Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Thucydides
Pages of History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VIII

Previous | Next

History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VIII   

In the meantime Astyochus, the Lacedaemonian admiral, set sail
from Cenchreae with four ships, as he had intended, and arrived at
Chios. On the third day after his arrival, the Athenian ships,
twenty-five in number, sailed to Lesbos under Diomedon and Leon, who
had lately arrived with a reinforcement of ten ships from Athens. Late
in the same day Astyochus put to sea, and taking one Chian vessel with
him sailed to Lesbos to render what assistance he could. Arrived at
Pyrrha, and from thence the next day at Eresus, he there learned
that Mitylene had been taken, almost without a blow, by the Athenians,
who had sailed up and unexpectedly put into the harbour, had beaten
the Chian ships, and landing and defeating the troops opposed to
them had become masters of the city. Informed of this by the
Eresians and the Chian ships, which had been left with Eubulus at
Methymna, and had fled upon the capture of Mitylene, and three of
which he now fell in with, one having been taken by the Athenians,
Astyochus did not go on to Mitylene, but raised and armed Eresus, and,
sending the heavy infantry from his own ships by land under
Eteonicus to Antissa and Methymna, himself proceeded alongshore
thither with the ships which he had with him and with the three
Chians, in the hope that the Methymnians upon seeing them would be
encouraged to persevere in their revolt. As, however, everything
went against him in Lesbos, he took up his own force and sailed back
to Chios; the land forces on board, which were to have gone to the
Hellespont, being also conveyed back to their different cities.
After this six of the allied Peloponnesian ships at Cenchreae joined
the forces at Chios. The Athenians, after restoring matters to their
old state in Lesbos, set sail from thence and took Polichna, the place
that the Clazomenians were fortifying on the continent, and carried
the inhabitants back to their town upon the island, except the authors
of the revolt, who withdrew to Daphnus; and thus Clazomenae became
once more Athenian.
The same summer the Athenians in the twenty ships at Lade,
blockading Miletus, made a descent at Panormus in the Milesian
territory, and killed Chalcideus the Lacedaemonian commander, who
had come with a few men against them, and the third day after sailed
over and set up a trophy, which, as they were not masters of the
country, was however pulled down by the Milesians. Meanwhile Leon
and Diomedon with the Athenian fleet from Lesbos issuing from the
Oenussae, the isles off Chios, and from their forts of Sidussa and
Pteleum in the Erythraeid, and from Lesbos, carried on the war against
the Chians from the ships, having on board heavy infantry from the
rolls pressed to serve as marines. Landing in Cardamyle and in
Bolissus they defeated with heavy loss the Chians that took the
field against them and, laying desolate the places in that
neighbourhood, defeated the Chians again in another battle at
Phanae, and in a third at Leuconium. After this the Chians ceased to
meet them in the field, while the Athenians devastated the country,
which was beautifully stocked and had remained uninjured ever since
the Median wars. Indeed, after the Lacedaemonians, the Chians are
the only people that I have known who knew how to be wise in
prosperity, and who ordered their city the more securely the greater
it grew. Nor was this revolt, in which they might seem to have erred
on the side of rashness, ventured upon until they had numerous and
gallant allies to share the danger with them, and until they perceived
the Athenians after the Sicilian disaster themselves no longer denying
the thoroughly desperate state of their affairs. And if they were
thrown out by one of the surprises which upset human calculations,
they found out their mistake in company with many others who believed,
like them, in the speedy collapse of the Athenian power. While they
were thus blockaded from the sea and plundered by land, some of the
citizens undertook to bring the city over to the Athenians. Apprised
of this the authorities took no action themselves, but brought
Astyochus, the admiral, from Erythrae, with four ships that he had
with him, and considered how they could most quietly, either by taking

Previous | Next
Site Search