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HISTORY OF GREECE.
CONTINUATION OF HISTORICAL GREECE.
FROM THE PEACE OF NIKIAS TO THE OLYMPIC
MY last chapter, and last volume, terminated with the peace called the Peace of Nikias, concluded in March 421 B.C.-between Athens and the Spartan confederacy, for fifty years.
during the winter after
This peace-negotiated during the autumn and Negotiawinter succeeding the defeat of the Athenians at peace Amphipolis, wherein both Kleon and Brasidas were slain-resulted partly from the extraordinary anxiety of the Spartans to recover their captives who had been taken at Sphakteria, partly from the discouragement of the Athenians, leading them to listen to the peace party who acted with Nikias. The general principle adopted for the peace was, the restitution by both parties of what had been acquired by
in March 421 B.C. Conditions of peace.
Peace called war-yet excluding such places as had been surrendered by capitulation: according to which reserve, the Athenians, while prevented from recovering Platæa, continued to hold Nisæa, the harbour of Megara. The Lacedæmonians engaged to restore Amphipolis to Athens, and to relinquish their connection with the revolted allies of Athens in Thrace —that is, Argilus, Stageirus, Akanthus, Skôlus, Olynthus, and Spartôlus. These six cities, however, were not to be enrolled as allies of Athens unless they chose voluntarily to become so-but only to pay regularly to Athens the tribute originally assessed by Aristeidês, as a sort of recompense for the protection of the Ægean sea against private war or piracy. Any inhabitant of Amphipolis or the other cities, who chose to leave them, was at liberty to do so and to carry away his property. Farther, the Lacedæmonians covenanted to restore Panaktum to Athens, together with all the Athenian prisoners in their possession. As to Skiônê, Torônê, and Sermylus, the Athenians were declared free to take their own measures. On their part, they engaged to release all captives in their hands, either of Sparta or her allies; to restore Pylus, Kythêra, Methônê, Pteleon, and Atalantê; and to liberate all the Peloponnesian or Brasidean soldiers now under blockade in Skiônê.
Provision was also made, by special articles, that all Greeks should have free access to the sacred Pan-hellenic festivals, either by land or sea; and that the autonomy of the Delphian temple should be guaranteed.
The contracting parties swore to abstain in future
from all injury to each other, and to settle by amicable decision any dispute which might arise'.
Lastly, it was provided that if any matter should afterwards occur as having been forgotten, the Athenians and Lacedæmonians might by mutual consent amend the treaty as they thought fit. So prepared, the oaths were interchanged between seventeen principal Athenians and as many principal Lacedæmonians.
rity of members of the Pelo
Earnestly bent as Sparta herself was upon the peace and ratified as it had been by the vote of a majority among her confederates-still there was a powerful minority who not only refused their assent, but strenuously protested against its condi- ponnesian tions. The Corinthians were discontented because they did not receive back Sollium and Anaktorium; the Megarians, because they did not regain Nisæa ; the Boeotians, because Panaktum was to be restored to Athens: the Eleians also, on some other ground which we do not distinctly know. All of them The most moreover took common offence at the article which members provided that Athens and Sparta might by mutual of the alliconsent, and without consulting the allies, amend to accept the treaty in any way that they thought proper2. Baotians, Though the peace was sworn, therefore, the most Corinthipowerful members of the Spartan confederacy re- Eleians.
mained all recusant.
So strong was the interest of the Spartans themselves, however, that having obtained the favourable vote of the majority, they resolved to carry the peace through, even at the risk of breaking up the
1 Thucyd. v. 17-29.
2 Thucyd. v. 18.
of the La
confederacy. Besides the earnest desire of recovering their captives from the Athenians, they were farther alarmed by the fact that their truce for anxiety for thirty years concluded with Argos was just now expiring. They had indeed made application to Argos for renewing it, through Lichas the Spartan proxenus of that city. But the Argeians had refused, except upon the inadmissible condition that the border territory of Kynuria should be ceded to them there was reason to fear therefore that this new and powerful force might be thrown into the scale of Athens, if war were allowed to continue'.
certain relations with Argos.
Steps taken by the Lace
to execute the peaceAmphipolis is not restored to Athensthe great allies of Sparta do
Accordingly, no sooner had the peace been sworn, dæmonians than the Spartans proceeded to execute its provisions. Lots being drawn to determine whether Sparta or Athens should be the first to make the cessions required, the Athenians drew the favourable lot—an advantage so very great, under the circumstances, that Theophrastus affirmed Nikias to have gained the point by bribery. There is no ground for believing such alleged bribery; the rather, as we shall presently find Nikias gratuitously throwing away most of the benefit which the lucky lot conferred2.
not accept the peace.
The Spartans began their compliance by forthwith releasing all the Athenian prisoners in their hands, and despatching Ischagoras with two others to Amphipolis and the Thracian towns. These envoys were directed to proclaim the peace as well as to enforce its observance upon the 2 Plutarch, Nikias, c. 10.
Thucyd. v. 14, 22, 76.
Thracian towns, and especially to command Klearidas, the Spartan commander in Amphipolis, that he should surrender the town to the Athenians. But on arriving in Thrace, Ischagoras met with nothing but unanimous opposition: and so energetic were the remonstrances of the Chalkidians, both in Amphipolis and out of it, that even Klearidas refused obedience to his own government, pretending that he was not strong enough to surrender the place against the resistance of the Chalkidians. Thus completely baffled, the envoys returned to Sparta, whither Klearidas thought it prudent to accompany them, partly to explain his own conduct, partly in hopes of being able to procure some modification of the terms. But he found this impossible. He was sent back to Amphipolis with peremptory orders to surrender the place to the Athenians, if it could possibly be done; if that should prove beyond his force, then to come away, and bring home every Peloponnesian soldier in the garrison. Perhaps the surrender was really impracticable to a force no greater than that which Klearidas commanded, since the reluctance of the population was doubtless obstinate. At any rate, he represented it to be impracticable: the troops accordingly came home, but the Athenians still remained excluded from Amphipolis, and all the stipulations of the peace respecting the Thracian towns remained unperformed. Nor was this all. The envoys from the recusant minority (Corinthians and others), after having gone home for instructions, had now come back to Sparta with increased repugnance and protest against the injustice of the