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immediately butchered, and not one escaped. About 200 were killed in this manner; and 25 Athenians, who were among them, met with the same unhappy fate. Their wives, who had been taken prisoners, were reduced to slavery. The Thebans afterwards peopled their city with exiles from Megara and Platææ; but the year after they demolished it entirely. It was in this manner that the Lacedæmonians, in the hopes of reaping great advantages from the Thebans, sacrificed the Platæans to their animosity, 93 years after their first alliance with the Athenians.

a In the sixth year of the war of Peloponnesus the plague broke out anew in Athens, and again swept away great. numbers.

Sect. IV. The Athenians po88e88 themselves of Pylus, ænd are after

wards besieged in it. The Spartans are shut up in the little Island of Sphacteria. Cleon makes himself Master of it. Artaxerxes dies.


I pass over several particular incidents of the succeeding campaigns, which differ very little from one another; the Lacedæmonians making regularly every year incursions into Attica, and the Athenians into Peloponnesus: I likewise omit some sieges in different places : vthat of Pylus, a little city of Messenia, only 400 c furlongs from Lacedæmon, was one of the most considerable. The Athenians, headed by Demosthenes, had taken that city, and fortified themselves very strongly in it; this was the seventh year of the war. The Lacedæmonians left Attica immediately, in order to go and recover, if possible that place, and accordingly they attacked it both by sea and land. Brasidas, one of their leadders, signalized himself here by the most extraordinary acts of bravery. Opposite to the city was a little island called Sphacteria, from whence the besieged might be greatly annoyed, and the entrance of the harbour shut up. They therefore threw a chosen body of Lacedæmonians into it; making in all, 420, exclusive of the Helots. A battle was fought at sea, in which the Athenians were victorious, and accordingly erected a trophy. They surrounded the island ; and set a guard over every part of it, to prevent any of the inhabitants from going out, or any provisions from being brought in to them.

The news of the defeat being come to Sparta, the magistrate: a A. M. 3578. Ant. J. C. 426. Thucyd. I. viii. p 232. 6 A. M. 3579. Ant. J. C. 425. Thucyd. I iv. p. 253–280. Diod. t. xii. p.

c 20 French leaguc. VOL. III.



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thought the affair of the utmost importance, and therefore came himself upon the spot, in order that he might be better able to take proper measures; when concluding that it would be impossible for him to save those who were in the island, and that they at last must necessarily be starved out, or be taken by some other means, he proposed an accommodation. A suspension of arms was concluded, in order to give the Lacedæmonians time to send to Athens; but upon condition that in the meantime they should surrender up all their gallies, and not attack the place either by sea or land, till the return of the ambassadors: that if they complied with these conditions, the Athenians would permit them to carry provisions to those who were in the island, at the rate of so much for the master, and half for the servant; and that the whole should be done publicly, and in sight of both armies : that, on the other side, the Athenians should be allowed to keep guard round the island, to prevent any thing from going in or out of it, but should not attack it in any manner: that in case this agreement should be infringed in the least, the truce would be broken; otherwise that it should continue in full force till the return of the ambassadors, whom the Athenians obliged themselves, by the articles, to convey backwards and forwards; and that then the Lacedæmonians should have their ships restored, in the same condition in which they have been delivered up. Such were the articles of the treaty. The Lacedæmonians began to put it in execution, by surrendering about 60 ships ; after which they sent ambassadors to Athens.

Being admitted to audience before the people, they began by saying, that they were come to the Athenians to sue for that peace, which they themselves were, a little before, in a condition to grant : that it depended only upon them to acquire the giory of having restored the tranquillity of all Greece, as the Lacedæmonians consented to their being arbitrators in this treaty: that the nger to which their citizens were exposed in the island, had determined them to take such a step as could not but be very grating to Lacedæmonians: however, that their affairs were far from being desperate, and therefore, that now was the time to establish, between the two republics, a firm and solid friendship; because the affairs of both were still fluctuating, and fortune had not yet declared absolutely in favour of either : that the gods frequently abandoned those whom success makes proud, by shifting the scene, and rendering them as unfortunate as they before had been happy : that they ought

a For the masters, two Attic chenices of four, making about four pounds and a halt, iwo cotyles, or half pints of wive, and a piece of artat : wjib ball this quantity for the servants.

to consider, that the fate of arms is very uncertain ; and that the means to establish a lasting peace, is not to triumph over an enemy by oppressing him, but to agree to a reconciliation on just and reasonable terms: for then conquered by generosity and not by violence, his future thoughts being all employed, not on revenge, but on gratitude, he makes it both his pleasure and his duty to observe his engagements with inviolable fidelity.

The Athenians had now an happy opportunity for terminating the war, by a peace which would have been as glorious to them, as advantageous to all Greece. But Cleon, who had a great ascendant over the people, prevented its taking effect. They therefore answered, by his advice, that those who were in the island should first surrender at discretion ; and afterwards be carried to Athens, on the condition of being sent back from it, as soon as the Lacedæmoninians should have restored the cities which the Athenians had been forced to give up by the last treaty ; and that these things being done, a firm and lasting peace should be concluded. The Lacedæmonians demanded that deputies should be appointed, and that the Athenians should engage to ratify what they should conclude. But Cleon exclaimed against this proposal, and said, it was plain they did not deal fairly, since they would not negotiate with the people, but with individuals, whom they might easily bribe; and that, if they had any thing to offer, they should do it immediately, The Lacedæmonians, finding there was no possibility for them to treat with the people, without advising with their allies, and that if any thing were to be granted by them to their prejudice, they must be responsible for it, went away without concluding any thing ; fully persuaded that they must not expect equitable treatment from the Athenians, in the present state of their affairs and disposition occasioned by their prosperity;

As soon as they were returned to Pylus, the suspension ceased : but when the Lacedæmonians came to demand back their ships, the Athenians refused to give them up, upon pretence that the treaty had been infringed in some particulars of little consequence. The Lacedæmonians inveighed strongly against this refusal, as being a manifest perfidy; and immediately prepared for war with greater vigour and animosity than before. A haughty carriage in success, and want of faith in the observance of treaties, never fail

, at last, to involve a people in great calamities. This will appear by the sequel.

The Athenians continued to keep a strict guard round the island, to prevent any provisions from being brought into it, and hoped they should soon be able to starve out the enemy. But the Lacedæmonians engaged the whole country in their

interest by the views of gain, by affixing a high price upon provisions, and giving such slaves their freedom as should convey any into it. Provisions were therefore now brought, (at the hazard of men's lives) from all parts of Peloponnesus. There were even divers, who swam from the coast to the island, opposite to the harbour, and drew after them goat-skins filled with pounded linseed, and poppy-seed mixed with honey.

Those who were besieged in Pylus were reduced to almost the like extremities, being in want both of water and provisions. When advice was brought to Athens, that their countrymen, so far from reducing the enemy by famine, were themselves almost starved; it was feared, that as it would not be possible for the fleet to subsist during the winter, on a desert coast which belonged to the enemy, nor to lie at anchor in so dangerous a road, the island must by that means be less securely guarded, which would give the prisoners an opportunity of escaping. But the circumstance they chiefly dreaded' was, lest the Lacedæmonians, after their countrymen were once extricated from their danger, should refuse to hearken to any conditions of peace; so that they now repented their having refused it when offered them.

Cleon saw plainly that these complaints would all fall upon him. He therefore began by asserting, that the report of the extreme want of provisions, to which the Athenians, both within and without Pylus, were said to be reduced, was absolutely false. He next exclaimed, in presence of the people, against the supineness and inactivity of the leaders who besieged the island, pretending, that were they to exert the least bravery, they might soon make themselves masters of it; and that had he commanded, he would soon have taken it. Upon this he was immediately appointed to command the expedition ; Nicias, who was before elected, resigning voluntarily that honour to him, either through weakness, for he was naturally timid, or out of a political view, in order that the ill success, which it was generally believed Cleon would meet with in this enterprize, might lose him the favour of the people. But now Cleon was greatly surprised as well as embarrasserl ; for he did not expect that the Athenians would take him at word, he being a finer talker than soldier, and much more able with his tongue than his sword. He for some time desired leave to wave the honour they offered him, for which he alleged several excuses : but finding that the more he declined the command, the more they pressed him to accept it, he changed his note; and supplying his want of courage with rodomontade, he declared before the whole assembly, with a firm and resolute air, that he would bring, in twenty days, those of the island prisoners, or lose his life. The whole assembly, on hearing those words, set up a laugh, for they knew the man.

Cleon however, contrary to the expectation of every body, made good his words. He and Demosthenes (the other chief) landed in the island, attacked the enemy with great vigour, drove them from post to post, and gaining ground perpetually, at last forced them to the extremity of the island. "The Lacedæmonians had gained a fort that was thought inaccessible. There they drew up in battle-array, faced about to that side where alone they could be attacked, and defended themselves like so many lions. As the engagement had lasted the greatest part of the day, and the soldiers were oppressed with heat and weariness, and parched with thirst, the general of the Messenians, directing himself to Cleon and Demosthenes, said, that all their efforts would be to no purpose, unless they charged the enemy's rear; and promised, if they would give him but some troops armed with missive weapons, that he would by some means or other find a passage. Accordingly, he and his followers climbed up certain steep and craggy places which were not guarded, when coming down unperceived into the fort, he appeared on a sudden at the backs of the Lacedæmonians, which entirely damped their courage, and afterwards completed their overthrow. They now made but a very feeble resistance ; and being oppressed with numbers, attacked on all sides, and dejected through fatigue and despair, they began to give way: but the Athenians seized on all the passes to cut off their retreat. Cleon and Demosthenes, finding that should the battle continue, not a man of them would escape, and being desirous of carrying them alive to Athens, they commanded their soldiers to desist ; and caused proclamation to be made by a herald, for them to lay down their arms and surrender at discretion. At these words the greatest part lowered their shields, and clapped their hands in token of approbation. A kind of suspension of arms was agreed upon; and their commander desired leave might be granted him, to dispatch a messenger to the camp, to know the resolution of the generals. This was not allowed, but they called heralds from the coast'; and after several messages, a Lacedæmonian advanced forward and cried aloud that they were permitted to treat with the enemy, provided they did not submit to dishonourable terms. Upon this, they held a conference; after which they surrendered at discretion, and were kept till the next day. The Athenians then raising a trophy, and restoring the Lacedæmonians their dead, embarked for their own country, after distributing the prisoners among the several ships, and committing the guard of them to the captain of the gallies.

In this battle 128 Lacedæmonians fell out of 420 which was their number at first : so that there survived not quite

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