And yet they own two-fifths of the Peloponnesus, and are acknowledged leaders of the whole, as well as of numerous allies in the rest of Hellas. But their city is not built continuously, and has no splendid temples or other edifices; it rather resembles a group of villages like the ancient towns of Hellas, and would therefore make a poor show.
Whereas, if the same fate befell the Athenians, the ruins of Athens would strike the eye, and we should infer their power to have been twice as great as it really is. We ought not then to be unduly sceptical. The greatness of cities should be estimated by their real power and not by appearances. And we may fairly suppose the Trojan expedition to have been greater than any which preceded it, although according to Homer, if we may once more appeal to his testimony, not equal to those of our own day. He was a poet, and may therefore be expected to exaggerate; yet, even upon his showing, the expedition was comparatively small.
For it numbered, as he tells us, twelve hundred ships, those of the Boeotians 12 carrying one hundred and twenty men each, those of Philoctetes 13 fifty; and by these numbers he may be presumed to indicate the largest and the smallest ships; else why in the catalogue is nothing said about the size of any others? That the crews were all fighting men as well as rowers he clearly implies when speaking of the ships of Philoctetes; for he tells us that all the oarsmen were likewise archers.
And it is not to be supposed that many who were not sailors would accompany the expedition, except the kings and principal officers; for the troops had to cross the sea, bringing with them the materials of war, in vessels without decks, built after the old piratical fashion. Now if we take a mean between the crews, the invading forces will appear not to have been very numerous when we remember that they were drawn from the whole of Hellas.
The cause of the inferiority was not so much the want of men as the want of money; the invading army was limited, by the difficulty of obtaining supplies, to such a number as might be expected to live on the country in which they were to fight. After their arrival at Troy, when they had won a battle as they clearly did, for otherwise they could not have fortified their camp , even then they appear not to have used the whole of their force, but to have been driven by want of provisions to the cultivation of the Chersonese and to pillage. And in consequence of this dispersion of their forces, the Trojans were enabled to hold out against them during the whole ten years, being always a match for those who remained on the spot.
Whereas if the besieging army had brought abundant supplies, and, instead of betaking themselves to agriculture or pillage, had carried on the war persistently with all their forces, they would easily have been masters of the field and have taken the city; since, even divided as they were, and with only a part of their army available at any one time, they held their ground. Or, again, they might have regularly invested Troy, and the place would have been captured in less time and with less trouble.
Poverty was the real reason why the achievements of former ages were insignificant, and why the Trojan War, the most celebrated of them all, when brought to the test of facts, falls short of its fame and of the prevailing traditions to which the poets have given authority. Even in the age which followed the Trojan War, Hellas was still in process of ferment and settlement, and had no time for peaceful growth.
The return of the Hellenes from Troy after their long absence led to many changes: In the eightieth year after the war, the Dorians led by the Heraclidae conquered the Peloponnesus. A considerable time elapsed before Hellas became finally settled; after a while, however, she recovered tranquillity and began to send out colonies. The Athenians colonised Ionia and most of the islands; the Peloponnesians the greater part of Italy and Sicily, and various places in Hellas. These colonies were all founded after the Trojan War. As Hellas grew more powerful and the acquisition of wealth became more and more rapid, the revenues of her cities increased, and in most of them tyrannies were established; they had hitherto been ruled by hereditary kings, having fixed prerogatives.
The Hellenes likewise began to build navies and to make the sea their element. The Corinthians are said to have first adopted something like the modern style of marine, and the oldest Hellenic triremes to have been constructed at Corinth. A Corinthian ship-builder, Ameinocles, appears to have built four ships for the Samians; he went to Samos about three hundred years before the end of the Peloponnesian War. And the earliest naval engagement on record is that between the Corinthians and Corcyraeans which occurred about forty years later.
Corinth, being seated on an isthmus, was naturally from the first a centre of commerce; for the Hellenes within and without the Peloponnese in the old days, when they communicated chiefly by land, had to pass through her territory in order to reach one another. Her wealth too was a source of power, as the ancient poets testify, who speak of 'Corinth the rich. Later, in the time of Cyrus, the first Persian king, and of Cambyses his son, the Ionians had a large navy; they fought with Cyrus, and were for a time masters of the sea around their own coasts. Polycrates, too, who was a tyrant of Samos in the reign of Cambyses, had a powerful navy and subdued several of the islands, among them Rhenea, which he dedicated to the Delian Apollo.
These were the most powerful navies, and even these, which came into existence many generations after the Trojan Warr, appear to have consisted chiefly of fifty-oared vessels and galleys of war, as in the days of Troy; as yet triremes were not common. But a little before the Persian War and the death of Darius, who succeeded Cambyses, the Sicilian tyrants and the Corcyraeans had them in considerable numbers. No other maritime powers of any consequence arose in Hellas before the expedition of Xerxes.
The Aeginetans, Athenians, and a few more had small fleets, and these mostly consisted of fifty-oared vessels. Even the ships which the Athenians built quite recently at the instigation of Themistocles, when they were at war with the Aeginetans and in expectation of the Barbarian, even these ships with which they fought at Salamis were not completely decked. So inconsiderable were the Hellenic navies in recent as well as in more ancient times. And yet those who applied their energies to the sea obtained a great accession of strength by the increase of their revenues and the extension of their dominion.
For they attacked and subjugated the islands, especially when the pressure of population was felt by them. Whereas by land, no conflict of any kind which brought increase of power ever occurred; what wars they had were mere border feuds. Foreign and distant expeditions of conquest the Hellenes never undertook; for they were not as yet ranged under the command of the great states, nor did they form voluntary leagues or make expeditions on an equal footing.
Their wars were only the wars of the several neighbouring tribes with one another. The conflict in which the rest of Hellas was most divided, allying itself with one side or the other, was the ancient war between the Chalcidians and Eretrians. Nor again did the tyrants of the Hellenic cities extend their thoughts beyond their own interest, that is, the security of their persons, and the aggrandisement of themselves and their families. They were extremely cautious in the administration of their government, and nothing considerable was ever effected by them; except in wars with their neighbours, as in Sicily, where their power attained its greatest height.
Thus for a long time everything conspired to prevent Hellas from uniting in any great action and to paralyse enterprise in the individual states.
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At length the tyrants both at Athens and in the rest of Hellas which had been under their dominion long before Athens , at least the greater number of them, and with the exception of the Sicilian the last who ever ruled, were put down by the Lacedaemonians. For although Lacedaemon, after the conquest 18 of the country by the Dorians who now inhabit it, remained long unsettled, and indeed longer than any country which we know, nevertheless she obtained good laws at an earlier period than any other, and has never been subject to tyrants; she has preserved the same form of government for rather more than four hundred years, reckoning to the end of the Peloponnesian War.
It was the excellence of her constitution which gave her power, and thus enabled her to regulate the affairs of other states. Not long after the overthrow of the tyrants by the Lacedaemonians, the battle of Marathon was fought between the Athenians and the Persians; ten years later, the Barbarian returned with the vast armament which was to enslave Hellas.
In the greatness of the impending danger, the Lacedaemonians, who were the most powerful state in Hellas, assumed the lead of the confederates, while the Athenians, as the Persian host advanced, resolved to forsake their city, broke up their homes, and, taking to their ships, became seamen. The Barbarian was repelled by a common effort; but soon the Hellenes, as well those who had revolted from the King as those who formed the original confederacy, 19 took different sides and became the allies either of the Athenians or of the Lacedaemonians; for these were now the two leading powers, the one strong by land and the other by sea.
The league between them was of short duration; they speedily quarrelled and, with their respective allies, went to war. Any of the other Hellenes who had differences of their own now resorted to one or other of them. So that from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War, the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians were perpetually fighting or making peace, either with one another or with their own revolted allies; thus they attained military efficiency, and learned experience in the school of danger.
The Lacedaemonians did not make tributaries of those who acknowledged their leadership, but took care that they should be governed by oligarchies in the exclusive interest of Sparta. The Athenians, on the other hand, after a time deprived the subject cities of their ships and made all of them pay a fixed tribute, except Chios and Lesbos.
Such are the results of my enquiries, though the early history of Hellas is of a kind which forbids implicit reliance on every particular of the evidence. For example, most Athenians think that Hipparchus was actually tyrant when he was slain by Harmodius and Aristogeiton; they are not aware that Hippias was the eldest of the sons of Peisistratus, and succeeded him, and that Hipparchus and Thessalus were only his brothers. They therefore abstained from attacking him, but, wishing to do something before they were seized, and not to risk their lives in vain, they slew Hipparchus, with whom they fell in near the temple called Leocorium as he was marshalling the Panathenaic procession.
There are many other matters, not obscured by time, but contemporary, about which the other Hellenes are equally mistaken. For example, they imagine that the kings of Lacedaemon in their council have not one but two votes each, 24 and that in the army of the Lacedaemonians there is a division called the Pitanate division; 25 whereas they never had anything of the sort. So little trouble do men take in the search after truth; so readily do they accept whatever comes first to hand.
Yet any one who upon the grounds which I have given arrives at some such conclusion as my own about those ancient times, would not be far wrong. He must not be misled by the exaggerated fancies of the poets, or by the tales of chroniclers who seek to please the ear rather than to speak the truth. Their accounts cannot be tested by him; and most of the facts in the lapse of ages have passed into the region of romance. At such a distance of time he must make up his mind to be satisfied with conclusions resting upon the clearest evidence which can be had.
And, though men will always judge any war in which they are actually fighting to be the greatest at the time, but, after it is over, revert to their admiration of some other which has preceded, still the Peloponnesian, if estimated by the actual facts, will certainly prove to have been the greatest ever known. As to the speeches which were made either before or during the war, it was hard for me, and for others who reported them to me, to recollect the exact words.
I have therefore put into the mouth of each speaker the sentiments proper to the occasion, expressed as I thought he would be likely to express them, while at the same time I endeavoured, as nearly as I could, to give the general purport of what was actually said. Of the events of the war I have not ventured to speak from any chance information, nor according to any notion of my own; I have described nothing but what I either saw myself, or learned from others of whom I made the most careful and particular enquiry. The task was a laborious one, because eye-witnesses of the same occurrences gave different accounts of them, as they remembered or were interested in the actions of one side or the other.
And very likely the strictly historical character of my narrative may be disappointing to the ear. But if he who desires to have before his eyes a true picture of the events which have happened, and of the like events which may be expected to happen hereafter in the order of human things, shall pronounce what I have written to be useful, then I shall be satisfied. My history is an everlasting possession, not a prize composition which is heard and forgotten.
The greatest achievement of former times was the Persian War; yet even this was speedily decided in two battles by sea and two by land. But the Peloponnesian War was a protracted struggle, and attended by calamities such as Hellas had never known within a like period of time. Never were so many cities captured and depopulated--some by Barbarians, others by Hellenes themselves fighting against one another; and several of them after their capture were repeopled by strangers.
Never were exile and slaughter more frequent, whether in the war or brought about by civil strife. And traditions which had often been current before, but rarely verified by fact, were now no longer doubted. For there were earthquakes unparalleled in their extent and fury, and eclipses of the sun more numerous than are recorded to have happened in any former age; there were also in some places great droughts causing famines, and lastly the plague which did immense harm and destroyed numbers of the people. All these calamities fell upon Hellas simultaneously with the war, which began when the Athenians and Peloponnesians violated the thirty years' truce concluded by them after the recapture of Euboea.
The real though unavowed cause I believe to have been the growth of the Athenian power, which terrified the Lacedaemonians and forced them into war; but the reasons publicly alleged on either side were as follows. The city of Epidamnus is situated on the right hand as you sail up the Ionian Gulf.
The neighbouring inhabitants are the Taulantians, a barbarian tribe of the Illyrian race. The place was colonised by Corcyraeans, but under the leadership of a Corinthian, Phalius, son of Eratocleides, who was of the lineage of Heracles; he was invited, according to ancient custom, from the mother city, and Corinthians and other Dorians joined in the colony. In process of time Epidamnus became great and populous, but there followed a long period of civil commotion, and the city is said to have been brought low in a war against the neighbouring barbarians, and to have lost her ancient power.
At last, shortly before the Peloponnesian War, the notables were overthrown and driven out by the people; the exiles went over to the barbarians, and, uniting with them, plundered the remaining inhabitants both by sea and land. These, finding themselves hard pressed, sent an embassy to the mother-city Corcyra, begging the Corcyraeans not to leave them to their fate, but to reconcile them to the exiles and settle the war with the barbarians. The Epidamnians, finding that they had no hope of assistance from Corcyra, knew not what to do, and sending to Delphi enquired of the God whether they should deliver up the city to their original founders, the Corinthians, and endeavour to obtain aid from them.
The God replied that they should, and bade them place themselves under the leadership of the Corinthians. So the Epidamnians went to Corinth, and informing the Corinthians of the answer which the oracle had given, delivered up the city to them. They reminded them that the original leader of the colony was a citizen of Corinth; and implored the Corinthians to come and help them, and not leave them to their fate. The Corinthians took up their cause, partly in vindication of their own rights for they considered that Epidamnus belonged to them quite as much as to the Corcyraeans , partly too because they hated the Corcyraeans, who were their own colony but slighted them.
In their common festivals they would not allow them the customary privileges of founders, and at their sacrifices denied to a Corinthian the right of receiving first the lock of hair cut from the head of the victim, an honour usually granted by colonies to a representative of the mother-country. In fact they despised the Corinthians, for they were more than a match for them in military strength, and as rich as any state then existing in Hellas. They would often boast that on the sea they were very far superior to them, and would appropriate to themselves the naval renown of the Phaeacians, who were the ancient inhabitants of the island.
Such feelings led them more and more to strengthen their navy, which was by no means despicable; for they had a hundred and twenty triremes when the war broke out. Irritated by these causes of offence, the Corinthians were too happy to assist Epidamnus; accordingly they invited any one who was willing to settle there, and for the protection of the colonists despatched with them Ambracian and Leucadian troops and a force of their own.
All these they sent by land as far as Apollonia, which is a colony of theirs, fearing that if they went by sea the Corcyraeans might oppose their passage.
The History of the Peloponnesian War
Great was the rage of the Corcyraeans when they discovered that the settlers and the troops had entered Epidamnus and that the colony had been given up to the Corinthians. They immediately set sail with five and twenty ships, followed by a second fleet, and in insulting terms bade the Epidamnians receive the exiled oligarchs, who had gone to Corcyra and implored the Corcyraeans to restore them, appealing to the tie of kindred and pointing to the sepulchres of their common ancestors.
But the Epidamnians would not listen to their demands. Whereupon the Corcyraeans attacked them with forty ships. They were accompanied by the exiles whom they were to restore, and had the assistance of the native Illyrian troops. They sat down before the city, and made proclamation that any Epidamnian who chose, and the foreigners, might depart in safety, but that all who remained would be treated as enemies. This had no effect, and the Corcyraeans proceeded to invest the city, which is built upon an isthmus.
When the news reached the Corinthians that Epidamnus was besieged, they equipped an army and proclaimed that a colony was to be sent thither; all who wished might go and enjoy equal rights of citizenship; but any one who was unwilling to sail at once might remain at Corinth, and, if he made a deposit of fifty Corinthian drachmae, might still have a share in the colony. Many sailed, and many deposited the money.
The Corinthians also sent and requested the Megarians to assist them with a convoy in case the Corcyraeans should intercept the colonists on their voyage. Of the Thebans and Phliasians they begged money, and of the Eleans money, and ships without crews. On their own account they equipped thirty ships and three thousand hoplites. When the Corcyraeans heard of their preparations they came to Corinth, taking with them Lacdaemonian and Sicyonian envoys, and summoned the Corinthians to withdraw the troops and the colonists, telling them that they had nothing to do with Epidamnus.
If they made any claim to it, the Corcyraeans expressed themselves willing to refer the cause for arbitration to such Peloponnesian states as both parties should agree upon, and their decision was to be final; or, they were willing to leave the matter in the hands of the Delphian oracle. But they deprecated war, and declared that, if war there must be, they would be compelled by the Corinthians in self-defence to discard their present friends and seek others whom they would rather not, for help they must have. The Corinthians replied that if the Corcyraeans would withdraw the ships and the barbarian troops they would consider the matter, but that it would not do for them to be litigating while Epidamnus and the colonists were in a state of siege.
The Corcyraeans rejoined that they would consent to this proposal if the Corinthians on their part would withdraw their forces from Epidamnus: The Corinthians turned a deaf ear to all these overtures, and, when their vessels were manned and their allies had arrived, they sent a herald before them to declare war, and set sail for Epidamnus with seventy-five ships and two thousand hoplites, intending to give battle to the Corcyraeans.
Their fleet was commanded by Aristeus the son of Pellichus, Callicrates the son of Callias, and Timanor the son of Timanthes; the land forces by Archetimus the son of Eurytimus, and Isarchidas the son of Isarchus. When they arrived at Actium in the territory of Anactorium, at the mouth of the Ambracian gulf, where the temple of Apollo stands, the Corcyraeans sent a herald to meet them in a small boat forbidding them to come on.
Meanwhile their crews got on board; they had previously put their fleet in repair, and strengthened the old ships with cross-timbers, so as to make them serviceable. The herald brought back no message of peace from the Corinthians. The Corcyraean ships, numbering eighty for forty out of the hundred and twenty were engaged in the blockade of Epidamnus , were now fully manned; these sailed out against the Corinthians and, forming line, fought and won a complete victory over them, and destroyed fifteen of their ships.
On the very same day the forces besieging Epidamnus succeeded in compelling the city to capitulate, the terms being that the Corinthians until their fate was determined should be imprisoned and the strangers sold. The defeated Corinthians and their allies then returned home, and the Corcyraeans who were now masters of the Ionian sea , sailing to Leucas, a Corinthian colony, devastated the country. And, during the greater part of the summer after the battle, they retained the command of the sea and sailed about plundering the allies of the Corinthians.
But, before the season was over, the Corinthians, perceiving that their allies were suffering, sent out a fleet and took up a position at Actium and near the promontory of Cheimerium in Thesprotia, that they might protect Leucas and other friendly places. Neither party attacked the other, but during the remainder of the summer they maintained their respective stations, and at the approach of winter returned home. For the whole year after the battle and for a year after that, the Corinthians, exasperated by the war with Corcyra, were busy in building ships.
They took the utmost pains to create a great navy: The Corcyraeans were alarmed at the report of their preparations. They reflected that they had not enrolled themselves in the league either of the Athenians or of the Lacedaemonians, and that allies in Hellas they had none. They determined to go to Athens, join the Athenian alliance, and get what help they could from them.
The Corinthians, hearing of their intentions, also sent ambassadors to Athens, fearing lest the combination of the Athenian and Corcyraean navies might prevent them from bringing the war to a satisfactory termination. Accordingly an assembly was held at which both parties came forward to plead their respective causes; and first the Corcyraeans spoke as follows:. If they fulfil neither requirement they have no right to complain of a refusal. Now the Corcyraeans, when they sent us hither to ask for an alliance, were confident that they could establish to your satisfaction both these points.
But, unfortunately, we have had a practice alike inconsistent with the request which we are about to make and contrary to our own interest at the present moment: The policy of not making alliances lest they should endanger us at another's bidding, instead of being wisdom, as we once fancied, has now unmistakably proved to be weakness and folly. True, in the last naval engagement we repelled the Corinthians single-handed. But now they are on the point of attacking us with a much greater force which they have drawn together from the Peloponnesus and from all Hellas.
We know that we are too weak to resist them unaided, and may expect the worst if we fall into their hands. We are therefore compelled to ask assistance of you and of all the world; and you must not be hard upon us if now, renouncing our indolent neutrality which was an error but not a crime, we dare to be inconsistent. In the first place, you will assist the oppressed and not the oppressors; secondly, you will admit us to your alliance at a time when our dearest interests are at stake, and will lay up a treasure of gratitude in our memories which will have the most abiding of all records.
Lastly, we have a navy greater than any but your own. Reflect; what good fortune can be more extraordinary, what more annoying to your enemies than the voluntary accession of a power for whose alliance you would have given any amount of money and could never have been too thankful?
This power now places herself at your disposal; you are to incur no danger and no expense, and she brings you a good name in the world, gratitude from those who seek your aid, and an increase of your own strength. Few have ever had all these advantages offered them at once; equally few when they come asking an alliance are able to give in the way of security and honour as much as they hope to receive.
He does not see that the Lacedaemonians, fearing the growth of your empire, are eager to take up arms, and that the Corinthians, who are your enemies, are all-powerful with them. They begin with us, but they will go on to you, that we may not stand united against them in the bond of a common enmity; they will not miss the chance of weakening us or strengthening themselves.
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And it is our business to strike first, we offering and you accepting our alliance, and to forestall their designs instead of waiting to counteract them. For colonists are not meant to be the servants but the equals of those who remain at home. And the injustice of their conduct to us is manifest: When you see how they treat us who are their own kinsmen, take warning: For he passes through life most securely who has least reason to reproach himself with complaisance to his enemies. What says the treaty? With far better reason shall we complain of you if you refuse.
For you will be thrusting away us who are not your enemies and are in peril; and, far from restraining the enemy and the aggressor, you will be allowing him to gather fresh forces out of your own dominions. How unjust is this! Surely if you would be impartial you should either prevent the Corinthians from hiring soldiers in your dominions, or send to us also such help as you can be induced to send; but it would be best of all if you would openly receive and assist us.
Many, as we have already intimated, are the advantages which we offer. Above all, our enemies are your enemies, which is the best guarantee of fidelity in an ally; and they are not weak but well able to injure those who secede from them. Again, when the proffered alliance is that of a maritime and not of an inland power, it is a far more serious matter to refuse.
You should, if possible, allow no one to have a fleet but yourselves; or, if this is impossible, whoever is strongest at sea; make him your friend. To him we reply, that as long as he is strong he may make a present of his fears to the enemy, but that if he reject the alliance he will be weak, and then his confidence, however reassuring to himself, will be anything but terrifying to enemies who are strong. It is Athens about which he is advising, and not Corcyra: Corcyra, besides offering many other advantages, is conveniently situated for the coast voyage to Italy and Sicily; it stands in the way of any fleet coming from thence to the Peloponnesus, and can also protect a fleet on its way to Sicily.
One word more, which is the sum of all and everything we have to say, and should convince you that you must not abandon us. Hellas has only three considerable navies: Now, if the Corinthians get hold of ours, and you allow the two to become one, you will have to fight against the united navies of Corcyra and the Peloponnesus. But, if you make us your allies, you will have our navy in addition to your own ranged at your side in the impending conflict.
They pretend that they have hitherto refused to make alliances from a wise moderation, but they really adopted this policy from a mean and not from a high motive. They did not want to have an ally who might go and tell of their crimes, and who would put them to the blush whenever they called him in. Their insular position makes them judges of their own offences against others, and they can therefore afford to dispense with judges appointed under treaties; for they hardly ever visit their neighbours, but foreign ships are constantly driven to their shores by stress of weather.
And all the time they screen themselves under the specious name of neutrality, making believe that they are unwilling to be the accomplices of other men's crimes. But the truth is that they wish to keep their own criminal courses to themselves: If they were really upright men, as they profess to be, the greater their immunity from attack the more clearly they might have made their honesty appear by a willingness to submit differences to arbitration.
Although they are our colony they have always stood aloof from us, and now they are fighting against us on the plea that they were not sent out to be ill used. To which we rejoin that we did not send them out to be insulted by them, but that we might be recognised as their leaders and receive proper respect. Our other colonies at any rate honour us; no city is more beloved by her colonies than Corinth.
That we are popular with the majority proves that the Corcyraeans have no reason to dislike us; and, if it seems extraordinary that we should go to war with them, our defence is that the injury which they are doing us is unexampled. But they have wronged us over and over again in their insolence and pride of wealth; and now there is our colony of Epidamnus which they would not acknowledge in her distress, but, when we came to her rescue, they seized and are now holding by force.
The appeal to justice might have some meaning in the mouth of one who before he had recourse to arms acted honourably, as he now talks fairly, 33 but not when it is made from a position of security and advantage. Whereas these men began by laying siege to Epidamnus, and not until they feared our vengeance did they put forward their specious offer of arbitration.
And as if the wrong which they have themselves done at Epidamnus were not enough, they now come hither and ask you to be, not their allies, but their accomplices in crime, and would have you receive them when they are at enmity with us. But they ought to have come when they were out of all danger, not at a time when we are smarting under an injury and they have good reason to be afraid. You have never derived any benefit from their power, but they will now be benefited by yours, and, although innocent of their crimes, you will equally be held responsible by us.
If you were to have shared the consequences with them, they ought long ago to have shared the power with you. Admitting that the treaty allows any unenrolled cities to join either league, this provision does not apply to those who have in view the injury of others, but only to him who is in need of protection,--certainly not to one who forsakes his allegiance and who will bring war instead of peace to those who receive him, or rather, if they are wise, will not receive him on such terms.
And war the Corcyraeans will bring to you if you listen to them and not to us. For if you become the allies of the Corcyraeans you will be no longer at peace with us, but will be converted into enemies; and we must, if you take their part, in defending ourselves against them, defend ourselves against you. But you ought in common justice to stand aloof from both; or, if you must join either, you should join us and go to war with them; to Corinth you are at all events bound by treaty, but with Corcyra you never even entered into a temporary negotiation.
And do not set the precedent of receiving the rebellious subjects of others. At the revolt of Samos, 35 when the other Peloponnesians were divided upon the question of giving aid to the rebels, we voted in your favour and expressly maintained "that every one should be allowed to chastise his own allies. And may we venture to recall to your minds an obligation of which we claim the repayment in our present need, we and you being not enemies who seek one another's hurt, nor yet friends who freely give and take?
There was a time before the Persian invasion when you were in want of ships for the Aeginetan war, and we Corinthians lent you twenty: Both benefits were conferred on one of those critical occasions when men in the act of attacking their enemies are utterly regardless of everything but victory, and deem him who assists them a friend though he may have previously been a foe, him who opposes them a foe, even though he may happen to be a friend; nay, they will often neglect their own interests in the excitement of the struggle.
Do not say to yourselves that this is just, but that in the event of war something else is expedient; for the true path of expediency is the path of right. The war with which the Corcyraeans would frighten you into doing wrong is distant, and may never come; is it worth while to be so carried away by the prospect of it, that you bring upon yourselves the hatred of the Corinthians which is both near and certain? Would you not be wiser in seeking to mitigate the ill-feeling which your treatment of the Megarians has already inspired?
And do not be attracted by their offer of a great naval alliance; for to do no wrong to a neighbour is a surer source of strength than to gain a perilous advantage under the influence of a momentary illusion. You were profited by our vote, and we ought not to be injured by yours.
Pay what you owe, knowing that this is our time of need, in which a man's best friend is he who does him a service, he who opposes him, his worst enemy. Do not receive these Corcyraeans into alliance in despite of us, and do not support them in injustice. In acting thus you will act rightly, and will consult your own true interests. The Athenians heard both sides, and they held two assemblies; in the first of them they were more influenced by the words of the Corinthians, but in the second they changed their minds and inclined towards the Corcyraeans.
They would not go so far as to make an alliance both offensive and defensive with them; for then, if the Corcyraeans had required them to join in an expedition against Corinth, the treaty with the Peloponnesians would have been broken.
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But they concluded a defensive league, by which the two states promised to aid each other if an attack were made on the territory or on the allies of either. For they knew that in any case the war with Peloponnesus was inevitable, and they had no mind to let Corcyra and her navy fall into the hands of the Corinthians. Their plan was to embroil them more and more with one another, and then, when the war came, the Corinthians and the other naval powers would be weaker. They also considered that Corcyra was conveniently situated for the coast voyage to Italy and Sicily.
Under the influence of these feelings, they received the Corcyraeans into alliance; the Corinthians departed; and the Athenians now despatched to Corcyra ten ships commanded by Lacedaemonius the son of Cimon, Diotimus the son of Strombichus, and Proteas the son of Epicles. The commanders received orders not to engage with the Corinthians unless they sailed against Corcyra or to any place belonging to the Corcyraeans, and attempted to land there, in which case they were to resist them to the utmost.
These orders were intended to prevent a breach of the treaty. The Corinthians, when their preparations were completed, sailed against Corcyra with a hundred and fifty ships,--ten Elean, twelve Megarian, ten Leucadian, twenty-seven Ambraciot, one from Anactorium, and ninety of their own. The contingents of the several cities were commanded by their own generals.
The Corinthian commander was Xenocleides the son of Euthycles, with four others. The fleet sailed from Leucas, and, arriving at the mainland opposite Corcyra, came to anchor at Cheimerium in the country of Thesprotia. Here the Corinthians anchored and formed a camp.
The Corcyraeans, observing their approach, manned a hundred and ten ships. These, which were placed under the command of Meiciades, Aesimides, and Eurybatus, took up a position off one of the islands called Sybota; the ten Athenian ships accompanied them. The Corinthians on their part were supported by a large force of barbarians, which collected on the mainland; for the inhabitants of this region have always been well disposed towards them.
The Corinthians had now made their preparations, and, taking with them three days' provisions, put off by night from Cheimerium, intending to give battle: As soon as they saw one another, they ranged themselves in order of battle. On the right Corcyraean wing were the Athenian ships. The Corcyraeans themselves occupied the centre and the left wing, and were drawn up in three divisions, each under the command of one of the generals.
On the right wing of the Corinthians were the Megarian and Ambraciot ships, in the centre the contingents of their other allies; they themselves with their swiftest vessels formed the left wing, which was opposed to the Athenians and to the right division of the Corcyraeans. The standards were now raised on both sides, and the two fleets met and fought. The decks of both were crowded with heavy infantry, with archers and with javelin-men; for their naval arrangements were still of the old clumsy sort.
The engagement was obstinate, but more courage than skill was displayed, and it had almost the appearance of a battle by land. When two ships once charged one another it was hardly possible to part company, for the throng of vessels was dense, and the hopes of victory lay chiefly in the heavy-armed, who maintained a steady fight upon the decks, the ships meanwhile remaining motionless. There were no attempts to break the enemy's line. Brute force and rage made up for the want of tactics.
Everywhere the battle was a scene of tumult and confusion. At any point where they saw the Corcyraeans distressed, the Athenians appeared and kept the enemy in check; but the generals, who were afraid of disobeying their instructions, would not begin the attack themselves. The Corinthians suffered most on their right wing. For the Corcyraeans with twenty ships routed them, drove them in disorder to the shore, and sailed right up to their encampment; there landing, they plundered and burnt the deserted tents.
So in this part of the battle the Corinthians and their allies were worsted, and the Corcyraeans prevailed. But the left wing of the Corinthians, where their own ships were stationed, had greatly the advantage, because the Corcyraeans, whose numbers were originally inferior, had now twenty vessels detached in the pursuit.
When the Athenians saw the distress of the Corcyraeans, they began to assist them more openly. At first they had abstained from actual collision, but when the Corcyraeans fled outright and the Corinthians pressed them hard, then every man fell to work; all distinctions were forgotten;-the time had arrived when Corinthian and Athenian were driven to attack one another. The Corinthians, having put to flight their enemies, never stopped to take in tow the hulls of the vessels which they had disabled, but fell upon the men; they rowed up and down and slew them, giving no quarter, and unintentionally killing their own friends; for they were not aware that their right wing had been defeated.
There were so many ships on one side and on the other, and they covered so great an extent of water, that, when the engagement had once begun, it was hard among conquerors and conquered to distinguish friend from foe. For never before had two Hellenic navies so numerous met in battle. When the Corinthians had chased the Corcyraeans to the shore, they turned their attention to their own wrecks and the bodies of their dead. Most of these were recovered by them and conveyed to Sybota, a desert harbour of Thesprotia, whither their barbarian allies had come to support them.
They then formed afresh and once more made a movement towards the Corcyraeans, who, taking such vessels as had not been disabled, and any others which they had in their docks, together with the Athenian ships, put out to meet them, dreading a descent upon Corcyra.
It was now late in the day and the Paean had been already sounded for the onset, when the Corinthians suddenly began to row astern. They had descried sailing towards them twenty vessels which the Athenians had sent to reinforce the former ten, fearing what had actually happened, that the Corcyraeans would he defeated, and that the original squadron would be insufficient to protect them. The Corinthians, who had the first view of these vessels, suspecting that they were Athenian and that there were more of them than they saw, were beginning to retreat.
The Corcyraeans, owing to their position, could not see them, and they wondered why the Corinthians rowed astern. At length some of them who spied the advancing fleet exclaimed, 'Yonder are ships coming up;' and then the Corcyraeans, as it was getting dark, likewise retired, and the Corinthians turned about and sailed away.
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Thus the two fleets separated after a battle which lasted until nightfall. At first in the darkness the Corcyraeans feared that they were enemies, but they soon recognised them and the Athenian vessels came to anchor. On the next day the thirty Athenian and all the Corcyraean ships which were fit for service, wanting to ascertain whether the Corinthians would fight, sailed to the harbour at Sybota where their fleet lay. The Corinthians, putting out into deep water, drew up their ships in line and so remained, but they did not intend to begin the battle.
For they saw that fresh ships, which had received no damage in the action, had arrived from Athens, and their own position was one of great difficulty. They had to guard the prisoners in their vessels, and there were no means of refitting in such a desert place. They were more disposed to consider how they should get home than to fight. For they feared that the Athenians, deeming the peace, now that blows had been exchanged, to be already broken, would intercept their return.
They therefore determined to send a few men in a boat without a flag of truce to the Athenians, and so test their intentions. The men were to deliver the following message: We were only chastising our enemies, and you come with a hostile force and place yourselves between us and them. If it is your intention to hinder us from sailing to Corcyra, or whithersoever we choose, and you are going to break the treaty, take us first and deal with us as enemies.
If you mean to sail against Corcyra or any place belonging to the Corcyraeans, we will do our utmost to prevent you, but, if you want to go anywhere else, you may. Reassured by this reply, the Corinthians prepared to sail home, first setting up a trophy at the Sybota which is on the mainland.
The Corcyraeans took up the wrecks and dead bodies which were carried towards them, the current and the wind which had risen during the night having scattered them in all directions. They then set up a rival trophy on the island of Sybota. Both parties claimed the victory, but on different grounds. The Corinthians had retained the advantage in the seafight until nightfall, and had thus secured a greater number of wrecks and dead bodies; they had taken not less than a thousand prisoners and had disabled about seventy ships.
The Corcyraeans, on the other hand, had destroyed some thirty sail, and when reinforced by the Athenians had taken up the wrecks and dead bodies which had drifted in their direction; whereas the enemy on the evening of the battle had rowed astern at sight of the Athenian ships, and after their arrival had not come out against them from Sybota. Upon these grounds both sides raised trophies and claimed the victory.
On their homeward voyage the Corinthians took by stratagem Anactorium, a town situated at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, which they and the Corcyraeans held in common; there they settled colonists of their own, and returned to Corinth. Of their Corcyraean captives eight hundred who were slaves they sold, but two hundred and fifty they detained in prison, treating them with much consideration, in the hope that, when they returned, they would win over Corcyra to the Corinthian interest: Thus the war ended to the advantage of Corcyra, and the Athenian fleet returned home.
This was the first among the causes of the Peloponnesian War, the Corinthians alleging that the Athenian fleet had taken part with the Corcyraeans and had fought against them in a time of truce. There soon arose another cause of quarrel between the Athenians and Peloponnesians.
These measures of precaution were taken by the Athenians immediately after the sea-fight off Corcyra. The hostility of the Corinthians was no longer doubtful, and Perdiccas, king of Macedon, the son of Alexander, hitherto the friend and ally of Athens, had now become an enemy. He had quarrelled with the Athenians because they had made an alliance with his brother Philip and with Derdas, who were leagued against him. Alarmed by their attitude, he sent envoys to Sparta and did all he could to stir up a war between Athens and the Peloponnese.
He also sought the alliance of Corinth, for he had an eye to the revolt of Potidaea; and he proposed to the Chalcidians and to the Bottiaeans that they should join in the revolt, thinking, that if he had the assistance of the neighbouring peoples, the difficulties of the war would be diminished. The Athenians became aware of his designs and resolved to forestall the revolt of the cities.
They were already intending to send against Perdiccas thirty ships and a thousand hoplites under the command of Archestratus the son of Lycomedes, and ten 41 others, and they told their admirals to take hostages from the Potidaeans and to demolish their wall. They were also to keep a watch over the towns in the neighbourhood and prevent any attempt at rebellion. Meanwhile the Potidaeans sent envoys to the Athenians in the hope of persuading them to take no strong measures; but at the same time other envoys of theirs accompanied a Corinthian embassy to Lacedaemon and exerted themselves to procure assistance in case of need.
A long negotiation was carried on at Athens which came to no satisfactory result; the ships destined for Macedonia were also sent against Potidaea. But at Lacedaemon they were promised by the magistrates that if the Athenians attacked Potidaea they would invade Attica. So they seized the opportunity and revolted: Perdiccas persuaded the Chalcidians to abandon and pull down their towns on the sea-coast, and settling at Olynthus inland, there to form one strong city.
So, dismantling their cities, they settled up the country and made preparation for war. Whereupon the generals, thinking that they were not able without a stronger force to act against all the rebels as well as against Perdiccas, directed their attention to Macedonia, which was their original destination, and there carried on a regular campaign in concert with Philip and the brothers of Derdas, who had invaded the country from the interior.
Now that Potidaea had revolted and the Athenian ships were on the coast of Macedonia, the Corinthians grew anxious about the town; they felt that the danger came home to them, and despatched thither volunteers of their own and other troops whom they attracted by pay from various parts of the Peloponnese, numbering in all sixteen hundred hoplites and four hundred light-armed. Their commander was Aristeus the son of Adeimantus, who had always been a great friend of the Potidaeans; it was mainly out of regard for him that most of the Corinthian soldiers volunteered on the expedition.
For Potidaea, now that Aristeus had arrived, urgently demanded their presence; so they prepared to quit Macedonia. They first marched out of their way to Beroea, which they attempted to take without success. Returning to their route, they moved on by land towards Potidaea with three thousand hoplites of their own and a large force of allies; they had also six hundred Macedonian horse, who fought under Philip and Pausanias; meanwhile their ships, in number seventy, sailed along the coast.
Proceeding by slow marches, they arrived on the third day at Gigonus and there encamped. The Potidaeans and the Peloponnesian force under Aristeus had now taken up a position at the isthmus on the side towards Olynthus, 42 where they awaited the coming of the Athenians; they held their market outside the walls of Potidaea. The allies had chosen Aristeus general of all the infantry, and of the cavalry Perdiccas, for he had no sooner joined than he again deserted the Athenians and was now fighting on the side of the Potidaeans, having appointed Iolaus to be his lieutenant at home. But Callias the Athenian general and his colleagues sent the Macedonian horse and a few of the allied troops towards Olynthus that they might check any movement in that quarter, while they themselves, quitting their position, marched against Potidaea.
When they had reached the isthmus and saw the enemy preparing for battle, they did the same. The two armies soon closed. The wing led by Aristeus, which was composed of his Corinthian followers and other picked troops, routed their opponents and chased them far away; but the rest of the army, both Potidaeans and Peloponnesians, were defeated by the Athenians and fled into the city. Join Theresa in exploring space and time from the here and now to the there and then, to say nothing of the Realms of Light and beyond, from a unique perspective unlike any you've ever experienced.
Are you an author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. The problem, of course, is that the Starfield Valley design would cost more than most land developers are willing to risk on an untried design with no assurance that enough people would want to buy into it. It should be available for Kindle by the end of the week. I will try harder to post more often. Meanwhile, thanks for all the comments. Where Have I Been…. View across the rooftop gardens …and what am I up to now?
Where have I been for 2 months? The Power of One. This essay was originally written in in response to a column by Michael Shermer in Scientific American. I include it here because it lays out my underlying worldview so you may better understand The Delphian Way as we examine the individual statements. One is a most singular number. Ever since, I have begun each log entry with this statement. Actually, an Author recommendation. If you like your science fiction hard, as in based on what we think we know of physics and the rest of the hard sciences, I highly recommend this series.
Likewise, if you like complex characters with complex histories and motives, as well as wonderfull. I ran across Chris Martineau on Facebook. He has a lot of interesting posts about current affairs, and has written a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction. More on Worldviews and Marketing. I could never write a letter like this because it appeals to both fear and greed as emotions, but has enough information to pique the interest of my Angel brain, even […] The post More on Worldviews and Marketing appeared first on Living the Delphian Way.
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