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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 100

These words of Teutiaplus failing to move Alcidas, some of the Ionian exiles and the Lesbians with the expedition began to urge him, since this seemed too dangerous, to seize one of the Ionian cities or the Aeolic town of Cyme, to use as a base for effecting the revolt of Ionia. This was by no means a hopeless enterprise, as their coming was welcome everywhere; their object would be by this move to deprive Athens of her chief source of revenue, and at the same time to saddle her with expense, if she chose to blockade them; and they would probably induce Pissuthnes to join them in the war. However, Alcidas gave this proposal as bad a reception as the other, being eager, since he had come too late for Mitylene, to find himself back in Peloponnese as soon as possible.

Accordingly he put out from Embatum and proceeded along shore; and touching at the Teian town, Myonnesus, there butchered most of the prisoners that he had taken on his passage. Upon his coming to anchor at Ephesus, envoys came to him from the Samians at Anaia, and told him that he was not going the right way to free Hellas in massacring men who had never raised a hand against him, and who were not enemies of his, but allies of Athens against their will, and that if he did not stop he would turn many more friends into enemies than enemies into friends. Alcidas agreed to this, and let go all the Chians still in his hands and some of the others that he had taken; the inhabitants, instead of flying at the sight of his vessels, rather coming up to them, taking them for Athenian, having no sort of expectation that while the Athenians commanded the sea Peloponnesian ships would venture over to Ionia.

From Ephesus Alcidas set sail in haste and fled. He had been seen by the Salaminian and Paralian galleys, which happened to be sailing from Athens, while still at anchor off Clarus; and fearing pursuit he now made across the open sea, fully determined to touch nowhere, if he could help it, until he got to Peloponnese. Meanwhile news of him had come in to Paches from the Erythraeid, and indeed from all quarters. As Ionia was unfortified, great fears were felt that the Peloponnesians coasting along shore, even if they did not intend to stay, might make descents in passing and plunder the towns; and now the Paralian and Salaminian, having seen him at Clarus, themselves brought intelligence of the fact. Paches accordingly gave hot chase, and continued the pursuit as far as the isle of Patmos, and then finding that Alcidas had got on too far to be overtaken, came back again. Meanwhile he thought it fortunate that, as he had not fallen in with them out at sea, he had not overtaken them anywhere where they would have been forced to encamp, and so give him the trouble of blockading them.


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