UNIVERSAL HISTORY-TEE ANCIENT WORLD.
Hitherto the important wing of a Greek army had always consisted of the
hoplites, or heavy armed soldiers. The peltastae, or troops of light
armor, had ever been regarded as of but secondary importance in battles.
It was considered the business of the peltastae to skirmish -to annoy and
distract the enemy rather than actually to beat him from the field or
into the dust. That work was reserved for the hoplites, who came to the
death grapple and were the actual combatants-the determining force of a
Some of the allied forces in Corinth were at the time referred to under
command of the Athenian Iphicrates. For two years he had been engaged in
the training of a body of peltastae with a view to making them more
formidable in battle: For the coat-of-mail worn by the hoplites he
substituted a linen corselet, which did not impede the freedom of the
body. He lessened the weight and diameter of the shield. The length of
the javelin and short sword hitherto carried by the peltastae was
increased one half. The new tactics laid stress upon rapidity of
evolution in the field rather than upon the mere momentum of the column.
Having got his corps well disciplined, Iphicrates succeeded in several
unimportant engagements in inflicting considerable injury upon the enemy.
An opportunity now offered to test the value of the new service on a more
extensive scale. A body of hoplites from Amycla, desiring to participate
in a festival at home, were escorted by a division of Spartans, also
hoplites; and when the latter were returning, Iphicrates, with what
appeared to all a piece of reckless audacity, drew out his corps of
peltastae, and gave them battle.
The conflict grew sharp and then furious. The heavy armed Spartans began
to fall on every side under the assaults of their more active and less
encumbered assailants. They were bewildered at the novel and dangerous
onsets of the new soldiery. After a large part of their number had been
cut down without ability on their part to inflict much injury in return,
they broke and fled. They were pursued, decimated, driven into the sea.
The effect was such that Agesilaus withdrew from before Corinth and
returned in a very humble plight to Sparta, Iphicrates thereupon sallied
forth and retook nearly all the towns in the eastern and northern
districts of Corinth.
The Spartans, now thoroughly alarmed by the successes of the allies, and
especially by the exposure of their coast to the ravages of Conon's
fleet, liable at any moment to drop upon them, concluded that it was time
for peace. They accordingly opened negotiations by sending Antalcidas,
their best diplomatist, to the court of Tiribazus, who had succeeded
Tithraustes as satrap of Ionia. For the time, however, the ambassador was
unsuccessful. The representatives of the allies were able to thwart his
efforts, although Tiribazus was in hearty sympathy with the Spartan
cause. It was at this juncture that, by the connivance of the satrap and
the Persian court, Conon was seized-a perfidious act-and imprisoned.
Though he soon afterwards made his escape and returned to his old refuge
at the court of Evagoras in Cyprus, he never again took part in the
public affairs of his country.
By this time Athens had sufficiently revived to send out a fleet of forty
triremes to recover her possessions on the Hellespont. The command of the
expedition was given to Thrasybulus, who had complete success in his
mission. The Athenian authority was reestablished, and the toll of ten
per cent re-imposed on all vessels sailing out of the Euxine. After this
work was accomplished, Thrasybulus sailed to Lesbos and deposed the
Spartan governor of the island. Landing on the coast of Pamphylia, he
began to lay contributions on the inhabitants; but the latter gathered a
force, attacked his camp by night, and killed him. Like many another
illustrious Greek who had served his country in the day of her need, he
was doomed to perish in an ignominious way on the shore of a foreign
The attention of the Athenians was next called to the condition of
affairs in the island of AEgina. It will be remembered that Lysander had
restored the exiled AEginetans and reestablished the oligarchy. Without
sufficient resources to create a regular navy, the