Fevery one of Amphipolis (424/423): among the the majority of necessary operations during the Archidamian War (431-421 BCE). It put an end to a collection of Athenian successes and made the Athenians more willing to contemplate an armistice. The Spartan and Athenian commanders were Brasidas and Thucydides.

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Map of Eïon and Amphipolis

After the capture of 292 Spartans at Sphacteria, it looked as if nopoint that the Athenians did could ever go wrong. Their defeat at Delium was a authorize that they were not invincible, yet could be concerned as an occurrence. This was different as soon as in the winter of 424/423, the Spartan basic Brasidas caught Amphipolis.

This necessary city had only newly been founded by the Athenians and also was of the biggest strategic prestige. Not just did it regulate a bridge across the Strymon in the road in between Macedonia and also the Chalkidike in the west to Thrace in the eastern, but the river itself was additionally crucial bereason tright here were forests upstream that produced the timber that was necessary to develop ships. Finally, tright here were silver and gold mines. For even more than sixty years, the Athenians would try to recuperate Amphipolis, until they had actually to accept that the Macedonian king Philip II had added it to his kingdom for good.

Amphipolis from the southwest

The Athenian commander whose task it wregarding defend Amphipolis was Thucydides, that was exiled as a punishment, and also would compose the History of the Peloponnesian War that is our most crucial resource for this period. In the following fragment, he explains his very own faitempt, without explaining why he was not current at Amphipolis, also though he kbrand-new that the Spartan commander Brasidas was in the neighborhood.

The translation of History of the Peloponnesian War 4.102.1-108.7 was made by Rictough Crawley.

The fevery one of Amphipolis

<4.102.1>The exact same winter Brasidas, with his allies in the Thracian areas, marched versus Amphipolis, the Athenian swarm on the river Strymon.

<4.102.2>A negotiation upon the spot on which the city now stands was prior to attempted by Aristagoras, the Milesian (when he fled from king Darius),note who was yet dislodged by the Edonians; and thirty-2 years later by the Athenians, that sent thither ten thousand also settlers of their own citizens, and also whoever else decided to go. These were reduced off at Drabescus by the Thracians.

<4.102.3>Twenty-nine years after, the Athenians went back (Hagnon, son of Nicias, being sent as leader of the colony) and drove out the Edonians, and established a tvery own on the spot, previously called Ennea Hodoi or Nine Ways.

<4.102.4>The base from which they started was Eïon, their commercial seaport at the mouth of the river, not more than 3 miles from the existing town, which Hagnon called Amphipolis, because the Strymon flows round it on two sides, and he constructed it so as to be conspicuous from the sea and also land also alike, running a long wall across from river to river, to finish the circumference.

<4.103.1>Brasidas currently marched against this town, founding from Arne in Chalkidike. Arriving about dusk at Aulon and also Bromiscus, wbelow the lake of Bolbe runs right into the sea, he supped tbelow, and went on throughout the night. The weather was stormy and also it was snowing a little,

<4.103.2>which encouraged him to hurry on, in order, if feasible, to take eincredibly one at Amphipolis by surpincrease, other than the party that were to betray it.

<4.103.3>The plot was brought on by some natives of Argilus, an Andrian swarm, residing in Amphipolis, wright here they had actually also various other accomplices obtained over by Perdiccasnote or the Chalkidians.

<4.103.4>But the a lot of active in the matter were the residents of Argilus itself, which is cshed by, that had actually always been suspected by the Athenians, and had had actually deindications on the area.

These guys now experienced their possibility arrive with Brasidas, and having actually for some time remained in correspondence through their countrymales in Amphipolis for the betrayal of the town, at once obtained him right into Argilus, and revolted from the Athenians, and that same night took him on to the bridge over the river;

<4.103.5>wright here he found just a little guard to oppose him, the tvery own being at some distance from the passage, and also the walls not getting to down to it as at existing. This guard he conveniently drove in, partly through tbelow being treason in their ranks, partly from the stormy state of the weather and also the suddenness of his strike, and also so acquired throughout the bridge, and also instantly ended up being master of all the property outside; the Amphipolitans having actually residences everywhere the quarter.

<4.104.1>The passage of Brasidas was a complete surpincrease to the human being in the town; and the capture of many type of of those external, and the trip of the rest within the wall, combined to create excellent confusion among the citizens, specifically as they did not trust one one more.

<4.104.2>It is even shelp that if Brasidas, rather of avoiding to pillage, had progressed directly versus the town, he would certainly more than likely have taken it.

<4.104.3>In fact, yet, he establiburned himself where he was and overran the nation external, and also for the present stayed inenergetic, vainly awaiting a demonstration on the part of his friends within.

<4.104.4>On the other hand the party opposed to the traitors verified many enough to prevent the gateways being automatically thrvery own open, and also in concert with Eucles, the general, that had actually come from Athens to defend the place, sent out to the various other commander in Thrace, Thucydides, boy of Olorus, the writer of this background, that was at the isle of Thasos, a Parian nest, half a day"s sail from Amphipolis, to tell him to come to their relief.

<4.104.5>On receipt of this message he at once collection sail with seven ships which he had actually through him, in order, if possible, to reach Amphipolis in time to proccasion its capitulation, or in any kind of instance to conserve Eïon.

<4.105.1>On the other hand Brasidas, afraid of succors getting here by sea from Thasos, and also discovering that Thucydides possessed the ideal of functioning the gold mines in that component of Thrace, and also had actually hence excellent influence via the citizens of the continent, sped up to obtain the tvery own, if feasible, prior to the human being of Amphipolis have to be urged by his arrival to hope that he could conserve them by acquiring together a force of allies from the sea and also from Thrace, and so refuse to surrender.

He as necessary available modeprice terms,

<4.105.2>proclaiming that any type of of the Amphipolitans and also Athenians that made a decision, might continue to enjoy their property with complete legal rights of citizenship; while those that did not wish to remain had actually 5 days to decomponent, taking their residential or commercial property with them.

<4.106.1>The bulk of the occupants, upon hearing this, started to readjust their minds, particularly as just a tiny number of the citizens were Athenians, the majority having come from various quarters, and many type of of the prisoners outside had relationships within the wall surfaces. They uncovered the proclamation a fair one in comparichild of what their fear had actually suggested; the Athenians being glad to go out, as they believed they ran more danger than the remainder, and further, did not suppose any kind of speedy relief, and also the multitude mainly being content at being left in possession of their civic rights, and also at such an unmeant reprieve from hazard.

<4.106.2>The partisans of Brasidas now openly promoted this course, seeing that the feeling of the world had actually changed, and also that they no much longer gave ear to the Athenian general present; and also therefore the surrender was made and Brasidas was admitted by them on the regards to his proclamation.

<4.106.3>In this means they gave up the city, and late in the very same day Thucydides and also his ships gone into the harbor of Eïon, Brasidas having actually simply gained hold of Amphipolis, and having actually been within a night of taking Eïon: had the ships been less prompt in relieving it, in the morning it would certainly have actually been his.

<4.107.1>After this Thucydides put all in order at Eïon to secure it versus any current or future strike of Brasidas, and also received such as had actually elected to come tbelow from the internal according to the terms agreed on.

<4.107.2>On the other hand Brasidas suddenly sailed through a variety of boats dvery own the river to Eïon to watch if he could not seize the point running out from the wall, and also so command the entrance; at the exact same time he attempted it by land also, however was beaten off on both sides and had to content himself through arvarying matters at Amphipolis and in the community.

<4.107.3>Myrcinus, an Edonian town, likewise came over to him; the Edonian king Pittacus having been killed by the sons of Goaxis and also his own wife Brauro; and Galepsus and also Oesime, which are Thasian swarms, not long after followed its instance. Perdiccas too came up instantly after the capture and joined in these arrangements.

<4.108.1>The news that Amphipolis remained in the hands of the opponent brought about good alarm at Athens. Not only was the tvery own handy for the hardwood it afforded for shipbuilding, and the money that it carried in, yet likewise, although the escort of the Thessalians offered the Spartans a means of getting to the allies of Athens as much as the Strymon, yet as long as they were not masters of the bridge but were watched on the side of Eïon by the Athenian galleys, and on the land also side impeded by a big and substantial lake created by the waters of the river, it was difficult for them to go any kind of even more. Now, on the contrary, the path seemed open.

<4.108.2>Tbelow was also the are afraid of the allies revolting, owing to the moderation presented by Brasidas in all his conduct, and to the declarations which he was almost everywhere making that he sent out to cost-free Greece.

<4.108.3>The towns topic to the Athenians, hearing of the capture of Amphipolis and also of the terms accorded to it, and also of the gentleness of Brasidas, felt a lot of strongly urged to change their problem, and also sent out secret messages to him, begging him to come on to them; each wishing to be the first to rebellion. Certainly tright here appeared to be no risk in so doing; their mistake in their estimate of the Athenian power was as good as that power afterwards turned out to be,

<4.108.4>and also their judgment was based even more upon blind wishing than upon any sound prevision; for it is a habit of mantype to entrust to caremuch less hope what they long for, and to usage sovepower factor to thrust aside what they do not elaborate.

<4.108.5>Besides the late significant blow which the Athenians had actually met with in Boeotia,note joined to the seductive, though untrue, statements of Brasidas, around the Athenians not having ventured to engage his single army at Nisaea,note made the allies confident, and also resulted in them to believe that no Athenian force would be sent versus them.

<4.108.6>Above all the wish to execute what was agreeable at the minute, and also the likelihood that they have to discover the Spartans full of zeal at starting, made them eager to endeavor. Observing this, the Athenians sent out garrisons to the different communities, as much as was feasible at such brief notice and also in winter; while Brasidas sent out dispatches to Sparta asking for reinforcements, and himself made preparations for building galleys in the Strymon.

<4.108.7>The Spartans however did not send him any, partly via envy on the part of their chief men, partially bereason they were more bent on reextending the detainees of the island also and finishing the war.

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This web page was developed in 2006; last modified on 16 July 2020.

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