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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 167

The same winter the Megarians took and razed to the foundations the long walls which had been occupied by the Athenians; and Brasidas after the capture of Amphipolis marched with his allies against Acte, a promontory running out from the King's dike with an inward curve, and ending in Athos, a lofty mountain looking towards the Aegean Sea. In it are various towns, Sane, an Andrian colony, close to the canal, and facing the sea in the direction of Euboea; the others being Thyssus, Cleone, Acrothoi, Olophyxus, and Dium, inhabited by mixed barbarian races speaking the two languages. There is also a small Chalcidian element; but the greater number are Tyrrheno-Pelasgians once settled in Lemnos and Athens, and Bisaltians, Crestonians, and Edonians; the towns being all small ones. Most of these came over to Brasidas; but Sane and Dium held out and saw their land ravaged by him and his army.

Upon their not submitting, he at once marched against Torone in Chalcidice, which was held by an Athenian garrison, having been invited by a few persons who were prepared to hand over the town. Arriving in the dark a little before daybreak, he sat down with his army near the temple of the Dioscuri, rather more than a quarter of a mile from the city. The rest of the town of Torone and the Athenians in garrison did not perceive his approach; but his partisans knowing that he was coming (a few of them had secretly gone out to meet him) were on the watch for his arrival, and were no sooner aware of it than they took it to them seven light-armed men with daggers, who alone of twenty men ordered on this service dared to enter, commanded by Lysistratus an Olynthian. These passed through the sea wall, and without being seen went up and put to the sword the garrison of the highest post in the town, which stands on a hill, and broke open the postern on the side of Canastraeum.

Brasidas meanwhile came a little nearer and then halted with his main body, sending on one hundred targeteers to be ready to rush in first, the moment that a gate should be thrown open and the beacon lighted as agreed. After some time passed in waiting and wondering at the delay, the targeteers by degrees got up close to the town. The Toronaeans inside at work with the party that had entered had by this time broken down the postern and opened the gates leading to the market-place by cutting through the bar, and first brought some men round and let them in by the postern, in order to strike a panic into the surprised townsmen by suddenly attacking them from behind and on both sides at once; after which they raised the fire-signal as had been agreed, and took in by the market gates the rest of the targeteers.

Brasidas seeing the signal told the troops to rise, and dashed forward amid the loud hurrahs of his men, which carried dismay among the astonished townspeople. Some burst in straight by the gate, others over some square pieces of timber placed against the wall (which has fallen down and was being rebuilt) to draw up stones; Brasidas and the greater number making straight uphill for the higher part of the town, in order to take it from top to bottom, and once for all, while the rest of the multitude spread in all directions.


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