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History of the Peloponnesian War

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Author Topic: History of the Peloponnesian War  (Read 3264 times)
April Kincaid
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« Reply #540 on: December 13, 2009, 11:40:43 pm »

The Mantineans and their allies were the first to come over through fear of the Lacedaemonians. Having taken advantage of the war against Athens to reduce a large part of Arcadia into subjection, they thought that Lacedaemon would not leave them undisturbed in their conquests, now that she had leisure to interfere, and consequently gladly turned to a powerful city like Argos, the historical enemy of the Lacedaemonians, and a sister democracy. Upon the defection of Mantinea, the rest of Peloponnese at once began to agitate the propriety of following her example, conceiving that the Mantineans not have changed sides without good reason; besides which they were angry with Lacedaemon among other reasons for having inserted in the treaty with Athens that it should be consistent with their oaths for both parties, Lacedaemonians and Athenians, to add to or take away from it according to their discretion. It was this clause that was the real origin of the panic in Peloponnese, by exciting suspicions of a Lacedaemonian and Athenian combination against their liberties: any alteration should properly have been made conditional upon the consent of the whole body of the allies. With these apprehensions there was a very general desire in each state to place itself in alliance with Argos.
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« Reply #541 on: December 13, 2009, 11:41:00 pm »

In the meantime the Lacedaemonians perceiving the agitation going on in Peloponnese, and that Corinth was the author of it and was herself about to enter into alliance with the Argives, sent ambassadors thither in the hope of preventing what was in contemplation. They accused her of having brought it all about, and told her that she could not desert Lacedaemon and become the ally of Argos, without adding violation of her oaths to the crime which she had already committed in not accepting the treaty with Athens, when it had been expressly agreed that the decision of the majority of the allies should be binding, unless the gods or heroes stood in the way. Corinth in her answer, delivered before those of her allies who had like her refused to accept the treaty, and whom she had previously invited to attend, refrained from openly stating the injuries she complained of, such as the non-recovery of Sollium or Anactorium from the Athenians, or any other point in which
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« Reply #542 on: December 13, 2009, 11:41:20 pm »

she thought she had been prejudiced, but took shelter under the pretext that she could not give up her Thracian allies, to whom her separate individual security had been given, when they first rebelled with Potidaea, as well as upon subsequent occasions. She denied, therefore, that she committed any violation of her oaths to the allies in not entering into the treaty with Athens; having sworn upon the faith of the gods to her Thracian friends, she could not honestly give them up. Besides, the expression was, "unless the gods or heroes stand in the way." Now here, as it appeared to her, the gods stood in the way. This was what she said on the subject of her former oaths. As to the Argive alliance, she would confer with her friends and do whatever was right. The Lacedaemonian envoys returning home, some Argive ambassadors who happened to be in Corinth pressed her to conclude the alliance without further delay, but were told to attend at the next congress to be held at Corinth.
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« Reply #543 on: December 13, 2009, 11:41:36 pm »

Immediately afterwards an Elean embassy arrived, and first making an alliance with Corinth went on from thence to Argos, according to their instructions, and became allies of the Argives, their country being just then at enmity with Lacedaemon and Lepreum. Some time back there had been a war between the Lepreans and some of the Arcadians; and the Eleans being called in by the former with the offer of half their lands, had put an end to the war, and leaving the land in the hands of its Leprean occupiers had imposed upon them the tribute of a talent to the Olympian Zeus. Till the Attic war this tribute was paid by the Lepreans, who then took the war as an excuse for no longer doing so, and upon the Eleans using force appealed to Lacedaemon. The case was thus submitted to her
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« Reply #544 on: December 13, 2009, 11:41:53 pm »

arbitrament; but the Eleans, suspecting the fairness of the tribunal, renounced the reference and laid waste the Leprean territory. The Lacedaemonians nevertheless decided that the Lepreans were independent and the Eleans aggressors, and as the latter did not abide by the arbitration, sent a garrison of heavy infantry into Lepreum. Upon this the Eleans, holding that Lacedaemon had received one of their rebel subjects, put forward the convention providing that each confederate should come out of the Attic war in possession of what he had when he went into it, and considering that justice had not been done them went over to the Argives, and now made the alliance through their ambassadors, who had been instructed for that purpose. Immediately after them the Corinthians and the Thracian Chalcidians became allies of Argos. Meanwhile the Boeotians and Megarians, who acted together, remained quiet, being left to do as they pleased by Lacedaemon, and thinking that the Argive democracy would not suit so well with their aristocratic government as the Lacedaemonian constitution.
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« Reply #545 on: December 13, 2009, 11:42:09 pm »

About the same time in this summer Athens succeeded in reducing Scione, put the adult males to death, and, making slaves of the women and children, gave the land for the Plataeans to live in. She also brought back the Delians to Delos, moved by her misfortunes in the field and by the commands of the god at Delphi. Meanwhile the Phocians and Locrians commenced hostilities. The Corinthians and Argives, being now in alliance, went to Tegea to bring about its defection from Lacedaemon, seeing that, if so considerable a state could be persuaded to join, all Peloponnese would be with them. But when the Tegeans said that they would do nothing against Lacedaemon, the hitherto zealous Corinthians relaxed their activity, and began to fear that none of the rest would now come over. Still they went to the Boeotians and tried to persuade them to alliance and a
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« Reply #546 on: December 13, 2009, 11:42:38 pm »

common action generally with Argos and themselves, and also begged them to go with them to Athens and obtain for them a ten days' truce similar to that made between the Athenians and Boeotians not long after the fifty years' treaty, and, in the event of the Athenians refusing, to throw up the armistice, and not make any truce in future without Corinth. These were the requests of the Corinthians. The Boeotians stopped them on the subject of the Argive alliance, but went with them to Athens, where however they failed to obtain the ten days' truce; the Athenian answer being that the Corinthians had truce already, as being allies of Lacedaemon. Nevertheless the Boeotians did not throw up their ten days' truce, in spite of the prayers and reproaches of the Corinthians for their breach of faith; and these last had to content themselves with a de facto armistice with Athens.
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« Reply #547 on: December 13, 2009, 11:42:53 pm »

The same summer the Lacedaemonians marched into Arcadia with their whole levy under Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias, king of Lacedaemon, against the Parrhasians, who were subjects of Mantinea, and a faction of whom had invited their aid. They also meant to demolish, if possible, the fort of Cypsela which the Mantineans had built and garrisoned in the Parrhasian territory, to annoy the district of Sciritis in Laconia. The Lacedaemonians accordingly laid waste the Parrhasian country, and the Mantineans, placing their town in the hands of an Argive garrison, addressed themselves to the defence of their confederacy, but being unable to save Cypsela or the Parrhasian towns went back to Mantinea. Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians made the Parrhasians independent, razed the fortress, and returned home.
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« Reply #548 on: December 13, 2009, 11:43:06 pm »

The same summer the soldiers from Thrace who had gone out with Brasidas came back, having been brought from thence after the treaty by Clearidas; and the Lacedaemonians decreed that the Helots who had fought with Brasidas should be free and allowed to live where they liked, and not long afterwards settled them with the Neodamodes at Lepreum, which is situated on the Laconian and Elean border; Lacedaemon being at this time at enmity with Elis. Those however of the Spartans who had been taken prisoners on the island and had surrendered their arms might, it was feared, suppose that they were to be subjected to some degradation in consequence of their misfortune, and so make some attempt at revolution, if left in possession of their franchise. These were therefore at once disfranchised, although some of them were in office at the time, and thus placed under a disability to take office, or buy and sell anything. After some time, however, the franchise was restored to them.
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« Reply #549 on: December 13, 2009, 11:43:25 pm »

The same summer the Dians took Thyssus, a town on Acte by Athos in alliance with Athens. During the whole of this summer intercourse between the Athenians and Peloponnesians continued, although each party began to suspect the other directly after the treaty, because of the places specified in it not being restored. Lacedaemon, to whose lot it had fallen to begin by restoring Amphipolis and the other towns, had not done so. She had equally failed to get the treaty accepted by her Thracian allies, or by the Boeotians or the Corinthians; although she was continually promising to unite with Athens in compelling their compliance, if it were longer refused. She also kept fixing a time at which those who still refused to come in were to be declared enemies to both parties, but took care not to bind herself by any written agreement. Meanwhile the Athenians, seeing none of these professions performed in fact, began to suspect the honesty of her intentions, and consequently not only refused to comply with her demands for Pylos, but also repented having
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« Reply #550 on: December 13, 2009, 11:43:40 pm »

given up the prisoners from the island, and kept tight hold of the other places, until Lacedaemon's part of the treaty should be fulfilled. Lacedaemon, on the other hand, said she had done what she could, having given up the Athenian prisoners of war in her possession, evacuated Thrace, and performed everything else in her power. Amphipolis it was out of her ability to restore; but she would endeavour to bring the Boeotians and Corinthians into the treaty, to recover Panactum, and send home all the Athenian prisoners of war in Boeotia. Meanwhile she required that Pylos should be restored, or at all events that the Messenians and Helots should be withdrawn, as her troops had been from Thrace, and the place garrisoned, if necessary, by the Athenians themselves. After a number of different conferences held during the summer, she succeeded in persuading Athens to withdraw from Pylos the Messenians and the rest of the Helots and deserters from Laconia, who were accordingly settled by her at Cranii in Cephallenia. Thus during this summer there was peace and intercourse between the two peoples.
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« Reply #551 on: December 13, 2009, 11:43:59 pm »

Next winter, however, the ephors under whom the treaty had been made were no longer in office, and some of their successors were directly opposed to it. Embassies now arrived from the Lacedaemonian confederacy, and the Athenians, Boeotians, and Corinthians also presented themselves at Lacedaemon, and after much discussion and no agreement between them, separated for their several homes; when Cleobulus and Xenares, the two ephors who were the most anxious to break off the treaty, took advantage of this opportunity to communicate privately with the Boeotians and Corinthians, and, advising them to act as much as possible together, instructed the former first to enter into alliance with Argos, and then try and bring themselves and the Argives into alliance with Lacedaemon. The Boeotians would so be least likely to be compelled to come into the Attic treaty; and the Lacedaemonians would prefer gaining the friendship and alliance of Argos even at the price of the hostility of Athens and the rupture of the treaty. The Boeotians knew that an honourable friendship with Argos had been long the desire of Lacedaemon; for the Lacedaemonians believed that this would considerably facilitate the conduct of the war outside Peloponnese. Meanwhile they begged the Boeotians to place Panactum in her hands in order that she might, if possible, obtain Pylos in exchange for it, and so be more in a position to resume hostilities with Athens.
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« Reply #552 on: December 13, 2009, 11:44:17 pm »

After receiving these instructions for their governments from Xenares and Cleobulus and their friends at Lacedaemon, the Boeotians and Corinthians departed. On their way home they were joined by two persons high in office at Argos, who had waited for them on the road, and who now sounded them upon the possibility of the Boeotians joining the Corinthians, Eleans, and Mantineans in becoming the allies of Argos, in the idea that if this could be effected they would be able, thus united, to make peace or war as they pleased either against Lacedaemon or any other power. The Boeotian envoys were were pleased at thus hearing themselves accidentally asked to do what their friends at Lacedaemon had told them; and the two Argives perceiving that their proposal was agreeable, departed with a promise to send ambassadors to the Boeotians. On their arrival the Boeotians reported to the Boeotarchs what had been said to them at Lacedaemon and also by the Argives who had met them, and the Boeotarchs, pleased with the idea, embraced it with the more eagerness from the lucky coincidence of Argos soliciting the very thing wanted by their friends at Lacedaemon. Shortly afterwards ambassadors appeared from Argos with the proposals indicated; and the Boeotarchs approved of the terms and dismissed the ambassadors with a promise to send envoys to Argos to negotiate the alliance.
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« Reply #553 on: December 13, 2009, 11:44:30 pm »

In the meantime it was decided by the Boeotarchs, the Corinthians, the Megarians, and the envoys from Thrace first to interchange oaths together to give help to each other whenever it was required and not to make war or peace except in common; after which the Boeotians and Megarians, who acted together, should make the alliance with Argos. But before the oaths were taken the Boeotarchs communicated these proposals to the four councils of the Boeotians, in whom the supreme power resides, and advised them to interchange oaths with all such cities as should be willing to enter into a defensive league with the Boeotians. But the members of the Boeotian councils refused their assent to the proposal, being afraid of offending Lacedaemon by entering into a league with the deserter Corinth; the Boeotarchs not having acquainted them with what had passed at Lacedaemon and with the advice given by Cleobulus and Xenares and the Boeotian partisans there, namely, that they should become allies of Corinth and Argos as a preliminary to a junction with Lacedaemon; fancying that, even if they should say nothing about this, the councils would not vote against what had been decided and advised by the Boeotarchs. This difficulty arising, the Corinthians and the envoys from Thrace departed without anything having been concluded; and the Boeotarchs, who had previously intended after carrying this to try and effect the alliance with Argos, now omitted to bring the Argive question before the councils, or to send to Argos the envoys whom they had promised; and a general coldness and delay ensued in the matter.
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« Reply #554 on: December 13, 2009, 11:44:43 pm »

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.
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