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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 190

In this same winter Mecyberna was assaulted and taken by the Olynthians, having an Athenian garrison inside it.

All this while negotiations had been going on between the Athenians and Lacedaemonians about the conquests still retained by each, and Lacedaemon, hoping that if Athens were to get back Panactum from the Boeotians she might herself recover Pylos, now sent an embassy to the Boeotians, and begged them to place Panactum and their Athenian prisoners in her hands, in order that she might exchange them for Pylos. This the Boeotians refused to do, unless Lacedaemon made a separate alliance with them as she had done with Athens. Lacedaemon knew that this would be a breach of faith to Athens, as it had been agreed that neither of them should make peace or war without the other; yet wishing to obtain Panactum which she hoped to exchange for Pylos, and the party who pressed for the dissolution of the treaty strongly affecting the Boeotian connection, she at length concluded the alliance just as winter gave way to spring; and Panactum was instantly razed. And so the eleventh year of the war ended.

In the first days of the summer following, the Argives, seeing that the promised ambassadors from Boeotia did not arrive, and that Panactum was being demolished, and that a separate alliance had been concluded between the Boeotians and Lacedaemonians, began to be afraid that Argos might be left alone, and all the confederacy go over to Lacedaemon. They fancied that the Boeotians had been persuaded by the Lacedaemonians to raze Panactum and to enter into the treaty with the Athenians, and that Athens was privy to this arrangement, and even her alliance, therefore, no longer open to them—a resource which they had always counted upon, by reason of the dissensions existing, in the event of the noncontinuance of their treaty with Lacedaemon. In this strait the Argives, afraid that, as the result of refusing to renew the treaty with Lacedaemon and of aspiring to the supremacy in Peloponnese, they would have the Lacedaemonians, Tegeans, Boeotians, and Athenians on their hands all at once, now hastily sent off Eustrophus and Aeson, who seemed the persons most likely to be acceptable, as envoys to Lacedaemon, with the view of making as good a treaty as they could with the Lacedaemonians, upon such terms as could be got, and being left in peace.

Having reached Lacedaemon, their ambassadors proceeded to negotiate the terms of the proposed treaty. What the Argives first demanded was that they might be allowed to refer to the arbitration of some state or private person the question of the Cynurian land, a piece of frontier territory about which they have always been disputing, and which contains the towns of Thyrea and Anthene, and is occupied by the Lacedaemonians. The Lacedaemonians at first said that they could not allow this point to be discussed, but were ready to conclude upon the old terms. Eventually, however, the Argive ambassadors succeeded in obtaining from them this concession: For the present there was to be a truce for fifty years, but it should be competent for either party, there being neither plague nor war in Lacedaemon or Argos, to give a formal challenge and decide the question of this territory by battle, as on a former occasion, when both sides claimed the victory; pursuit not being allowed beyond the frontier of Argos or Lacedaemon. The Lacedaemonians at first thought this mere folly; but at last, anxious at any cost to have the friendship of Argos they agreed to the terms demanded, and reduced them to writing. However, before any of this should become binding, the ambassadors were to return to Argos and communicate with their people and, in the event of their approval, to come at the feast of the Hyacinthia and take the oaths.


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