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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 156





CHAPTER XIV

Eighth and Ninth Years of the War—Invasion of Boeotia—Fall of Amphipolis—Brilliant Successes of Brasidas

The same summer the Mitylenians were about to fortify Antandrus, as they had intended, when Demodocus and Aristides, the commanders of the Athenian squadron engaged in levying subsidies, heard on the Hellespont of what was being done to the place (Lamachus their colleague having sailed with ten ships into the Pontus) and conceived fears of its becoming a second Anaia-the place in which the Samian exiles had established themselves to annoy Samos, helping the Peloponnesians by sending pilots to their navy, and keeping the city in agitation and receiving all its outlaws. They accordingly got together a force from the allies and set sail, defeated in battle the troops that met them from Antandrus, and retook the place. Not long after, Lamachus, who had sailed into the Pontus, lost his ships at anchor in the river Calex, in the territory of Heraclea, rain having fallen in the interior and the flood coming suddenly down upon them; and himself and his troops passed by land through the Bithynian Thracians on the Asiatic side, and arrived at Chalcedon, the Megarian colony at the mouth of the Pontus.

The same summer the Athenian general, Demosthenes, arrived at Naupactus with forty ships immediately after the return from the Megarid. Hippocrates and himself had had overtures made to them by certain men in the cities in Boeotia, who wished to change the constitution and introduce a democracy as at Athens; Ptoeodorus, a Theban exile, being the chief mover in this intrigue. The seaport town of Siphae, in the bay of Crisae, in the Thespian territory, was to be betrayed to them by one party; Chaeronea (a dependency of what was formerly called the Minyan, now the Boeotian, Orchomenus) to be put into their hands by another from that town, whose exiles were very active in the business, hiring men in Peloponnese. Some Phocians also were in the plot, Chaeronea being the frontier town of Boeotia and close to Phanotis in Phocia. Meanwhile the Athenians were to seize Delium, the sanctuary of Apollo, in the territory of Tanagra looking towards Euboea; and all these events were to take place simultaneously upon a day appointed, in order that the Boeotians might be unable to unite to oppose them at Delium, being everywhere detained by disturbances at home. Should the enterprise succeed, and Delium be fortified, its authors confidently expected that even if no revolution should immediately follow in Boeotia, yet with these places in their hands, and the country being harassed by incursions, and a refuge in each instance near for the partisans engaged in them, things would not remain as they were, but that the rebels being supported by the Athenians and the forces of the oligarchs divided, it would be possible after a while to settle matters according to their wishes.

Such was the plot in contemplation. Hippocrates with a force raised at home awaited the proper moment to take the field against the Boeotians; while he sent on Demosthenes with the forty ships above mentioned to Naupactus, to raise in those parts an army of Acarnanians and of the other allies, and sail and receive Siphae from the conspirators; a day having been agreed on for the simultaneous execution of both these operations. Demosthenes on his arrival found Oeniadae already compelled by the united Acarnanians to join the Athenian confederacy, and himself raising all the allies in those countries marched against and subdued Salynthius and the Agraeans; after which he devoted himself to the preparations necessary to enable him to be at Siphae by the time appointed.


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