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History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VIII   


Alexicles and the chiefs of the oligarchs immediately withdrew to
Decelea, with the single exception of Aristarchus, one of the
generals, who hastily took some of the most barbarian of the archers
and marched to Oenoe. This was a fort of the Athenians upon the
Boeotian border, at that moment besieged by the Corinthians, irritated
by the loss of a party returning from Decelea, who had been cut off by
the garrison. The Corinthians had volunteered for this service, and
had called upon the Boeotians to assist them. After communicating with
them, Aristarchus deceived the garrison in Oenoe by telling them
that their countrymen in the city had compounded with the
Lacedaemonians, and that one of the terms of the capitulation was that
they must surrender the place to the Boeotians. The garrison
believed him as he was general, and besides knew nothing of what had
occurred owing to the siege, and so evacuated the fort under truce. In
this way the Boeotians gained possession of Oenoe, and the oligarchy
and the troubles at Athens ended.
To return to the Peloponnesians in Miletus. No pay was forthcoming
from any of the agents deputed by Tissaphernes for that purpose upon
his departure for Aspendus; neither the Phoenician fleet nor
Tissaphernes showed any signs of appearing, and Philip, who had been
sent with him, and another Spartan, Hippocrates, who was at
Phaselis, wrote word to Mindarus, the admiral, that the ships were not
coming at all, and that they were being grossly abused by
Tissaphernes. Meanwhile Pharnabazus was inviting them to come, and
making every effort to get the fleet and, like Tissaphernes, to
cause the revolt of the cities in his government still subject to
Athens, founding great hopes on his success; until at length, at about
the period of the summer which we have now reached, Mindarus yielded
to his importunities, and, with great order and at a moment's
notice, in order to elude the enemy at Samos, weighed anchor with
seventy-three ships from Miletus and set sail for the Hellespont.
Thither sixteen vessels had already preceded him in the same summer,
and had overrun part of the Chersonese. Being caught in a storm,
Mindarus was compelled to run in to Icarus and, after being detained
five or six days there by stress of weather, arrived at Chios.
Meanwhile Thrasyllus had heard of his having put out from Miletus,
and immediately set sail with fifty-five ships from Samos, in haste to
arrive before him in the Hellespont. But learning that he was at
Chios, and expecting that he would stay there, he posted scouts in
Lesbos and on the continent opposite to prevent the fleet moving
without his knowing it, and himself coasted along to Methymna, and
gave orders to prepare meal and other necessaries, in order to
attack them from Lesbos in the event of their remaining for any length
of time at Chios. Meanwhile he resolved to sail against Eresus, a town
in Lesbos which had revolted, and, if he could, to take it. For some
of the principal Methymnian exiles had carried over about fifty
heavy infantry, their sworn associates, from Cuma, and hiring others
from the continent, so as to make up three hundred in all, chose
Anaxander, a Theban, to command them, on account of the community of
blood existing between the Thebans and the Lesbians, and first
attacked Methymna. Balked in this attempt by the advance of the
Athenian guards from Mitylene, and repulsed a second time in a
battle outside the city, they then crossed the mountain and effected
the revolt of Eresus. Thrasyllus accordingly determined to go there
with all his ships and to attack the place. Meanwhile Thrasybulus
had preceded him thither with five ships from Samos, as soon as he
heard that the exiles had crossed over, and coming too late to save
Eresus, went on and anchored before the town. Here they were joined
also by two vessels on their way home from the Hellespont, and by
the ships of the Methymnians, making a grand total of sixty-seven
vessels; and the forces on board now made ready with engines and every
other means available to do their utmost to storm Eresus.
In the meantime Mindarus and the Peloponnesian fleet at Chios, after
taking provisions for two days and receiving three Chian pieces of

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