A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon to 403 B.C

By George Grote; J. M. Mitchell et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

23[LIII]

EIGHTH YEAR OF THE WAR

THE eighth year of the war presents events of a more important and decisive character than any of the preceding. In reviewing the preceding years we observe that though there is much fighting, with hardship and privation inflicted on both sides, yet the operations are mostly of a desultory character, not calculated to determine the event of the war. But the capture of Sphakteria and its prisoners, coupled with the surrender of the whole Lacedæmonian fleet, was an event full of consequences and imposing in the eyes of all Greece. It stimulated the Athenians to a series of operations, larger and more ambitious than anything which they had yet conceived - directed, not merely against Sparta in her own country, but also to the reconquest of that ascendancy in Megara and Bœotia which they had lost on or before the Thirty years' truce. On the other hand, it intimidated so much both the Lacedæmonians, the revolted Chalkidic allies of Athens in Thrace, and Perdikkas king of Macedonia - that between them the expedition of Brasidas, which struck so serious a blow at the Athenian empire, was concerted. This year is thus the turning-point of the war. If the operations of Athens had succeeded, she would have regained nearly as great a power as she enjoyed before the Thirty years' truce. But it happened that Sparta, or rather the Spartan Brasidas, proved successful, gaining enough to neutralize all the advantages derived by Athens from the capture of Sphakteria.

The first enterprise undertaken by the Athenians in the course of the spring was against the island of Kythêra, on the southern coast of Laconia. It was inhabited by Lacedæmonian Periœki, and administered by a governor, and garrison of hoplites, annually sent thither. It was the usual point of landing for merchantmen from Libya and Egypt; and as it lay very near to Cape Malea, immediately over against the Gulf of Gythium - the only accessible portion of the generally inhospitable coast of Laconia - the chance that it might fall into the hands of an enemy was considered as so menacing to Sparta, that some politicians are said to have wished the island at the bottom of the sea. 1 Nikias,

1 Thukyd., iv. 54; Herodot., vii. 235. The manner in which Herodotus alludes to the dangers which would arise to Sparta from the occupation of Kythêra by an enemy, furnishes one additional probability tending to show that his history was composed before the actual occupation

-591-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon to 403 B.C
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 978

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?