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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 175

The next day the Athenians sailed round to the Scione side, and took the suburb, and all day plundered the country, without any one coming out against them, partly because of intestine disturbances in the town; and the following night the three hundred Scionaeans returned home. On the morrow Nicias advanced with half the army to the frontier of Scione and laid waste the country; while Nicostratus with the remainder sat down before the town near the upper gate on the road to Potidaea. The arms of the Mendaeans and of their Peloponnesian auxiliaries within the wall happened to be piled in that quarter, where Polydamidas accordingly began to draw them up for battle, encouraging the Mendaeans to make a sortie. At this moment one of the popular party answered him factiously that they would not go out and did not want a war, and for thus answering was dragged by the arm and knocked about by Polydamidas. Hereupon the infuriated commons at once seized their arms and rushed at the Peloponnesians and at their allies of the opposite faction. The troops thus assaulted were at once routed, partly from the suddenness of the conflict and partly through fear of the gates being opened to the Athenians, with whom they imagined that the attack had been concerted. As many as were not killed on the spot took refuge in the citadel, which they had held from the first; and the whole, Athenian army, Nicias having by this time returned and being close to the city, now burst into Mende, which had opened its gates without any convention, and sacked it just as if they had taken it by storm, the generals even finding some difficulty in restraining them from also massacring the inhabitants. After this the Athenians told the Mendaeans that they might retain their civil rights, and themselves judge the supposed authors of the revolt; and cut off the party in the citadel by a wall built down to the sea on either side, appointing troops to maintain the blockade. Having thus secured Mende, they proceeded against Scione.

The Scionaeans and Peloponnesians marched out against them, occupying a strong hill in front of the town, which had to be captured by the enemy before they could invest the place. The Athenians stormed the hill, defeated and dislodged its occupants, and, having encamped and set up a trophy, prepared for the work of circumvallation. Not long after they had begun their operations, the auxiliaries besieged in the citadel of Mende forced the guard by the sea-side and arrived by night at Scione, into which most of them succeeded in entering, passing through the besieging army.

While the investment of Scione was in progress, Perdiccas sent a herald to the Athenian generals and made peace with the Athenians, through spite against Brasidas for the retreat from Lyncus, from which moment indeed he had begun to negotiate. The Lacedaemonian Ischagoras was just then upon the point of starting with an army overland to join Brasidas; and Perdiccas, being now required by Nicias to give some proof of the sincerity of his reconciliation to the Athenians, and being himself no longer disposed to let the Peloponnesians into his country, put in motion his friends in Thessaly, with whose chief men he always took care to have relations, and so effectually stopped the army and its preparation that they did not even try the Thessalians. Ischagoras himself, however, with Ameinias and Aristeus, succeeded in reaching Brasidas; they had been commissioned by the Lacedaemonians to inspect the state of affairs, and brought out from Sparta (in violation of all precedent) some of their young men to put in command of the towns, to guard against their being entrusted to the persons upon the spot. Brasidas accordingly placed Clearidas, son of Cleonymus, in Amphipolis, and Pasitelidas, son of Hegesander, in Torone.


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