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History of The Peloponnesian War - Book IV   


owing to the moderation displayed by Brasidas in all his conduct,
and to the declarations which he was everywhere making that he sent
out to free Hellas. The towns subject to the Athenians, hearing of the
capture of Amphipolis and of the terms accorded to it, and of the
gentleness of Brasidas, felt most strongly encouraged to change
their condition, and sent secret messages to him, begging him to
come on to them; each wishing to be the first to revolt. Indeed
there seemed to be no danger in so doing; their mistake in their
estimate of the Athenian power was as great as that power afterwards
turned out to be, and their judgment was based more upon blind wishing
than upon any sound prevision; for it is a habit of mankind to entrust
to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to
thrust aside what they do not fancy. Besides the late severe blow
which the Athenians had met with in Boeotia, joined to the
seductive, though untrue, statements of Brasidas, about the
Athenians not having ventured to engage his single army at Nisaea,
made the allies confident, and caused them to believe that no Athenian
force would be sent against them. Above all the wish to do what was
agreeable at the moment, and the likelihood that they should find
the Lacedaemonians full of zeal at starting, made them eager to
venture. Observing this, the Athenians sent garrisons to the different
towns, as far as was possible at such short notice and in winter;
while Brasidas sent dispatches to Lacedaemon asking for
reinforcements, and himself made preparations for building galleys
in the Strymon. The Lacedaemonians however did not send him any,
partly through envy on the part of their chief men, partly because
they were more bent on recovering the prisoners of the island and
ending the war.
The same winter the Megarians took and razed to the foundations
the long walls which had been occupied by the Athenians; and
Brasidas after the capture of Amphipolis marched with his allies
against Acte, a promontory running out from the King's dike with an
inward curve, and ending in Athos, a lofty mountain looking towards
the Aegean Sea. In it are various towns, Sane, an Andrian colony,
close to the canal, and facing the sea in the direction of Euboea; the
others being Thyssus, Cleone, Acrothoi, Olophyxus, and Dium, inhabited
by mixed barbarian races speaking the two languages. There is also a
small Chalcidian element; but the greater number are
Tyrrheno-Pelasgians once settled in Lemnos and Athens, and Bisaltians,
Crestonians, and Edonians; the towns being all small ones. Most of
these came over to Brasidas; but Sane and Dium held out and saw
their land ravaged by him and his army.
Upon their not submitting, he at once marched against Torone in
Chalcidice, which was held by an Athenian garrison, having been
invited by a few persons who were prepared to hand over the town.
Arriving in the dark a little before daybreak, he sat down with his
army near the temple of the Dioscuri, rather more than a quarter of
a mile from the city. The rest of the town of Torone and the Athenians
in garrison did not perceive his approach; but his partisans knowing
that he was coming (a few of them had secretly gone out to meet him)
were on the watch for his arrival, and were no sooner aware of it than
they took it to them seven light-armed men with daggers, who alone
of twenty men ordered on this service dared to enter, commanded by
Lysistratus an Olynthian. These passed through the sea wall, and
without being seen went up and put to the sword the garrison of the
highest post in the town, which stands on a hill, and broke open the
postern on the side of Canastraeum.
Brasidas meanwhile came a little nearer and then halted with his
main body, sending on one hundred targeteers to be ready to rush in
first, the moment that a gate should be thrown open and the beacon
lighted as agreed. After some time passed in waiting and wondering
at the delay, the targeteers by degrees got up close to the town.
The Toronaeans inside at work with the party that had entered had by
this time broken down the postern and opened the gates leading to

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