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History of The Peloponnesian War - Book IV   


received a wound and found himself unable to force the position; while
Nicostratus, with all the rest of the army, advancing upon the hill,
which was naturally difficult, by a different approach further off,
was thrown into utter disorder; and the whole Athenian army narrowly
escaped being defeated. For that day, as the Mendaeans and their
allies showed no signs of yielding, the Athenians retreated and
encamped, and the Mendaeans at nightfall returned into the town.
The next day the Athenians sailed round to the Scione side, and took
the suburb, and all day plundered the country, without any one
coming out against them, partly because of intestine disturbances in
the town; and the following night the three hundred Scionaeans
returned home. On the morrow Nicias advanced with half the army to the
frontier of Scione and laid waste the country; while Nicostratus
with the remainder sat down before the town near the upper gate on the
road to Potidaea. The arms of the Mendaeans and of their Peloponnesian
auxiliaries within the wall happened to be piled in that quarter,
where Polydamidas accordingly began to draw them up for battle,
encouraging the Mendaeans to make a sortie. At this moment one of
the popular party answered him factiously that they would not go out
and did not want a war, and for thus answering was dragged by the
arm and knocked about by Polydamidas. Hereupon the infuriated
commons at once seized their arms and rushed at the Peloponnesians and
at their allies of the opposite faction. The troops thus assaulted
were at once routed, partly from the suddenness of the conflict and
partly through fear of the gates being opened to the Athenians, with
whom they imagined that the attack had been concerted. As many as were
not killed on the spot took refuge in the citadel, which they had held
from the first; and the whole, Athenian army, Nicias having by this
time returned and being close to the city, now burst into Mende, which
had opened its gates without any convention, and sacked it just as
if they had taken it by storm, the generals even finding some
difficulty in restraining them from also massacring the inhabitants.
After this the Athenians told the Mendaeans that they might retain
their civil rights, and themselves judge the supposed authors of the
revolt; and cut off the party in the citadel by a wall built down to
the sea on either side, appointing troops to maintain the blockade.
Having thus secured Mende, they proceeded against Scione.
The Scionaeans and Peloponnesians marched out against them,
occupying a strong hill in front of the town, which had to be captured
by the enemy before they could invest the place. The Athenians stormed
the hill, defeated and dislodged its occupants, and, having encamped
and set up a trophy, prepared for the work of circumvallation. Not
long after they had begun their operations, the auxiliaries besieged
in the citadel of Mende forced the guard by the sea-side and arrived
by night at Scione, into which most of them succeeded in entering,
passing through the besieging army.
While the investment of Scione was in progress, Perdiccas sent a
herald to the Athenian generals and made peace with the Athenians,
through spite against Brasidas for the retreat from Lyncus, from which
moment indeed he had begun to negotiate. The Lacedaemonian
Ischagoras was just then upon the point of starting with an army
overland to join Brasidas; and Perdiccas, being now required by Nicias
to give some proof of the sincerity of his reconciliation to the
Athenians, and being himself no longer disposed to let the
Peloponnesians into his country, put in motion his friends in
Thessaly, with whose chief men he always took care to have
relations, and so effectually stopped the army and its preparation
that they did not even try the Thessalians. Ischagoras himself,
however, with Ameinias and Aristeus, succeeded in reaching Brasidas;
they had been commissioned by the Lacedaemonians to inspect the
state of affairs, and brought out from Sparta (in violation of all
precedent) some of their young men to put in command of the towns,
to guard against their being entrusted to the persons upon the spot.
Brasidas accordingly placed Clearidas, son of Cleonymus, in

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