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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 310

Debating together and comforting themselves after this manner, they pushed on their war measures as actively as ever; and the ten envoys sent to Samos by the Four Hundred, learning how matters stood while they were still at Delos, stayed quiet there. About this time a cry arose a Peloponnesian fleet at Miletus that Astyochus and Tissaphernes were ruining their cause. Astyochus had not been willing to fight at sea—either before, while they were still in full vigour and the fleet of the Athenians small, or now, when the enemy was, as they were informed, in a state of sedition and his ships not yet united—but kept them waiting for the Phoenician fleet from Tissaphernes, which had only a nominal existence, at the risk of wasting away in inactivity. While Tissaphernes not only did not bring up the fleet in question, but was ruining their navy by payments made irregularly, and even then not made in full. They must therefore, they insisted, delay no longer, but fight a decisive naval engagement. The Syracusans were the most urgent of any.

The confederates and Astyochus, aware of these murmurs, had already decided in council to fight a decisive battle; and when the news reached them of the disturbance at Samos, they put to sea with all their ships, one hundred and ten in number, and, ordering the Milesians to move by land upon Mycale, set sail thither. The Athenians with the eighty-two ships from Samos were at the moment lying at Glauce in Mycale, a point where Samos approaches near to the continent; and, seeing the Peloponnesian fleet sailing against them, retired into Samos, not thinking themselves numerically strong enough to stake their all upon a battle. Besides, they had notice from Miletus of the wish of the enemy to engage, and were expecting to be joined from the Hellespont by Strombichides, to whom a messenger had been already dispatched, with the ships that had gone from Chios to Abydos. The Athenians accordingly withdrew to Samos, and the Peloponnesians put in at Mycale, and encamped with the land forces of the Milesians and the people of the neighbourhood. The next day they were about to sail against Samos, when tidings reached them of the arrival of Strombichides with the squadron from the Hellespont, upon which they immediately sailed back to Miletus. The Athenians, thus reinforced, now in their turn sailed against Miletus with a hundred and eight ships, wishing to fight a decisive battle, but, as no one put out to meet them, sailed back to Samos.





CHAPTER XXVI

Twenty-first Year of the War—Recall of Alcibiades to Samos—Revolt of Euboea and Downfall of the Four Hundred—Battle of Cynossema

In the same summer, immediately after this, the Peloponnesians having refused to fight with their fleet united, through not thinking themselves a match for the enemy, and being at a loss where to look for money for such a number of ships, especially as Tissaphernes proved so bad a paymaster, sent off Clearchus, son of Ramphias, with forty ships to Pharnabazus, agreeably to the original instructions from Peloponnese; Pharnabazus inviting them and being prepared to furnish pay, and Byzantium besides sending offers to revolt to them. These Peloponnesian ships accordingly put out into the open sea, in order to escape the observation of the Athenians, and being overtaken by a storm, the majority with Clearchus got into Delos, and afterwards returned to Miletus, whence Clearchus proceeded by land to the Hellespont to take the command: ten, however, of their number, under the Megarian Helixus, made good their passage to the Hellespont, and effected the revolt of Byzantium. After this, the commanders at Samos were informed of it, and sent a squadron against them to guard the Hellespont; and an encounter took place before Byzantium between eight vessels on either side.


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