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A history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great online

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exultation. Discountenanced and kept down by the generous
patriotism of his predecessor Kallikratidas, they now sprang into
renewed activity, and became zealous in aiding Lysander to refit
and augment his fleet Nor was Cyrus less hearty in his pre-
ference than before. On arriving at Ephesus, Lysander went
speedily to visit him at Sardis, and solicited a renewal of the
pecuniary aid. The young prince said in reply that all the funds
which he had received from Susa had already been expended,
with much more besides ; in testimony of which he exhibited a
sipecification of the sums furnished to each Peloponnesian officer.
Neverlheleas such was his partiality for Lysander, that he com-
plied even with the additional demand now made, so as to send
him away satisfied. The latter was thus enabled to return to
Ephesus in a state for restoring the effective condition of his fleet
He made good at once all the arrears of pay due to the searaen—
constituted new trierarchs — summoned Eteonikus with the fleet
from Chios, together with all the other scattered squadron— and
directed that fresh triremes should be immediately put on the
stocks at Antandrus.'

In none of the Asiatic towns was the effect of Lysander's
second advent felt more violently than at MQfitus. He had
1 Xeooph. HeUen. ii. 1, 10— IS.

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there a powerful faction or association of friends, who bad done
their best to hamper and annoy Kallikratidas on
volution at bis first arrival, but had been put to silence, and even
thStSSp'tl^^ forced to make a show of zeal, by the strai^t-
■ansof forward resolution of that noble-minded admiral

^'^'^ ' Eager to reimburse thcraselven fur this humiliatioii,
they now formed a conspiracy, with the privity and concurrence
of Lysander, to seize the government for themselves. They
determined (if Plutarch and Dioddrus are to be credited) to put
down the existing democracy, and estAbli^h an oligarchy in iti
place. But we cannot believe that there could have existed •
democracy at Miletus, which had now l>ecn for five years in de-
pendence upon Sparta and the Persianu jointly. We must rather
understand the movement as a conflict between two oligarchicil
parties; the friends of Lysander being more thoroughly self-
seeking and anti-popular than their opponents — and perhaps
even crying them down, by comparison, as a democracy. Ly-
sander lent himself to the scheme — fanned the ambition c^ the
conspirators, who were at one time dis]H)8ed to a compromise—
and even betrayed the government into a false security, by pro-
mises of support which he never intended to fulfil At the
festival of the Dionysia, the conspirators, rising in arms, seized
forty of their chief opponents in their houses, and three hundred
more in the market-place ; while the government — confiding in
the promises of Lysander, who affected to reprove, but secretly
continued instigating, the insurgents — made but a faint resist-
ance. The three hundred and forty leaders thus seized, probably
men who had gone heartily along with Kallikratidas, were all
put to death ; and a still larger number of citizens, not less than
1000, fled into exile. Mil6tus thus passed completely into the
hands of the friends and partisans of Lysander.'

It would appear that factious movements in other towns, leas
Oynu goes revolting in respect of bloodshed and perfidy, yet still
d^hl? ^^ similar character to that of Miletus, marked the

fathw— reappearance of Lysander in Asia ; placing the towns
tri bates to more and more in the hands of his partisana While
Lynnder. ^^g acquiring greater ascendency among the allies,
Lysander received a summons from Cyrus to visit him at Sardii
1 Diod6r. xiii. 104 ; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 8.

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Chap. lxv. cykus's confidence in lysander. 436

The young prince had just been sent for to come and visit his
father Darins, who was both old and dangerously ill in Media.
About to depart for this purpose, he carried his confidence in
Lvsander so far as to delegate to him the management of his
satrapy and his entire revenues. Besides his admiration for the
8n})erior energy and capacity of the Greek character, with which
he had only recently contracted acquaintance — and besides his
esteem for the personal disinterestedness of Lysander, attested as
it had been by the conduct of the latter in the first visit and
banquet at Sardis — Cyrus was probably induced to this step by
the fear of raising up to himself a rival, if he trusted the like
power to any Persian grandee. At the same time that he handed
over all his tributes and his reserved funds to Lysander, he
assured him of his steady friendship both towards himself and
towards the Lacedsemonians ; and concluded by entreating that
he would by no means engage in any general action with the
Athenians, unless at great advantage in point of numbers. The
defeat of Arginnsn having strengthened his preference for this
dilatory policy, he promised that not only the Persian treasures^
but also the Phcenician fleet, should be brought into active
employment for the purpose of crushing Athens.*

TboB armed with an unprecedented command of Persian
treasure, and seconded by ascendant factions in all ^^
the allied cities, Lysander was more powerful than
any Lacedaemonian commander had ever been since Srt^^"
the commencement of the war. Having his fleet ^*i??Si
well-jmid, he could keep it united and direct it the battle of
whither he chose, without tlie necessity of dispersing opSS?***
it in roving squadrons for the purpose of levying tionaof
money. It is probably from a corresponding necessity
that we are to explain the inaction of the Athenian fleet at Samos;
for we hear of no serious operations undertaken by it during the
whole year following the victory of Arginusse, ^though under
the command of an able and energetic man, Eondn — ^together
with Fliiloklds and Adeimantus ; to whom were added, during
the spring of 405 ac, three generals, Tydens, Menander, and
Eephisodotus. It appears that Theramen^ also was put ap and
elected one of the generals, but rejected when submitted to the
' Xenoph. Hell<»n. il. 1, 14 ; Plutarch, Lywuid. c. 9.

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oonfirinatory examination called the Dokimasj.^ The fleet com-
prised 180 trircniee, rather a greater number than that of
L^sander ; to whom they in vain offered battle near his station
at Ephesus. Finding him not disposed to a general action, thej
seem to have dis^iersed to plunder Chios and various portions of
the Asiatic coast ; while Lysander, keeping his fleet together, fint
sailed southward from Ephesus— stormed and plundered a semi-
Hellenic town in the Eerameikan Qulf, named Kedreis, whidi
was in alliance with Athens — and thence proceeded to Rhodes.*
He was even bold enough to make an excursion across the .£gean
to the coast of ^gina and Attica, where he had an interview with
Agis, who came from Dekeleia to the sea-coasU' The Athenians
were preparing to follow him thither when they learnt that he
had recrossed the JBgean, and he soon afterwards appeared with
all his fleet at the Hellespont, which important pass they hod left
unguard,3d. Lysander went straight to Abydos, still the great
Peloponnesian station in the strait, occupied by Thorax ss
harmost with a land force ; and immediately proceeded to attack,
ooth by sea and land, the neighbouring town of Laropsakos,
which was taken by storm. It was wealthy in every way, and
abundantly stocked with bread and wine, so that the soldiers
obtained a large booty ; but Lysander left the free inhabitants

The Athenian fleet seems to have been employed in plundering
Both fleets Chios when it received news that the Lacedaemonian
^ the commander was at the Hellespont engaged in the

•^■'***'*'' siege of Lampsakus. Either from the want of moncj,
or from other causes which we do not understand, Kon6n and his
colleagues were partly inactive, partly behindhand with Lysander,
throughout all this summer. They now followed him to the
Hellespont, sailing out on the sea-side of Chios and Lesbos, away
from the Asiatic coast, which was all unfriendly to theuL The?
reached Elseus, at the southern extremity of the Chersonese, vith
their powerfiQ fleet of 180 triremes, just in time to hear, while at

1 LysiM, Oiml zUL oont Agomt ^gf na is not noticed hj Xenophta,
aect 18. but it app^vun both in Diod6nifl ud »

« Xenoph. HeUen. B. 1. «. 16. ^I'^"^' '^ '"* ' ""^

* This flyioc Tisit of Lysander moron * Xeuoph. Hellen. it 1, 18, 19 ; Dio-
the i^ean to the coaete of Attica and dAr. xiiL 104 ; Plutarch, ^yaaad. e. 9.

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their morning meal, that Lysander was idreadj master of
Lampsakus; upon which they immediately proceeded up the
strait to Sestos, and from thence, after stopping only to collect a
few provisions, still farther up, to a place called JSgospotamL^

JSgoepotami, or Qoafs River — a name of fJEital sound to all
snhsequent Athenians — was a place wbich had nothing Athenian
to recommend it except that it was directly opposite fttfigos-
to Lampsakus, separated by a breadth of strait about poUml
one mile and three-quarters. It was an open beach, without
harbour, without good anchorage, without either houses or
inhabitants or supplies ; so that everything necessary for this
large army had to be fetched from Sestos, about one mile and
three-quarters distant even by land, and yet more distant by sea,
since it was necessary to round a headland. Such a station was
highly inconvenient and dangerous to an ancient naval armament,
without any organized commissariat ; for the seamen, being com-
pelled to go to a distance from their ships in order to get their
meals, were not easily reassembled. Yet this was the station
chosen by the Athenian generals, with the full design of com-
pelling Lysander to fight a battle. But the Lacedcemonian
admiral, who was at Lampsakus in a harboiur, with a well-
furnished town in his rear and a land force to co-operate, had no
intention of accepting the challenge of his enemies at the moment
which suited their convenience. When the Athenians sailed
across the strait the next nioming, they found all his ships fully
manned, — the men having already taken their nioming meal, —
and ranged in X)erfect order of battle, with the land force disposed
ashore to lend assistance, but with strict orders to await attack
and not to move forward. Not daring to attack him in such a
position, yet unable to draw him out by manoeuvring all the day,
the Athenians were at length obliged to go back to iEgospotami.
But Lysander directed a few swift sailing vessels to follow them,
nor would he suffer his own men to disembark until he thus
ascertained that their seamen had actually dispersed ashore.'

i<^or four successive days this same scene was repeated ; the
Athenians becoming each day more confident iu their own superior
strength, and more full of contempt for the apparent cowardice

1 Xenoph. HeUen. ii. 1, 20, 21.

9 Xenoph. Hellen. U. 1, 22—24 ; Pliitarob, Lysand c 40 ; Diod6r. xiii. 106.

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of the enemy. It was in vain that Alkibiadee — who from his
gj^j^^ ^ own private forts in the Chersonese witnessed what
MgoB- was passing — rode up to the station and remonstrated

rarorisT ^^ ^® generals on the exposed condition of the
oftheSlSre ^®®* ®^ *^^ ®P®^ shore ; urgently advising them to
Atheni&Q move round to Sestoe, where they would be both dose
^ to their own supplies and safe from attack, as Lysander

was at LampsakuSy and from whence they could go forth to fight
whenever they chose. But the Athenian generals, especially
Tydeus and Menander, disr^arded his advice, and even dismissed
him with the insulting taunt that they were now in command,
not he.^ Continuing thus in their exposed position, the Athcniaa
seamen on each successive day became more and more careless of
their enemy, and rash in dispersing the moment they returned
back to their own shore. At length, on the fifth day, Lysander
ordered the scout ships, which he sent forth to watch the
Athenians on their return, to hoist a bright shield as a signal, as
soon as they should see the ships at their anchorage and the crews
ashore in quest of their meal The moment he beheld this
welcome signal he gave orders to his entire fleet to row across as
swiftly as possible from Lampsakus to iEgospotami, while Thorax
marched along the strand with the land force in case of need.
Nothing could be more complete or decisive than the surprise of
the Athenian fleet. All the triremes were caught at their
moorings ashore, some entirely deserted, others with one, or at
most two, of the three tiers of rowers which formed their
complement. Out of all the total of 180, only twelve were found
in tolerable order and preparation;'' the trireme of Eon6n him-
self, together with a squadron of seven under his immediate
orders, and the consecrated ship called Paralus, always manned

1 Xenoph. HeUen. iL 1, 25; Plntarch, Yet it is not likely that Alkibiad^

Lyaand. c. 10 : Plutarch, Alkib. o. 8tf. should have talked of anything so

Diod6ru8 (xiii. lo6) and Cornelius obvioualy impoiisible. How could d<

Nepos (Aldb. c 8) represent Alki- bring a Thracian land force to att»«

biadds as wishing to be re-admitted to Lvsander who was on the opposite »)iie

a share In the command of the fleet, of the Hellespout? How could be

and as promising, if that were granted, carry a land force across in the face of

that he would assemble a body of Lysander's fleet ?
Thracians, attack Lyttander by land, The representation of Xenopfaos

and compel him to fight a battle or (followed in my text) is clear ana

retire. Plutarch (Alkib. c. 87) alludes intelligible. __^

also to promisee of this sort held out '^ Xenoph. Hellen. ii. 1, 29 ; Ljbus,

bv AlkibiaiiAs. Orat. xxi. CAvoA. A^poS.), s. 12.

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by picked Athenian seamen, being among them. It waa in vain
that Kondn, on seeing the fleet of Lysander approaching, em-
ployed his utmoet efforts to get his fleet manned and in some
condition for resistance. The attempt was desperate, and the
utmost which he could do was to escape himself with the small
squadron of twelve, including the Pax^us. All the remaining
triremes, nearly 170 in number, were captured by Lysander on
the shore, defenceless, and seemingly without the least attempt
on the part of any one to resist He landed and made prisoners
most of the crews ashore, though some of them fled and found'
shelter in the neighlionring forts. This prodigious and un-
paralleled victory was obtained, not merely without the loss of a
single ship, but almost without that of a single man.^

Of the number of prisoners taken by Lysander — which must
have been very great, since the total crews of 180 oaptun
triremes were not leas than 36,000 men' — we hear ^Vh ^t^n
only of 3000 or 4000 native Athenians, though this oom-
number cannut represent all the native Athenians in Suxoopfc
the fleet The Athenian generab Philoklea and Kondn.
Adeimantus were certainly taken, and seemingly all except
Kondn. Some of the defeated armament took refuge in Sestoe,
which, however, surrendered with little resistance to the victor.
He admitted them to capitulation, on condition of their going
back immediately to Athens, and nowhere else; for he was
desirous to multiply as much as possible the numbers assembled
in that city, knowing well that it would be the sooner starved
out Kon6n too was well aware that to go bock to Athens, after
the ruin of the entire fleet, was to become one of the certain
prisoners in a doomed city, and to meet, besides, the indignation
of his fellow-citizens, so well deserved by the generals collec-
tively. Accordingly he resolved to take shelter with Evagoras,
priuce of Sulamis, in the island of Cyprus, sending the Paralus
with some others of the twelve fugitive triremes to make known
the fatal news at Athens. But befure he went thither, he crossed

iXenoph. Hellen. it I, 28; Pla- worthy than that of Xenophdn.
tardi. Lytaind. c U ; Plutarch. Alkl- axenoph. HeUen. li. I. 28. tAv «'

' JHoitruB (xilL l'06) glres a different 5?^.^ J? x'Xt^'cVr?-:i%i:^*J.1c
repreMDtatioD of this impor^ut raili- liJJ^lV ^^'^'"^ "*' * *** •*'^' "'
tary operation, far less clear and trust- ^ '^ '

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the strait — with singular daring under the drcnmstances— to
Cape Abamis, in the territory of Lampsakus, where the great
sails of Lysander's triremes (always taken out when a trireme
was made ready for fighting) lay seemingly unguarded Tbese
sails he took away, so as to lessen the enemy's powers of par8iut»
and then made the best of his way to Cyprus.^

On the very day of the victory, Lysander sent off the MilesiaD
privateer Tbeopompus to proclaim it at Sparta, who,
of^ by a wonderful speed of rowing, arrived there and

^nendi ^"^^ ^* known on the third day after starting. The
and captured ships were towed off, and the prisonen

^ carried across, to Lampsakus, where a general assemUT

of the victorious allies was convened, to determine in what
manner the prisoners should be treated. In this assembly the
most bitter inculpations were put forth against the Atheniane
as to the manner in which they had recently dealt with their
captives. The Athenian general PhiloklSs, having captured a
Corinthian and an Andrian trireme, had put the crews to death
by hurling them headlong from a precipice. It was not difficult,
in Grecian warfare, for each of the belligerents to cite precedents
of cruelty against the other. In this debate some speaken
affirmed that the Athenians had deliberated what they should
do with their prisoners, in case they had been victorious at
ifigospotami ; and that they had determined— chiefly on the
motion of Philokl^s, but in spite of the opposition of Adeimantus
— ^that they would cut off the right hands of all who were
captured. Whatever opinion Philoklds may have expreaeed
personally, it is highly improbable that any such determination
was ever taken by the Athenians.' In this assembly of the
allies, however, besides all that could be said against Athens
with truth, doubtless the most extravagant falsehoods found
ready credence. All the Athenian prisoners captured at ^'os-
potami, 3000 or 4000 in number, were massacred forthwith—
Philokles himself at their head.*^ The latter, taunted bj

1 Xenoph. Hdlen. U. 1, 29 ; Dind6r. Offic Ui. 11. IC is there the richt

xiii. 100 ; tlie latter is diaoorcUuit. how- thumb which Is to be cut off ; and Um

ever, on many points. determination is alleiced to have bees

* Xenoph. Hellen. ii. I, 81. This taken in reference to the ^siuetaiis.

storv is given with variations in Plu- > Xenoph. Hellen. ii. l. Si ; PausM.

tarch, Lysaud. c. 9, and by Cicero de ix. 82, 6 ; Plutarch, Ly»aud. c IS.

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Lysftnder with his cruel execution of the Corinthian and Andrian
crews, disdained to return any answer, but placed himself in
conspicuous vestments at the head of the prisoners led out to
execution. If we may believe Paiisanias, even the bodies of the
prisoners were left unburied.

Never was a victory more complete in itself^ more over-
'whelming in its consequences, or more thoroughly Th«
disgraceful to the defeated generals, taken collectively, atouIiip.
than that of uEgospotami. Whether it was in reality P?*®*\J^
-very glorious to Ly sunder is doubtful ; for the general betrayed
belief afterwards— not merely at Athens, but seem- oJn'com-
ingly in other parts of Greece also — ^held that the mander*.
Athenian fleet had been sold to perdition by the treason of some
of its own commanders. Of such a suspicion both Eondn and
Philokles stand clear. Adeimantus was named as the chief
traitor, and Tydeus along with him.* Eondn even preferred an
.accusation against Adeimantus to this effect,* probably by letter
written home from Cyprus, and perhaps by some formal declara-
tion made several years afterwards, when he returned to Athens
as victor from the battle of Knidus. The truth of the charge
cannot be positively demonstrated, but all the circumstances of
the battle tend to render it prolmble, as well as the fSEu:t that
Eonun alone among all the generals was found in a decent state
of preparation. Indeed, we may add that the utter impotence
and inertness of the numerous Athenian fleet during the whole
summer of 405 B.G. conspire to suggest a similar explanation.
Kor could Lysander, master as he was of all the treasures of
Cyrus, apply any portion of them more eflScaciously than in
corru])ting one or more of the six Athenian generals, so as to
nullify all the energy and ability of EonOn.

The great defeat of JSgospotami took place about September,

1 Xenoph. HeUen. ii. 1, 82 ; LyslM corrnption of the genenUa, as

«ont Alkib. A. 8. S8; Pansan. iy. 17, baring caufied the defeat. Nor does

8 ; X. 9, 6 ; laokrat^s ad Philipp. Or. ▼. Diodonu notice the comipUoii (ziiL

met. 70. LyBias. in his .\6yo^ 'Eima- 106).

^ipc (s. r>S) speaks of the treason, yet Both these anthort seem to have

not as a matter i>f certainty. We can- copied from Theoporopus in describing

nut make out distinctly how many of tbe battle of iEgospotami. His de-

Uie Athenian generals were eaptureil scription differs on many points from

Ml ^nfMTMtMXDi. tliat of Xenuph6n (Theopomp. Ftagm.

Cornelius Nepoe (Lysand. c. 1; 8,ed Didot).

Alcib. c. 8} notices only the disorder > Demosthen. de Fals. Legat p. 401,

of the Atneniaa armament, not the o. 67.

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405 B.a It was made known at PeinBos by the Pacahis,
B.a 405, which arrived there during the night, coming straight
•"^pt- from the Hellespont Such a moment of distress and

i>Uitre88aod agony had never been experienced at Athens. The
Athen^' terrible disaster in Sicily had become known to the
defeat*^*? People by degrees, without any authorized reporter ;
iBgoc- but here was the official messenger, fresh from the

mmioknowD 8<^«^e, leaving no room to question the magnitude of
**»e«^- the disaster or the irreparable ruin impending over

the city. The wailing and cries of woe, first beginning in
Peirseus, were transmitted by the guards stationed on the Long
Walls up the city. ^ On that night (says Xenoph6n) not a man
slept ; not merely from sorrow for the past calamity, but from
terror for the future fate with which they themselves were now-
menaced, a retribution for what they had themselves inflicted on
the i£ginetans, Melians, Skionseans, and others." After this
night of misery, they met in public assembly on the following
day, resolving to make the best preparations they could for a
siege, to put the walls in full state of defence, and to bluck op
two out of the three ports.^ For Athens thus to renounce her
maritime action, the pride and glory of the city ever since the
battle of Salamis, and to confine herself to a defensive attitude
within her own wall, was a humiliation which left nothing worse
to be endured except actual famine and surrender.

Lysander was in no hurry to pass from the Hellespont to
p^^j^j^^ Athens. He knew that no further corn-ships from
ingsoi the Euxine, and few supplies from other quarters,

^"*" could now reach Athens ; and that the power of the

city to hold out against blockade must necessarily be verj
limited ; the more limited the greater the numbers accumulated
within It Accordingly, he permitted the Athenian garrisow
which capitulated to go only to Athens, and nowhere else.* Hi^^
first measure was to make himself master of Cha]k6<lon and
Byzantium, where he placed the Lacedaemonian Sthenelaus as
harmost with a garrison. Next he passed to Lesbos, where he
made similar arrangements at Mitylend and other cities. In
them, as well as in the other cities which now came under his

1 Xenoph. HeUen. U. S, 8 ; Dioddr. ^ Xenoph. Ualleo. iL%i; Pluurch.
xiSL 107. Lysaud. c. 13.

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Chap. LXV.



power, he constituted an oligarchy of ten native citizensi choeen
from among his moet daring and unacrupalous partisans, and
called a Dekarchy, or Dekadarchy, to govern in conjunction with
the Laced»monian harmoet. Eteonikus was sent to the Thracian

Online LibraryGeorge GroteA history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great → online text (page 50 of 62)