with
the general Lykophron. The victors erected their trophy, stripped the
dead bodies, and buried their own dead.

  [570] Thucyd. iv, 42. Τοῦ δ᾽ αὐτοῦ θέρους μετὰ ταῦτα ~εὐθὺς~, etc.

  [571] See the geographical illustrations of this descent in Dr.
  Arnold’s plan and note appended to the second volume of his
  Thucydidês,—and in Colonel Leake, Travels in Morea, ch. xxviii,
  p. 235; xxix, p. 309.

  [572] Thucyd. iv, 43.

  [573] Thucyd. iv, 44. ἔθεντο τὰ ὅπλα,—an expression which Dr.
  Arnold explains, here as elsewhere, to mean “piling the arms:”
  I do not think such an explanation is correct, even here: much
  less in several other places to which he alludes. See a note on
  the surprise of Platæa by the Thebans, immediately before the
  Peloponnesian war.

The Corinthian detachment left at Kenchreæ could not see the battle,
in consequence of the interposing ridge of Mount Oneium: but it
was at last made known to them by the dust of the fugitives, and
they forthwith hastened to help. Reinforcements also came both
from Corinth and from Kenchreæ, and as it seemed, too, from the
neighboring Peloponnesian cities, so that Nikias thought it prudent
to retire aboard his ships, and halt upon some neighboring islands.
It was here first discovered that two of the Athenians slain had not
been picked up for burial; upon which he immediately sent a herald
to solicit a truce, in order to procure these two missing bodies. We
have here a remarkable proof of the sanctity attached to that duty;
for the mere sending of the herald was tantamount to confession of

  [574] Plutarch, Nikias, c. 6.

From hence Nikias sailed to Krommyon, where he ravaged the
neighborhood for a few hours and rested for the night. On the
next day he reëmbarked, sailed along the coast of Epidaurus, upon
which he inflicted some damage in passing, and stopped at last
on the peninsula of Methana, between Epidaurus and Trœzen.[575]
On this peninsula he established a permanent garrison, drawing a
fortification across the narrow neck of land which joined it to the
Epidaurian peninsula. This was his last exploit, and he then sailed
home: but the post at Methana long remained as a centre for pillaging
the neighboring regions of Epidaurus, Trœzen, and Halieis.

  [575] Thucyd. iv, 45.

While Nikias was engaged in this expedition, Eurymedon and Sophoklês
had sailed forward from Pylus with a considerable portion of that
fleet which had been engaged in the capture of Sphakteria, to the
island of Korkyra. It has been already stated that the democratical
government at Korkyra had been suffering severe pressure and
privation from the oligarchical fugitives, who had come back into
the island with a body of barbaric auxiliaries, and established
themselves upon Mount Istônê, not far from the city.[576] Eurymedon
and the Athenians joining the Korkyræans in the city, attacked and
stormed the post on Mount Istônê; while the vanquished, retiring
first to a lofty and inaccessible peak, were forced to surrender
themselves on terms to the Athenians. They abandoned their mercenary
auxiliaries altogether, and only stipulated that they should
themselves be sent to Athens, and left to the discretion of the
Athenian people. Eurymedon, assenting to these terms, deposited the
disarmed prisoners in the neighboring islet of Ptychia, under the
distinct condition that, if a single man tried to escape, the whole
capitulation should be null and void.[577]

  [576] Thucyd. iv, 2-45.

  [577] Thucyd. iv, 46.

Unfortunately for these prisoners, the orders given to Eurymedon
carried him onward straight to Sicily. It was irksome, therefore, to
him to send away a detachment of his squadron to convey these men to
Athens,—while the honors of delivering them there would be reaped,
not by himself, but by the officer to whom they might be confided:
and the Korkyræans in the city, on their part, were equally anxious
that the prisoners should not be sent to Athens; for their animosity
against them was bitter in the extreme, and they were afraid that the
Athenians might spare their lives, so that their hostility against
the island might be again resumed. And thus a mean jealousy on the
part of Eurymedon, combined with revenge and insecurity on the part
of the victorious Korkyræans, brought about a cruel catastrophe,
paralleled nowhere else in Greece, though too well in keeping with
the previous acts of the bloody drama enacted in this island.

The Korkyræan leaders, seemingly not without the privity of
Eurymedon, sent across to Ptychia fraudulent emissaries under the
guise of friends to the prisoners. These emissaries—assuring the
prisoners that the Athenian commanders, in spite of the convention
signed, were about to hand them over to the Korkyræan people for
destruction—induced some of them to attempt escape in a boat prepared
for the purpose. By concert, the boat was seized in the act of
escaping, so that the terms of the capitulation were really violated:
upon which Eurymedon handed over the prisoners to their enemies in
the island, who imprisoned them all together in one vast building,
under guard of hoplites. From this building they were drawn out
in companies of twenty men each, chained together in couples, and
compelled to march between two lines of hoplites marshalled on
each side of the road. Those who loitered in the march were hurried
on by whips from behind: as they advanced, their private enemies
on both sides singled them out, striking and piercing them until
at length they miserably perished. Three successive companies were
thus destroyed, ere the remaining prisoners in the interior, who
thought merely that their place of detention was about to be changed,
suspected what was passing: at length they found it out, and one
and all then refused either to quit the building or to permit any
one else to enter. They at the same time piteously implored the
intervention of the Athenians, if it were only to kill them, and thus
preserve them from the cruelties of their merciless countrymen. The
latter abstained from attempts to force the door of the building,
but made an aperture in the roof, from whence they shot down arrows,
and poured showers of tiles, upon the prisoners within; who sought
at first to protect themselves, but at length abandoned themselves
to despair, and assisted with their own hands in the work of
destruction. Some of them pierced their throats with the arrows shot
down from the roof: others hung themselves, either with cords from
some bedding which happened to be in the building, or with strips
torn and twisted from their own garments. Night came on, but the work
of destruction, both from above and within, was continued without
intermission, so that before morning all these wretched men perished,
either by the hands of their enemies or by their own. At daybreak,
the Korkyræans entered the building, piled up the dead bodies on
carts, and transported them out of the city: the exact number we are
not told, but seemingly it cannot have been less than three hundred.
The women who had been taken at Istônê along with these prisoners,
were all sold as slaves.[578]

  [578] Thucyd. iv, 47, 48.

Thus finished the bloody dissensions in this ill-fated island: for
the oligarchical party were completely annihilated, the democracy was
victorious, and there were no farther violences throughout the whole
war.[579] It will be recollected that these deadly feuds began with
the return of the oligarchical prisoners from Corinth, bringing along
with them projects both of treason and of revolution: they ended
with the annihilation of that party, in the manner above described;
the interval being filled by mutual atrocities and retaliation,
wherein of course the victors had most opportunity of gratifying
their vindictive passions. Eurymedon, after the termination of these
events, proceeded onward with the Athenian squadron to Sicily:
what he did there will be described in a future chapter devoted to
Sicilian affairs exclusively.

  [579] Thucyd. iv, 48.

The complete prostration of Ambrakia during the campaign of the
preceding year had left Anaktorium without any defence against the
Akarnanians and Athenian squadron from Naupaktus. They besieged and
took it during the course of the present summer;[580] expelling the
Corinthian proprietors, and repeopling the town and its territory
with Akarnanian settlers from all the townships in the country.

  [580] Thucyd. iv, 49.

Throughout the maritime empire of Athens matters continued perfectly
tranquil, except that the inhabitants of Chios, during the course
of the autumn, incurred the suspicion of the Athenians from having
recently built a new wall to their city, as if it were done with
the intention of taking the first opportunity to revolt.[581] They
solemnly protested their innocence of any such designs, but the
Athenians were not satisfied without exacting the destruction of the
obnoxious wall. The presence on the opposite continent of an active
band of Mitylenæan exiles, who captured both Rhœteium and Antandrus
during the ensuing spring, probably made the Athenians more anxious
and vigilant on the subject of Chios.[582]

  [581] Thucyd. iv, 51.

  [582] Thucyd. iv, 52.

The Athenian regular tribute-gathering squadron circulated among the
maritime subjects, and captured, during the course of the present
autumn, a prisoner of some importance and singularity. It was a
Persian ambassador, Artaphernes, seized at Eion on the Strymon,
in his way to Sparta with despatches from the Great King. He was
brought to Athens, and his despatches, which were at some length,
and written in the Assyrian character, were translated and made
public. The Great King told the Lacedæmonians, in substance, that he
could not comprehend what they meant; for that among the numerous
envoys whom they had sent, no two told the same story. Accordingly
he desired them, if they wished to make themselves understood, to
send some envoys with fresh and plain instructions to accompany
Artaphernes.[583] Such was the substance of the despatch, conveying a
remarkable testimony as to the march of the Lacedæmonian government
in its foreign policy. Had any similar testimony existed respecting
Athens, demonstrating that her foreign policy was conducted with
half as much unsteadiness and stupidity, ample inferences would have
been drawn from it to the discredit of democracy. But there has been
no motive generally to discredit Lacedæmonian institutions, which
included kingship in double measure,—two parallel lines of hereditary
kings: together with an entire exemption from everything like
popular discussion. The extreme defects in the foreign management
of Sparta, revealed by the despatch of Artaphernes, seem traceable
partly to an habitual faithlessness often noted in the Lacedæmonian
character, partly to the annual change of ephors, so frequently
bringing into power men who strove to undo what had been done by
their predecessors, and still more to the absence of everything like
discussion or canvass of public measures among the citizens. We
shall find more than one example, in the history about to follow,
of this disposition on the part of ephors, not merely to change the
policy of their predecessors, but even to subvert treaties sworn
and concluded by them: and such was the habitual secrecy of Spartan
public business, that in doing this they had neither criticism nor
discussion to fear. Brasidas, when he started from Sparta on the
expedition which will be described in the coming chapter, could not
trust the assurances of the Lacedæmonian executive without binding
them by the most solemn oaths.[584]

  [583] Thucyd. iv, 50. ἐν αἷς πολλῶν ἄλλων γεγραμμένων κεφάλαιον
  ἦν, πρὸς Λακεδαιμονίους, οὐκ εἰδέναι ὅ,τι βούλονται· πολλῶν γὰρ
  ἐλθόντων πρέσβεων οὐδένα ταὐτὰ λέγειν· εἰ οὖν βούλονται σαφὲς
  λέγειν, πέμψαι μετὰ τοῦ Πέρσου ἄνδρας ὡς αὐτόν.

  [584] Thucyd. iv, 86. ὅρκοις τε Λακεδαιμονίων καταλαβὼν τὰ τέλη
  τοῖς μεγίστοις, ἦ μὴν, etc.

The Athenians sent back Artaphernes in a trireme to Ephesus, and
availed themselves of this opportunity for procuring access to the
Great King. They sent envoys along with him, with the intention that
they should accompany him up to Susa: but on reaching Asia, the news
had just arrived that King Artaxerxes had recently died. Under such
circumstances, it was not judged expedient to prosecute the mission,
and the Athenians dropped their design.[585]

  [585] Thucyd. iv, 50; Diodor. xii, 64. The Athenians do not
  appear to have ever before sent envoys or courted alliance with
  the Great King; though the idea of doing so must have been
  noway strange to them, as we may see by the humorous scene of
  Pseudartabas in the Acharneis of Aristophanês, acted in the year
  before this event.

Respecting the great monarchy of Persia, during this long interval
of fifty-four years since the repulse of Xerxes from Greece, we have
little information before us except the names of the successive
kings. In the year 465 B.C. Xerxes was assassinated by Artabanus and
Mithridates, through one of those plots of great household officers,
so frequent in oriental palaces. He left two sons, or at least two
sons present and conspicuous among a greater number, Darius and
Artaxerxes. But Artabanus persuaded Artaxerxes that Darius had been
the murderer of Xerxes, and thus prevailed upon him to revenge his
father’s death by becoming an accomplice in killing his brother
Darius: he next tried to assassinate Artaxerxes himself, and to
appropriate the crown. Artaxerxes however, apprized beforehand of
the scheme, either slew Artabanus with his own hand or procured him
to be slain and then reigned (known under the name of Artaxerxes
Longimanus) for forty years, down to the period at which we are now

  [586] Diodor. xi, 65; Aristotel. Polit. v, 8, 3; Justin, iii,
  1; Ktesias, Persica, c. 29, 30. It is evident that there were
  contradictory stories current respecting the plot to which Xerxes
  fell a victim: but we have no means of determining what the
  details were.

Mention has already been made of the revolt of Egypt from the
dominion of Artaxerxes, under the Libyan prince Inanes, actively
aided by the Athenians. After a few years of success, this revolt
was crushed and Egypt again subjugated, by the energy of the Persian
general Megabyzus, with severe loss to the Athenian forces engaged.
After the peace of Kallias, erroneously called the Kimonian peace,
between the Athenians and the king of Persia, war had not been since
resumed. We read in Ktesias, amidst various anecdotes seemingly
collected at the court of Susa, romantic adventures ascribed
to Megabyzus, his wife Amytis, his mother Amestris, and a Greek
physician of Kos, named Apollonides. Zopyrus son of Megabyzus, after
the death of his father, deserted from Persia and came as an exile to

  [587] Ktesias, Persica, c. 38-43; Herodot. iii, 80.

At the death of Artaxerxes Longimanus, the family violences incident
to a Persian succession were again exhibited. His son Xerxes
succeeded him, but was assassinated, after a reign of a few weeks or
months. Another son, Sogdianus, followed, who perished in like manner
after a short interval.[588] Lastly, a third son, Ochus (known under
the name of Darius Nothus), either abler or more fortunate, kept his
crown and life between nineteen and twenty years. By his queen, the
savage Parysatis, he was father to Artaxerxes Mnemon and Cyrus the
younger, both names of interest in reference to Grecian history, to
whom we shall hereafter recur.

  [588] Diodor. xii, 64-71; Ktesias, Persica, c. 44-46.



The eighth year of the war, on which we now touch, presents events of
a more important and decisive character than any of the preceding.
In reviewing the preceding years, we observe that though there
is much fighting, with hardship and privation inflicted on both
sides, yet the operations are mostly of a desultory character, not
calculated to determine the event of the war. But the capture of
Sphakteria and its prisoners, coupled with the surrender of the whole
Lacedæmonian fleet, was an event full of consequences and imposing
in the eyes of all Greece. It stimulated the Athenians to a series
of operations, larger and more ambitious than anything which they
had yet conceived; directed, not merely against Sparta in her own
country, but also to the reconquest of that ascendency in Megara and
Bœotia which they had lost on or before the thirty years’ truce. On
the other hand, it intimidated so much both the Lacedæmonians, the
revolted Chalkidic allies of Athens in Thrace, and Perdikkas, king of
Macedonia, that between them the expedition of Brasidas, which struck
so serious a blow at the Athenian empire, was concerted. This year is
thus the turning-point of the war. If the operations of Athens had
succeeded, she would have regained nearly as great a power as she
enjoyed before the thirty years’ truce: but it happened that Sparta,
or rather the Spartan Brasidas, was successful, gaining enough to
neutralize all the advantages derived by Athens from the capture of

The first enterprise undertaken by the Athenians in the course of the
spring was against the island of Kythêra, on the southern coast of
Laconia. It was inhabited by Lacedæmonian Periœki, and administered
by a governor, and garrison of hoplites, annually sent thither. It
was the usual point of landing for merchantmen from Libya and Egypt;
and as it lay very near to Cape Malea, immediately over against
the gulf of Gythium,—the only accessible portion of the generally
inhospitable coast of Laconia,—the chance that it might fall into
the hands of an enemy was considered as so menacing to Sparta, that
some politicians are said to have wished the island at the bottom of
the sea.[589] Nikias, in conjunction with Nikostratus and Autoklês,
conducted thither a fleet of sixty triremes, with two thousand
Athenian hoplites, some few horsemen, and a body of allies, mainly
Milesians. There were in the island two towns,—Kythêra and Skandeia:
the former having a lower town close to the sea, fronting Cape Malea,
and an upper town on the hill above; the latter, seemingly, on the
south or west coast. Both were attacked at the same time by order of
Nikias; ten triremes and a body of Milesian[590] hoplites disembarked
and captured Skandeia; while the Athenians landed at Kythêra, and
drove the inhabitants out of the lower town into the upper, where
they speedily capitulated. A certain party among them had indeed
secretly invited the coming of Nikias, through which intrigue easy
terms were obtained for the inhabitants. Some few men, indicated by
the Kytherians in intelligence with Nikias, were carried away as
prisoners to Athens: but the remainder were left undisturbed, and
enrolled among the tributary allies under obligation to pay four
talents per annum; an Athenian garrison being placed at Kythêra
for the protection of the island. From hence Nikias employed seven
days in descents and inroads upon the coast, near Helos, Asinê,
Aphrodisia, Kotyrta, and elsewhere. The Lacedæmonian force was
disseminated in petty garrisons, which remained each for the defence
of its own separate post, without uniting to repel the Athenians, so
that there was only one action, and that of little importance, which
the Athenians deemed worthy of a trophy.

  [589] Thucyd. iv, 54; Herodot. vii, 235. The manner in which
  Herodotus alludes to the dangers which would arise to Sparta from
  the occupation of Kythêra by an enemy, furnishes one additional
  probability tending to show that his history was composed before
  the actual occupation of the island by Nikias, in the eighth year
  of the Peloponnesian war. Had he been cognizant of this latter
  event, he would naturally have made some allusion to it.

  The words of Thucydidês in respect to the island of Kythêra are,
  the Lacedæmonians πολλὴν ἐπιμέλειαν ἐποιοῦντο· ἦν γὰρ αὐτοῖς
  τῶν τε ἀπ᾽ Αἰγύπτου καὶ Λιβύης ὁλκάδων προσβολὴ, καὶ λῃσταὶ ἅμα
  τὴν Λακωνικὴν ἧσσον ἐλύπουν ἐκ θαλάσσης, ᾗπερ μόνον οἷον τ᾽ ἦν
  κακουργεῖσθαι· ~πᾶσα γὰρ ἀνέχει~ πρὸς τὸ Σικελικὸν καὶ Κρητικὸν

  I do not understand this passage, with Dr. Arnold and Göller, to
  mean, that Laconia was unassailable by land, but very assailable
  by sea. It rather means that the only portion of the coast of
  Laconia where a maritime invader could do much damage, was in the
  interior of the Laconic gulf, near Helos, Gythium, etc., which
  is in fact the only plain portion of the coast of Laconia. The
  two projecting promontories, which end, the one in Cape Malea,
  the other in Cape Tænarus, are high, rocky, harborless, and
  afford very little temptation to a disembarking enemy. “The whole
  Laconian coast is _high projecting cliff_, where it fronts the
  Sicilian and Kretan seas,”—~πᾶσα ἀνέχει~. The island of Kythêra
  was particularly favorable for facilitating descents on the
  territory near Helos and Gythium. The ἀλιμενότης of Laconia is
  noticed in Xenophon, Hellen. iv, 8, 7, where he describes the
  occupation of the island by Konon and Pharnabazus.

  See Colonel Leake’s description of this coast, and the high
  cliffs between Cape Matapan—Tænarus—and Kalamata, which front the
  Sicilian sea, as well as those eastward of Cape St. Angelo, or
  Malea, which front the Kretan sea (Travels in Morea, vol. i, ch.
  vii, p. 261: “tempestuous, rocky, unsheltered coast of Mesamani,”
  ch. viii, p. 320; ch. vi, p. 205; Strabo, viii, p. 368; Pausan.
  iii, c. xxvi, 2).

  [590] Thucyd. iv, 54. δισχιλίοις Μιλησίων ὁπλίταις. It seems
  impossible to believe that there could have been so many as
  two thousand _Milesian_ hoplites: but we cannot tell where the
  mistake lies.

In returning home from Kythêra, Nikias first ravaged the small strip
of cultivated land near Epidaurus Limêra, on the rocky eastern
coast of Laconia, and then attacked the Æginetan settlement at
Thyrea, the frontier strip between Laconia and Argolis. This town
and district had been made over by Sparta to the Æginetans, at the
time when they were expelled from their own island by Athens, in
the first year of the war. The new inhabitants, finding the town
too distant from the sea[591] for their maritime habits, were now
employed in constructing a fortification close on the shore; in which
work a Lacedæmonian detachment under Tantalus, on guard in that
neighborhood, was assisting them. When the Athenians landed, both
Æginetans and Lacedæmonians at once abandoned the new fortification.
The former, with the commanding officer, Tantalus, occupied the
upper town of Thyrea; but the Lacedæmonian troops, not thinking
it tenable, refused to take part in the defence, and retired to
the neighboring mountains, in spite of urgent entreaty from the
Æginetans. The Athenians, immediately after landing, marched up to
the town of Thyrea, and carried it by storm, burning or destroying
everything within it: all the Æginetans were either killed or made
prisoners, and even Tantalus, disabled by his wounds, became prisoner
also. From hence the armament returned to Athens, where a vote was
taken as to the disposal of the prisoners. The Kytherians brought
home were distributed for safe custody among the dependent islands:
Tantalus was retained along with the prisoners from Sphakteria; but
a harder fate was reserved for the Æginetans; they were all put to
death, victims to the long-standing apathy between Athens and Ægina.
This cruel act was nothing more than a strict application of admitted
customs of war in those days: had the Lacedæmonians been the victors,
there can be little doubt that they would have acted with equal

  [591] Thucyd. iv, 56. He states that Thyrea was ten stadia, or
  about a mile and one-fifth, distant from the sea. But Colonel
  Leake (Travels in the Morea, vol. ii, ch. xxii, p. 492), who has
  discovered quite sufficient ruins to identify the spot, affirms
  “that it is at least three times that distance from the sea.”

  This explains to us the more clearly why the Æginetans thought it
  necessary to build their new fort.

  [592] Thucyd. iv, 58; Diodor. xii, 65.

The occupation of Kythêra, in addition to Pylus, by an Athenian
garrison, following so closely upon the capital disaster in
Sphakteria, produced in the minds of the Spartans feelings of alarm
and depression such as they had never before experienced. Within
the course of a few short months their position had completely
changed from superiority and aggression abroad to insult and
insecurity at home. They anticipated nothing less than incessant
foreign attacks on all their weak points, with every probability of
internal defection, from the standing discontent of the Helots: nor
was it unknown to them, probably, that even Kythêra itself had been
lost partly through betrayal. The capture of Sphakteria had caused
peculiar sensations among the Helots, to whom the Lacedæmonians had
addressed both appeals and promises of emancipation, in order to
procure succor for their hoplites while blockaded in the island; and
if the ultimate surrender of these hoplites had abated the terrors
of Lacedæmonian prowess throughout all Greece, this effect had been
produced to a still greater degree among the oppressed Helots. A
refuge at Pylus, and a nucleus which presented some possibility of
expanding into regenerated Messenia, were now before their eyes;
while the establishment of an Athenian garrison at Kythêra opened a
new channel of communication with the enemies of Sparta, so as to
tempt all the Helots of daring temper to stand forward as liberators
of their enslaved race.[593] The Lacedæmonians, habitually cautious
at all times, felt now as if the tide of fortune had turned decidedly
against them, and acted with confirmed mistrust and dismay, confining
themselves to measures strictly defensive, and organizing a force of
four hundred cavalry, together with a body of bowmen, beyond their
ordinary establishment.

  [593] Thucyd. iv, 41, 55, 56.

But the precaution which they thought it necessary to take in regard
to the Helots, affords the best measure of their apprehensions
at the moment, and exhibits, indeed, a refinement of fraud and
cruelty rarely equalled in history. Wishing to single out from the
general body such as were most high-couraged and valiant, the ephors
made proclamation, that those Helots, who conceived themselves to
have earned their liberty by distinguished services in war, might
stand forward to claim it. A considerable number obeyed the call;
probably many who had undergone imminent hazards during the preceding
summer, in order to convey provisions to the blockaded soldiers
in Sphakteria.[594] They were examined by the government, and two
thousand of them were selected as fully worthy of emancipation; which
was forthwith bestowed upon them in public ceremonial, with garlands,
visits to the temples, and the full measure of religious solemnity.
The government had now made the selection which it desired; presently
every man among these newly-enfranchized Helots was made away
with, no one knew how.[595] A stratagem at once so perfidious in
the contrivance, so murderous in the purpose, and so complete in
the execution, stands without parallel in Grecian history,—we might
almost say, without a parallel in any history. It implies a depravity
far greater than the rigorous execution of a barbarous customary law
against prisoners of war or rebels, even in large numbers. The ephors
must have employed numerous instruments, apart from each other, for
the performance of this bloody deed; yet it appears that no certain
knowledge could be obtained of the details; a striking proof of the
mysterious efficiency of this Council of Five, surpassing even that
of the Council of Ten at Venice, as well as of the utter absence of
public inquiry or discussion.

  [594] Thucyd. iv, 80.

  [595] Thucyd. iv, 80. Καὶ προκρίναντες ἐς δισχιλίους, οἱ μὲν
  ἐστεφανώσαντό τε καὶ τὰ ἱερὰ περιῆλθον ὡς ἠλευθερωμένοι· οἱ δὲ
  οὐ πολλῷ ὕστερον ἠφάνισάν τε αὐτοὺς, καὶ οὐδεὶς ᾔσθετο ὅτῳ τρόπῳ
  ἕκαστος διεφθάρη: compare Diodor. xii, 67.

  Dr. Thirlwall (History of Greece, vol. iii. ch. xxiii, p. 244,
  2d edit. _note_) thinks that this assassination of Helots by the
  Spartans took place at some other time unascertained, and not
  at the time here indicated. I cannot concur in this opinion. It
  appears to me, that there is the strongest probable reason for
  referring the incident to the time immediately following the
  disaster in Sphakteria, which Thucydidês so especially marks (iv,
  41) by the emphatic words: Οἱ δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἀμαθεῖς ὄντες ἐν
  τῷ πρὶν χρόνῳ λῃστείας καὶ τοῦ τοιούτου πολέμου, τῶν τε Εἱλώτων
  αὐτομολούντων καὶ φοβούμενοι μὴ καὶ ἐπὶ μακρότερον σφίσι τι
  νεωτερισθῇ τῶν κατὰ τὴν χώραν, οὐ ῥᾳδίως ἔφερον. This was just
  after the Messenians were first established at Pylus, and began
  their incursions over Laconia, with such temptations as they
  could offer to the Helots to desert. And it was naturally just
  then that the fear, entertained by the Spartans of their Helots,
  became exaggerated to the maximum, leading to the perpetration
  of the act mentioned in the text. Dr. Thirlwall observes, “that
  the Spartan government would not order the massacre of the Helots
  at a time when it could employ them on foreign service.” But
  to this it may be replied, that the capture of Sphakteria took
  place in July or August, while the expedition under Brasidas was
  not organized until the following winter or spring. There was
  therefore an interval of some months during which the government
  had not yet formed the idea of employing the Helots on foreign
  service. And this interval is quite sufficient to give a full and
  distinct meaning to the expression καὶ τότε (Thucyd. iv, 80) on
  which Dr. Thirlwall insists; without the necessity of going back
  to any more remote point of antecedent time.

It was while the Lacedæmonians were in this state of uneasiness
at home, that envoys reached them from Perdikkas of Macedonia and
the Chalkidians of Thrace, entreating aid against Athens; who
was considered likely, in her present tide of success, to resume
aggressive measures against them. There were, moreover, other
parties, in the neighboring cities[596] subject to Athens, who
secretly favored the application, engaging to stand forward in open
revolt as soon as any auxiliary force should arrive to warrant their
incurring the hazard. Perdikkas (who had on his hands a dispute with
his kinsman Arrhibæus, prince of the Lynkestæ-Macedonians, which he
was anxious to be enabled to close successfully) and the Chalkidians
offered at the same time to provide the pay and maintenance, as well
as to facilitate the transit, of the troops who might be sent to
them; and what was of still greater importance to the success of the
enterprise, they specially requested that Brasidas might be invested
with the command.[597] He had now recovered from his wounds received
at Pylus, and his reputation for adventurous valor, great as it was
from positive desert, stood out still more conspicuously, because
not a single other Spartan had as yet distinguished himself. His
other great qualities, apart from personal valor, had not yet been
shown, for he had never been in any supreme command. But he burned
with impatience to undertake the operation destined for him by the
envoys; although at this time it must have appeared so replete with
difficulty and danger, that probably no other Spartan except himself
would have entered upon it with the smallest hopes of success. To
raise up embarrassments for Athens, in Thrace, was an object of great
consequence to Sparta, while she also obtained an opportunity of
sending away another large detachment of her dangerous Helots. Seven
hundred of these latter were armed as hoplites and placed under the
orders of Brasidas, but the Lacedæmonians would not assign to him any
of their own proper forces. With the sanction of the Spartan name,
with seven hundred Helot hoplites, and with such other hoplites as he
could raise in Peloponnesus by means of the funds furnished from the
Chalkidians, Brasidas prepared to undertake this expedition, alike
adventurous and important.

  [596] Thucyd. iv, 79.

  [597] Thucyd. iv, 80. προὐθυμήθησαν δὲ καὶ οἱ Χαλκιδῆς ἄνδρα ἔν
  τε τῇ Σπάρτῃ δοκοῦντα δραστήριον εἶναι ἐς τὰ πάντα, etc.

Had the Athenians entertained any suspicion of his design, they
could easily have prevented him from ever reaching Thrace. But they
knew nothing of it until he had actually joined Perdikkas, nor did
they anticipate any serious attack from Sparta, in this moment of
her depression, much less an enterprise far bolder than any which
she had ever been known to undertake. They were now elate with hopes
of conquests to come on their own part, their affairs being so
prosperous and promising that parties favorable to their interests
began to revive, both in Megara and in Bœotia; while Hippokratês and
Demosthenês, the two chief stratêgi for the year, were men of energy,
well qualified both to project and execute military achievements.

The first opportunity presented itself in regard to Megara. The
inhabitants of that city had been greater sufferers by the war
than any other persons in Greece: they had been the chief cause
of bringing down the war upon Athens, and the Athenians revenged
upon them all the hardships which they themselves endured from the
Lacedæmonian invasion. Twice in every year they laid waste the
Megarid, which bordered upon their own territory; and that too with
such destructive hands throughout its limited extent, that they
intercepted all subsistence from the lands near the town, at the
same time keeping the harbor of Nisæa closely blocked up. Under such
hard conditions the Megarians found much difficulty in supplying
even the primary wants of life.[598] But their case had now, within
the last few months, become still more intolerable by an intestine
commotion in the city, ending in the expulsion of a powerful body of
exiles, who seized and held possession of Pegæ, the Megarian port
in the gulf of Corinth. Probably imports from Pegæ had been their
chief previous resource against the destruction which came on them
from the side of Athens; so that it became scarcely possible to
sustain themselves, when the exiles in Pegæ not only deprived them
of this resource, but took positive part in harassing them. These
exiles were oligarchical, and the government in Megara had now become
more or less democratical: but the privations in the city presently
reached such a height, that several citizens began to labor for a
compromise, whereby the exiles in Pegæ might be readmitted. It was
evident to the leaders in Megara that the bulk of the citizens could
not long sustain the pressure of enemies from both sides, but it was
also their feeling that the exiles in Pegæ, their bitter political
rivals, were worse enemies than the Athenians, and that the return of
these exiles would be a sentence of death to themselves. To prevent
this counter-revolution, they opened a secret correspondence with
Hippokratês and Demosthenês, engaging to betray both Megara and Nisæa
to the Athenians; though Nisæa, the harbor of Megara, about one mile
from the city, was a separate fortress occupied by a Peloponnesian
garrison, and by them exclusively, as well as the Long Walls, for the
purpose of holding Megara fast to the Lacedæmonian confederacy.[599]

  [598] The picture drawn by Aristophanês (Acharn. 760) is a
  caricature, but of suffering probably but too real.

  [599] Thucyd. iv, 66. Strabo (ix, p. 391) gives eighteen stadia
  as the distance between Megara and Nisæa; Thucydidês only eight.
  There appears sufficient reason to prefer the latter: see
  Reinganum, Das alte Megaris, pp. 121-180.

The scheme for surprise was concerted, and what is more remarkable,
in the extreme publicity of all Athenian affairs, and in a matter
to which many persons must have been privy, was kept secret, until
the instant of execution. A large Athenian force, four thousand
hoplites and six hundred cavalry, was appointed to march at night
by the high road through Eleusis to Megara: but Hippokratês and
Demosthenês themselves went on shipboard from Peiræus to the island
of Minôa, which was close against Nisæa, and had been for some time
under occupation by an Athenian garrison. Here Hippokratês concealed
himself with six hundred hoplites, in a hollow space out of which
brick earth had been dug, on the mainland opposite to Minôa, and not
far from the gate in the Long Wall which opened near the junction
of that wall with the ditch and wall surrounding Nisæa; while
Demosthenês, with some light-armed Platæans and a detachment of
active young Athenians, called Peripoli, and serving as the movable
guard of Attica, in their first or second year of military service,
placed himself in ambush in the sacred precinct of Arês, still closer
to the same gate.

To procure that the gate should be opened, was the task of the
conspirators within. Amidst the shifts to which the Megarians had
been reduced in order to obtain supplies, especially since the
blockade of Minôa, predatory exit by night was not omitted. Some of
these conspirators had been in the habit, before the intrigue with
Athens was projected, of carrying out a small sculler-boat by night
upon a cart, through this gate, by permission of the Peloponnesian
commander of Nisæa and the Long Walls. The boat, when thus brought
out, was carried down to the shore along the hollow of the dry
ditch which surrounded the wall of Nisæa, then put to sea for some
nightly enterprise, and was brought back again along the ditch before
daylight in the morning; the gate being opened, by permission, to let
it in. This was the only way by which any Megarian vessel could get
to sea, since the Athenians at Minôa were complete masters of the
harbor. On the night fixed for the surprise, this boat was carried
out and brought back at the usual hour. But the moment that the
gate in the Long Wall was opened to readmit it, Demosthenês and his
comrades sprang forward to force their way in; the Megarians along
with the boat at the same time setting upon and killing the guards,
in order to facilitate his entrance. This active and determined band
were successful in mastering the gate, and keeping it open until the
six hundred hoplites under Hippokratês came up, and got into the
interior space between the Long Walls. They immediately mounted the
walls on each side, every man as he came in, with little thought
of order, to drive off or destroy the Peloponnesian guards; who,
taken by surprise, and fancying that the Megarians generally were in
concert with the enemy against them,—confirmed, too, in such belief
by hearing the Athenian herald proclaim aloud that every Megarian who
chose might take his post in the line of Athenian hoplites,[600]—made
at first some resistance, but were soon discouraged, and fled into
Nisæa. By a little after daybreak, the Athenians found themselves
masters of all the line of the Long Walls, and under the very gates
of Megara,—reinforced by the larger force which, having marched by
land through Eleusis, arrived at the concerted moment.

  [600] Thucyd. iv, 68. Ξυνέπεσε γὰρ καὶ τὸν τῶν Ἀθηναίων κήρυκα
  ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ γνώμης κηρύξαι, τὸν βουλόμενον ἰέναι Μεγαρέων μετὰ
  Ἀθηναίων θησόμενον τὰ ὅπλα.

  Here we have the phrase τίθεσθαι τὰ ὅπλα employed in a case where
  Dr. Arnold’s explanation of it would be eminently unsuitable.
  There could be no thought of _piling arms_ at a critical moment
  of actual fighting, with result as yet doubtful.

Meanwhile, the Megarians within the city were in the greatest tumult
and consternation. But the conspirators, prepared with their plan,
had resolved to propose that the gates should be thrown open, and
that the whole force of the city should be marched out to fight
the Athenians: when once the gates should be open, they themselves
intended to take part with the Athenians, and facilitate their
entrance,—and they had rubbed their bodies over with oil in order
to be visibly distinguished in the eyes of the latter. Their plan
was only frustrated the moment before it was about to be put in
execution, by the divulgation of one of their own comrades. Their
opponents in the city, apprized of what was in contemplation,
hastened to the gate, and intercepted the men rubbed with oil as
they were about to open it. Without betraying any knowledge of the
momentous secret which they had just learned, these opponents loudly
protested against opening the gate and going out to fight an enemy
for whom they had never conceived themselves, even in moments of
greater strength, to be a match in the open field. While insisting
only on the public mischiefs of the measure, they at the same time
planted themselves in arms against the gate, and declared that they
would perish before they would allow it to be opened. For this
obstinate resistance the conspirators were not prepared, so that they
were forced to abandon their design and leave the gate closed.

The Athenian generals, who were waiting in expectation that it would
be opened, soon perceived by the delay that their friends within
had been baffled, and immediately resolved to make sure of Nisæa,
which lay behind them; an acquisition important not less in itself,
than as a probable means for the mastery of Megara. They set about
the work with the characteristic rapidity of Athenians. Masons and
tools in abundance were forthwith sent for from Athens, and the army
distributed among themselves the wall of circumvallation round Nisæa
in distinct parts. First, the interior space between the Long Walls
themselves was built across, so as to cut off the communication
with Megara; next, walls were carried out from the outside of both
the Long Walls down to the sea, so as completely to inclose Nisæa,
with its fortifications and ditch. The scattered houses which formed
a sort of ornamented suburb to Nisæa, furnished bricks for this
inclosing circle, or were sometimes even made to form a part of it as
they stood, with the parapets on their roofs; while the trees were
cut down to supply material wherever palisades were suitable. In a
day and a half the work of circumvallation was almost completed,
so that the Peloponnesians in Nisæa saw before them nothing but a
hopeless state of blockade. Deprived of all communication, they
not only fancied that the whole city of Megara had joined the
Athenians, but they were moreover without any supply of provisions,
which had been always furnished to them in daily rations from the
city. Despairing of any speedy relief from Peloponnesus, they
accepted easy terms of capitulation offered to them by the Athenian
generals.[601] After delivering up their arms, each man among them
was to be ransomed for a stipulated price; we are not told how much,
but doubtless a moderate sum. The Lacedæmonian commander, and such
other Lacedæmonians as might be in Nisæa, were, however, required
to surrender themselves as prisoners to the Athenians, to be held
at their disposal. On these terms Nisæa was surrendered to the
Athenians, who cut off its communication with Megara, by keeping
the intermediate space between the Long Walls effectively blocked
up,—walls, of which they had themselves, in former days, been the
original authors.[602]

  [601] Thucyd. iv, 69.

  [602] Thucyd. i, 103; iv, 69. Καὶ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι, τὰ μακρὰ τείχη
  ἀποῤῥήξαντες ἀπὸ τῆς τῶν Μεγαρέων πόλεως καὶ τὴν Νίσαιαν
  παραλαβόντες, τἄλλα παρεσκευάζοντο.

  I cannot think, with Poppo and Göller, that the participle
  ἀποῤῥήξαντες is to be explained as meaning that the Athenians
  PULLED DOWN the portion of the Long Walls near Megara. This
  may have been done, but it would be an operation of no great
  importance; for to pull down a portion of the wall would not
  bar the access from the city, which it was the object of the
  Athenians to accomplish. “They broke off” the communication
  along the road between the Long Walls from the city to Nisæa, by
  building across or barricading the space between: similar to what
  is said a little above,—~διοικοδομησάμενοι~ τὸ πρὸς Μεγαρέας,
  etc. Diodorus (xii, 66) abridges Thucydidês.

Such interruption of communication by the Long Walls indicated in
the minds of the Athenian generals a conviction that Megara was
now out of their reach. But the town in its present distracted
state, would certainly have fallen into their hands,[603] had it
not been snatched from them by the accidental neighborhood and
energetic intervention of Brasidas. That officer, occupied in the
levy of troops for his Thracian expedition, was near Corinth and
Sikyon, when he first learned the surprise and capture of the Long
Walls. Partly from the alarm which the news excited among these
Peloponnesian towns, partly from his own personal influence, he got
together a body of two thousand seven hundred Corinthian hoplites,
six hundred Sikyonian and four hundred Phliasian, besides his own
small army, and marched with this united force to Tripodiskus, in
the Megarid, half-way between Megara and Pegæ, on the road over
Mount Geraneia; having first despatched a pressing summons to the
Bœotians to request that they would meet him at that point with
reinforcements. He trusted by a speedy movement to preserve Megara,
and perhaps even Nisæa; but on reaching Tripodiskus in the night, he
learned that the latter place had already surrendered. Alarmed for
the safety of Megara, he proceeded thither by a night-march without
delay. Taking with him only a chosen band of three hundred men, he
presented himself, without being expected, at the gates of the city;
entreating to be admitted, and offering to lend his immediate aid for
the recovery of Nisæa. One of the two parties in Megara would have
been glad to comply; but the other, knowing well that in that case
the exiles in Pegæ would be brought back upon them, was prepared for
a strenuous resistance, in which case the Athenian force, still only
one mile off, would have been introduced as auxiliaries. Under these
circumstances the two parties came to a compromise, and mutually
agreed to refuse admittance to Brasidas. They expected that a battle
would take place between him and the Athenians, and each calculated
that Megara would follow the fortunes of the victor.[604]

  [603] Thucyd. iv, 73. εἰ μὲν γὰρ μὴ ὤφθησαν ἐλθόντες (Brasidas
  with his troops) οὐκ ἂν ἐν τύχῃ γίγνεσθαι σφίσιν, ἀλλὰ σαφῶς ἂν
  ὥσπερ ἡσσηθέντων στερηθῆναι εὐθὺς τῆς πόλεως.

  [604] Thucyd. iv, 71.

Returning back without success to Tripodiskus, Brasidas was joined
there early in the morning by two thousand Bœotian hoplites and six
hundred cavalry; for the Bœotians had been put in motion by the same
news as himself, and had even commenced their march, before his
messenger arrived, with such celerity as to have already reached
Platæa.[605] The total force under Brasidas was thus increased to
six thousand hoplites and six hundred cavalry, with whom he marched
straight to the neighborhood of Megara. The Athenian light troops,
dispersed over the plain, were surprised and driven in by the Bœotian
cavalry; but the Athenian cavalry, coming to their aid, maintained a
sharp action with the assailants, wherein, after some loss on both
sides, a slight advantage remained on the side of the Athenians. They
granted a truce for the burial of the Bœotian officer of cavalry,
who was slain with some others. After this indecisive cavalry
skirmish, Brasidas advanced with his main force into the plain,
between Megara and the sea, taking up a position near to the Athenian
hoplites, who were drawn up in battle array, hard by Nisæa and the
Long Walls. He thus offered them battle if they chose it; but each
party expected that the other would attack and each was unwilling
to begin the attack on his own side, Brasidas was well aware that,
if the Athenians refused to fight, Megara would be preserved from
falling into their hands,—which loss it was his main object to
prevent, and which had in fact been prevented only by his arrival. If
he attacked and was beaten, he would forfeit this advantage,—while,
if victorious, he could hardly hope to gain much more. The Athenian
generals on their side reflected, that they had already secured a
material acquisition in Nisæa, which cut off Megara from their sea;
that the army opposed to them was not only superior in number of