Fall the Amphipolis (424/423): one of the most important operations throughout the Archidamian war (431-421 BCE). It placed an finish to a series of Athenian successes and made the Athenians more willing to contemplate an armistice. The Spartan and also Athenian leaders were Brasidas and Thucydides.

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Map the Eïon and Amphipolis

After the record of 292 Spartans at Sphacteria, that looked together if nothing the the Athenians did could ever walk wrong. Their defeat in ~ Delium to be a sign that lock were not invincible, however could be pertained to as an incident. This was various when in the winter that 424/423, the Spartan general Brasidas captured Amphipolis.

This crucial city had only newly been started by the Athenians and also was the the greatest strategic importance. Not just did it control a bridge throughout the Strymon in the road in between Macedonia and the Chalkidike in the west come Thrace in the east, however the flow itself was likewise important due to the fact that there were forests upstream that created the timber that was vital to construct ships. Finally, there were silver and gold mines. For more than sixty years, the Athenians would try to recuperate Amphipolis, until they had to expropriate that the Macedonian king Philip II had included it come his kingdom for good.

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Amphipolis indigenous the southwest

The Athenian commander whose job it was to defend Amphipolis was Thucydides, who was exiled together a punishment, and would compose the history of the Peloponnesian war that is our most important source for this period. In the following fragment, he describes his own failure, without explaining why he to be not current at Amphipolis, even though he knew that the Spartan command Brasidas was in the neighborhood.

The translation of history of the Peloponnesian war 4.102.1-108.7 was made by Richard Crawley.

The fall of Amphipolis

<4.102.1>The very same winter Brasidas, through his allies in the Thracian places, marched against Amphipolis, the Athenian swarm on the river Strymon.

<4.102.2>A settlement upon the clues on i m sorry the city now stands was prior to attempted by Aristagoras, the Milesian (when the fled native king Darius),note that was yet dislodged by the Edonians; and thirty-two years later on by the Athenians, who sent thither ten thousand inhabitants of their very own citizens, and whoever else determined to go. These were reduced off in ~ Drabescus by the Thracians.

<4.102.3>Twenty-nine year after, the Athenians returned (Hagnon, child of Nicias, being sent out as leader that the colony) and also drove out the Edonians, and also founded a city on the spot, formerly called Ennea Hodoi or nine Ways.

<4.102.4>The basic from i m sorry they started was Eïon, their commercial seaport in ~ the mouth the the river, not much more than three miles indigenous the present town, i beg your pardon Hagnon called Amphipolis, because the Strymon flows ring it on 2 sides, and also he developed it so regarding be conspicuous indigenous the sea and land alike, running a long wall surface across from river to river, to finish the circumference.

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

<4.103.2>which urged him come hurry on, in order, if possible, to take every one at Amphipolis through surprise, except the party who were to betray it.

<4.103.3>The plot was brought on by part natives the Argilus, one Andrian colony, residing in Amphipolis, wherein they had likewise other accomplices gained over through Perdiccasnote or the Chalkidians.

<4.103.4>But the most energetic in the matter were the residents of Argilus itself, which is close by, who had constantly been suspected by the Athenians, and also had had actually designs top top the place.

These guys now experienced their opportunity arrive v Brasidas, and having for part time remained in correspondence through their countrymen in Amphipolis because that the betrayal of the town, at as soon as received him right into Argilus, and revolted native the Athenians, and that exact same night take it him on come the leg over the river;

<4.103.5>where he discovered only a tiny guard to protest him, the city being at some distance indigenous the passage, and also the walls not getting to down come it as at present. This security he easily drove in, partly through there gift treason in their ranks, partially from the stormy state of the weather and also the suddenness of his attack, and so got across the bridge, and immediately came to be master of all the home outside; the Amphipolitans having homes all end the quarter.

<4.104.1>The i of Brasidas to be a complete surprise come the world in the town; and also the catch of numerous of those outside, and the flight of the remainder within the wall, linked to produce great confusion among the citizens, particularly as castle did no trust one another.

<4.104.2>It is also said the if Brasidas, rather of protecting against to pillage, had progressed straight against the town, he would probably have actually taken it.

<4.104.3>In fact, however, he created himself where he was and overran the country outside, and also for the present remained inactive, vainly awaiting a show on the part of his girlfriend within.

<4.104.4>Meanwhile the party protest to the traitors proved many enough to prevent the gates being immediately thrown open, and in concert through Eucles, the general, who had actually come from Athens to protect the place, sent out to the other commander in Thrace, Thucydides, boy of Olorus, the writer of this history, that was in ~ the isle of Thasos, a Parian colony, half a day"s sail indigenous Amphipolis, come tell the to pertained to their relief.

<4.104.5>On receipt of this post he at once collection sail with 7 ships i beg your pardon he had with him, in order, if possible, to reach Amphipolis gradually to protect against its capitulation, or in any case to conserve Eïon.

<4.105.1>Meanwhile Brasidas, fear of succors showing up by sea native Thasos, and learning that Thucydides possessed the right of working the gold mines in that part of Thrace, and had thus great influence v the residents of the continent, quickened to acquire the town, if possible, before the civilization of Amphipolis should be urged by his arrival to hope the he could save lock by getting together a pressure of allies native the sea and also from Thrace, and so refuse to surrender.

He accordingly offered middle terms,

<4.105.2>proclaiming that any kind of of the Amphipolitans and also Athenians that chose, might proceed to enjoy their building with complete rights the citizenship; when those who did no wish to stay had 5 days to depart, acquisition their property with them.

<4.106.1>The mass of the inhabitants, ~ above hearing this, started to change their minds, specifically as just a small variety of the citizens were Athenians, the majority having come from various quarters, and many of the prisoners exterior had connections within the walls. They discovered the proclamation a fair one in comparison of what their are afraid had suggested; the Athenians gift glad to walk out, together they believed they ran more risk 보다 the rest, and further, did no expect any kind of speedy relief, and the multitude usually being contents at being left in possession of their civic rights, and also at such an unforeseen reprieve from danger.

<4.106.2>The partisans that Brasidas currently openly promoted this course, seeing the the feeling of the human being had changed, and that lock no longer offered ear to the Athenian general present; and also thus the surrender to be made and also Brasidas to be admitted by castle on the terms of his proclamation.

<4.106.3>In this means they provided up the city, and late in the very same day Thucydides and also his ships entered the harbor of Eïon, Brasidas having just got hold the Amphipolis, and having to be within a night of taking Eïon: had the pearl been much less prompt in relieving it, in the morning the would have been his.

<4.107.1>After this Thucydides put all in order at Eïon come secure it against any present or future attack of Brasidas, and received such together had elected to come there from the interior according to the state agreed on.

<4.107.2>Meanwhile Brasidas suddenly sailed with a number of boats down the river to Eïon to check out if he can not grab the suggest running out from the wall, and so command the entrance; in ~ the exact same time that attempted that by land, however was beaten turn off on both sides and also had to contents himself v arranging matters at Amphipolis and also in the neighborhood.

<4.107.3>Myrcinus, one Edonian town, likewise came end to him; the Edonian king Pittacus having actually been eliminated by the young of Goaxis and also his very own wife Brauro; and also Galepsus and Oesime, which space Thasian colonies, not long after followed its example. Perdiccas too came up instantly after the capture and also joined in this arrangements.

<4.108.1>The news the Amphipolis was in the hand of the foe caused great alarm at Athens. Not just was the town an useful for the timber it afforded for shipbuilding, and the money that it lugged in, however also, return the escort the the Thessalians gave the Spartans a means of reaching the allies the Athens as much as the Strymon, yet as long as they were no masters of the bridge but were watched on the next of Eïon through the Athenian galleys, and on the land side impeded by a huge and extensive lake developed by the waters of the river, that was difficult for them to go any kind of further. Now, top top the contrary, the course seemed open.

<4.108.2>There was also the are afraid of the allies revolting, fan to the moderation shown by Brasidas in all his conduct, and to the declarations which he was anywhere making the he sent to complimentary Greece.

<4.108.3>The towns topic to the Athenians, hearing of the record of Amphipolis and of the terms accorded to it, and also of the gentleness that Brasidas, felt most strongly motivated to readjust their condition, and sent an enig messages come him, begging that to which to them; each wishing to be the an initial to revolt. Undoubtedly there seemed to be no hazard in so doing; their mistake in their calculation of the Athenian strength was as good as the power afterwards turned out to be,

<4.108.4>and their referee was based much more upon blind wishing than upon any sound prevision; for it is a habit the mankind come entrust come careless expect what they long for, and also to usage sovereign factor to thrust aside what they perform not fancy.

<4.108.5>Besides the late major blow which the Athenians had actually met v in Boeotia,note joined to the seductive, though untrue, explanation of Brasidas, around the Athenians not having ventured to interact his single army at Nisaea,note make the allies confident, and also caused castle to believe that no Athenian pressure would be sent versus them.

<4.108.6>Above all the great to perform what was agreeable in ~ the moment, and the likelihood that they should uncover the Spartans full of zeal at starting, made them eager to venture. Observing this, the Athenians sent out garrisons come the various towns, as far as was possible at such short notification and in winter; while Brasidas sent out dispatches come Sparta asking for reinforcements, and also himself made preparations for building galleys in the Strymon.

<4.108.7>The Spartans but did not send the any, partly through envy top top the component of their chief men, partly since they were much more bent on recovering the prisoners of the island and ending the war.

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This web page was created in 2006; critical modified ~ above 16 July 2020.

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