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

30 [LX]

FROM THE RESUMPTION OF DIRECT HOSTILITIES BETWEEN ATHENS AND SPARTA DOWN TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ATHENIAN ARMAMENT IN SICILY

THE Syracusan war now no longer stands apart, as an event by itself, but becomes absorbed in the general war rekindling throughout Greece. While Eurymedon went with his ten triremes to Syracuse even in mid winter, Demosthenês exerted himself to get together the second armament for early spring. Twenty other Athenian triremes were farther sent round Peloponnesus to the station of Naupaktus - to prevent any Corinthian reinforcements from sailing out of the Corinthian Gulf. Against these latter, the Corinthians on their side prepared twenty-five fresh triremes, to serve as a convoy to the transports carrying their hoplites. In Corinth, Sikyon, and Bœotia, as well as at Lacedæmon, levies of hoplites were going on for the armament to Syracuse - at the same time that everything was getting ready for the occupation of Dekeleia. Lastly, Gylippus was engaged with not less activity in stirring up all Sicily to take a more decisive part in the coming year's struggle.

From Cape Tænarus in Laconia, at the earliest moment of spring, embarked a force of 600 Lacedæmonian hoplites (Helots and Neodamodes), and 300 Bœotian hoplites, with the Thespian Hegesandrus. They were directed to cross the sea southward to Kyrênê, and from thence to make their way along the African coast to Sicily. At the same time a body of 700 hoplites - partly Corinthians, partly hired Arcadians, partly Sikyonians, under constraint from their powerful neighbours - departed from the north-west of Peloponnesus and the mouth of the Corinthian Gulf of Sicily, the Corinthian triremes watching them until they were past the Athenian squadron at Naupaktus.

These were proceedings of importance: but the most important of all was the reinvasion of Attica at the same time by the great force of the Peloponnesian alliance, under the Spartan king Agis, son of Archidamus. Twelve years had elapsed since Attica last felt the hand of the destroyer, a little before the siege of

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