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last. Archidamus began to build a mound outside of the wall, from the

summit of which his soldiers might surmount the barricade. But the

Plataeans built a second wall inside of the first, and at the same time

undermined the mound which was thrown up outside. After three months of

vain endeavor the Lacedaemonians were obliged to adopt the policy of a

mere blockade, which should of necessity reduce the garrison by

starvation. For two years the Plataeans held out, and then when their

provisions were nearly exhausted, two hundred and twelve of their number,

choosing a dark December night, scaled the ramparts which the Spartans

had built around the town, and escaped. The remainder still defended

themselves, but were at last compelled by sheer famine to capitulate.

There remained of the garrison two hundred Plataeans and twenty-five


As soon as all were surrendered they were brought to trial. Each one was

led before the Spartan judges and asked the question whether during the

present war he had rendered any assistance to the Lacedamonians or their

allies? The question was, of course, not even a decent mockery, and was

necessarily answered in the negative. Thereupon without further ceremony

every man of the number was led off and executed. The town of Plataea was

leveled to the earth and the territory given to the Thebans.

During this third year of the war, Sitalces, king of Thrace, acting on

the suggestion of the Athenians, invaded the dominions of Perdiccas of

Macedon; but the expedition was undertaken at so late a season that its

serious consequence was to drive the Macedonians to take refuge in their

towns until the Thracians were withdrawn. About the same time, the

Spartans, using Corinth as a base of operations, prepared a fleet of

forty-seven vessels, and proceeded to make an expedition against

Acarnania. At this time a small Athenian squadron of twenty sail, under

command of Phormio, lay at Naupactus. Notwithstanding the disparity of

the fleets, the Athenian captain attacked the Peloponnesian armament, and

gained a decisive victory. The Lacedaemonians, enraged at this result,

prepared a new fleet of seventy-seven vessels and again started to cross

the gulf; but nothing daunted, Phormio a second time gave battle, and if

not positively victorious, so crippled the enemy's squadron that the

expedition had to be abandoned. As a slight compensation for these

disasters, the Spartans succeeded in surprising Salamis by night and

ravaging a good part of the island before the Athenians could rally and

drive them off.

From this time forth for several seasons the annual invasion of Attica

occurred, with its monotonous repetition of pillage and destruction.

What with perpetual devastation, and what with the wasting plague, Athens

was becoming exhausted; but her spirit rose with the occasion. New levies

were made for the fleet from the upper classes of society. An income tax

was laid upon the people, by which two hundred talents were to be

annually added to the treasury. The Lacedaemonians were surprised by the

appearance of two new squadrons at a time when they were imagining the

maritime strength of the Athenians to be nearly extinct. It was fortunate

for the latter that they were thus able to recuperate, for the fourth

year of the war brought them a serious trial in the revolt of Mitylene.

An armament was, however, immediately sent against the rebellious island,

and the Mityleneans were subjected to a rigorous blockade. Assistance was

promised by the Spartan government, and a squadron was sent out under

Alcidas, but before he arrived off Lesbos the Athenians had compelled the

place to capitulate.

During the debates in the Athenian assembly as to what disposition should

be made of the prisoners, the demagogue Cleon, already mentioned as a

would-be rival of Pericles, appeared as a leader. He had been a leather

seller and had every quality of mind and character requisite in a rabble-

rouser. In the present instance he proposed in the very face of the terms

granted by Paches, the Athenian commander before Mitylene, that not only

the prisoners now in the power of the authorities, but also the whole

adult male _______________________________ 1 See the satire of

Aristophanes, supra, p. 494.