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History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VIII   


off, by roundly telling them in the name of Tissaphernes that it was
great impudence in the Chians, the richest people in Hellas, not
content with being defended by a foreign force, to expect others to
risk not only their lives but their money as well in behalf of their
freedom; while the other cities, he said, had had to pay largely to
Athens before their rebellion, and could not justly refuse to
contribute as much or even more now for their own selves. He also
pointed out that Tissaphernes was at present carrying on the war at
his own charges, and had good cause for economy, but that as soon as
he received remittances from the king he would give them their pay
in full and do what was reasonable for the cities.
Alcibiades further advised Tissaphernes not to be in too great a
hurry to end the war, or to let himself be persuaded to bring up the
Phoenician fleet which he was equipping, or to provide pay for more
Hellenes, and thus put the power by land and sea into the same
hands; but to leave each of the contending parties in possession of
one element, thus enabling the king when he found one troublesome to
call in the other. For if the command of the sea and land were
united in one hand, he would not know where to turn for help to
overthrow the dominant power; unless he at last chose to stand up
himself, and go through with the struggle at great expense and hazard.
The cheapest plan was to let the Hellenes wear each other out, at a
small share of the expense and without risk to himself. Besides, he
would find the Athenians the most convenient partners in empire as
they did not aim at conquests on shore, and carried on the war upon
principles and with a practice most advantageous to the King; being
prepared to combine to conquer the sea for Athens, and for the King
all the Hellenes inhabiting his country, whom the Peloponnesians, on
the contrary, had come to liberate. Now it was not likely that the
Lacedaemonians would free the Hellenes from the Hellenic Athenians,
without freeing them also from the barbarian Mede, unless overthrown
by him in the meanwhile. Alcibiades therefore urged him to wear them
both out at first, and, after docking the Athenian power as much as he
could, forthwith to rid the country of the Peloponnesians. In the main
Tissaphernes approved of this policy, so far at least as could be
conjectured from his behaviour; since he now gave his confidence to
Alcibiades in recognition of his good advice, and kept the
Peloponnesians short of money, and would not let them fight at sea,
but ruined their cause by pretending that the Phoenician fleet would
arrive, and that they would thus be enabled to contend with the odds
in their favour, and so made their navy lose its efficiency, which had
been very remarkable, and generally betrayed a coolness in the war
that was too plain to be mistaken.
Alcibiades gave this advice to Tissaphernes and the King, with
whom he then was, not merely because he thought it really the best,
but because he was studying means to effect his restoration to his
country, well knowing that if he did not destroy it he might one day
hope to persuade the Athenians to recall him, and thinking that his
best chance of persuading them lay in letting them see that he
possessed the favour of Tissaphernes. The event proved him to be
right. When the Athenians at Samos found that he had influence with
Tissaphernes, principally of their own motion (though partly also
through Alcibiades himself sending word to their chief men to tell the
best men in the army that, if there were only an oligarchy in the
place of the rascally democracy that had banished him, he would be
glad to return to his country and to make Tissaphernes their
friend), the captains and chief men in the armament at once embraced
the idea of subverting the democracy.
The design was first mooted in the camp, and afterwards from
thence reached the city. Some persons crossed over from Samos and
had an interview with Alcibiades, who immediately offered to make
first Tissaphernes, and afterwards the King, their friend, if they
would give up the democracy and make it possible for the King to trust
them. The higher class, who also suffered most severely from the

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