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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 77

Such were the events of the summer. The ensuing winter the Athenians sent twenty ships round Peloponnese, under the command of Phormio, who stationed himself at Naupactus and kept watch against any one sailing in or out of Corinth and the Crissaean Gulf. Six others went to Caria and Lycia under Melesander, to collect tribute in those parts, and also to prevent the Peloponnesian privateers from taking up their station in those waters and molesting the passage of the merchantmen from Phaselis and Phoenicia and the adjoining continent. However, Melesander, going up the country into Lycia with a force of Athenians from the ships and the allies, was defeated and killed in battle, with the loss of a number of his troops.

The same winter the Potidaeans at length found themselves no longer able to hold out against their besiegers. The inroads of the Peloponnesians into Attica had not had the desired effect of making the Athenians raise the siege. Provisions there were none left; and so far had distress for food gone in Potidaea that, besides a number of other horrors, instances had even occurred of the people having eaten one another. In this extremity they at last made proposals for capitulating to the Athenian generals in command against them—Xenophon, son of Euripides, Hestiodorus, son of Aristocleides, and Phanomachus, son of Callimachus. The generals accepted their proposals, seeing the sufferings of the army in so exposed a position; besides which the state had already spent two thousand talents upon the siege. The terms of the capitulation were as follows: a free passage out for themselves, their children, wives and auxiliaries, with one garment apiece, the women with two, and a fixed sum of money for their journey. Under this treaty they went out to Chalcidice and other places, according as was their power. The Athenians, however, blamed the generals for granting terms without instructions from home, being of opinion that the place would have had to surrender at discretion. They afterwards sent settlers of their own to Potidaea, and colonized it. Such were the events of the winter, and so ended the second year of this war of which Thucydides was the historian.





CHAPTER VIII

Third Year of the War—Investment of Plataea—Naval Victories of Phormio—Thracian Irruption into Macedonia under Sitalces

The next summer the Peloponnesians and their allies, instead of invading Attica, marched against Plataea, under the command of Archidamus, son of Zeuxidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians. He had encamped his army and was about to lay waste the country, when the Plataeans hastened to send envoys to him, and spoke as follows: "Archidamus and Lacedaemonians, in invading the Plataean territory, you do what is wrong in itself, and worthy neither of yourselves nor of the fathers who begot you. Pausanias, son of Cleombrotus, your countryman, after freeing Hellas from the Medes with the help of those Hellenes who were willing to undertake the risk of the battle fought near our city, offered sacrifice to Zeus the Liberator in the marketplace of Plataea, and calling all the allies together restored to the Plataeans their city and territory, and declared it independent and inviolate against aggression or conquest. Should any such be attempted, the allies present were to help according to their power. Your fathers rewarded us thus for the courage and patriotism that we displayed at that perilous epoch; but you do just the contrary, coming with our bitterest enemies, the Thebans, to enslave us. We appeal, therefore, to the gods to whom the oaths were then made, to the gods of your ancestors, and lastly to those of our country, and call upon you to refrain from violating our territory or transgressing the oaths, and to let us live independent, as Pausanias decreed."


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