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History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VIII   


in the armament were likewise the boldest in setting upon Astyochus
and demanding their pay. The latter answered somewhat stiffly and
threatened them, and when Dorieus spoke up for his own sailors even
went so far as to lift his baton against him; upon seeing which the
mass of men, in sailor fashion, rushed in a fury to strike
Astyochus. He, however, saw them in time and fled for refuge to an
altar; and they were thus parted without his being struck. Meanwhile
the fort built by Tissaphernes in Miletus was surprised and taken by
the Milesians, and the garrison in it turned out- an act which met
with the approval of the rest of the allies, and in particular of the
Syracusans, but which found no favour with Lichas, who said moreover
that the Milesians and the rest in the King's country ought to show
a reasonable submission to Tissaphernes and to pay him court, until
the war should be happily settled. The Milesians were angry with him
for this and for other things of the kind, and upon his afterwards
dying of sickness, would not allow him to be buried where the
Lacedaemonians with the army desired.
The discontent of the army with Astyochus and Tissaphernes had
reached this pitch, when Mindarus arrived from Lacedaemon to succeed
Astyochus as admiral, and assumed the command. Astyochus now set
sail for home; and Tissaphernes sent with him one of his confidants,
Gaulites, a Carian, who spoke the two languages, to complain of the
Milesians for the affair of the fort, and at the same time to defend
himself against the Milesians, who were, as he was aware, on their way
to Sparta chiefly to denounce his conduct, and had with them
Hermocrates, who was to accuse Tissaphernes of joining with Alcibiades
to ruin the Peloponnesian cause and of playing a double game. Indeed
Hermocrates had always been at enmity with him about the pay not being
restored in full; and eventually when he was banished from Syracuse,
and new commanders- Potamis, Myscon, and Demarchus- had come out to
Miletus to the ships of the Syracusans, Tissaphernes, pressed harder
than ever upon him in his exile, and among other charges against him
accused him of having once asked him for money, and then given himself
out as his enemy because he failed to obtain it.
While Astyochus and the Milesians and Hermocrates made sail for
Lacedaemon, Alcibiades had now crossed back from Tissaphernes to
Samos. After his return the envoys of the Four Hundred sent, as has
been mentioned above, to pacify and explain matters to the forces at
Samos, arrived from Delos; and an assembly was held in which they
attempted to speak. The soldiers at first would not hear them, and
cried out to put to death the subverters of the democracy, but at
last, after some difficulty, calmed down and gave them a hearing. Upon
this the envoys proceeded to inform them that the recent change had
been made to save the city, and not to ruin it or to deliver it over
to the enemy, for they had already had an opportunity of doing this
when he invaded the country during their government; that all the Five
Thousand would have their proper share in the government; and that
their hearers' relatives had neither outrage, as Chaereas had
slanderously reported, nor other ill treatment to complain of, but
were all in undisturbed enjoyment of their property just as they had
left them. Besides these they made a number of other statements
which had no better success with their angry auditors; and amid a host
of different opinions the one which found most favour was that of
sailing to Piraeus. Now it was that Alcibiades for the first time
did the state a service, and one of the most signal kind. For when the
Athenians at Samos were bent upon sailing against their countrymen, in
which case Ionia and the Hellespont would most certainly at once
have passed into possession of the enemy, Alcibiades it was who
prevented them. At that moment, when no other man would have been able
to hold back the multitude, he put a stop to the intended
expedition, and rebuked and turned aside the resentment felt, on
personal grounds, against the envoys; he dismissed them with an answer
from himself, to the effect that he did not object to the government
of the Five Thousand, but insisted that the Four Hundred should be

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