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the whole plan originated with a powerful party in Sparta herself. Accordingly, under this formal refusal on the part of the Senates, no farther proceedings could be taken. The Corinthian and Chalkidian envoys left Thebes, while the promise of sending Boeotian envoys to Argos remained unexecuted1.

The Lacedæmonians

conclude a special alliance with the Boeotians,


violating their alliance with Athensthe Boo

tians raze

to the ground.

But the anti-Athenian Ephors at Sparta, though baffled in their schemes for arriving at the Argeian alliance through the agency of the Boeotians, did not the less persist in their views upon Panaktum. That place-a frontier fortress in the mountainous range between Attica and Boeotia, apparently on the Boeotian side of Phylê, and on or near the direct road from Athens to Thebes which led through Panaktum Phyle-had been an Athenian possession, until six months before the peace, when it had been treacherously betrayed to the Boeotians3. A special provision of the treaty between Athens and Sparta prescribed that it should be restored to Athens and Lacedæmonian envoys were now sent on an express mission to Boeotia, to request from the Boeotians the delivery of Panaktum as well as of their Athenian captives, in order that by tendering these to Athens, she might be induced to surrender Pylus. The Boeotians refused compliance with this request, except on condition that Sparta should enter into special alliance with them as she had done with the Athenians. Now the Spartans stood pledged by their covenant with the latter (either by its terms

1 Thucyd. v. 38.

See Colonel Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, vol. ii. ch. xvii. 3 Thucyd. v. 3.

p. 370.

or by its recognized import) not to enter into any new alliance without their consent. But they were eagerly bent upon getting possession of Panaktum -while the prospect of breach with Athens, far from being a deterring motive, was exactly that which Kleobûlus and Xenarês desired. Under these feelings, the Lacedæmonians consented to and swore the special alliance with Boeotia. But the Bootians, instead of handing over Panaktum for surrender as they had promised, immediately razed the fortress to the ground; under pretence of some ancient oaths which had been exchanged between their ancestors and the Athenians, to the effect that the district round it should always remain without resident inhabitants,—as a neutral strip of borderland, and under common pasture.

from the

renew the



agreed upon.

These negotiations, after having been in progress B.C. 420. throughout the winter, ended in the accomplish- Application ment of the alliance and the destruction of Panak- Argeians to tum at the beginning of spring or about the middle Sparta, to of March. And while the Lacedæmonian Ephors expiring thus seemed to be carrying their point on the side Project of of Boeotia, they were agreeably surprised by an treaty unexpected encouragement to their views from another quarter. An embassy arrived at Sparta from Argos, to solicit renewal of the peace just expiring. The Argeians found that they made no progress in the enlargement of their newly-formed confederacy, while their recent disappointment with the Boeotians made them despair of realising their ambitious projects of Peloponnesian headship. But when they learnt that the Lacedæmonians had concluded a separate alliance with the Boeotians, and that Pa

Curious stipulation

about com

bat by


to keep the


open about

the title to


naktum had been razed, their disappointment was converted into positive alarm for the future. Naturally inferring that this new alliance would not have been concluded except in concert with Athens, they interpreted the whole proceeding as indicating that Sparta had prevailed upon the Boeotians to accept the peace with Athens-the destruction of Panaktum being conceived as a compromise to obviate disputes respecting possession. Under such a persuasion-noway unreasonable in itself, when the two contracting governments, both oligarchical and both secret, furnished no collateral evidence to explain their real intent-the Argeians saw themselves excluded from alliance not merely with Boeotia, Sparta, and Tegea, but also with Athens; which latter city they had hitherto regarded as a sure resort in case of hostility with Sparta. Without a moment's delay, they despatched Eustrophus and Eson-two Argeians much esteemed at Sparta, and perhaps proxeni of that city-to press for a renewal of their expiring truce with the Spartans, and to obtain the best terms they could.

To the Lacedæmonian Ephors this application was eminently acceptable-the very event which they had been manoeuvring underhand to bring about. Negotiations were opened, in which the Argeian envoys at first proposed that the disputed possession of Thyrea should be referred to arbitration. But they found their demand met by a peremptory negative-the Lacedæmonians refusing to enter upon such a discussion, and insisting upon simple renewal of the peace now at an end. At last the Argeian envoys, eagerly bent upon keeping the

question respecting Thyrea open, in some way or other-prevailed upon the Lacedæmonians to assent to the following singular agreement. Peace was concluded between Athens and Sparta for fifty years; but if at any moment within that interval, excluding either periods of epidemic or periods of war, it should suit the views of either party to provoke a combat by chosen champions of equal number for the purpose of determining the right to Thyrea-there was to be full liberty of doing so; the combat to take place within the territory of Thyrea itself, and the victors to be interdicted from pursuing the vanquished beyond the undisputed border of either territory. It will be recollected, that about 120 years before this date, there had been a combat of this sort by 300 champions on each side, in which, after desperate valour on both sides, the victory as well as the disputed right still remained undetermined. The proposition made by the Argeians was a revival of this old practice of judicial combat: nevertheless, such was the alteration which the Greek mind had undergone during the interval, that it now appeared a perfect absurdity—even in the eyes of the Lacedæmonians, the most old-fashioned people in Greece'. Yet since they hazarded nothing, practically, by so vague a concession, and were supremely anxious to make their relations smooth with Argos, in con

1 Thucyd. v. 41. Τοῖς δὲ Λακεδαιμονίοις τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἐδόκει μωρία εἶναι ταῦτα· ἔπειτα (ἐπεθύμουν γὰρ τὸ ̓́Αργος πάντως φίλιον ἔχειν) ξυνεχώρησαν ἐφ ̓ οἷς ἠξίουν, καὶ ξυνεγράψαντο.

By the forms of treaty which remain, we are led to infer that the treaty was not subscribed by any signatures, but drawn up by the secretary or authorised officer, and ultimately engraved on a column. The names of those who take the oath are recorded, but seemingly no official signature.

templation of a breach with Athens-they at last
agreed to the condition, drew up the treaty, and
placed it in the hands of the envoys to carry back
to Argos. Formal acceptance and ratification, by
the Argeian public assembly, was necessary to give
it validity: should this be granted, the envoys were
invited to return to Sparta at the festival of the
Hyakinthia, and there go through the solemnity of
the oaths.

Amidst such strange crossing of purposes and go first to interests, the Spartan Ephors seemed now to have

Lacedæmonian envoys


carried all their points-friendship with Argos,

next to Athensthey find


-they ask

for the cession of Pylus from Athens.

breach with Athens, and yet the means (through Panaktum the possession of Panaktum) of procuring from Athens the cession of Pylus. But they were not yet on firm ground. For when their deputies, Andromedês and two colleagues, arrived in Boeotia for the purpose of going on to Athens and prosecuting the negotiation about Panaktum (at the time when Eustrophus and son were carrying on their negotiation at Sparta), they discovered for the first time that the Boeotians, instead of performing their promise to hand over Panaktum, had razed it to the ground. This was a serious blow to their chance of success at Athens: nevertheless Andromedês proceeded thither, taking with him all the Athenian captives in Boeotia. These he restored at Athens, at the same time announcing the demolition of Panaktum as a fact: Panaktum as well as the prisoners were thus restored (he pretended)—for the Athenians would not now find a single enemy in the place and he claimed the cession of Pylus in exchange1.

1 Thucyd. v. 42.

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