Page images
PDF
EPUB

in the mean time ran through the whole line in his galley, exhorting the pilots and officers to hold the seamen and soldiers in readiness to row and fight on the first signal.

As soon as the bucklers were put up in the ship's heads, and the admiral galley had given the signal by the sound of trumpet, the whole fleet set forwards in good order. The land army at the same time made all possible haste to the top of the promontory to see the battle. The strait that separates the two continents in this place, is about fifteen stadia,h or three quarters of a league in breadth, which space was presently cleared through the activity and diligence of the rowers. Conon, the Athenian general, was the first who perceived from shore, the enemy's fleet advance in good order to attack him ; upon which he immediately cried out for the troops to embark. In the height of sorrow and perplexity, some he called to by their names, some he conjured, and others he forced to go on board their galleys ; but all his endeavours and emotion were ineffectual, the soldiers being dispersed on all sides. For they were no sooner come on shore, than some were ran to the suttlers, some to walk in the country, some to sleep in their tents, and others had began to dress their suppers. This proceeded from the want of vigilance and experience in their generals, who, not suspecting the least danger, indulged themselves in taking their repose,

and
gave

their soldiers the same liberty.

The enemy had already fallen on with loud cries and a great noise of their oars, when Conon, disen.

b 1875 paces.

gaging himself with nine galleys, of which number was the sacred ship called the Paralian, stood away for Cyprus, where he took refuge with Evagoras. The Peloponnesians, falling upon the rest of the fleet, took immediately the galleys which were empty, and disabled and destroyed such as began to fill with men. The soldiers, who ran without order or arms to their relief, were either killed in the endeavour to get on board, or, flying on shore, were cut to pieces by the enemy, who landed in pursuit of them. Lysander took three thousand prisoners, with all the generals, and the whole fleet. After having plundered the camp, and fastened the enemy's galleys to the sterns of his own, he returned to Lampsacus, amidst the sound of Autes and songs of triumph. It was his glory to have achieved one of the greatest military exploits recorded in history, with little or no loss, and to have terminated a war in the small space of an hour, which had already lasted twenty seven years, and which perhaps, without him, had been of much longer continuance. Lysander immediately sent dispatches with this agreeable news to Sparta.

The three thousand prisoners taken in this battle, having been condemned to die, Lysander called upon Philocles, one of the Athenian generals, who had caus. ed all the prisoners taken in two galleys, the one of Andros, the other of Corinth, to be thrown from the top of a precipice, and had formerly persuaded the people of Athens to make a decree of cutting off the thumb of the right hand of all the prisoners of war, in order to disable them for handling the pike, and that they might be fit only to serve at the oar. Lysander there. fore caused him to brought forth, and asked him what sentence he would pass upon himself, for having induced his city to pass that cruel decree. Philocles, without departing from his haughtiness in the least, notwithstanding the extreme danger he was in, made answer, “ Accuse not people of criines who have no judges ; but as you are victor, use your right, and do by us as we had done by you, if we had conquered.” At the same instant he went into a bath, put on afterwards a magnificent robe, and marched foremost to the execution. All the prisoners were put to the sword except Adamantus, who had opposed the decree.

After this expedition, Lysander went with his fleet to all the maritime cities, and gave orders for all Athenians in them to withdraw as soon as possible to Athens, without permitting them to take any other rout; declaring, that after a certain time fixed, all such should be punished with death as should be found out of Athens. This he did as an able politician, to reduce the city by famine, the more easily, and to render it incapable of sustaining a long siege. He afterwards applied himself in subverting the democratic and all other forms of government throughout the cities, leaving in each of them a Lacedemonian governor, called harmostes, and ten archons or magistrates, whom he chose out of the societies he had established in them. He thereby in some measure secured to himself universal authority and a kind of sovereignty over all Greece ; putting none into power but such as were entirely devoted to his service.

[blocks in formation]

When the news of the entire defeat of the army came to Athens by a ship, which arrived in the night at the Pireus, the city was in universal consternation. Nothing was heard but cries of sorrow and despair in every part of it. They imagined the enemy already at their gates. They represented to themselves the miseries of a long siege, a cruel famine, the ruin and burning of their city, the insolence of a proud victor, and the shameful slavery they were upon the point of experiencing, more afflicting and insupportable to them than the most severe punishments and death itself. The next day the assembly was summoned, wherein it was resolved to shut up all the ports, one only excepted ; to repair the breaches in the walls, and mount guard to prepare against a siege.

In effect, Agis and Pausanias, the two kings of Sparta, advanced towards Athens with all their troops. Lysander soon after arrived at the Pireus with one hundred and fifty sail, and prevented all ships from going in or coming out. The Athenians, besieged by sea and land, without provisions, ships, hope of relief, or any resource, reinstated all persons, attainted by any decree, without speaking the least word of a capitulation however, though many already died of famine. But when their corn was entirely consum. ed, they sent deputies to Agis, to propose a treaty with Sparta, upon condition of abandoning all their possessions, the city and port only excepted. He referred the deputies to Lacedemon, as not being empowered to treat with them. When they arrived at Salasia, upon the frontier of Sparta, and had made known their commission to the Ephori, they were ordered to retire, and to come with other proposals, if they expected peace. The Ephori had demanded, that one thousand two hundred paces of the wall on each side of the Pireus should be demolished; but an Athenian, for venturing to advise a compliance, was sent to prison, and prohibition made against proposing any thing of that kind for the future.

i A. M. 3600. Ant. J. C. 404. Plut. in Lysand. p. 440, 441.

Xenoph. Hellen. I. ï. p. 458-462.

In this deplorable condition, Theramenes declared in the assembly, that if he were sent to Lysander, he would know whether the proposal made by the Lacedemonians for dismantling the city was intended to facilitate its ruin, or to prevent a revolt. The Athenians having deputed him accordingly, he was more than three months absent, no doubt with the view of reducing them by famine to accept any conditions that should be offered. On his return, he told them, that Lysander had detained him all that time, and that at last he had been given to understand that he might apply to the Ephori. He was therefore sent back with nine others to Sparta, with full powers to conclude a treaty. When they arrived there, the Ephori gave them audience in the general assembly, where the Corinthians and several other allies, especially the Thebans, insisted that it was absolutely necessary to destroy the city without hearkening any farther to a treaty. But the Lacedemonians, preferring the glory and safety of Greece

« PreviousContinue »