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° l , , , l aside 1,000

defense, both by sea and land, and set apart one talents for

, -. , „ . future con-

tnousand talents, out oi the treasure of the Acrop- urgencies
olis, which was not to be used except in certain dangers pre-
viously prescribed, and a law was passed making it a capital
offense for any citizen to propose its use for any other purpose.
The first year of the war closed without decisive successes
on either side. The Athenians made a more K eS uitsof
powerful resistance than was anticipated. It was "jf^oftho
supposed they could not hold out against the war -
superior forces of their enemies more than a year. They had
the misfortune to see their territory wasted, and their treasures
spent in a war which they would gladly have avoided. But,
on the other hand, they inflicted nearly equal damages upon
the Peloponnesus, and still remained masters of the sea,
Pericles pronounced a funeral oration on those who had fallen
and stimulated his countrymen to continued resistance, and

256 The Pelqponnesian War. [Chap. xix.

excited their patriotic sentiments. Thus far the anticipa-
tions of the statesman and orator had been more than real-

The second year of the war opened with another invasion
The Snar- °^ J ^ tt i ca by the Spartans and their allies. They
in n ad S At inflicted even more injury than in the preceding
tica. year, but they found the territory deserted, all the

population having retired within the defenses of Athens.

But a new and unforeseen calamity now fell upon the Athe-
nians, and against which they could not guard. A great
The plague pestilence broke out in the city, which had already
at Athens. overrun Western Asia. Its progress was rapid
and destructive, and the overcrowded city was but too favor-
able for its ravages. Thucydides has left a graphic and
mournful account of this pestilence, analogous to the plague
of modern times. The victims generally perished on the
seventh or ninth day, and no treatment was efficacious.
The sufferings and miseries of the people were intense, and
the calamity by many was regarded as resulting from the
anger of the gods. The pestilence demoralized the popula-
tion, who lost courage and fortitude. The sick were left to
take care of themselves. The utmost lawlessness prevailed.
The bonds of law and morality were relaxed, and the
thoughtless people abandoned themselves to every species of
folly and excess, seeking, in their despair, to seize some
brief moments of joy before the hand of destiny should fall
upon them. For three years did this calamity desolate
Athens, and the loss of life was deplorable, both in the army
and among private citizens. Pericles lost both his children
and his sister; four thousand four hundred hoplites died, and
a greater part of the horsemen.

And yet, amid the devastation which the pestilence in-
flicted, Pericles led another expedition against the coasts of
,, , the Peloponnesus. But the soldiers carried infec-

Naval expe- "

dition tion with them, and a greater part of them died

against ' or

Sparta. f the disease at the siege or blockade of Potida)a.

The Athenians were nearly distracted by the double ravages

Chap. XIX.] Capture of Poticlcm. 257

of pestilence and war, and became incensed against Pericles,
and sent messengers to Sparta to negotiate peace. But the
Spartans turned a deaf ear, which added to the bitterness
against their heroic leader, whose fortitude and firmness
were never more effectively manifested. He was accused,
and condemned to pay a fine, and excluded from re-election.
Though he was restored to power and confidence, his afflic-
tion bore heavily upon his exalted nature, and he died, b. c.
430, in the early period of the war. He had, in- D th of
deed, many enemies, and was hunted down by the P tlieI<? s.
comic writers, whose trade it was to deride all political
characters, yet his wisdom, patriotism, eloquence, and
great services are indisputable, and he died, leaving on
the whole, the greatest name which had ever ennobled the

The war, of course, languished during the prevalence of
the epidemic, and much injury was done to Athenian com-
merce by Peloponnesian privateers, who put to death all
their prisoners. It was then that Sparta sent en- Sparta in _
voys to Persia to solicit money and troops against ™ d k ( ^ ^
Athens, which shows that no warfare is so bitter Persians -
as civil strife, and that no expedients are too disgraceful not
to be made use of, in order to gratify malignant passions.
But the envoys were seized in Thrace by the allies of Athens,
and delivered up to the Athenians, and by them were put to

In January, e. c. 429, Potidaea surrendered to the Athe-
nian generals, upon fiivorable terms, after enduring all the
miseries of famine. The fall of this city cost Eesults of
Athens two thousand talents. The Lacedaemonians, ^ar of'The
after two years, had accomplished nothing. They war -
had not even relieved Potidaaa.

On the third year, the Lacedaemonians, instead of ravaging

Attica, marched to the attack of Plataea. The inhabitants

resolved to withstand the whole force of the ene- Sl - e „ eof

mies. Ardndemus, the Lacedaemonian general, com- plaL8ea ~

menced the siege, defended only by four hundred native ci ti-

25S The Pelqponnesian War. [Chap. six.

zens and eighty Athenians. So unskilled were the Greeks in
the attack of fortified cities, that the besiegers made no pro-
gress, and were obliged to resort to blockade. A wa.ll of cir-
cumvallation was built around the city, which was now left
to the operations of famine.

At the same time the siege was pressed, an Athenian
armament was sent to Thrace, which was defeated ; but in
the western part of Greece the Athenian arras were more
successful. The Spartans and their allies suffered a repulse
Naval defeat at Stratus, and their fleet was defeated by Phormio,
Spartans. the Athenian admiral. Nothing could exceed the
rage of the Lacedaemonians at these two disasters. They
collected a still larger fleet, and were again defeated with
severe loss near Naupactus, by inferior forces. But the de-
feated Lacedaemonians, under the persuasion of the Mega-
rians, undertook the bold enterprise of surprising the Piraeus,
during the absence of the Athenian fleet; but the courage
of the assailants failed at the critical hour, and the port of
Athens was saved. The Athenians then had the precaution
to extend a chain across the mouth of the harbor, to guard
against such surprises in the future.

Athens, during the summer, had secured the alliance of
the Odrysians, a barbarous but powerful nation in Thrace.
Eesnits of Their kin 2T, Sitalces, with an army of fifteen thou-

the third "' ' J .

campaign. sand men, attacked Perdiccas, the king of Mace-
donia, and overran his country, and only retired from the
severity of the season and the want of Athenian co-operation.
Such were the chief enterprises and events of the third cam-
paign, and Athens was still powerful and unhumbled.

The fourth year of the war was marked by a renewed
Renewed in- invasion of Attica, without any other results than

vasionofAt- -i-ir> t> •

uca. such as had happened before. Jbut it was a more

serious calamity to the Athenians to learn that Mitylene and
the most of Lesbos had revolted — one of the most powerful
of the Athenian allies. Nothing was left to Athens but to
subjugate the city. A large force was sent for this purpose,
but the inhabitants of Mitylene appealed to the Spartans for

Chap. XIX.] Surrender of Platcea. 259

aid, and prepared for a vigorous resistance. But the treas-
ures of Athens were now nearly consumed, and the Atheni-
ans were obliged to resort to contributions to force the siege,
which they did with vigor. The Lacedaemonians promised
succor, and the Mitylenaeans held out till their provisions
were exhausted, when they surrendered to the Revolt and

a mi t ^ • -i -t subjugation

Athenians. The Lacedaemonians advanced to re- ofMityiene.
lieve their allies, but were too late. The Athenian admiral
pursued them, and they returned to the Peloponnesus with-
out having done any thing. Paches, the Athenian general,
sent home one thousand Mitylenaean prisoners, while it was
decreed to slaughter the whole remaining population — about
six thousand — able to carry arms, and make slaves of the
women and children. This severe measure was prompted
by Cleon. But the Athenians repented, and a second decree
of the assembly, through the influence of Diodotus, prevented
the barbarous revenge ; but the Athenians put to death the
prisoners which Paches had sent, razed the fortifications
of Mitylene, took possession of all her ships of war, and
confiscated all the land of the island except that which
belonged to one town that had been faithful. So severe Avas
ancient warfare, even among the most civilized of the Greeks.

The surrender of Plataea to the Lacedaemonians took place
not long after; but not until one-half of the gar- surrenderor
rison had sallied from the city, scaled the wall of Platiea -
circumvallation, and escaped safely to Athens. The Plataeans
were sentenced to death by the Spartan judges, and barbar-
ously slain. The captured women were sold as slaves, and
the town and territory were handed over to the Thebans.

Scenes not less bloody took place in the western part of
Greece, in the island of Corcyra, before which a naval battle
was fought between the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians.
The island had been governed by oligarchies, under the pro-
tection of Sparta, but the retirement of the Lacedae- cruelties of
monian fleet enabled the Athenian general to wreak j^e a fcorcy-
his vengeance on the party which had held supre- ra -
macy, which was exterminated in the most cruel manner,

2G0 The Pelojponnesian War. Chap. xix.

which produced a profound sensation, and furnished Thueydi-
des a theme for the most profound reflections on the acerbity
and ferocity of the political parties, which, it seems, then di-
vided Greece, and were among the exciting causes of the war
itself — the struggle between the advocates of democratic and
aristocratic institutions.

A new character now appears upon the stage at Athens —
Nicias — one of the ten generals who, in rank and


wealth, was the equal of Pericles. He belonged
to the oligarchal party, and succeeded Cimon and Thucydi-
des in the control of it. But he was moderate in his con-
duct, and so won the esteem of his countrymen, that he
retained power until his death, although opposed to the
party which had the ascendency. He was incorruptible as
He continues to pecuniary gains, and adopted the conservative

the policy of . l J . to ' r ...

Pericles. views of Pericles, avoiding new acquisitions at a
distance, or creating new enemies. He surrounded himself,
not as Pericles did, with philosophers, but religious men,
avoided all scandals, and employed his large fortune in
securing popularity. Pericles disdained to win the people
by such means, cultivated art, and patronized the wits who
surrounded Aspasia. Nicias was zealous in the worship of
the gods, was careful to make no enemies, and conciliated
the poor by presents. Yet he increased his private fortune,
so far as he could, by honorable means, and united thrift and
sagacity with honesty and piety. He was not a man of com-
manding genius, but his character was above reproach, and
Opposed by was never assailed by the comic writers. He was

Alcibiades . , in

and cieon. the great opjDonent of Alcibiades, the oracle of the

democracy — one of those memorable demagogues who made

use of the people to forward his ambitious projects. He was

also the opponent of Cleon, whose office it was to supervise

official men for the public conduct — a man of great eloquence,

but fault-finding and denunciatory.

The fifth year of the war was not signalized by the usual

The fifth invasion of Attica, which o-ave the Athenians lei-
year of the . ° . .
■war. sure to send an expedition under JN lcias against the

Chap. XIX.] Sixth Year of the War. 261

island of Melos, inhabited by ancient colonists from Sparta.
Demosthenes, another general, was sent around the Pelopon-
nesus to attack Acarnania, and he ravaged the whole terri-
tory of Leucas. He also attacked ^Etolia, but was completely
beaten, and obliged to retire with loss ; but this defeat was
counterbalanced by a great victory, the next year, over the
enemy at Olpse, when the Lacedaemonian general was slain.
He returned in triumph to Athens with considerable spoil.
The attention of the Athenians was now directed to Delos,
the island sacred to Apollo, and a complete purification
of the island was made, and the old Delian festivals renewed
with peculiar splendor.

The war had now lasted six years, without any grand or

decisive results on either side. The expeditions The sixth

o y ear °f tne

of both parties were of the nature of raids — war.

destructive, cruel, irritating, but without bringing any
grand triumphs. Though the seventh year was marked by
the usual enterprise on the part of the Lacedemonians — the
invasion of Attica — Corcyra promised to be the principal
scene of military operations. Both an Athenian and Spartan
fleet was sent thither. But an unforeseen incident gave a
new character to the war. In the course of the voyage to
Corcyra, Demosthenes, the Athenian general, stopped at
Pylus, with the intention of erecting a fort on the unin-
habited promontory, since it protected the spacious basin
now known as the bay of Navarino, and was itself Undecisive

-n t i t nature of

easily defended. Eurymedon, the admiral, m- the conflict
sisted on going directly to Corcyra, but the fleet was driven
by a storm into the very harbor which Demosthenes pro-
posed to defend. The place was accordingly fortified by
Demosthenes, where he himself remained with a garrison,
while the fleet proceeded to Corcyra. Intelligence of this
insult to Sparta — the attempt to plant a hostile fort on its
territory — induced the Lacedaemonians to send their fleet to
Pylus, instead of Corcyra. Forty-three triremes, under
Thrasymelidas, and a powerful land force, advanced to at-
tack Demosthenes, intrenched with his small army on the

262 The Peloponnesian War [Chap. xix.

rocky promontory. When the news of this new diversion
reached the Athenian fleet at Corcyra, it returned to Pyltis,
to succor Demosthenes. Here a naval battle took place, in
Great defeat Avhieh the Lacedaemonians were defeated. This
dajmonians" defeat jeopardized the situation of the Spartan
at y us " army which had occupied the island of Shac-
teria, cut off from supplies from the main land, as well as
the existence of the fleet. So great was this exigency, that
the ephors came from Sparta to consult on operations.
They took a desponding view, and sent a herald to the
Athenian generals to propose an armistice, in order to allow
Sparta seeks time for envoys to go to Athens and treat for
peace. peace. But Athens demanded now her own terms,

elated by the success. Cleon, the organ of the popular
mind, excited and sanguine, gave utterance to the feelings
of the people, and insisted on the restoration of all the ter-
ritory they had lost during the war. The Lacedaemonian
envoys, unable to resist a vehement speaker like Cleon,
which required qualities they did not possess, and which
could only be acquired from skill in managing popular as-
semblies, to which they were unused, returned to Pylus.
And it was the object of Cleon to prevent a hearing of the
envoys by a select committee (what they desired) for fear that
Nicias and other conservative politicians would accede to
their proposals. Thus the best opportunity that could be

Peace pie- presented for making an honorable peace and re-
vented by , ,

cieon. uniting Greece was lost by the arts of a dema-
gogue, who inflamed and shared the poptdar passions. Had
Pericles been alive, the treaty would probably have been
made, but Nicias had not sufficient influence to secure it.

War therefore recommenced, with fresh irritation. The
Renewed Athenian fleet blockaded the island where the
hostilities. Sp ar tan hoplites Avere posted, and found in the
attempt, which they thought so easy, unexpected obstacles.
Provisions clandestinely continually reached the besieged.
Week after week passed without the expected surrender.
Demosthenes, baffled for want of provisions and water for

Chap. XIX.] Triumph of the Athenians. 263

his own fleet, sent urgently to Athens for re-enforcements,
which caused infinite mortification. The people now began
to regret that they had listened to Cleon, and not to the
voice of wisdom. Cleon himself was sent with the re-en-
forcements demanded, against his will, although he was not
one of the ten generals. The island of Sphacteria now con-
tained the bravest of the Lacedaemonian troops — from the
first families of Sparta — a prey which Cleon and Demos-
thenes were eager to grasp. They attacked the island with
a force double of that of the defenders, altogether ten
thousand men, eight hundred of whom were hoplites. The
besieged could not resist this overwhelming force, and re-
treated to their last redoubt, but were surrounded and taken
prisoners. This surrender caused astonishment surrender of
throughout Greece, since it was supposed the s r ,hactena -
Spartan hoplites would die, as they did at Thermopylae,
rather than allow themselves to be taken alive, and this
calamity diminished greatly the lustre of the Spartan arms.
A modern army, surrounded with an overwhelming force,
against which all resistance was madness, would have done
the same as the Spartans. But it was a sad blow to them.
Cleon, within twenty days of his departure, arrived at
Athens with his three hundred Lacedaemonian Triumph
prisoners, amid universal shouts of joy, for it was Athenians.
the most triumphant success which the Athenians had yet
obtained. The war was prosecuted with renewed vigor,
and the Lacedaemonians again made advances for peace, but
without effect. The flushed victors would hear of who refuse

all overtures

no terms but what were disgraceful to the Spartans, of peace.
The chances were now most favorable to Athens. Nicias
invaded the Corinthian territory with eighty triremes, two
thousand hoplites, and two hundred horsemen, to say nothing
of the large number which supported these, and committed
the same ravages that the Spartans and their allies had in-
flicted upon Attica.

Among other events, the Athenians this year captured the
Persian embassador, Artaphernes, on his way to Sparta. He

264 The Peloponnesian War. [Chap. XIX.

was brought to Athens, and his dispatches were translated
and made public. He was sent back to Ephesus, with
Athenian envoys, to the great king, to counteract the
influence of the Spartans, but Artaerxes had died when
they reached Susa.

The capture of Sphacteria, and the surrender of the whole-
Situation of Lacedaemonian fleet, not only placed Athens, on the
ei.u'hth S ye(ir opening of the eighth year of the war, in a situa-
o ewir. x\ow more commanding than she had previously
enjoyed, but stimulated her to renewed operations on a
grander scale, not merely against Sparta, but to recover the
ascendency in Boeotia, which was held before the thirty
years' truce. The Lacedaemonians, in concert with the
revolted Chalcidic allies of Athens in Thrace, and Perdiccas,
king of Macedonia, also made gi-eat preparations for more
decisive measures. The war had dragged out seven years,
and nothing was accomplished which seriously weakened
either of the contending parties.

The first movement was made by the Athenians on the
Laconian coast. The island of Cythera was captured by an
expedition led by Nicias, of sixty triremes and two thousand
hoplites, beside other forces, and the coast was ravaged.
Then Thyrea, an iEginetan settlement, between Laconia and
Argolis, fell into the hands of the Athenians, and all the
^Eginetans were either killed in the assault, or put to death
as prisoners. These successive disasters alarmed the Lace-
daemonians, and they now began to fear repeated assaults on
their own territory, with a discontented population of Helots.
This fear prompted an act of cruelty and treachery which
had no parallel in the history of the war. Two thousand of
Despair of the bravest Helots were entrapped, as if especial

the Laoerta;-

molilalia and honors were to be bestowed upon them, and barbar-

slaiighter of . ^ z, . . .

the Heiots. ously slam. JNone but the five ephors knew the
bloody details. There was even no public examination of this
savage inhumanity, which shows that Sparta was governed,
as Venice was in the Middle Ages, by a small but exceed-
ingly powerful oligarchy.

Chap, xix.] Attach on Bceotia. 2(35

After this cruelty was consummated, envoys came from
Perdiccas and the Chalcidians of Thrace, invoking aid against
Athens. It was joyfully granted, and Brasidas, at the
request of Perdiccas and the Chalcidians, was sent with a
large force of Peloponnesian hoplites.

Meanwhile the Athenians formed plans to attack Megara,
whose inhabitants had stimulated the war, and had Attack of
been the greatest sufferers by it. A force was Me s ara -
sent under Hippocrates and Demosthenes to surprise the
place, and also Nissea. The long walls of Megara, similar
to those of Athens, were taken by surprise, and the Athe-
nians found themselves at the gates of the city, which came
near falling into their hands by treachery. Baffled for the
moment, the Athenians attacked Clisaca, which lay behind
it, and succeeded.

But Brasidas, the Lacedaemonian general, learning that the
long walls had fallen into the bands of the Athe- Eelieve(1 by
nians, got together a large force of six thousand Bra8idas -
hoplites and six hundred cavalry, and relieved Megara, and
the Athenians were obliged to retire. Ultimately the Mega-
rians regained possession of the long walls, and instituted an
oligarchial government.

The Athenians, disappointed in getting possession of Megara,
which failed by one of those accidents ever recurring in war,
organized a large force for the attack of Boeotia, on three sides,
under Hippocrates and Demosthenes. The attack was first
made at Siphac, by Demosthenes, on the Corinthian Gulf, but
failed. In spite of this failure by sea, Hippoci-ates occupation
marched with a land force to Delium, with seven ££ the AtL-
thousand hoplites, and twenty-five thousand other nians -
troops, and occupied the place, which was a temple conse-
crated to Apollo, and strongly fortified it. When the work
of fortification was completed, the army prepared to return
to Athens.

Forces from all parts of Bceotia rallied, and met the Athe-
nians. Among the forces of the Boeotians was the famous
Theban band of three hundred select warriors, accustomed

266 The Peloj>onnes>an War. [Chap. XIX.

to fight in pairs, each man attached to his companion by
peculiar ties of friendship. At Delium was fought the great
Battle of battle of the war, in which the Athenians were
Deiium. routed, and the general, Hippocrates, with a thou-
sand hoplites, were slain. The victors refused the Athenians
the sacred right of burying their dead, unless they retired
altogether from Delium — the post they had fortified on
Boeotian territory. To this the Athenians refused to sub-
mit, the consequence of which was the siege and capture of

Among the hoplites who fought in this unfortunate battle,
which was a great discouragement to the Athenian cause,
was the philosopher Socrates. The famous Alcibiades also
served in the cavalry, and helped to protect Socrates in his
retreat, after having bravely fought.

The disasters of the Athenians in Thrace were yet more
Piasters of considerable. Brasiclas, with a large force, includ-
nututin 3 " * n § seventeen hundred hoplites, rapidly marched
Thrace. through Thrace and Thessaly, and arrived in

Macedonia safely, and attacked Acanthus, an ally of Athens.
It fell into his hands, as well as Stageirus, and he was thus
enabled to lay plans for the acquisition of Amphipolis, which
was founded by Athenian colonists. Pie soon became master
of the surrounding territory. He then offered favorable
terms of capitulation to the citizens of the town, which were
accepted, and the city surrendered — the most important of
all the foreign possessions of Athens. The bridge over the
Successes of Strymon was also opened, by which all the eastern
Brasuias. allies of Athens were approachable by land. This

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