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bled a large army at Corinth in the spring of 394, and it was proposed to march directly upon Sparta, and "burn the wasps in their nests before they could come forth to sting." The Lacedæmonians, however, had advanced to Sicyon by the time the allies reached Nemea, and the latter were obliged to fall back for the protection of Corinth. The Spartans attacked them near the city and gained a victory, July, 394.
B. C. 394.
220. Agesilaus had been unwillingly recalled from his war against Persia, and now appeared in the north with a powerful army, in which were numbered Xenophon* and many of the Ten Thousand. On hearing of the victory of Corinth, the king exclaimed, "Alas for Greece! she has killed enough of her sons to have conquered all the barbarians." Agesilaus advanced to Coronæa, where another battle was soon fought. The Thebans were at first successful, and, having routed the Orchomenians, pressed through to their camp in the rear. But while they were plundering this, Agesilaus had been victorious along the rest of the line, and had driven the allies to take refuge upon the slope of Mount Helicon. The Thebans, thus surrounded, had to sustain the whole weight of the Spartan attack, and no severer combat had ever been known in Grecian annals. They succeeded at last in rejoining their comrades, but the victory remained with Agesilaus.
221. BATTLE OF CNIDUS. Their two successful battles of Corinth and Coronæa were far from compensating the Spartans for the disastrous defeat which befell them the same season at Cnidus. Conon, who had spent the seven years since his disgrace at Egos-Potami, with Evagoras of Cyprus, now reappeared, in alliance with the ancient foe of Greece, against the bitter enemy and rival of Athens. Artaxerxes, perceiving the hatred which began to be felt against the growing power of Sparta, had sent envoys to the principal cities of Greece, to unite them in a league for resistance, while he dispatched a large sum of money to Conon, to equip a fleet among the Greeks and Phoenicians of the sea-board. In command of this fleet, Conon was blockaded at Caunus by the Spartan, Pharax; but a reinforcement arriving for the Persians, the blockading squadron withdrew to Rhodes. The people of that island had unwillingly endured so long the rule of the Spartans. They rose against Pharax, compelled him to depart, and placed themselves under the protection of Conon. This admiral immediately sailed to Rhodes and took possession of the island;
*Though an Athenian, Xenophon was an exile, and preferred the institutions of Sparta to those of his native city. Among the principal works of this historian are the Anabasis, an account of the rebellion of Cyrus the Younger, and the retreat of the Ten Thousand; the Hellenica, a history of the Greeks from the close of the period described by Thucydides to the battle of Mantinea, B. C. 362; the Cyropædia, an historical romance in praise of Cyrus the Great; and the Memorabilia, a defense of the memory of Socrates from the charge of irreligion.
then repaired to Babylon, where he obtained a still more liberal grant of money from Artaxerxes, for the active prosecution of the war.
With the aid of Pharnabazus, who was joined with him in command, he equipped a powerful fleet and offered battle to Pisan'der, the Spartan admiral, off Cnidus, in Caria. The Persian force, consisting of Greeks and Phoenicians, was superior from the first, and especially when Pisander was deserted, in the course of the battle, by his Asiatic allies. He fought, however, with the bravery of a Spartan, until his death put an end to the contest. More than half the Spartan fleet was either captured or destroyed. As a result of this defeat, the Spartan empire fell even more rapidly than it had risen eight years before. Conon and Pharnabazus sailed from port to port, and were received as deliverers by all the Asiatic Greeks. The Spartan harmosts every-where fled before their arrival. Abydus and the Thracian Chersonesus alone withstood the power of Athens and Persia, 222. The following spring, the fleet of Conon and Pharnabazus crossed the Ægean, laid waste the eastern borders of Laconia, and established an Athenian garrison on the island of Cythera. The Persian, by gold and promises, assured the allies, whom he met at Corinth, of his unfailing support against Sparta; and he employed the seamen of the fleet in rebuilding the Long Walls of Athens and the fortifications of the Piræus. The recent services of Conon more than erased the memory of his former disasters, and he was hailed by his countrymen as a second founder of Athens and restorer of her greatness.
B. C. 393.
223. The war was henceforth carried on in the Corinthian territory, and the main object of the allies was to guard the three passes in the mountains which extend across the southern part of the isthmus. The most westerly of these was defended by the long walls which ran from Corinth to Lecha'um; the other two, by strong garrisons of the allied troops. The Spartans were at Sicyon, whence they could easily ravage the fertile plain, and plunder the country-seats of the wealthy Corinthians. The aristocratic party in Corinth began to complain, and to sigh for their ancient alliance with Sparta. The ruling faction, on the other hand, invited a company of Argives into the city, and massacred a large number of their opponents. The aristocrats avenged themselves by admitting Praxi'tas, the Spartan leader, within their long walls, and a battle was fought within this confined space, in which the Corinthians were defeated. The Spartans destroyed a large portion of the walls, and, marching across the isthmus, captured two places on the Saronic Gulf.
The Athenians, alarmed by the door being thus thrown open for the invasion of their own territory, marched with a force of carpenters and masons to the isthmus, and aided the Corinthians to rebuild the walls. They were building, however, for their enemies; for the next summer, Agesilaus, with the Spartan fleet, gained
B. C. 392.
possession not only of the walls, but the port of Lechæum. Several other towns on the Corinthian Gulf, with much booty and many captives, also fell into his possession. The Lacedæmonians now surrounded Corinth on all sides, and the Thebans, despairing of success for the allies, sent envoys demanding peace.
224. While they were still in the presence of Agesilaus, he received news of an unprecedented and mortifying disaster. Iphicrates, the Athenian, had been for two years drilling a troop of mercenaries in a new system of tactics, which was intended to combine the advantages of both heavy and light-armed. troops. He had proved their efficiency in several trials, and was now ready to test them upon the Spartan battalion, which was considered almost invincible. The Spartans were returning to the camp at Lechæum - having escorted their Amy clean comrades some distance on their way homeward to celebrate a religious festival — when they were attacked, in flank and rear, with arrows and javelins. Burdened with their heavy armor, they were unable to cope with their agile antagonists, while their long pikes were of little use against the short swords of the peltasts. They broke at length in confusion, and many were driven into the sea, followed by their assailants, who wrestled with and slew them in the water.
B. C. 390.
225. The war in Asia went on with varying success. Thimbron, the Spartan, was defeated and slain by the Persian, Struthas, with the total loss of his army of 8,000 men. About the same time an Athenian squadron, which was going to assist Evagoras against Persia, was captured by a Spartan fleet. Thrasybulus was then sent with a larger naval force, with which he re-established Athenian power in the Propontis, and re-imposed the toll anciently collected by Athens on all vessels passing out of the Euxine. In the midst of this expedition Thrasybulus was slain. The Spartans, by renewed exertions, again became for a time masters of the straits; but Iphicrates, with his peltasts, surprised their leader among the passes of Mount Ida, and gained a decisive victory, which restored the Athenian supremacy in that region. 226. Peace of ANTALCIDAS. The Spartans now made an effort toward peace by sending Antalcidas to the Persian court. The king accepted their propositions, and furnished means to enforce them. A large fleet, commanded by Antalcidas and Tiribazus, visited the Hellespont, and by cutting off the supplies of corn from the Euxine, threatened Athens with famine. All the states were now ready to listen to terms, and in a congress of deputies Tiri'bazus presented the following propositions: "King Artaxerxes thinks it just that the cities in Asia, and the islands of Clazomenæ and Cyprus should belong to him. He thinks it just to leave all the other Grecian cities, both small and great, independent, except Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros, which are to belong to Athens, as of
B. C. 387.
old." The Thebans at first objected, but being threatened with war by the Spartans, at length took the oath. The terms which thus prostrated Greece at the feet of Persia, were engraven on tablets of stone and set up in every temple.
The second period of Spartan supremacy was signalized by the abolition of free governments throughout Greece. Athens, under the Thirty Tyrants, suffered for eight months a reign of terror. Thrasybulus, with the Athenian exiles, effected the expulsion of the tyrants, the restoration of free government, and a conservative reaction which occasioned, among other results, the execution of Socrates. The Spartans plundered the sacred land of Elis, and expelled or enslaved all the Messenians who remained upon their soil. Agesilaus, succeeding his brother as king of Sparta, became involved in war with Persia. In the contest with Thebes, Lysander was killed, and the king Pausanias disgraced. During the Corinthian War which followed, Sparta was victorious at Corinth and Coronæa, but suffered a disastrous overthrow from the Persian fleet under Conon, in the battle of Cnidus, which resulted in the sudden downfall of her supremacy. The Long Walls of Athens and the fortifications of the Piræus were rebuilt, under the superintendence of Conon. The Peace of Antalcidas gave to the Persian king a controlling voice in Grecian affairs, with the sovereignty of Asiatic Greece, and of the islands of Cyprus and Clazomen.
SUPREMACY OF THEBES.
227. The Spartan hatred of Thebes was not allayed by the return of peace. To annoy the latter city, Platea was rebuilt, and as many as possible of its former citizens brought back. An expedition against Olynthus gave occasion for a more decided act of hostility. Phoebidas, on his march through Boeotia, happened to approach Thebes on a festal day, when the citadel was occupied only by women. Aided by some citizens who were in secret alliance with Sparta, he seized the Cadmea, had the chief of the patriotic party put to death on a false charge, and effected a revolution in the government which made Thebes only a subservient ally of Sparta. The Lacedæmonians pretended to join in the general indignation of Greece at this outrage; but though they dismissed Phoebidas, they kept the Cadmea.
228. OLYNTHIAN WAR. The war in Macedonia was now prosecuted with the aid of Thebes. Olynthus, in the Chalcidian penin sula, had become the head of a powerful confederacy of Grecian cities; but Acan'thus and Apollo'nia refused to join it, and applied to Sparta for help. Amyn'tas, king of Macedonia, took their part, and joined his troops with those of Eudamidas. Olynthus, by means of its excellent cavalry, held out bravely for four years; but at last it fell, and the league was dissolved. The Macedonian ports returned into subjection to Amyntas, while the Greek cities joined the Spartan alliance.
B. C. 386.
B. C. 382.
* See p. 163.
Sparta was now leagued on all sides with the enemies of Greece: with the Persians, with Dionysius of Syracuse, and with Macedon. By the destruction of the Olynthian League, she had removed the chief obstacle to the Macedonian power, which was soon to overthrow the freedom of the Greeks.
229. Thebes remained three years in the control of the Lacedæmonian party. But the citizens were discontented, and a company of exiles at Athens were awaiting an opportunity of vengeance. Among them was Pelop ́idas, a noble and wealthy youth, who had already distinguished himself by his patriotism. He was the ardent friend of Epam'inon'das, a Theban of greater age and still more exalted virtue than himself. A plan was now formed among the exiles for the deliverance of Thebes. Pelopidas was its leader; but Epaminondas at first held back, because the execution of the plot required deceit, and the possible shedding of innocent blood. He was a strict Pythagorean; and so pure were his principles, that he was never known to trifle with the truth even in jest, or to sacrifice it for any interest.
230. Phyllidas, secretary of the Theban government, was in the plot, and took a leading part in its execution. He invited to supper the two polemarchs, Archias and Philip'pus, with the principal Spartan leaders; and when they were sufficiently stupefied with eating and drinking, he proposed to introduce some Theban ladies. Before these entered, a messenger brought a letter to Archias, and begged his attention, as it contained a matter of serious importance. But the polemarch only thrust the letter under the cushions of his couch, saying, "Serious matters to
Pelopidas and his friends, who had arrived in the city disguised as hunters, now entered the banquet-room in the long white veils and festive garb of women. They were loudly welcomed by the half-drunken guests, and dispersed themselves with apparent carelessness among the company; but as one of the Spartan lords attempted to lift the veil of the person who was addressing him, he received a mortal wound. It was the signal for a general attack. Swords were drawn from beneath the silken garments, and no Spartan left the room alive. The prisons were now opened, and five hundred Thebans, who had been immured there for their love of freedom, were added to the armed force of the revolutionists. As day dawned, all citizens who valued liberty were summoned to the marketplace. A joyful assembly was held, the first since the Spartan usurpation. The Lacedæmonians in the citadel were besieged, and their expected reinforcements being cut off, they speedily surrendered.
B. C. 379.
231. It was now the depth of winter, but when the news arrived at Sparta, instant preparations were made for war. Cleombrotus led an army into Boeotia, and Athens was called to account for having sheltered