gtp logo

Location information

Listed 2 sub titles with search on: History  for wider area of: "DELPHI Small town PARNASSOS" .

History (2)


Amphictyonic League (Amphictyones, Amphictyons)

DELFI (Ancient sanctuary) FOKIDA
  Amphictyones (Amphiktuones). Literally "those dwelling around", but in a special sense applied to populations which at stated times met at the same sanctuary to keep a festival in common, and to transact common business. The most famous and extensive union of the kind was that called, par excellence, the Amphictyonic League, whose common sanctuaries were the temple of Pythian Apollo at Delphi, and the temple of Demeter at Anthela, near Pylae or Thermopylae. After Pylae the assembly was named the Pylaean, even when it met at Delphi, and the deputies of the league Pylagorae. The league was supposed to be very ancient, as old even as the name of Hellenes; for its founder was said to be Amphictyon, the son of Deucalion and brother of Hellen, the common ancestor of all Hellenes. ( Herod.vii. 200.) It included twelve populations: Malians, Phthians, Aenianes or Oetoeans, Dolopes, Magnetians, Perrhoebians, Thessalians, Locrians, Dorians, Phocians, Boeotians, and Ionians, together with the colonies of each. Though in later times their extent and power were very unequal, yet in point of law they all had equal rights. Besides protecting and preserving those two sanctuaries, and celebrating from the year B.C. 586 on wards the Pythian Games, the league was bound to maintain certain principles of international right, which forbade them, for instance, ever to destroy utterly any city of the league, or to cut off its water, even in time of war. To the assemblies, which met every spring and autumn, each nation sent two hieromnemones (= wardens of holy things) and several pylagorae. The latter took part in the debates, but only the former had the right of voting. When a nation included several States, these took by turns the privilege of sending deputies. But the stronger states, such as the Ionian Athens or the Dorian Sparta, were probably allowed to take their turn oftener than the rest, or even to send to every assembly. When violations of the sanctuaries or of popular right took place the assembly could inflict fines, or even expulsion; and a State that would not submit to the punishment had a "holy war" (or Sacred War) declared against it. By such a war the Phocians were expelled B.C. 346, and their two votes given to the Macedonians; but the expulsion of the former was withdrawn because of the glorious part they took in defending the Delphian temple when threatened by the Gauls in B.C. 279, and at the same time the Aetolian community, which had already made itself master of the sanctuary, was acknowledged as a new member of the league. In B.C. 191 the number of members amounted to seventeen, who nevertheless had only twenty-four votes, seven having two votes each, the rest only one. Under the Roman rule the league continued to exist, but its action was now limited to the care of the Delphian temple. It was reorganized by Augustus, who incorporated the Malians, Magnetians, Aenianes, and Pythians with the Thessalians, and substituted for the extinct Dolopes the city of Nicopolis in Acarnania, which he had founded after the battle of Actium. The last notice we find of the league is in the second century A.D.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


The Sacred War

   When Callistratus was archon at Athens (355/4 BC), the Romans elected as consuls Marcus Fabius and Gaius Plautius. During their term of office the Sacred War, as it was called, began and lasted nine years(comm.: correct to ten years). For Philomelus the Phocian, a man of unusual audacity and lawlessness, seized the shrine in Delphi and kindled the Sacred War for reasons somewhat as follows. When the Lacedaemonians had fought the Leuctrian War with the Boeotians and been defeated, the Thebans brought a serious charge against the Lacedaemonians in the Amphictyonic Council because of their seizure of the Cadmeia and obtained a judgement against them for a large indemnity; and the Phocians for having cultivated a large portion of the consecrated territory named Cirrhaean (1) were arraigned in the Council and were fined a large number of talents. When they did not discharge the assessments, the hieromnemones (2) of the Amphictyons brought charges against the Phocians and demanded of the Council that if the Phocians did not pay the money to the god, they should lay under a curse the land of those who were cheating the god. Likewise they declared that the others against whom judgments had been passed should discharge their fines, the Lacedaemonians being in this category, and if they did not obey, they should incur the common hatred of the Greeks for their knavery. When the Greeks all ratified the decisions of the Amphictyons and the territory of the Phocians was about to be placed under the curse, Philomelus, who had the highest reputation among the Phocians, harangued his fellow countrymen, explaining that they were unable to pay the money on account of the magnitude of the fine, and that to allow the territory to be cursed was not only cowardly but involved them in danger since it was the destruction of the means by which they all lived. He endeavoured also to prove that the judgments of the Amphictyons were unjust in the highest degree, since they had inflicted huge fines for the cultivation of what was a very small parcel of land. Accordingly he advised them to treat the fines as null and void and declared that the Phocians had strong grounds for their case against the Amphictyons: for in ancient times they had held control and guardianship of the oracle. As witness he offered the most ancient and greatest of all poets, Homer who said: "Now over Phocians Schedius ruled and e'en Epistrophus, They dwelt in Cyparissus and in Pytho (Homeric Delphi) land of rocks"(Hom. Il. 2.517-519). On this account he said they should enter a claim for the guardianship of the oracle on the ground that this belonged to the Phocians as an inheritance from their fathers. He promised that he would succeed with the enterprise if they would appoint him general with absolute power for the entire programme and give him complete authority.
  When the Phocians out of fear of the judgement elected him general with absolute power, Philomelus set about energetically to fulfil his promise. First he went to Sparta, where he conversed in private with Archidamus king of the Lacedaemonians, representing that the king had an equal interest in the effort to render null and void the judgments of the Amphictyons, for there existed serious and unjust pronouncements of that Council to the injury of the Lacedaemonians also. He accordingly disclosed to Archidamus that he had decided to seize Delphi and that if he succeeded in obtaining the guardianship of the shrine he would annul the decrees of the Amphictyons. Although Archidamus approved of the proposal, he said he would not for the present give assistance openly, but that he would co-operate secretly in every respect, providing both money and mercenaries. Philomelus, having received from him fifteen talents and having added at least as much on his own account, hired foreign mercenaries and chose a thousand of the Phocians, whom he called peltasts. Then, after he had gathered a multitude of soldiers and had seized the oracle, he slew the group of Delphians called Thracidae(3) who sought to oppose him and confiscated their possessions; but, observing that the others were terror-stricken, he exhorted them to be of good cheer since no danger would befall them. When news of the seizure of the shrine was noised abroad, the Locrians, who lived near by, straightway took the field against Philomelus. A battle took place near Delphi and the Locrians, having been defeated with the loss of many of their men, fled to their own territory, and Philomelus, being elated by his victory, hacked from the slabs the pronouncements of the Amphictyons, deleted the letters recording their judgements, and personally caused the report to be circulated that he had resolved not to plunder the oracle nor had he purposed to commit any other lawless deed, but that in support of the ancestral claim to the guardianship and because of his desire to annul the unjust decrees of the Amphictyons, he was vindicating the ancestral laws of the Phocians.
  The Boeotians, coming together in an assembly, voted to rally to the support of the oracle and immediately dispatched troops. While these things were going on, Philomelus threw a wall around the shrine and began to assemble a large number of mercenaries by raising the pay to half as much again, and selecting the bravest of the Phocians he enrolled them and quickly had a considerable army; for with no less than five thousand troops he took up a position in defence of Delphi, already a formidable adversary for those who wished to make war upon him. Later on, having led an expedition into the territory of the Locrians and laid waste much of the enemy's land, he encamped near a river that flowed past a stronghold. Though he made assaults upon this, he was unable to take it and finally desisted from the siege, but joining battle with the Locrians he lost twenty of his men, and not being able to get possession of their bodies, he asked through a herald the privilege of taking them up. The Locrians, refusing to grant this, gave answer that amongst all the Greeks it was the general law that temple-robbers should be cast forth without burial. Philomelus so resented this that he joined battle with the Locrians and, bending every effort, slew some of the enemy, and having got possession of their bodies compelled the Locrians to make an exchange of the dead. As he was master of the open country, he sacked a large portion of Locris and returned to Delphi, having given his soldiers their fill of the spoils of war. After this, since he wished to consult the oracle for the war, he compelled the Pythian priestess to mount her tripod and deliver the oracle.
  Since I have mentioned the tripod, I think it not inopportune to recount the ancient story which has been handed down about it. It is said that in ancient times goats discovered the oracular shrine, on which account even to this day the Delphians use goats preferably when they consult the oracle. They say that the manner of its discovery was the following. There is a chasm at this place where now is situated what is known as the "forbidden" sanctuary, and as goats had been wont to feed about this because Delphi had not as yet been settled, invariably any goat that approached the chasm and peered into it would leap about in an extraordinary fashion and utter a sound quite different from what it was formerly wont to emit. The herdsman in charge of the goats marvelled at the strange phenomenon and having approached the chasm and peeped down it to discover what it was, had the same experience as the goats, for the goats began to act like beings possessed and the goatherd also began to foretell future events. After this as the report was bruited among the people of the vicinity concerning the experience of those who approached the chasm, an increasing number of persons visited the place and, as they all tested it because of its miraculous character, whosoever approached the spot became inspired. For these reasons the oracle came to be regarded as a marvel and to be considered the prophecy-giving shrine of Earth. For some time all who wished to obtain a prophecy approached the chasm and made their prophetic replies to one another; but later, since many were leaping down into the chasm under the influence of their frenzy and all disappeared, it seemed best to the dwellers in that region, in order to eliminate the risk, to station one woman there as a single prophetess for all and to have the oracles told through her. And for her a contrivance was devised which she could safely mount, then become inspired and give prophecies to those who so desired. And this contrivance has three supports and hence was called a tripod, and, I dare say, all the bronze tripods which are constructed even to this day are made in imitation of this contrivance. In what manner, then, the oracle was discovered and for what reasons the tripod was devised I think I have told at sufficient length. It is said that in ancient times virgins delivered the oracles because virgins have their natural innocence intact and are in the same case as Artemis; for indeed virgins were alleged to be well suited to guard the secrecy of disclosures made by oracles. In more recent times, however, people say that Echecrates the Thessalian, having arrived at the shrine and beheld the virgin who uttered the oracle, became enamoured of her because of her beauty, carried her away with him and violated her; and that the Delphians because of this deplorable occurrence passed a law that in future a virgin should no longer prophesy but that an elderly woman of fifty should declare the oracles and that she should be dressed in the costume of a virgin, as a sort of reminder of the prophetess of olden times.
Such are the details of the legend regarding the discovery of the oracle; and now we shall turn to the activities of Philomelus.
  When Philomelus had control of the oracle he directed the Pythia to make her prophecies from the tripod in the ancestral fashion. But when she replied that such was not the ancestral fashion, he threatened her harshly and compelled her to mount the tripod. Then when she frankly declared, referring to the superior power of the man who was resorting to violence: "It is in your power to do as you please," he gladly accepted her utterance and declared that he had the oracle which suited him. He immediately had the oracle inscribed and set it up in full view, and made it clear to everyone that the god gave him the authority to do as he pleased. Having got together an assembly and disclosed the prophecy to the multitude and urged them to be of good cheer, he turned to the business of the war. There came to him an omen as well, in the temple of Apollo, namely an eagle which, after flying over the temple of the god and swooping down to earth, preyed upon the pigeons which were maintained in the temple precincts, some of which it snatched away from the very altars. Those versed in such matters declared that the omen indicated to Philomelus and the Phocians that they would control the affairs of Delphi. Elated accordingly by these events, he selected the best qualified of his friends for the embassies, and sent some to Athens, some to Lacedaemon, and some to Thebes; and he likewise sent envoys to the other most distinguished cities of the Greek world, explaining that he had seized Delphi, not with any designs upon its sacred properties but to assert a claim to the guardianship of the sanctuary; for this guardianship had been ordained in early times as belonging to the Phocians. He said he would render due account of the property to all the Greeks and expressed himself as ready to report the weight and the number of the dedications to all who wished an examination. But he requested that, if any through enmity or envy were to engage in war against the Phocians, these cities should preferably join forces with him, or, if not, at least maintain peaceful relations. When the envoys had accomplished their appointed mission, the Athenians, Lacedaemonians, and some others arranged an alliance with him and promised assistance, but the Boeotians, Locrians, and some others passed decrees to the contrary intent and renewed the war in behalf of the god upon the Phocians.
Such were the events of this year.
  When Diotimus was archon at Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Gaius Marcius and Gnaeus Manlius. During their term of office Philomelus, foreseeing the magnitude of the war, began to gather a multitude of mercenaries and to select for active duty those of the Phocians who were fit. Although the war required additional funds, he kept his hands off the sacred dedications, but he did exact from the Delphians, who were exceptionally prosperous and wealthy, a sufficient sum of money to pay the mercenaries. Having accordingly prepared a large army, he led it into the open country and was obviously holding himself ready to join issue with any who were hostile to the Phocians. And when the Locrians took the field against him a battle was fought near the cliffs called Phaedriades,1 in which Philomelus won the victory, having slain many of the enemy and taken not a few alive, while some he forced to hurl themselves over the precipices. After this battle the Phocians were elated by their success, but the Locrians, being quite dejected, sent ambassadors to Thebes asking the Boeotians to come to their support and the god's. The Boeotians because of their reverence for the gods and because of the advantage they gained if the decisions of the Amphictyons were enforced, sent embassies to the Thessalians and the other Amphictyons demanding that they make war in common against the Phocians. But when the Amphictyons voted the war against the Phocians much confusion and disagreement reigned throughout the length and breadth of Greece. For some decided to stand by the god and punish the Phocians as temple-robbers, while others inclined toward giving the Phocians assistance
  As tribes and cities were divided in their choice, the Boeotians, Locrians, Thessalians, and Perrhaebians decided to aid the shrine, and in addition the Dorians and Dolopians, likewise the Athamanians, Achaeans of Phthiotis, and the Magnesians, also the Aenianians and some others; while the Athenians, Lacedaemonians, and some others of the Peloponnesians fought on the side of the Phocians. The Lacedaemonians co-operated most eagerly for the following reasons. In the Leuctrian War the Thebans, after defeating the enemy, brought suit before the Amphictyons against the Spartans, the charge being that Phoebidas the Spartan had seized the Cadmeia, and the Amphictyons assessed a fine of five hundred talents for the offence. Then when the Lacedaemonians had had judgement entered against them and failed to pay the fine during the period set by the laws, the Thebans again brought suit, this time for double damages. When the Amphictyons set the judgement at a thousand talents, the Lacedaemonians, on account of the large amount of the fine, made declarations similar to those of the Phocians, saying that an unjust judgement had been rendered against them by the Amphictyons. Wherefore, though their interests were now common, the Lacedaemonians hesitated to begin war by themselves on account of the adverse judgement, but thought that it was more seemly to annul the judgments of the Amphictyons through the agency of the Phocians. For these particular reasons they were very ready to fight on the side of the Phocians and they co-operated in securing for them the guardianship of the sanctuary.
  When it was clear that the Boeotians would take the field with a large army against the Phocians, Philomelus decided to gather a great number of mercenaries. Since the war required ampler funds he was compelled to lay his hands on the sacred dedications and to plunder the oracle. By setting the base pay for the mercenaries at half as much again as was usual he quickly assembled a large number of mercenaries, since many answered the summons to the campaign on account of the size of the pay. Now no men of honourable character enrolled for the campaign because of their reverence for the gods, but the worst knaves, and those who despised the gods, because of their own greed, eagerly gathered about Philomelus and quickly a strong army was formed out of those whose object it was to plunder the shrine. So Philomelus, because of the magnitude of his resources, soon had prepared a considerable army. He immediately advanced into the territory of the Locrians with soldiers both foot and horse amounting to more than ten thousand. When the Locrians marshalled their forces to meet him and the Boeotians came to the support of the Locrians, a cavalry battle ensued in which the Phocians had the superiority. After this the Thessalians together with the allies from neighbouring districts, having assembled to the number of six thousand, arrived in Locris and joining battle with the Phocians met with a defeat by a hill called Argolas. When the Boeotians put in an appearance with thirteen thousand men and the Achaeans from the Peloponnesus came to the support of the Phocians with fifteen hundred, the armies encamped over against one another, both assembled in one place.
  After this the Boeotians, who had taken captive on foraging parties a good many mercenaries, brought them out in front of the city and made an announcement by heralds that the Amphictyons were punishing with death these men present who had enlisted with the temple-robbers; and immediately, making the deed follow the word, shot them all down. But the mercenaries serving with the Phocians were so enraged by this that they demanded of Philomelus that he mete out the like punishment to the enemy, and then, when, bending every effort, they had taken captive many men who were straggling up and down the countryside where the enemy were, they brought them back and all these Philomelus shot. Through this punishment they forced the opposite side to give up their overweening and cruel vengeance. After this, as the armies were invading another district and were making a march through heavily wooded rough regions, both vanguards suddenly became intermingled. An engagement took place and then a sharp battle in which the Boeotians, who far outnumbered the Phocians, defeated them. As the flight took place through precipitous and almost impassable country1 many of the Phocians and their mercenaries were cut down. Philomelus, after he had fought courageously and had suffered many wounds, was driven into a precipitous area and there hemmed in, and since there was no exit from it and he feared the torture after capture, he hurled himself over the cliff and having thus made atonement to the gods ended his life Onomarchus, his colleague in the generalship, having succeeded to the command and retreated with such of his force as survived, collected any who returned from the flight...
  When Thudemus was archon at Athens (353/2 BC), the Romans elected as consuls Marcus Poplius and Marcus Fabius. During their term of office, now that the Boeotians had won a victory over the Phocians and were of the opinion that the fate of Philomelus, who was chiefly responsible for the plundering of the temple and who had been punished by gods and men, would deter the rest from like villainy, they returned to their own country. But the Phocians, now freed from the war, for the present returned to Delphi and there meeting with their allies in a common assembly deliberated on the war. The moderate party inclined toward the peace, but the irreligious, the hot-headed and avaricious were of the opposite opinion and were looking around to find the proper spokesman to support their lawless aims. When Onomarchus arose and delivered a carefully argued speech urging them to adhere to their original purpose, he swung the sentiment of the gathering toward war, though he did so not so much with the intention of consulting the common welfare as with a view to his own interests, for he had been sentenced frequently and severely by the Amphictyons in the same manner as the rest and had not discharged the fines. Accordingly, seeing that war was more desirable for himself than peace, he quite logically urged the Phocians and their allies to adhere to the project of Philomelus. Having been chosen general with supreme command, he began to collect a large number of mercenaries, and, filling the gaps in his ranks caused by the casualties and having increased his army by the large number of foreigners enrolled, he set about making great preparations of allies and of everything else that is serviceable for war.
  He was greatly encouraged in this undertaking by a dream which gave intimation of great increase of power and glory. In his sleep, namely, it seemed that he was remodelling with his own hands the bronze statue which the Amphictyons had dedicated in the temple of Apollo, making it much taller and larger. He accordingly assumed that a sign was being given to him from the gods that there would be an increase of glory because of his services as general. But the truth turned out to be otherwise, rather the contrary was indicated because of the fact that the Amphictyons had dedicated the statue out of the fines paid by the Phocians who had acted lawlessly toward the shrine and had been fined for so doing. What was indicated was that the fine of the Phocians would take on an increase at the hands of Onomarchus; and such turned out to be the case. Onomarchus, when he had been chosen general in supreme command, prepared a great supply of weapons from the bronze and iron, and having struck coinage from the silver and gold distributed it among the allied cities and chiefly gave it as bribes to the leaders of those cities. Indeed he succeeded in corrupting many of the enemy too, some of whom he persuaded to fight on his side, and others he required to maintain the peace. He easily accomplished everything because of man's greed. In fact he persuaded even the Thessalians, who were held in highest esteem amongst the allies, by bribes to maintain the peace. In his dealings with the Phocians also he arrested and executed those who opposed him and confiscated their property. After invading the territory of the enemy (Locrians) he took Thronion by storm and reduced its inhabitants to slavery, and having intimidated the Amphissans by threats he forced them to submit. He sacked the cities of the Dorians and ravaged their territory. He invaded Boeotia, captured Orchomenus, then, having attempted to reduce Chaeroneia by siege and being defeated by the Thebans, he returned to his own territory...
...After this Philip in response to a summons from the Thessalians entered Thessaly with his army, and at first carried on a war against Lycophron, tyrant of Pherae, in support of the Thessalians; but later, when Lycophron summoned an auxiliary force from his allies the Phocians, Phayllus, the brother of Onomarchus, was dispatched with seven thousand men. But Philip defeated the Phocians and drove them out of Thessaly. Then Onomarchus came in haste with his entire military strength to the support of Lycophron, believing that he would dominate all Thessaly. When Philip in company with the Thessalians joined battle against the Phocians, Onomarchus with his superior numbers defeated him in two battles and slew many of the Macedonians. As for Philip, he was reduced to the uttermost perils and his soldiers were so despondent that they had deserted him, but by arousing the courage of the majority, he got them with great difficulty to obey his orders. Later Philip withdrew to Macedonia, and Onomarchus, marching into Boeotia, defeated the Boeotians in battle (At Hermeum) and took the city of Coroneia. As for Thessaly, however, Philip had just at that time returned with his army from Macedonia and had taken the field against Lycophron, tyrant of Pherae. Lycophron, however, since he was no match for him in strength, summoned reinforcements from his allies the Phocians, promising jointly with them to organize the government of all Thessaly. So when Onomarchus in haste came to his support with twenty thousand foot and five hundred horse, Philip, having persuaded the Thessalians to prosecute the war in common, gathered them all together, numbering more than twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse. A severe battle took place and since the Thessalian cavalry were superior in numbers and valour, Philip won. Because Onomarchus had fled toward the sea and Chares the Athenian was by chance sailing by with many triremes, a great slaughter of the Phocians took place, for the men in their effort to escape would strip off their armour and try to swim out to the triremes, and among them was Onomarchus. Finally more than six thousand of the Phocians and mercenaries were slain, and among them the general himself; and no less than three thousand were taken captives. Philip hanged Onomarchus; the rest he threw into the sea as temple-robbers.
  After the death of Onomarchus his brother Phayllus succeeded to the command of the Phocians. In an attempt to retrieve the disaster, he began to gather a multitude of mercenaries, offering double the customary pay, and summoned help from his allies. He got ready also a large supply of arms and coined gold and silver money...
  When Aristodemus was archon at Athens(352/1 BC), the Romans elected as consuls Gaius Sulpicius and Marcus Valerius, and the one hundred seventh celebration of the Olympian games was held, in which Micrinas of Tarentum won the stadion race. During their term of office Phayllus, the general of the Phocians after the death and defeat of his brother, effected another revival of the affairs of the Phocians, then at a low ebb on account of the defeat and slaughter of their soldiers. For since he had an inexhaustible supply of money he gathered a large body of mercenaries, and persuaded not a few allies to co-operate in renewing the war. In fact, by making lavish use of his abundance of money he not only procured many individuals as enthusiastic helpers, but also lured the most renowned cities into joining his enterprise. The Lacedaemonians, for example, sent him a thousand soldiers, the Achaeans two thousand, the Athenians five thousand foot and four hundred horse with Nausicles as their general. The tyrants of Pherae, Lycophron and Peitholaus, who were destitute of allies after the death of Onomarchus, gave Pherae over to Philip, while they themselves, being protected by terms of truce, brought together their mercenaries to the number of two thousand, and, having fled with these to Phayllus, joined the Phocians as allies. Not a few of the lesser cities as well actively supported the Phocians because of the abundance of money that had been distributed; for gold that incites man's covetousness compelled them to desert to the side which would enable them to profit from their gains. Phayllus accordingly with his army carried the campaign into Boeotia, and, suffering defeat near the city of Orchomenus, lost a great number of men. Later in another battle that took place by the Cephisus River the Boeotians won again and slew over five hundred of the enemy and took no fewer than four hundred prisoners. A few days later, in a battle that took place near Coroneia, the Boeotians were victorious and slew fifty of the Phocians, and took one hundred thirty prisoners.
Now that we have recounted the affairs of the Boeotians and Phocians we shall return to Philip.
  Philip, after his defeat of Onomarchus in a noteworthy battle, put an end to the tyranny in Pherae, and, after restoring its freedom to the city and settling all other matters in Thessaly, advanced to Thermopylae, intending to make war on the Phocians. But since the Athenians prevented him from penetrating the pass, he returned to Macedonia, having enlarged his kingdom not only by his achievements but also by his reverence toward the god. Phayllus, having made a campaign into the Locris known as Epicnemidian, succeeded in capturing all the cities but one named Naryx, which he had taken by treachery at night but from which he was expelled again with the loss of two hundred of his men. Later as he was encamped near a place called Abae, the Boeotians attacked the Phocians at night and slew a great number of them; then, elated by their success, they passed into Phocian territory, and, by pillaging a great portion of it, gathered a quantity of booty. As they were on their way back and were assisting the city of the Narycaeans, which was under siege, Phayllus suddenly appeared, put the Boeotians to flight, and having taken the city by storm, plundered and razed it. But Phayllus himself, falling sick of a wasting disease, after a long illness, suffering great pain as befitted his impious life, died, leaving Phalaecus, son of the Onomarchus who had kindled the Sacred War, as general of the Phocians, a stripling in years, at whose side he had placed as guardian and supporting general Mnaseas, one of his own friends. After this in a night attack upon the Phocians the Boeotians slew their general Mnaseas and about two hundred of his men. A short while later in a cavalry battle which took place near Chaeroneia, Phalaecus was defeated and lost a large number of his cavalry.
  While these things were going on, throughout the Peloponnese also disturbances and disorders had occurred for the following reasons. The Lacedaemonians, being at variance with the Megalopolitans, overran their country with Archidamus in command, and the Megalopolitans, incensed over their actions but not strong enough to fight by themselves, summoned aid from their allies(4). Now the Argives, Sicyonians, and Messenians in full force and with all speed came to their assistance; and the Thebans dispatched four thousand foot and five hundred horse with Cephision placed in charge as general. The Megalopolitans accordingly, having taken the field with their allies, encamped near the headwaters of the Alpheius River, while the Lacedaemonians were reinforced by three thousand foot-soldiers from the Phocians and one hundred fifty cavalry from Lycophron and Peitholaus, the exiled tyrants of Pherae, and, having mustered an army capable of doing battle, encamped by Mantineia. Then having advanced to the Argive city of Orneae, they captured it before the arrival of the enemy, for it was an ally of the Megalopolitans. When the Argives took the field against them, they joined battle and defeated them and slew more than two hundred. Then the Thebans appeared, and since they were in number twice as many though inferior in discipline, a stubborn battle was engaged; and as the victory hung in doubt, the Argives and their allies withdrew to their own cities, while the Lacedaemonians, after invading Arcadia and taking the city Helissus by storm and plundering it, returned to Sparta. Some time after this the Thebans with their allies conquered the enemy near Telphusa and after slaying many took captive Anaxander, who was in command, along with more than sixty others. A short time later they had the advantage in two other battles and felled a considerable number of their opponents. Finally, when the Lacedaemonians proved victorious in an important battle, the armies on both sides withdrew to their own cities. Then when the Lacedaemonians made an armistice with the Megalopolitans the Thebans went back to Boeotia. But Phalaecus, who was lingering in Boeotia, seized Chaeroneia and when the Thebans came to its rescue, was expelled from that city. Then the Boeotians, who now with a large army invaded Phocis, sacked the greater portion of it and plundered the farms throughout the countryside; and having taken also some of the small towns and gathered an abundance of booty, they returned to Boeotia.
  When Theellus was archon in Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Marcus Fabius and Titus Quintius. During their term of office the Thebans, growing weary of the war against the Phocians and finding themselves short of funds, sent ambassadors to the King of the Persians urging him to furnish the city with a large sum of money. Artaxerxes, readily acceding to the request, made a gift to them of three hundred talents of silver. Between the Boeotians and the Phocians skirmishes and raids on each other's territory occurred but no actions worth mentioning took place during this year.

This extract is from: Diodorus Siculus, Library (ed. C. H. Oldfather, 1989). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

You are able to search for more information in greater and/or surrounding areas by choosing one of the titles below and clicking on "more".

GTP Headlines

Receive our daily Newsletter with all the latest updates on the Greek Travel industry.

Subscribe now!
Greek Travel Pages: A bible for Tourism professionals. Buy online

Ferry Departures