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XIII.34‑63

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Library of History

of
Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. V
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1950

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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XIV.1‑18

(Vol. V) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

Book XIII, 91‑114 (end)

p379 91 1 Since Himilcar, after besieging the city for eight months, had taken it shortly before the winter solstice,1 he did not destroy it at once, in order that his forces might winter in the dwellings. But when the misfortune that had befallen Acragas was noised abroad, such fear took possession of the island that of the Sicilian Greeks some removed to Syracuse and others transferred their children and wives and all their possessions to Italy. 2 The Acragantini who had escaped being taken captive, when they arrived in Syracuse, lodged accusations against their generals, asserting that it was due to their treachery that their country had perished. And it so happened that the Syracusans also came in for censure by the rest of the Sicilian Greeks, because, as they charged, they elected the kind of leaders through whose fault the whole of Sicily ran the risk of destruction. 3 Nevertheless, even though an assembly of the people was held in Syracuse and great fears hung over them, not a man would venture to offer any counsel respecting the war. While everyone was at a loss what to do, Dionysius, the son of Hermocrates, taking the floor, accused the generals of betraying their cause to the Carthaginians and stirred up the assemblage to exact punishment of them, urging them not to await the futile procedure prescribed by the laws but to pass judgement upon p381them at once. 4 And when the archons, in accordance with the laws, laid a fine upon Dionysius on the charge of raising an uproar, Philistus, who later composed his History,2 a man of great wealth, paid the fine and urged Dionysius to speak out whatever he had had in his mind to say. And when Philistus went on to say that if they wanted to fine Dionysius throughout the whole day he would provide the money for him, from then on Dionysius, full of confidence, hand stirring up the multitude, and throwing the assembly into confusion he accused the generals of taking bribes to put the security of the Acragantini in jeopardy. And he also denounced the rest of the most renowned citizens, presenting them as friends of oligarchy. 5 Consequently he advised them to choose as generals not the most influential citizens, but rather those who were the best disposed and most favourable to the people; for the former, he maintained, ruling the citizens as they do in a despotic manner, hold the many in contempt and consider the misfortunes of their country their own source of income, whereas the more humble will do none of such things, since they fear their own weakness.

92 1 Dionysius, by suiting every word of his harangue to the people to the predilection of his hearers and his own personal design, stirred the anger of the assembly to no small degree; for the people, which for some time past had hated the generals for what they considered to be their bad conduct of the war and at the moment were spurred on by what was being said to them, immediately dismissed some of them from office and chose other generals, among whom was also Dionysius, who enjoyed the reputation of p383having shown unusual bravery in the battles against the Carthaginians and was admired of all the Syracusans. 2 Having become elated, therefore, in his hopes, he tried every device to become tyrant of his country. For example, after assuming office he neither participated in the meetings of the generals nor associated with them in any way; and while acting in this manner he spread the report that they were carrying on negotiations with the enemy. For in this way he hoped that he could most effectively strip them of their power and clothe himself alone with the office of general.

3 While Dionysius was acting in this fashion, the most respectable citizens suspected what was taking place and in every gathering spoke disparagingly of him, but the common crowd, being ignorant of his scheme, gave him their approbation and declared that at long last teach had found a steadfast leader. 4 However, when the assembly convened time and again to consider preparations for the war, Dionysius, observing that fear of the enemy had struck the Syracusans with terror, advised them to recall the exiles; 5 for it was absurd, he said, to seek aid from peoples other states in Italy and the Peloponnesus and to be unwilling to enlist the assistance of their fellow citizens in facing their own dangers, citizens who, although the enemy kept promising them great rewards for their military co‑operation, chose rather to die as wanderers on foreign soil than plan some hostile act against their native land. 6 And in fact, he declared, men who were now in exile because of past civil strife in the city, if at this time they were the recipients of this benefaction, would fight with eagerness, showing in this way their appreciation to their benefactors. p385After reciting many arguments for this proposal that bore on the situation, he won the votes of the Syracusans to his view; for no one of his colleagues in office dared oppose him in the matter both because of the eagerness shown by multitude and because each observed that he himself would gain only enmity, while Dionysius would heap a reward of gratitude from those who had received kindness from him. 7 Dionysius took this course in the hope that he would win the exile for himself, men who wished a change and would be favourably disposed toward the establishment of a tyranny; for they would be happy to witness the murder of their enemies, the confiscation of their property, and the restoration to themselves of their possessions. And when finally the resolution regarding the exiles was passed, these returned at once to their native land.

93 1 When messages were brought from Gela requesting the dispatch of additional troops, Dionysius got a favourable means of accomplishing his own purpose. Having been dispatched with two thousand infantry and four hundred cavalry, he arrived speedily at the city of the Geloans, which at that time was under the eye of Dexippus, the Lacedaemonian, who had been put in charge by the Syracusans. 2 And when Dionysius on arrival found the wealthiest citizens engaged in strife with the people, he accused them in an assembly and secured their condemnation, whereupon he put them to death and confiscated their possessions. With the money thus gained he paid the guards of the city under the command of Dexippus the wages which were owing them, while to his own troops who had come with him from Syracuse he promised he would pay double the wages which the city had determined. p3873 In this manner he won over to himself the loyalty not only of the soldiers in Gela but also of those whom he had brought with him. He also gained the approval of the populace of the Geloans, who believed him to be responsible for their liberation; for in their envy of the most influential citizens they stigmatized the superiority these men possessed as a despotism over themselves. 4 Consequently they dispatched ambassadors who sang his praises in Syracuse and reported decrees in which they honoured him with rich gifts. Dionysius also undertook to persuade Dexippus to associate himself with his design, and when Dexippus would not join with him, he was on the point of returning with his own troops to Syracuse. 5 But the Geloans, on learning that the Carthaginians with their entire host were going to make Gela the first object of attack, besought Dionysius to remain and not to stand idly by while they suffered the same fate as the Acragantini. Dionysius replied to them that he would return speedily with a larger force and set forth from Gela with his own soldiers.

94 1 A play was being presented in Syracuse and Dionysius arrived in the city at the time when the people were leaving the theatre. When the populace rushed in throngs to him and were questioning him about the Carthaginians, they were unaware, he said, that they had more dangerous enemies than their foreign foes — the men within the city in charge of the public interests; these men the citizens trusted while they held public festivals, but these very men, while plundering the public funds, had let the soldiers go unpaid, and although the enemy was making their preparations for the war on a scale which could not be surpassed and were about to lead their forces upon p389Syracuse, the generals were giving these matters no concern whatsoever. 2 The reason for such conduct, he continued, he had been aware of before, but now he had got fuller information. For Himilcon had sent a herald to him, ostensibly to treat about the captives, but in fact to urge him, now that Himilcon had induced a large number of Dionysius' colleagues not to bother themselves with what was taking place, at least to offer no opposition, since he, Dionysius, did not choose to co‑operate with him. 3 Consequently, Dionysius continued, he did not wish to serve longer as general, but was present in Syracuse to lay down his office; for it was intolerable for him, while the other generals were selling out their country, to be the only one to fight together with the citizens and yet be at the same time destined to be thought in after years to have shared in their betrayal.3

4 Although the populace had been stirred by what Dionysius had said and his words spread through the whole army, at the time every man departed to his home full of anxiety. But on the following day, when an assembly had been convened in which Dionysius won no small approval when he lodged many accusations against the magistrates and stirred up the populace against the generals, 5 finally some of the members cried out to appoint him general with supreme power and not to wait until the enemy were storming their walls; for the magnitude of the war, they urged, made necessary such a general, through whose leadership their cause could prosper; as for the traitors, their case would be debated in another p391assembly, since it was foreign to the present situation; indeed at a former time three hundred thousand Carthaginians had been conquered at Himera when Gelon was general with supreme power.4 95 And soon the multitude, as is their wont, swung to the worse decision and Dionysius was appointed general with supreme power. And now, since the situation corresponded to his desires, he proposed a decree that the pay of the mercenaries be doubled; for they would all, he said, if this were done, be more eager for the coming contest, and he urged them not to worry at all about the funds, since it would be an easy task to raise them.

2 After the assembly was adjourned no small number of the Syracusans condemned what had been done, as if they themselves had not had their way in the matter; for as their thoughts turned to their own state they could imagine the tyrannical power which was to follow. Now these men, in their desire to insure their freedom, had unwittingly established a despot over their country; 3 Dionysius, on the other hand, wishing to forestall the change of mind on the part of the populace, kept seeking a means whereby he could ask for a guard for his person, for if this were granted him he would easily establish himself in the tyranny. At once, then, he issued orders that all men of military age up to forty years should provide themselves rations for thirty days and report to him under arms at Leontini. This city was at that time an outpost of the Syracusans, being full of exiles and foreigners.5 For Dionysius hoped that he would have these men on his side, desiring as they did a change of government, and that the majority of the Syracusans would p393not even come to Leontini. 4 However, while he was encamped at night in the countryside, he pretended that he was the object of a plot and had his personal servants raise a tumult and uproar; and after doing this he took refuge on the acropolis, where he passed the night, keeping fires burning and summoning to him his most trustworthy soldiers. 5 And at daybreak, when the common people were gathered into Leontini, he delivered a long plausible speech to further his design and persuaded the populace to give him a guard of six hundred soldiers whomsoever he should select. It is said that Dionysius did this in imitation of Peisistratus the Athenian; 6 for he, we are told, after wounding himself, appeared before the assembly alleging that he had been the victim of a plot, and because of this he received a guard at the hands of the citizens, by means of which he established the tyranny.6 And at this time Dionysius, having deceived the multitude by a similar device, put into effect the structure of his tyranny.

96 1 For instance Dionysius at once selected such citizens as were without property but bold in spirit, more than a thousand in number, provided them with costly arms, and buoyed them up with extravagant promises; the mercenaries also he won to himself by calling them to him and conversing with them in friendly fashion. He made changes also in the military posts, conferring their commands upon his most faithful followers; and Dexippus the Lacedaemonian he dismissed to Greece, for he was suspicious of this man lest he should seize a favourable opportunity and restore to the Syracusans their liberty. 2 He also called p395to himself the mercenaries in Gela and gathered from all quarters the exiles and impious, hoping that in these men the tyranny would find its strongest support. While in Syracuse, however, he took up his quarters in the naval station, having openly proclaimed himself tyrant. Although the Syracusans were offended, they were compelled to keep quiet; for they were unable to effect anything now, since not only was the city thronged with mercenary soldiers but the people were filled with fear of the Carthaginians who possessed such powerful armaments. 3 Now Dionysius straightway married the daughter of Hermocrates, the conqueror of the Athenians,7 and gave his sister in marriage to Polyxenus, the brother of Hermocrates' wife. This he did out of a desire to draw a distinguished house into relationship with him in order to make firm the tyranny. After this he summoned an assembly and had his most influential opponents, Daphnaeus and Demarchus, put to death.

4 Now Dionysius, from a scribe and ordinary private citizen, had become tyrant of the largest city in the Greek world;8 and he maintained his dominance until his death, having ruled as tyrant for thirty-eight years.9 But we shall give a detailed account of his deeds and of the expansion of his rule in connection with the appropriate periods of time; for it seems that this man, single-handed, established the strongest and longest tyranny of any recorded by history.

5 The Carthaginians, after their capture of the city,10 transferred to Carthage both the votive offerings and statues and every object of greatest value, and when they had burned down the temples and plundered p397the city, they spent the winter there. And in the springtime they made ready every kind of engine of war and of missile, planning to lay siege first to the city of the Geloans.

97 1 While these events were taking place, the Athenians,11 who had suffered a continued series of reverses, conferred citizenship upon the metics and any other aliens who were willing to fight with them; and when a great multitude was quickly enrolled among the citizens, the generals kept mustering for the campaign all who were in fit condition. They made ready sixty ships, and after fitting them out at great expense they sailed forth to Samos, where they found the other generals who had assembled eighty triremes from the rest of the islands. 2 They also had asked the Samians to man and equip ten additional triremes, and with one hundred and fifty ships in all they set out to sea and put in at the Arginusae Islands, being eager to raise the siege of Mytilenê. 3 When Callicratidas, the admiral of the Lacedaemonians, learned of the approach of the ships, he left Eteonicus with the land troops in charge of the siege, while he himself manned one hundred and forty ships and hurriedly put out to sea on the other side of the Arginusae. These islands, which were inhabited at that time and contained a small settlement of Aeolians, lie between Mitylenê and Cymê and are but a very small distance from the mainland and the headland of Canis.

4 The Athenians learned at once of the approach of the enemy, since they lay at anchor no greatº distance p399away, but refused battle because of the strong winds and made ready for the conflict on the following day, the Lacedaemonians also doing likewise, although the seers on both sides forbade it. 5 For in the case of the Lacedaemonians the head of the victim, which lay on the beach, was lost to sight when the waves broke on it, and the seer accordingly foretold that the admiral would die in the fight. At this prophecy Callicratidas, we are told, remarked, "If I die in the fight, I shall not have lessened the fame of Sparta." 6 And in the case of the Athenians Thrasybulus12 their general, who held the supreme command on that day, saw in the night the following vision. He dreamed that he was in Athens and the theatre was crowded, and that he and six of the other generals were playing the Phoenician Women of Euripides, while their competitors were performing the Suppliants;13 and that it resulted in a "Cadmean victory"14 for them and they all died, just as did those who waged the campaign against Thebes. 7 When the seer heard this, he disclosed that seven of the generals would be slain. Since the omens revealed victory, the generals forbade any word going out to the others about their own death but they passed the news of the victory disclosed by the omens throughout the whole army.

98 1 The admiral Callicratidas, having assembled his whole force, encouraged them with the appropriate words and concluded his speech as follows. "So eager am I myself to enter battle for my country that, p401although the seer declares that the victims foretell victory for you but death for me, I am none the less ready to die. Accordingly, knowing that after the death of commanders forces are thrown into confusion, I designate at this time as admiral to succeed me, in case I meet with some mishap, Clearchus, a man who has proved himself in deeds of war." 2 By these words Callicratidas led not a few to emulate his valour and to become more eager for the battle. The Lacedaemonians, exhorting one another, entered their ships, and the Athenians, after hearing the exhortations of their generals summoning them to the struggle, manned the triremes in haste and all took their positions. 3 Thrasyllus commanded the right wing and also Pericles, the son of the Pericles, who by reason of his influence, had been dubbed "The Olympian"; and he associated with himself on the right wing also Theramenes, giving him a command. At the time Theramenes was on the campaign as a private citizen, although formerly he had often been in command of armaments. The rest of the generals he stationed along the entire line, and the Arginusae Islands, as they are called, he enclosed by his battle order, since he wished to extend his ships as far as possible. 4 Callicratidas put out to sea holding himself the right flank, and the left he entrusted to the Boeotians, who were commanded by Thrasondas the Theban. And since he was unable to make his line equal to that of the enemy by reason of the large space occupied by the islands, he divided his force, and forming two fleets fought two battles separately, one on p403each wing. 5 Consequently he aroused great amazement in the spectators on many sides, since there were four fleets engaged and the ships that had been gathered into one place did not lack many of being three hundred. For this is the greatest sea-battle on record of Greeks against Greeks.

99 1 At the very moment when the admirals gave orders to sound the trumpets the whole host on each side, raising the war-cry in turn, made a tremendous shout; and all, as they enthusiastically struck the waves, vied with one another, every man being anxious to be the first to begin the battle. 2 For the majority were experienced in fighting, because the war had endured so long, and they displayed insuperable enthusiasm, since it was the choicest troops who had been gathered for the decisive contest; for all took it for granted that the conquers in this battle would put an end to the war. 3 But Callicratidas especially, since he had heard from the seer of the end awaiting him, was eager the compass for himself a death that would be most renowned. Consequently he was the first to drive at the ship of Lysias the general, and shattering it at the first blow together with the triremes accompanying it, he sank it; and as for the other ships, some he rammed and made unseaworthy and from others he tore away the rows of oars and rendered them useless for the fighting. 4 Last of all he rammed the trireme of Pericles with a rather heavy blow and broke a great hole in the trireme; then, since the beak of his ship stuck tight in the gap and they p405could not withdraw it, Pericles threw an iron hand15 on the ship of Callicratidas, and when it was fastened tight, the Athenians, surrounding the ship, sprang upon it, and pouring over its crew put them all to the sword. 5 It was at this time, we are told, that Callicratidas, after fighting brilliantly and holding out for a long time, finally was worn down by numbers, as he was struck from all directions.16 As soon as the defeat of the admiral became evident, the result was that the Peloponnesians gave way in fear. 6 But although the right wing of the Peloponnesians was in flight, the Boeotians, who held the left, continued to put up a stout fight for some time; for both they and the Euboeans who were fighting by their side as well as all the other Greeks who had revolted from the Athenians feared lest the Athenians, if they should once again regain their sovereignty, would exact punishment of them for their revolt. But when they saw that most of their ships had been damaged and that the main body of the victors was turning against them, they were compelled to take flight. Now of the Peloponnesians some found safety in Chios and some in Cymê.

100 1 The Athenians, while they pursued the defeated foe for a considerable distance, filled the whole area of the sea in the neighbourhood of the battle with corpses and the wreckage of ships. After this some of the generals thought that they should pick up the dead, since the Athenians are incensed at those who p407allow the dead to go unburied,17 but others of them said they should sail to Mitylenê and raise the siege with all speed. 2 But in the meantime a great storm arose, so that the ships were tossed about and the soldiers, by reason both of the hardships they had suffered in the battle and the heavy waves, opposed picking up the dead. 3 And finally, since the storm increased in violence, they neither sailed to Mitylenê nor picked up the dead but were forced by the winds to put in at the Arginusae. The losses in the battle were twenty-five ships of the Athenians together with most of their crews and seventy-seven of the Peloponnesians; 4 and as a result of the loss of so many ships and of the sailors who manned them the coastline of the territory of the Cymaeans and Phocaeans was strewn with corpses and wreckage.

5 When Eteonicus, who was besieging Mitylenê, learned from someone of the defeat of the Peloponnesians, he sent his ships to Chios and himself retreated with his land forces to the city of the Pyrrhaeans,18 which was an ally; for he feared lest, if the Athenians should sail against his troops with their fleet and the besieged make a sortie from the city, he should run the risk of losing his entire force. 6 And the generals of the Athenians, after sailing to Mitylenê and picking up Conon and his forty ships, put in at Samos, and from there as their base they set about laying waste the territory of the enemy. 7 After this the inhabitants of Aeolis and Ionia and of the islands which were allies p409of the Lacedaemonians gathered in Ephesus, and as they counselled together they resolved to send to Spartan to ask for Lysander as admiral; for during the time Lysander had been in command of the fleet he had enjoyed many successes and was believed to excel all others in skill as a general. 8 The Lacedaemonians, however, having a law not to send the same man twice and being unwilling to break the custom of their fathers, chose Aracus as admiral but sent Lysander with him as an ordinary citizen,19 commanding Aracus to follow the advice of Lysander in every matter. These leaders, having been dispatched to assume the command, set about assembling the greatest possible number of triremes from both the Peloponnesus and their allies.

101 1 When the Athenians learned of their success at the Arginusae, they commended the generals for the victory but were incensed that they had allowed the men who had died to maintain their supremacy to go unburied. 2 Since Theramenes and Thrasybulus had gone off to Athens in advance of the others, the generals, having assumed that it was they who had made accusations before the populace with respect to the dead, dispatched letters against them to the people stating that it was they whom the generals had ordered to pick up the dead. But this very thing turned out to be the principal cause of their undoing. 3 For although they could have had the help of Theramenes and his associates in the trial, men who both were able orators and had many friends and, most important of all, had been participants in the events p411relative to the battle, they had them, on the contrary, as adversaries and bitter accusers. 4 For when the letters were read before the people, the multitude was at once angered at Theramenes and his associates, but after these had presented their defence, it turned out that their anger was directed again on the generals. 5 Consequently the people served notice on them of their trial and ordered them to turn over the command of the armaments to Conon, whom they freed of the responsibility, while they decreed that the others should report to Athens with all speed. Of the generals Aristogenes and Protomachus, fearing the wrath of the populace, sought safety in flight, but Thrasyllus and Calliades and, besides, Lysias and Pericles and Aristocrates sailed home to Athens with most of their ships, hoping that they would have their crews, which were numerous, to aid them in the trial. 6 When the populace gathered in the assembly, they gave attention to the accusation and to those who spoke to gratify them, but any who entered a defence they unitedly greeted with clamour and would not allow to speak. And not the least damaging to the generals were the relatives of the dead, who appeared in the assembly in mourning garments and begged the people to punish those who had allowed men who had gladly died on behalf of their country to go unburied. 7 And in the end the friends of these relatives and the partisans of Theramenes, being many, prevailed and the outcome was that the generals were condemned to death and their property confiscated.

102 1 After this action had been taken and while the generals were about to be led off by the public executioners to death, Diomedon, one of the generals, p413took the floor before the people, a man who was both vigorous in the conduct of war and thought by all to excel both in justice and in the other avoids. 2 And when all became still, he said: "Men of Athens, may the action which has been taken regarding us turn out well for the state; but as for the vows which we made for the victory, inasmuch as Fortune has prevented our paying them, since it is well that you give thought to them, do you pay them to Zeus the Saviour and Apollo and the Holy Goddesses;20 for it was to these gods that we made vows before we overcame the enemy." 3 Now after Diomedon had made this request he was led off to the appointed execution together with the other generals, though among the better citizens he had aroused great compassion and tears; for that the man who was about to meet an unjust death should make no mention whatsoever of his own fate but on behalf of the state which was wronging him should request it to pay his vows to the gods appeared to be an act of a man who was god-fearing and magnanimous and undeserving of the fate that was to befall him. 4 These men, then, were put to death by the eleven21 magistrates who are designated by the laws, although far from having committed any crime against the state, they had won the greatest naval battle that had ever taken place of Greeks against Greeks and fought in splendid fashion in other battles and by reason of their individual deeds of valour had set up trophies of victories over their enemies. 5 To such an extent were the people beside themselves at that time, and provoked unjustly as they were by their political leaders, they vented their rage upon p415men who were deserving, not of punishment, but of many praises and crowns.

103 1 Soon, however, both those who had urged this action and those whom they had persuaded repented, as if the deity had become wroth with them; for those who had been deceived got the wages of their error when not long afterwards they fell he says the power of not one despot only but of thirty;22 2 and the deceiver, who had also proposed the measure, Callixenus, when once the populace had repented, was brought to trial on the charge of having deceived the people, and without being allowed to speak in his defence he was put in chains and thrown into the public prison; and secretly burrowing his way out of the prison with certain others he managed to make his way to the enemy at Deceleia, to the end that by escaping death he might have that finger of scorn pointed at his turpitude not only in Athens but also wherever else there were Greeks throughout his entire life.

3 Now these, we may say, were the events of this year. And of the historians Philistus23 ended his first History of Sicily with this year and the capture of Acragas, treating a period of more than eight hundred years in seven Books, and he began his second History where the first leaves off and wrote four Books.24

4 At this same time Sophocles the son of Sophilus, the writer of tragedies, died at the age of ninety years, after he had won the prize eighteen25 times. And we p417are told of this man that when he presented his last tragedy and won the prize, he was filled with insuperable jubilation which was also the cause of his death. 5 And Apollodorus,26 who composed his Chronology, states that Euripides also died in the same year; although others say that he was living at the court of Archelaüs, the king of Macedonia, and that once when he went out in the countryside, he was set upon by dogs and torn to pieces a little before this time.

104 1 At the end of this year Alexias was archon in Athens and in Rome in the place of consuls three military tribunes were elected, Gaius Julius, Publius Cornelius, and Gaius Servilius. When these had entered office, the Athenians, after the execution of the generals, put Philocles in command, and turning over the fleet to him, they sent him to Conon with orders that they should share the leadership of the armaments in common. 2 After he had joined Conon in Samos, he manned all the ships which numbered one hundred and seventy-three. Of these it was decided to leave twenty at Samos, and with all the rest they set out for the Hellespont under the command of Conon and Philocles.

3 Lysander, the admiral of the Lacedaemonians, having collected thirty-five ships from his neighbouring allies of the Peloponnesus, put in at Ephesus; and after summoning also the fleet from Chios he made it ready. He also went inland to Cyrus, the son of King Darius, and received from him a great sum of money p419with which to maintain his soldiers. 4 And Cyrus, since his father was summoning him to Persia, turned over to Lysander the authority over the cities under his command and ordered them to pay the tribute to him. Lysander, then, after being thus supplied with every means for making war, returned to Ephesus.

5 At the same time certain men in Miletus, who were striving for an oligarchy, with the aid of the Lacedaemonians put an end to the government of the people. First of all, while the Dionysia was being celebrated, they seized in their homes and carried off their principal opponents and put some forty of them to the sword, and then, at the time when the market-place was full, they picked out three hundred of the wealthiest citizens and slew them. 6 The most respectable citizens among those who favoured the people, not less than one thousand, fearing the situation they were in, fled to Pharnabazus the satrap, who received them kindly and giving each of them a gold stater27 settled them in Blauda, a fortress of Lydia.

7 Lysander, sailing with the larger part of his ships to Iasus in Caria, took the city, which was an ally of the Athenians, by storm, put to the sword the males of military age to the number of eight hundred, sold the children and women as booty, and razed the city to the ground. 8 After this he sailed against Attica and many places, but accomplished nothing of importance or worthy of record; consequently we have not taken pains to recount these events. Finally, capturing Lampsacus,28 he let the Athenian garrison depart p421under a truce, but seized the property of the inhabitants and then returned the city to them.

105 1 The generals of the Athenians, on learning that the Lacedaemonians in full force were besieging Lampsacus, assembled their triremes from all quarters and put forth against them in haste with one hundred and eighty ships. 2 But finding the city already taken, at the time they stationed their ships at Aegospotami29 but afterward sailed out each day against the enemy and offered battle. When the Peloponnesians persisted in not coming out against them, the Athenians were at a loss what to do in the circumstances, since they were unable to find supplies for their armaments for any further length of time where they were. 3 Alcibiades30 now came to them and said that Medocus and Seuthes, the kings of the Thracians, were friends of his and had agreed to give him a large army if he wished to make war to a finish on the Lacedaemonians; he therefore asked them to give him a share in the command, promising them one of two things, either to compel the enemy to accept battle or to contend with them on land with the aid of the Thracians.31 4 This offer Alcibiades made from a desire to achieve by his own efforts some great success for his country and through his benefactions to bring the people back to their old affection for him. But the generals of the Athenians, considering that in case of defeat the blame would attach to them and that in case of success all men would attribute it to Alcibiades, p423quickly bade him to be gone and not come near the camp ever again.

106 1 Since they refused to accept battle at sea and famine gripped the army, Philocles, who held the command on that day, ordered the other captains to man their triremes and follow him, while he with thirty triremes which were ready set out in advance. 2 Lysander, who had learned of this from some deserters, set out to sea with all his ships, and putting Philocles to flight, pursued him toward the other ships.32 3 The triremes of the Athenians had not yet been manned and confusion pervaded them all because of the unexpected appearance of the enemy. 4 And when Lysander perceived the tumult among the enemy, he speedily put ashore Eteonicus and the troops who were practised in fighting on land. Eteonicus, quickly turning to his account the opportunity of the moment, seized a part of the camp, while Lysander himself, sailing up with all his triremes in trim for battle, after throwing iron hands on the ships which were moored along the shore began dragging them off. 5 The Athenians, panic-stricken at the unexpected move, since they neither had respite for putting out to sea with their ships nor were able to fight it out by land, held out for a short while and then gave way, and at once, some deserting the ships, others the camp, they took to flight in whatever direction each man hoped to find safety. 6 Of the triremes only ten escaped. Conon, the general, who had one of them, gave up any thought of returning to Athens, fearing the wrath of the people, but sought safety with Evagoras, who was in control of Cyprus p425and with whom he had relations of friendship; and of the soldiers the majority fled by land to Sestus33 and found safety there. 7 The rest of the ships Lysander captured, and taking prisoner Philocles general, he took him to Lampsacus and had him executed.

After this Lysander dispatched messengers by the swiftest trireme to Lacedaemon to carry news of the victory, first decking the vessel out with the most costly arms and booty. 8 After this, advancing against the Athenians who had found refuge in Sestus, he took the city but let the Athenians depart under a truce. Then he sailed at once to Samos with his troops and himself began the siege of the city, but Gylippus, who with a flotilla had fought in aid of the Syracusans in Sicily,34 he dispatched to Sparta to take there both the booty and with it fifteen hundred talents of silver. 9 The money was in small bags, each of which contained a skytalê35 which carried the notation of the amount of the money. Gylippus, not knowing of the skytalê, secretly undid the bags and took out three hundred talents, and when, by means of the notation, Gylippus was detected by the ephors, he fled the country and was condemned to death. 10 Similarly it happens that Clearchus36 also, the father of Gylippus, fled the country at an earlier time, when he was believed to have accepted a bribe from Pericles not to make the planned raid into Attica, and was condemned to p427death, spending his life as an exile in Thurii in Italy. And so these men, who in all other affairs were looked upon as individuals of ability, by such conduct brought shame upon the rest of their lives.

107 1 When the Athenians heard37 of the destruction of their armaments, they abandoned the policy of control of the sea, but busied themselves with putting the walls in order and with blocking the harbours, expecting, as well they might, that they would be besieged. 2 For at once the kings of the Lacedaemonians, Agis and Pausanias, invaded Attica with a large army and pitched their camp before the walls, and Lysander with more than two hundred triremes put in at the Peiraeus. Although they were in the grip of such hard trials, the Athenians nevertheless held out and had no trouble defending their city for some time. 3 And the Peloponnesians decided, since the siege was offering difficulties, to withdraw their armies from Attica and to conduct a blockade at a distance with their ships, in order that no grain should come to the inhabitants. 4 When his was done, the Athenians came into dire want of everything, but especially of food, because this had always come to them by sea. Since the suffering increased day by day, the city was filled with dead, and the survivors sent ambassadors and concluded peace with the Lacedaemonians on the terms that they should tear down the two long walls and those of the Peiraeus, keep no more than ten ships of war, withdraw from all the cities, and recognize the p429hegemony of the Lacedaemonians. 5 And so the Peloponnesian War, the most protracted of any of which we have knowledge, having run for twenty-seven years, came to the end we have described.

108 1 Not long after the peace Darius, the King of Asia, died after a reign of nineteen years, and Artaxerxes, his eldest son, succeeded to the throne and reigned for forty-three years. During this period, as Apollodorus the Athenian38 says, the poet Antimachus39 flourished.

2 In Sicily40 at the beginning of summer Himilcon, the commander of the Carthaginians, razed to the ground the city of the Acragantini, and in the case of the temples which did not appear to have been sufficiently destroyed even by the fire he mutilated the sculptures and everything of rather exceptional workmanship; he then at once with his entire army invaded the territory of the Geloans. 3 In his attack upon all this territory and that of Camarina he enriched his army with booty of every description. After this he advanced to Gela and pitched his camp along the river of the same name as the city. 4 The Geloans had, outside the city, a bronze statue of Apollo of colossal size; this the Carthaginians seized as spoil and sent to Tyre.41 The Geloans had set up the statue in accordance with an oracular response of the god, and the Tyrians at a later time, when they were being besieged by Alexander of Macedon, treated the god p431disrespectfully on the ground that he was fighting on the side of the enemy.42 But when Alexander took the city, as Timaeus says, on the day with the same name and at the same hour on which the Carthaginians seized the Apollo at Gela, it came to pass that the god was honoured by the Greeks with the greatest sacrifices and processions as having been the cause of its capture. 5 Although these events took place at different times, we have thought it not inappropriate to bring them together because of their astonishing nature.

Now the Carthaginians cut down the trees of the countryside and threw a trench43 about their encampment, since they were expecting Dionysius to come with a strong army to the aid of the imperilled inhabitants. 6 The Geloans at first voted to remove their children and women out of danger to Syracuse because of the magnitude of the expected danger, but when the women fled to the altars about the market-place and begged to share the same fortune as the men, they yielded to them. 7 After this, forming a very large number of detachments, they sent the soldiers in turn over the countryside; and they, because of their knowledge of the land, attacked wandering bands of the enemy, daily brought back many of them alive, and slew not a few. 8 And although the Carthaginians kept launching assaults in relays upon the city and breaching the walls with their battering-rams, the Geloans defended themselves gallantly; for the portions of the walls which fell during the day they built up again at night, the women and children assisting. For those p433who were in the bloom of their physical strength were under arms and constantly in battle, and the rest of the multitude stood by to attend to the defences and the rest of the tasks with all eagerness. 9 In a word, they met the attack of the Carthaginians so stoutly that, although their city lacked natural defences and they were without allies and they could, besides, see the walls falling in a number of places, they were not dismayed at the danger which threatened them.

109 1 Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, summoning aid from the Greeks of Italy and his other allies, led forth his army; and he also enlisted the larger part of the Syracusans of military age and enrolled the mercenaries in the army. 2 He had in all, as some record, fifty thousand soldiers, but according to Timaeus, thirty thousand infantry, a thousand cavalry, and fifty decked vessels. With a force of such size he set out to the aid of the Geloans, and when he drew near the city, he pitched camp by the sea. 3 For his intent was not to divide his army but to use the same base for the fighting by land as well as by sea; and with his light armed troops he engaged the enemy and did not allow them the forage over the countryside, while with his cavalry and ships he attempted to deprive the Carthaginians of the supplies which they got from the territory of which they were masters. 4 Now for twenty days they were inactive, doing nothing worthy of mention. But after this Dionysius divided his infantry into three groups, and one division, which he formed of the Sicilian Greeks, he ordered to advance against the entrenched camp of p435their adversaries with the city on their left flank; the second division, which he formed of allies, he commanded to drive along the shore with the city on their right; and he himself with the contingent of mercenaries advanced through the city against the place where the Carthaginian engines of war were stationed. 5 And to the cavalry he gave orders that, as soon as they saw the infantry advancing, they should cross the river and overrun the plain, and if they should see their comrades winning, they should join in the fighting, but in hand they were losing, they should receive any who were in distress; and to the troops on the ships his orders were, so soon as the Italian Greeks made their attack, to sail against the camp of the enemy.

110 1 When the fleet carried out their orders at the proper time, the Carthaginians rushed to the aid of that sector in an attempt to keep back the attackers disembarking from the ships; and in fact that portion of the camp which the Carthaginians occupied was unfortified, all the part which lay along the beach. 2 And at this survey time the Italian Greeks, who had covered the entire distance along the sea, attacked the camp of the Carthaginians, having found that most of the defenders had gone to give aid against the ships, and putting to flight the troops which had been left behind at this place, they forced their way into the encampment. 3 At this turn of affairs the Carthaginians, turning about with the greater part of their troops, after a sustained flight, thrust out with difficulty the men who had forced their way within the trench. The Italian Greeks, overcome by the multitude p437of the barbarians, encountered as they withdrew the acute angle of the palisade and no help came to them; 4 for the Sicilian Greeks, advancing through the plain, came too late and the mercenaries with Dionysius encountered difficulties in making their way through the streets of the city and thus were unable to make such haste as they had planned. The Geloans, advancing for some distance from the city, gave aid to the Italian Greeks over only a short space of the area, since they were afraid to abandon the guarding of the walls, and as a result they were too late to be of any assistance. 5 The Iberians and Campanians, who were serving in the army of the Carthaginians, pressing hard upon the Italian Greeks, slew more than a thousand of them. But since the crews of the ships held back the pursuers with showers of arrows, the rest of them got back in safety to the city. 6 In the other part the Sicilian Greeks, who had engaged the Libyans who opposed them, slew great numbers of them and pursued the rest into the encampment; but when the Iberians and Campanians and, besides, the Carthaginians came up to the aid of the Libyans, they withdrew to the city, having lost some six hundred men. 7 And the cavalry, when they saw the defeat of their comrades, likewise withdrew to the city, since the enemy pressed hard upon them. Dionysius, having barely got through the city, found his army defeated and for the time being withdrew within the walls.

111 1 After this Dionysius called a meeting of his friends and took counsel regarding the war. When they all said that his position was unfavourable for a p439decisive battle with the enemy, he dispatched a herald toward evening to arrange for the taking up of the dead on the next day, and about the first watch of the night he sent out of the city the mass of the people, while he himself set out about the middle of the night, leaving behind some two thousand of his light-armed troops. 2 These had been given orders to keep fires burning through the entire night and to make an uproar in order to cause the Carthaginians to believe that he was still in the city. Now these troops, as the day was beginning to break, set out to join Dionysius, and the Carthaginians, on learning what had taken place, moved their quarters into the city and plundered what had been left of the contents of the dwellings.

3 When Dionysius arrived at Camarina, he compelled the residents of that city also to depart with their children and wives to Syracuse. And since their fear admitted of no delay, some gathered together silver and gold and whatever could be easily carried, while others fled with only their parents and infant children, paying no attention to valuables; and some, who were aged or suffering from illness, were left behind because they had no relatives or friends, since the Carthaginians were expected of the arrive almost immediately. 4 For the fate that had befallen Selinus and Himera and Acragas44 as well terrified the populace, all of whom felt as if they had actually been eye-witnesses of the savagery of the Carthaginians. For among them there was no sparing their captives, but p441they were without compassion for the victims of Fortune of whom they would crucify some and upon others inflict unbearable outrages. 5 Nevertheless, now that two cities had been driven into exile, the countryside teemed with women and children and the rabble in general. And when the soldiers witnessed these conditions, they were not only enraged against Dionysius but also filled with pity at the lot of the unfortunate victims; 6 for they saw free-born boys and maidens of marriageable years rushing pell-mell along the road in a manner improper for their age, since the stress of the moment had done away with the dignity and respect which are shown before strangers. Similarly they sympathized also with the elderly, as they watched them being forced to push onward beyond their strength while trying to keep up with those in the prime of life.

112 1 It was for these reasons that the hatred against Dionysius was flaring up, since men assumed that he had so acted for this definite plan: by using the dread of the Carthaginians to be lord or remaining cities of Sicily without risk. 2 For they reckoned up his delay in bringing aid;45 the fact that none of his mercenaries had fallen; that he had retreated without reason, since he had suffered no serious reverse; and, most important of all, that not a single one of the Carthaginians had pursued them. Consequently, for those who before this were eager to seize an opportunity to revolt, all things, as if by the foreknowledge of the gods, were working toward the overthrow of the tyrannical power.

3 Now the Italian Greeks, deserting Dionysius, made their way home through the interior of the island, and the Syracusan cavalry at first kept watch in the hope p443that they might be able to slay the tyrant along the road; but when they saw that the mercenaries were not deserting him, they rode off with one accord to Syracuse. 4 And finding the guards of the dockyards46 knew nothing of the events at Gela, they entered these without hindrance, plundered the house of Dionysius which was filled with silver and gold and all other costly things, and seizing his wife left her so ill-used47 as to ensure the tyrant's keeping his anger fiercely alive, acting as they did in the belief that the vengeance they wreaked on Dionysius' wife would be the surest guarantee of their holding by each other in their attack upon him. 5 And Dionysius, guessing while on the way what had taken place, picked out the most trustworthy of his cavalry and infantry, with whom he pressed toward the city without checking speed; for he reasoned that he could overcome the cavalry by no other means than by speedy action, and he acted accordingly. For if he should make his arrival even more of a surprise than theirs had been, he had hope that he would easily carry out his design; and that is what happened. 6 For the cavalry assumed that Dionysius would now neither return to Syracuse nor remain with his army; consequently, in the belief that they had carried out their design, they said that he had pretended that in leaving Gela he was giving the slip to the Carthaginians whereas the truth in fact was that he had given the slip to the Syracusans.

113 1 Dionysius covered a distance of four hundred stades48 and arrived at the gates of Achradinê about p445the middle of the night with a hundred cavalry and six hundred infantry, and finding the gate closed, he piled upon it reeds brought from the marshes such as the Syracusans are accustomed to use to bind their stucco. While the gates were being burned down, he gathered to his troops the laggards. 2 And when the fire had consumed the gates, Dionysius with his followers made their way through Achradinê, and the stoutest soldiers among the cavalry, when they heard what had happened, without waiting for the main body, and although they were very few in number, rushed forth at once to aid in the resistance. They were gathered in the market-place, and there they were surrounded by the mercenaries and shot down to a man. 3 Then Dionysius, ranging through the city, slew any who came out here and there to resist him, and entering the houses of those who were hostile toward him, some of them he killed and others he banished from the city. The main body of the cavalry which was left fled from the city and occupied Aetnê, as it is now called. 4 At daybreak the main body of the mercenaries and the army of the Sicilian Greeks arrived at Syracuse, but the Geloans and Camarinaeans, who were at odds with Dionysius, left him and departed to Leontini.

114 1 . . . .49 Consequently Himilcar, acting under the stress of circumstances, dispatched a herald to Syracuse urging the vanquished to make up their differences. Dionysius was glad to comply and they concluded peace on the following terms: To the Carthaginians shall belong, together with their original colonists, the Elymi and Sicani; the inhabitants of p447Selinus, Acragas, and Himera as well as those of Gela and Camarina may dwell in their cities, which shall be unfortified, but shall pay tribute to the Carthaginians; the inhabitants of Leontini and Messenê and the Siceli shall all live under laws of their own making, and the Syracusans shall be subject to Dionysius; and whatever captives and ships are held shall be returned to those who lost them.

2 As soon as this treaty had been concluded, the Carthaginians sailed off to Libya, having lost more than half their soldiers from the plague; but the pestilence continued to rage no less in Libya also and great numbers both of the Carthaginians themselves and of their allies were struck down.

3 But for our part, now that we have arrived at the conclusion of the wars, in Greece the Peloponnesian and in Sicily the first between the Carthaginians and Dionysius, and our proposed task has been completed,50 we think that we should set down the events next in order in the following Book.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 December 22.

2 Of Sicily, in thirteen Books (cp. infra, chap. 103.3).

3 Or, following Eichstädt and Reiske, "for it was intolerable for him, while the rest of the generals were selling out the state, not only to fight together with the citizens but also to be thought in after years to have shared in the betrayal."

4 Cp. Book 11.22.

5 i.e. non-Syracusans.

6 Cp. Herodotus, 1.59; Plutarch, Solon, 30.

7 Cp. chaps. 18.3; 34.4.

8 Probably Syracuse grew to be such before the death of Dionysius.

9 405‑367 B.C.

10 Acragas.

11 The narrative is resumed from chap. 79.

12 This should be Thrasyllus.

13 Also by Euripides. Both plays are on the theme of the war of the seven Argive chiefs against Thebes.

14 Cp. Book 11.12.1.

15 A grappling-iron, first introduced in the fighting in the harbour of Syracuse (cp. Thucydides, 7.62). Called the "crow" by the Romans, it was used by them with great effectiveness against the Carthaginians in 260 B.C.

16 Xenophon (Hell. 1.6.33) says that he "fell overboard into the sea and disappeared."

17 Aelian (Var. Hist. 5.14) states that the Athenians had a law requiring anyone who happened upon an unburied human body to cast earth upon it.

18 Some fifteen miles west of Mitylenê.

19 Xenophon's statement (Hell. 2.1.7) is more precise and credible. He says that the law forbade a man "to hold the office of admiral twice" and that Lysander was sent as "vice-admiral."

20 The Erinyes (Furies).

21 A Board which had charge of condemned prisoners and of the execution of the death sentence. They are more commonly referred to simply as "The Eleven."

22 The "Thirty Tyrants" (cp. Book 14.3 ff.).

23 Of Syracuse (cp. supra, chap. 91.4).

24 Philistus also wrote two more Books on the younger Dionysius (cp. Book 15.89.3), a total of thirteen Books on Sicily.

25 The eighteen firsts are confirmed by the "Victory" inscription (IG II.977a).

26 A philosopher and historian of Athens of the second century B.C. (cp. Book 1.5.1). His Chronology covered the years 1184‑119 B.C.

27 Probably the Persian daric, whose bullion worth was about $5.40 or £1:3s.

28 In the Troad about thirty-five miles up the Hellespont.

29 The "Goat-rivers," about five miles across the strait from Lampsacus.

30 He had retired to two castles in Thrace, one of which was at Pactyê, only some twenty miles from where the Athenians were anchored (cp. supra, chap. 74.2).

31 Xenophon (Hell. 2.1.25 f.) says nothing about this demand of Alcibiades, but only that he urged the generals to base upon Sestus.

32 This account of the battle differs radically from that in Xenophon (Hell. 2.1.27‑28), which is more credible.

33 Some eight miles down the Hellespont from Aegospotami.

34 Cp. chaps. 7; 8; 38 ff.

35 The σκυτάλη was a staff used for writing in code. The Lacedaemonians had two round staves of identical size, the one kept at Sparta, the other in possession of commanders abroad. A strip of paper was rolled slantwise around the staff and the dispatch written lengthwise on it; when unrolled the dispatch was unintelligible, but rolled slantwise round the commander's skytalê it could be read. Even if Gylippus had found the dispatch he could not have read it.

36 Called Cleandridas by Thucydides (6.93.2).

37 Xenophon (Hell. 2.2.3), who was in Athens on the occasion, tells how the news came. "It was at night that the Paralus arrived at Athens with tidings of the disaster, and a sound of wailing ran from Piraeus through the long walls to the city, one man passing on the news to another; and during that night no one slept. . . ." (Tr. of Brownson in the L. C. L.).

38 Cp. p417, n1.

39 Antimachus of Colophon wrote an epic poem entitled Thebaïs and an elegiac poem Lydê.

40 The narrative is resumed from the end of chap. 96.

41 Tyre was the mother-city of the colony of Carthage. The Apollo of Tyre, as well as the Apollo who is mentioned in the treaty between the Carthaginians and Philip of Macedon (Polybius, 7.9), is generally considered to have been the god Reshef (variously spelled), originally a flame or lightning god of Syria.

42 Cp. Book 17.41.7.

43 And also a palisade built from the timbers (infra, chap. 110.3).

44 Cp. chaps. 57 f., 62, and 90 respectively.

45 To Gela.

46 Where Dionysius had taken up his residence (chap. 96.2).

47 According to Plutarch (Dion, 3.1), she subsequently committed suicide.

48 About 46 miles.

49 Here there was probably an account of the plague which visited the Carthaginian army.

50 Cp. chap. 1.3.


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