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History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VIII   


Antisthenes, and twelve vessels which had been on guard at Miletus,
five of which were Thurian, four Syracusans, one from Anaia, one
Milesian, and one Leon's own. Accordingly the Chians marched out in
mass and took up a strong position, while thirty-six of their ships
put out and engaged thirty-two of the Athenians; and after a tough
fight, in which the Chians and their allies had rather the best of it,
as it was now late, retired to their city.
Immediately after this Dercyllidas arrived by land from Miletus; and
Abydos in the Hellespont revolted to him and Pharnabazus, and
Lampsacus two days later. Upon receipt of this news Strombichides
hastily sailed from Chios with twenty-four Athenian ships, some
transports carrying heavy infantry being of the number, and
defeating the Lampsacenes who came out against him, took Lampsacus,
which was unfortified, at the first assault, and making prize of the
slaves and goods restored the freemen to their homes, and went on to
Abydos. The inhabitants, however, refusing to capitulate, and his
assaults failing to take the place, he sailed over to the coast
opposite, and appointed Sestos, the town in the Chersonese held by the
Medes at a former period in this history, as the centre for the
defence of the whole Hellespont.
In the meantime the Chians commanded the sea more than before; and
the Peloponnesians at Miletus and Astyochus, hearing of the
sea-fight and of the departure of the squadron with Strombichides,
took fresh courage. Coasting along with two vessels to Chios,
Astyochus took the ships from that place, and now moved with the whole
fleet upon Samos, from whence, however, he sailed back to Miletus,
as the Athenians did not put out against him, owing to their
suspicions of one another. For it was about this time, or even before,
that the democracy was put down at Athens. When Pisander and the
envoys returned from Tissaphernes to Samos they at once strengthened
still further their interest in the army itself, and instigated the
upper class in Samos to join them in establishing an oligarchy, the
very form of government which a party of them had lately risen to
avoid. At the same time the Athenians at Samos, after a consultation
among themselves, determined to let Alcibiades alone, since he refused
to join them, and besides was not the man for an oligarchy; and now
that they were once embarked, to see for themselves how they could
best prevent the ruin of their cause, and meanwhile to sustain the
war, and to contribute without stint money and all else that might
be required from their own private estates, as they would henceforth
labour for themselves alone.
After encouraging each other in these resolutions, they now at
once sent off half the envoys and Pisander to do what was necessary at
Athens (with instructions to establish oligarchies on their way in all
the subject cities which they might touch at), and dispatched the
other half in different directions to the other dependencies.
Diitrephes also, who was in the neighbourhood of Chios, and had been
elected to the command of the Thracian towns, was sent off to his
government, and arriving at Thasos abolished the democracy there.
Two months, however, had not elapsed after his departure before the
Thasians began to fortify their town, being already tired of an
aristocracy with Athens, and in daily expectation of freedom from
Lacedaemon. Indeed there was a party of them (whom the Athenians had
banished), with the Peloponnesians, who with their friends in the town
were already making every exertion to bring a squadron, and to
effect the revolt of Thasos; and this party thus saw exactly what they
most wanted done, that is to say, the reformation of the government
without risk, and the abolition of the democracy which would have
opposed them. Things at Thasos thus turned out just the contrary to
what the oligarchical conspirators at Athens expected; and the same in
my opinion was the case in many of the other dependencies; as the
cities no sooner got a moderate government and liberty of action, than
they went on to absolute freedom without being at all seduced by the
show of reform offered by the Athenians.

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