city: Paus. 2.19.3-Paus. 2.24.4
most powerful in heroic age: Paus. 7.17.1
suzerain of Corinth: Paus. 2.4.2
ruled by three dynasties of kings simultaneously: Paus. 2.18.4
Amphiaraus at: Apollod. 1.8.2
Tydeus at: Apollod. 1.8.5
madness of the women of: Apollod. 1.9.13
Melampus receives part of the kingdom of: Apollod. 1.9.13
Herakles returns to: Apollod. 1.9.18
river Inachus in: Apollod. 1.9.28
Danaus, king of: Apollod. 2.1.4
the inhabitants of Argos called Danai by Danaus: Apollod. 2.1.4
the sons of Egyptus come to: Apollod. 2.1.4
Lynceus, king of: Apollod. 2.1.5
Acrisius, king of: Apollod. 2.2.1
Amphitryon banished from: Apollod. 2.4.6, Apollod. 2.4.6
allotted to Temenus: Apollod. 2.8.3
toad a symbol of: Apollod. 2.8.4
Polyidus departs to: Apollod. 3.3.1
expedition of Dionysus against: Paus. 2.22.1
Dionysus drives the women mad at: Apollod. 3.5.2
Polynices goes to: Apollod. 3.5.9
Telephus comes to, to be healed by Achilles: Apollod. E.3.18
the Greeks sail from, to Aulis: Apollod. E.3.20
Amphilochian Argos colonized by Amphilochus: Apollod. 3.7.6, Apollod. 3.7.7
Io carried off from Argos: Hdt. 1.1, Hdt. 1.5
war between Sparta and Argos: Hdt. 1.82
Argive musicians: Hdt. 3.131
Cadmeans expelled from Boeotia by Argives: Hdt. 5.57, Hdt. 5.61
war with Sicyon: Hdt. 5.67
Argive tribes: Hdt. 5.68
alliance with Aegina against Athens: Hdt. 5.86-89
war against Sparta: Hdt. 6.75-84
quarrel with Aegina: Hdt. 6.92
Argive neutrality in the Persian war: Hdt. 7.148-152
good offices to Mardonius: Hdt. 9.12
madness of Argive women: Hdt. 9.34
feud between Argos and Lacedaemon: Hdt. 1.82
attacked by Lacedaemonians: Paus. 3.5.8 ff.
joins Achaean League: Paus. 2.8.6
battle between Pyrrhus and Antigonus at: Paus. 1.13.8
The acropolis of the Argives is said to have been founded by Danaus,
who is reputed to have surpassed so much those who reigned in this region before
him that, according to Euripides,
"throughout Greece he laid down a law that all people hitherto named Pelasgians should be called Danaans."
Moreover, his tomb is in the center of the marketplace of the Argives; and it is called Palinthus. And I think that it was the fame of this city that prepared the way, not only for the Pelasgians and the Danaans, as well as the Argives, to be named after it, but also for the rest of the Greeks; and so, too, the more recent writers speak of "Iasidae," "Iasian Argos," "Apia," and "Apidones"; but Homer does not mention the "Apidones," though he uses the word "apia,"43 rather of a "distant" land. To prove that by Argos the poet means the Peloponnesus, we can add the following examples:
"There is a city Ephyra in the inmost part of Argos,"
"and that over many islands and all Argos he should be lord."
And in the more recent writers the plain, too, is called Argos, but not once in Homer. Yet they think that this is more especially a Macedonian or Thessalian usage.
After the descendants of Danaus succeeded to the reign in Argos, and the Amythaonides, who were emigrants from Pisatis and Triphylia, became associated with these, one should not be surprised if, being kindred, they at first so divided the country into two kingdoms that the two cities in them which held the hegemony were designated as the capitals, though situated near one another, at a distance of less than fifty stadia, I mean Argos and Mycenae, and that the Heraeum near Mycenae was a temple common to both. In this temple are the images made by Polycleitus, in execution the most beautiful in the world, but in costliness and size inferior to those by Pheidias. Now at the outset Argos was the more powerful, but later Mycenae waxed more powerful on account of the removal thereto of the Pelopidae; for, when everything fell to the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon, being the elder, assumed the supreme power, and by a combination of good fortune and valor acquired much of the country in addition to the possessions he already had; and indeed he also added Laconia to the territory of Mycenae. Now Menelaus came into possession of Laconia, but Agamemnon received Mycenae and the regions as far as Corinth and Sicyon and the country which at that time was called the country of the Ionians and Aegialians but later the country of the Achaeans. But after the Trojan times, when the empire of Agamemnon had been broken up, it came to pass that Mycenae was reduced, and particularly after the return of the Heracleidae; for when these had taken possession of the Peloponnesus they expelled its former masters, so that those who held Argos also held Mycenae as a component part of one whole. But in later times Mycenae was razed to the ground by the Argives, so that today not even a trace of the city of the Mycenaeans is to be found. And since Mycenae has suffered such a fate, one should not be surprised if also some of the cities which are catalogued as subject to Argos have now disappeared. Now the Catalogue contains the following:
"And those who held Argos, and Tiryns of the great walls, and Hermione and Asine that occupy a deep gulf, and Troezen and Eiones and vine-clad Epidaurus, and the youths of the Achaeans who held Aegina and Mases."
But of the cities just named I have already discussed Argos, and now I must discuss the others.
So then, of the cities in the Peloponnesus, Argos and Sparta
prove to have been, and still are, the most famous; and, since they are much spoken
of, there is all the less need for me to describe them at length, for if I did
so I should seem to be repeating what has been said by all writers. Now in early
times Argos was the more famous, but later and ever afterwards the Lacedaemonians
excelled, and persisted in preserving their autonomy, except perhaps when they
chanced to make some slight blunder. Now the Argives did not, indeed, admit Pyrrhus
into their city (in fact, he fell before the walls, when a certain old woman,
as it seems, dropped a tile upon his head), but they became subject to other kings;
and after they had joined the Achaean League they came, along with the Achaeans,
under the dominion of Rome;
and their city persists to this day second in rank after Sparta.
The change of females into males is undoubtedly no fable. We find it stated in the Annals, that, in the consulship of P. Licinius Crassus and C. Cassius Longinus, a girl, who was living at Casinum with her parents, was changed into a boy; and that, by the command of the Aruspices, he was con- veyed away to a desert island. Licinius Mucianus informs us, that he once saw at Argos a person whose name was then Arescon, though he had been formerly called Arescusa: that this person had been married to a man, but that, shortly after, a beard and marks of virility made their appearance, upon which he took to himself a wife.
In the city of Argos (390-369 BC) civil strife broke out accompanied
by slaughter of a greater number than is recorded ever to have occurred anywhere
else in Greece. Among the Greeks this revolutionary movement was called "Club-law,"
receiving this appellation on account of the manner of the execution. Now the
strife arose from the following causes: the city of Argos1 had a democratic form
of government, and certain demagogues instigated the populace against the outstanding
citizens of property and reputation. The victims of the hostile charges then got
together and decided to overthrow the democracy. When some of those who were thought
to be implicated were subjected to torture, all but one, fearing the agony of
torture, committed suicide, but this one came to terms under torture, received
a pledge of immunity, and as informer denounced thirty of the most distinguished
citizens, and the democracy without a thorough investigation put to death all
those who were accused and confiscated their property. But many others were under
suspicion, and as the demagogues supported false accusations, the mob was wrought
up to such a pitch of savagery that they condemned to death all the accused, who
were many and wealthy. When, however, more than twelve hundred influential men
had been removed, the populace did not spare the demagogues themselves. For because
of the magnitude of the calamity the demagogues were afraid that some unforeseen
turn of fortune might overtake them and therefore desisted from their accusation,
whereas the mob, now thinking that they had been left in the lurch by them, were
angry at this and put to death all the demagogues. So these men received the punishment
which fitted their crimes as if some divinity were visiting its just resentment
upon them, and the people, eased of their mad rage, were restored to their senses.
The Spartans too were so eagerly desirous of winning Tisamenus that
they granted everything that he demanded. When they had granted him this also,
Tisamenus of Elis, now a Spartan, engaged in divination for them and aided them
to win five very great victories. No one on earth save Tisamenus and his brother
ever became citizens of Sparta. Now the five victories were these: one, the first,
this victory at Plataea; next, that which was won at Tegea over the Tegeans and
Argives; after that, over all the Arcadians save the Mantineans at Dipaea; next,
over the Messenians at Ithome; lastly, the victory at Tanagra over the Athenians
and Argives, which was the last won of the five victories. (Hdt. 9.35.1)
Commentary: from W. W. How, J. Wells
This brief summary is our earliest and most authentic record of an anti-Spartan movement in the Peloponnese, which does much to explain the free hand allowed to Athens in the Aegean after 476 B. C., and the rapid growth of her power. The most certain point in the movement is the sunoikismos at Elis before 470 (Diodor. xi. 54; Strabo 337) with the democratic changes that accompanied it, especially the formation of ten local tribes (Paus. v. 9. 5) and the establishment of a boule of 500, later increased to 600 (Thuc. v. 47); cf. Busolt, iii. 116 f. The democratic constitution of Argos, with its popular assembly (Thuc. v. 28, 31), boule, and law court, may date from this time; certainly it is not later than 460 B. C. On the other hand the sunoikismos (Strabo 337) and the democratic movement at Mantinea (Ar. Pol. 1318 b 25-7), placed circ. 470 B. C. by Busolt, should be dated ten years later, since Mantinea took no part in the battle of Dipaea, and assisted Sparta in the Messenian war, i. e. at Ithome (Xen. Hell. v. 2, 3).
H. must be taken to mean that Tisamenus and Hegias were the only foreigners admitted to Spartan citizenship in historical times, a striking example of an exclusiveness eventually fatal to the state; cf. Tac. Ann. xi. 24. H. clearly knew nothing of the alleged grants to Tyrtaeus (Plato, Leg. 629 A; Plutarch, Mor. 230 D) and to Alcman (Plut. Mor. 600 E).
The battle at Ithome was apparently in the third Messenian war; that at Tanagra, in 457 B.C. (Thuc. 1.107). Nothing is known of the battles at Tegea and Dipaea...for Tanagra (cf. Thuc. i. 107-8) the Athenians received aid from Argos, Cleonae (Paus. i. 29. 5, 7), and other allies.
Dipaea (Paus. viii. 27. 3; Isocr. Arch. 6. 99), on the river Helison (Paus. viii. 30. 1), in the district Maenalia (Paus. iii. 11. 7), perhaps the modern Dabia. The Argives are believed to have been kept away from this battle by the siege of Tiryns (cf. vi. 83. 2 n.), and the Mantineans stood aloof, doubtless from hostility to Tegea (Meyer, iii, § 285). The Spartans, though greatly outnumbered (Isocr. l. c.), gained a decisive victory, which restored their prestige in the Peloponnese.
Commentary: from Reginald Walter Macan
The battle of Tegea, against the Tegeatai and Argives, like the two which succeed it, was an episode in those polemoi oikeioi which, according to Thuc. 1. 118. 2, preoccupied the Spartans, during the period of the growth of the power of Athens, but of which unfortunately very few details have been preserved for us. Cp. Strabo 377 meta de ten en Salamini naumachian Argeioi meta Kleonaion kai Tegeaton epelthontes arden tas Mukenas aneilon kai ten choran dieneimanto. This passage exhibits the Tegeatai in alliance with Argos, and of course opposed to Sparta, at the time of the destruction of Mykenai; cp. c. 28 supra; but that was after the outbreak of the Helot war (Busolt, III. i. 121 n.). The battle of Tegea probably falls some years earlier, perhaps while the exiled Leotychidas was in residence there, 6. 72 supra (and Themistokles already in Argos?). It was evidently a victory, but not a decisive victory, for Sparta, as it was followed by a second great battle in Arkadia. Busolt (l.c.) refers the Epigram of Simonides (Bergk iii. 460, No. 102) to the Tegeatai who fell in this fight, and dates the event 473 B.C.
Pansanias (who is the chief authority) makes Dipaia a town on the river Helisson (8. 31. 1) in the Arkadian district of Mainalia (3. 11. 7. cp. c. 11 l. 12 supra); it was one of the townships afterwards absorbed in Megalopolis (8. 27. 3). No details of the battle have been preserved, but it was a contest between the Spartans and all the Arkadians (less the Mantineians) and resulted in a victory for Sparta. The Argives are this time conspicuous by their absence; Busolt (III. i. 121 ff.) conjectnres that they were engaged in the war with Tiryns, places the battle of Dipaia in 471 B C., and ascribes the union of Arkadia to the intrigues of Themistokles.
The date of the battle is 457 B.C. (458-7). The regent Nikomedes was in command of the Lakedaimonians and allies; hence the presence of Teisamenos. The object of the expedition was the restoration of Theban power in Central Greece, as a makeweight against Athens, but the expedition was not an unqualified success from the Spartan point of view.
After the conclusion of the fifty years' truce (the end of Peloponnesian
War) and of the subsequent alliance, the embassies from Peloponnese which had
been summoned for this business returned from Lacedaemon. The rest went straight
home, but the Corinthians first turned aside to Argos and opened negotiations
with some of the men in office there, pointing out that Lacedaemon could have
no good end in view, but only the subjugation of Peloponnese, or she would never
have entered into treaty and alliance with the once detested Athenians, and that
the duty of consulting for the safety of Peloponnese had now fallen upon Argos,
who should immediately pass a decree inviting any Hellenic state that chose, such
state being independent and accustomed to meet fellow-powers upon the fair and
equal ground of law and justice, to make a defensive alliance with the Argives;
appointing a few individuals with plenipotentiary powers, instead of making the
people the medium of negotiation, in order that, in the case of an applicant being
rejected, the fact of his overtures might not be made public. They said that many
would come over from hatred of the Lacedaemonians. After this explanation of their
views the Corinthians returned home.
The persons with whom they had communicated reported the proposal to their government and people, and the Argives passed the decree and chose twelve men to negotiate an alliance for any Hellenic state that wished it, except Athens and Lacedaemon, neither of which should be able to join without reference to the Argive people. Argos came in to the plan the more readily because she saw that war with Lacedaemon was inevitable, the truce being on the point of expiring; and also because she hoped to gain the supremacy of Peloponnese. For at this time Lacedaemon had sunk very low in public estimation because of her disasters, while the Argives were in a most flourishing condition, having taken no part in the Attic war, but having on the contrary profited largely by their neutrality. The Argives accordingly prepared to receive into alliance any of the Hellenes that desired it
The Mantineans and their allies were the first to come over through fear of the Lacedaemonians. Having taken advantage of the war against Athens to reduce a large part of Arcadia into subjection, they thought that Lacedaemon would not leave them undisturbed in their conquests, now that she had leisure to interfere, and consequently gladly turned to a powerful city like Argos, the historical enemy of the Lacedaemonians, and a sister democracy (1). Upon the defection of Mantinea the rest of Peloponnese at once began to agitate the propriety of following her example, conceiving that the Mantineans would not have changed sides without good reason, besides which they were angry with Lacedaemon among other reasons for having inserted in the treaty with Athens that it should be consistent with their oaths for both parties, Lacedaemonians and Athenians, to add to or take away from it according to their discretion. It was this clause that was the real origin of the panic in Peloponnese, by exciting suspicions of a Lacedaemonian and Athenian combination against their liberties: any alteration should properly have been made conditional upon the consent of the whole body of the allies. With these apprehensions there was a very general desire in each state to place itself in alliance with Argos
In the meantime the Lacedaemonians perceiving the agitation going on in Peloponnese, and that Corinth was the author of it and was herself about to enter into alliance with the Argives, sent ambassadors thither in the hope of preventing what was in contemplation. They accused her of having brought it all about, and told her that she could not desert Lacedaemon and become the ally of Argos, without adding violation of her oaths to the crime which she had already committed in not accepting the treaty with Athens, when it had been expressly agreed that the decision of the majority of the allies should be binding, unless the gods or heroes stood in the way. Corinth in her answer, delivered before those of her allies who had like her refused to accept the treaty, and whom she had previously invited to attend, refrained from openly stating the injuries she complained of, such as the non-recovery of Sollium or Anactorium from the Athenians, or any other point in which she thought she had been prejudiced, but took shelter under the pretext that she could not give up her Thracian allies, to whom her separate individual security had been given, when they first rebelled with Potidaea, as well as upon subsequent occasions. She denied, therefore, that she committed any violation of her oaths to the allies in not entering into the treaty with Athens; having sworn upon the faith of the gods to her Thracian friends, she could not honestly give them up. Besides, the expression was, ?unless the gods or heroes stand in the way.? Now here, as it appeared to her, the gods stood in the way. This was what she said on the subject of her former oaths. As to the Argive alliance she would confer with her friends, and do whatever was right. The Lacedaemonian envoys returning home, some Argive ambassadors who happened to be in Corinth pressed her to conclude the alliance without further delay, but were told to attend at the next congress to be held at Corinth. (Thuc. 5.27.1-30.5)
Commentary: from Harold North Fowler
1. This is the first positive mention of a democracy at Argos. It may possibly have been introduced when Argos made an alliance with Athens in 460 B.C.
In the middle of the next summer (418 BC) the Lacedaemonians, seeing
the Epidaurians, their allies, in distress, and the rest of Peloponnese either
in revolt or disaffected, concluded that it was high time for them to interfere
if they wished to stop the progress of the evil, and accordingly with their full
force, the Helots included, took the field against Argos, under the command of
Agis, son of Archidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians. The Tegeans and the other
Arcadian allies of Lacedaemon joined in the expedition. The allies from the rest
of Peloponnese and from outside mustered at Phlius; the Boeotians with five thousand
heavy infantry and as many light troops, and five hundred horse and the same number
of dismounted troopers; the Corinthians with two thousand heavy infantry; the
rest more or less as might happen; and the Phliasians with all their forces, the
army being in their country.
The preparations of the Lacedaemonians from the first had been known to the Argives, who did not, however, take the field until the enemy was on his road to join the rest at Phlius. Reinforced by the Mantineans with their allies, and by three thousand Elean heavy infantry, they advanced and fell in with the Lacedaemonians at Methydrium in Arcadia. Each party took up its position upon a hill, and the Argives prepared to engage the Lacedaemonians while they were alone; but Agis eluded them by breaking up his camp in the night, and proceeded to join the rest of the allies at Phlius. The Argives discovering this at daybreak, marched first to Argos and then to the Nemean road, by which they expected the Lacedaemonians and their allies would come down. However, Agis, instead of taking this road as they expected, gave the Lacedaemonians, Arcadians, and Epidaurians their orders, and went along another difficult road, and descended into the plain of Argos. The Corinthians, Pellenians, and Phliasians marched by another steep road; while the Boeotians, Megarians, and Sicyonians had instructions to come down by the Nemean road where the Argives were posted, in order that if the enemy advanced into the plain against the troops of Agis, they might fall upon his rear with their cavalry. These dispositions concluded, Agis invaded the plain and began to ravage Saminthus and other places.
Discovering this, the Argives came up from Nemea, day having now dawned. On their way they fell in with the troops of the Phliasians and Corinthians, and killed a few of the Phliasians, and had perhaps a few more of their own men killed by the Corinthians. Meanwhile the Boeotians, Megarians, and Sicyonians, advancing upon Nemea according to their instructions, found the Argives no longer there, as they had gone down on seeing their property ravaged, and were now forming for battle, the Lacedaemonians imitating their example. The Argives were now completely surrounded; from the plain the Lacedaemonians and their allies shut them off from their city; above them were the Corinthians, Phliasians, and Pellenians; and on the side of Nemea the Boeotians, Sicyonians, and Megarians. Meanwhile their army was without cavalry, the Athenians alone among the allies not having yet arrived. Now the bulk of the Argives and their allies did not see the danger of their position, but thought that they could not have a fairer field, having intercepted the Lacedaemonians in their own country and close to the city. Two men, however, in the Argive army, Thrasylus, one of the five generals, and Alciphron, the Lacedaemonian Proxenus, just as the armies were upon the point of engaging, went and held a parley with Agis and urged him not to bring on a battle, as the Argives were ready to refer to fair and equal arbitration whatever complaints the Lacedaemonians might have against them, and to make a treaty and live in peace in future.
The Argives who made these statements did so upon their own authority, not by order of the people, and Agis on his accepted their proposals, and without himself either consulting the majority, simply communicated the matter to a single individual, one of the high officers accompanying the expedition, and granted the Argives a truce for four months, in which to fulfil their promises; after which he immediately led off the army without giving any explanation to any of the other allies. The Lacedaemonians and allies followed their general out of respect for the law, but amongst themselves loudly blamed Agis for going away from so fair a field (the enemy being hemmed in on every side by infantry and cavalry) without having done anything worthy of their strength. Indeed this was by far the finest Hellenic army ever yet brought together; and it should have been seen while it was still united at Nemea, with the Lacedaemonians in full force, the Arcadians, Boeotians, Corinthians, Sicyonians, Pellenians, Phliasians and Megarians, and all these the flower of their respective populations, thinking themselves a match not merely for the Argive confederacy, but for another such added to it. The army thus retired blaming Agis, and returned every man to his home. The Argives however blamed still more loudly the persons who had concluded the truce without consulting the people, themselves thinking that they had let escape with the Lacedaemonians an opportunity such as they should never see again; as the struggle would have been under the walls of their city, and by the side of many and brave allies. On their return accordingly they began to stone Thrasylus in the bed of the Charadrus, where they try all military causes before entering the city. Thrasylus fled to the altar, and so saved his life; his property however they confiscated.
After this arrived a thousand Athenian heavy infantry and three hundred horse, under the command of Laches and Nicostratus; whom the Argives, being nevertheless loth to break the truce with the Lacedaemonians, begged to depart, and refused to bring before the people, to whom they had a communication to make, until compelled to do so by the entreaties of the Mantineans and Eleans, who were still at Argos. The Athenians, by the mouth of Alcibiades their ambassador there present, told the Argives and the allies that they had no right to make a truce at all without the consent of their fellow-confederates, and now that the Athenians had arrived so opportunely the war ought to be resumed. These arguments proving successful with the allies, they immediately marched upon Orchomenos, all except the Argives, who, although they had consented like the rest, stayed behind at first, but eventually joined the others. They now all sat down and besieged Orchomenos, and made assaults upon it; one of their reasons for desiring to gain this place being that hostages from Arcadia had been lodged there by the Lacedaemonians. The Orchomenians, alarmed at the weakness of their wall and the numbers of the enemy, and at the risk they ran of perishing before relief arrived, capitulated upon condition of joining the league, of giving hostages of their own to the Mantineans, and giving up those lodged with them by the Lacedaemonians.
Orchomenos thus secured, the allies now consulted as to which of the remaining places they should attack next. The Eleans were urgent for Lepreum; the Mantineans for Tegea; and the Argives and Athenians giving their support to the Mantineans, the Eleans went home in a rage at their not having voted for Lepreum; while the rest of the allies made ready at Mantinea for going against Tegea, which a party inside had arranged to put into their hands.
Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians, upon their return from Argos after concluding the four months' truce, vehemently blamed Agis for not having subdued Argos, after an opportunity such as they thought they had never had before; for it was no easy matter to bring so many and so good allies together. But when the news arrived of the capture of Orchomenos, they became more angry than ever, and, departing from all precedent, in the heat of the moment had almost decided to raze his house, and to fine him ten thousand drachmae. Agis however entreated them to do none of these things, promising to atone for his fault by good service in the field, failing which they might then do to him whatever they pleased; and they accordingly abstained from razing his house or fining him as they had threatened to do, and now made a law, hitherto unknown at Lacedaemon, attaching to him ten Spartans as counsellors, without whose consent he should have no power to lead an army out of the city.
At this juncture arrived word from their friends in Tegea that unless they speedily appeared, Tegea would go over from them to the Argives and their allies, if it had not gone over already. Upon this news a force marched out from Lacedaemon, of the Spartans and Helots and all their people, and that instantly and upon a scale never before witnessed. Advancing to Orestheum in Maenalia, they directed the Arcadians in their league to follow close after them to Tegea, and going on themselves as far as Orestheum, from thence sent back the sixth part of the Spartans, consisting of the oldest and youngest men, to guard their homes, and with the rest of their army arrived at Tegea; where their Arcadian allies soon after joined them. Meanwhile they sent to Corinth, to the Boeotians, the Phocians, and Locrians, with orders to come up as quickly as possible to Mantinea. These had but short notice; and it was not easy except all together, and after waiting for each other, to pass through the enemy's country, which lay right across and blocked up the line of communication. Nevertheless they made what haste they could. Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians with the Arcadian allies that had joined them, entered the territory of Mantinea, and encamping near the temple of Heracles began to plunder the country.
Here they were seen by the Argives and their allies, who immediately took up a strong and difficult position, and formed in order of battle. The Lacedaemonians at once advanced against them, and came on within a stone's throw or javelin's cast, when one of the older men, seeing the enemy's position to be a strong one, hallooed to Agis that he was minded to cure one evil with another; meaning that he wished to make amends for his retreat, which had been so much blamed, from Argos, by his present untimely precipitation. Meanwhile Agis, whether in consequence of this halloo or of some sudden new idea of his own, quickly led back his army without engaging, and entering the Tegean territory, began to turn off into that of Mantinea the water about which the Mantineans and Tegeans are always fighting, on account of the extensive damage it does to whichever of the two countries if falls into. His object in this was to make the Argives and their allies come down from the hill, to resist the diversion of the water, as they would be sure to do when they knew of it, and thus to fight the battle in the plain. He accordingly stayed that day where he was, engaged in turning off the water. The Argives and their allies were at first amazed at the sudden retreat of the enemy after advancing so near, and did not know what to make of it; but when he had gone away and disappeared, without their having stirred to pursue him, they began anew to find fault with their generals, who had not only let the Lacedaemonians get off before, when they were so happily intercepted before Argos, but who now again allowed them to run away, without any one pursuing them, and to escape at their leisure while the Argive army was leisurely betrayed. The generals, half-stunned for the moment, afterwards led them down from the hill, and went forward and encamped in the plain, with the intention of attacking the enemy.
The next day the Argives and their allies formed in the order in which they meant to fight, if they chanced to encounter the enemy; and the Lacedaemonians returning from the water to their old encampment by the temple of Heracles, suddenly saw their adversaries close in front of them, all in complete order, and advanced from the hill. A shock like that of the present moment the Lacedaemonians do not ever remember to have experienced: there was scant time for preparation, as they instantly and hastily fell into their ranks, Agis, their king, directing everything, agreeably to the law. For when a king is in the field all commands proceed from him: he gives the word to the Polemarchs; they to the Lochages; these to the Pentecostyes; these again to the Enomotarchs, and these last to the Enomoties. In short all orders required pass in the same way and quickly reach the troops; as almost the whole Lacedaemonian army, save for a small part, consists of officers under officers, and the care of what is to be done falls upon many.
In this battle the left wing was composed of the Sciritae, who in a Lacedaemonian army have always that post to themselves alone; next to these were the soldiers of Brasidas from Thrace, and the Neodamodes with them; then came the Lacedaemonians themselves, company after company, with the Arcadians of Heraea at their side. After these were the Maenalians, and on the right wing the Tegeans with a few of the Lacedaemonians at the extremity; their cavalry being posted upon the two wings. Such was the Lacedaemonian formation. That of their opponents was as follows: On the right were the Mantineans, the action taking place in their country: next to them the allies from Arcadia; after whom came the thousand picked men of the Argives, to whom the state had given a long course of military training at the public expense; next to them the rest of the Argives, and after them their allies, the Cleonaeans and Orneans, and lastly the Athenians on the extreme left, and their own cavalry with them.
Such were the order and the forces of the two combatants. The Lacedaemonian army looked the largest; though as to putting down the numbers of either host, or of the contingents composing it, I could not do so with any accuracy. Owing to the secrecy of their government the number of the Lacedaemonians was not known, and men are so apt to brag about the forces of their country that the estimate of their opponents was not trusted. The following calculation, however, makes it possible to estimate the numbers of the Lacedaemonians present upon this occasion. There were seven companies in the field without counting the Sciritae, who numbered six hundred men: in each company there were four Pentecostyes, and in the Pentecosty four Enomoties. The first rank of the Enomoty was composed of four soldiers: as to the depth, although they had not been all drawn up alike, but as each captain chose, they were generally ranged eight deep; the first rank along the whole line, exclusive of the Sciritae, consisted of four hundred and forty-eight men.
The armies being now on the eve of engaging, each contingent received some words of encouragement from its own commander. The Mantineans were reminded that they were going to fight for their country and to avoid returning to the experience of servitude after having tasted that of empire; the Argives, that they would contend for their ancient supremacy, to regain their once equal share of Peloponnese of which they had been so long deprived, and to punish an enemy and a neighbor for a thousand wrongs; the Athenians, of the glory of gaining the honors of the day with so many and brave allies in arms, and that a victory over the Lacedaemonians in Peloponnese would cement and extend their empire, and would besides preserve Attica from all invasions in future. These were the incitements addressed to the Argives and their allies. The Lacedaemonians meanwhile, man to man, and with their war-songs in the ranks, exhorted each brave comrade to remember what he had learnt before; well aware that the long training of action was of more saving virtue than any brief verbal exhortation, though never so well delivered.
After this they joined battle, the Argives and their allies advancing with haste and fury, the Lacedaemonians slowly and to the music of many flute-players, a standing institution in their army, that has nothing to do with religion, but is meant to make them advance evenly, stepping in time, without breaking their order, as large armies are apt to do in the moment of engaging.
Just before the battle joined, King Agis resolved upon the following manoeuvre. All armies are alike in this: on going into action they get forced out rather on their right wing, and one and the other overlap with this their adversary's left; because fear makes each man do his best to shelter his unarmed side with the shield of the man next him on the right, thinking that the closer the shields are locked together the better will he be protected. The man primarily responsible for this is the first upon the right wing, who is always striving to withdraw from the enemy his unarmed side; and the same apprehension makes the rest follow him. On the present occasion the Mantineans reached with their wing far beyond the Sciritae, and the Lacedaemonians and Tegeans still farther beyond the Athenians, as their army was the largest. Agis afraid of his left being surrounded, and thinking that the Mantineans outflanked it too far, ordered the Sciritae and Brasideans to move out from their place in the ranks and make the line even with the Mantineans, and told the Polemarchs Hipponoidas and Aristocles to fill up the gap thus formed, by throwing themselves into it with two companies taken from the right wing; thinking that his right would still be strong enough and to spare, and that the line fronting the Mantineans would gain in solidity.
However, as he gave these orders in the moment of the onset, and at short notice, it so happened that Aristocles and Hipponoidas would not move over, for which offence they were afterwards banished from Sparta, as having been guilty of cowardice; and the enemy meanwhile closed before the Sciritae (whom Agis on seeing that the two companies did not move over ordered to return to their place) had time to fill up the breach in question. Now it was, however, that the Lacedaemonians, utterly worsted in respect of skill, showed themselves as superior in point of courage. As soon as they came to close quarters with the enemy, the Mantinean right broke their Sciritae and Brasideans, and bursting in with their allies and the thousand picked Argives into the unclosed breach in their line cut up and surrounded the Lacedaemonians, and drove them in full rout to the wagons, slaying some of the older men on guard there. But the Lacedaemonians, worsted in this part of the field, with the rest of their army, and especially the center, where the three hundred knights, as they are called, fought round King Agis, fell on the older men of the Argives and the five companies so named, and on the Cleonaeans, the Orneans, and the Athenians next them, and instantly routed them; the greater number not even waiting to strike a blow, but giving way the moment that they came on, some even being trodden under foot, in their fear of being overtaken by their assailants.
The army of the Argives and their allies having given way in this quarter was now completely cut in two, and the Lacedaemonian and Tegean right simultaneously closing round the Athenians with the troops that outflanked them, these last found themselves placed between two fires, being surrounded on one side and already defeated on the other. Indeed they would have suffered more severely than any other part of the army, but for the services of the cavalry which they had with them. Agis also on perceiving the distress of his left opposed to the Mantineans and the thousand Argives, ordered all the army to advance to the support of the defeated wing; and while this took place, as the enemy moved past and slanted away from them, the Athenians escaped at their leisure, and with them the beaten Argive division. Meanwhile the Mantineans and their allies and the picked body of the Argives ceased to press the enemy, and seeing their friends defeated and the Lacedaemonians in full advance upon them, took to flight. Many of the Mantineans perished; but the bulk of the picked body of the Argives made good their escape. The flight and retreat, however, were neither hurried nor long; the Lacedaemonians fighting long and stubbornly until the rout of their enemy, but that once effected, pursuing for a short time and not far.
Such was the battle, as nearly as possible as I have described it; the greatest that had occurred for a very long while among the Hellenes, and joined by the most considerable states. The Lacedaemonians took up a position in front of the enemy's dead, and immediately set up a trophy and stripped the slain; they took up their own dead and carried them back to Tegea, where they buried them, and restored those of the enemy under truce. The Argives, Orneans, and Cleonaeans had seven hundred killed; the Mantineans two hundred, and the Athenians and Aeginetans also two hundred, with both their generals. On the side of the Lacedaemonians, the allies did not suffer any loss worth speaking of: as to the Lacedaemonians themselves it was difficult to learn the truth; it is said, however, that there were slain about three hundred of them.
While the battle was impending, Pleistoanax, the other king, set out with a reinforcement composed of the oldest and youngest men, and got as far as Tegea, where he heard of the victory and went back again. The Lacedaemonians also sent and turned back the allies from Corinth and from beyond the Isthmus, and returning themselves dismissed their allies, and kept the Carnean holidays, which happened to be at that time. The imputations cast upon them by the Hellenes at the time, whether of cowardice on account of the disaster in the island, or of mismanagement and slowness generally, were all wiped out by this single action: fortune, it was thought, might have humbled them, but the men themselves were the same as ever.
The day before this battle, the Epidaurians with all their forces invaded the deserted Argive territory, and cut off many of the guards left there in the absence of the Argive army. After the battle three thousand Elean heavy infantry arriving to aid the Mantineans, and a reinforcement of one thousand Athenians, all these allies marched at once against Epidaurus while the Lacedaemonians were keeping the Carnea, and dividing the work among them began to build a wall round the city. The rest left off; but the Athenians finished at once the part assigned to them round Cape Heraeum; and having all joined in leaving a garrison in the fortification in question, they returned to their respective cities. (Thuc. 5.57.1-75.6)
This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.
Summer now came to an end. In the first days of the next winter, when the Carnean
holidays were over, the Lacedaemonians took the field, and arriving at Tegea sent
on to Argos proposals of accommodation.  They had before had a party in the
town desirous of overthrowing the democracy; and after the battle that had been
fought, these were now far more in a position to persuade the people to listen
to terms. Their plan was first to make a treaty with the Lacedaemonians, to be
followed by an alliance, and after this to fall upon the commons.  Lichas,
son of Arcesilaus, the Argive Proxenus, accordingly arrived at Argos with two
proposals from Lacedaemon, to regulate the conditions of war or peace, according
as they preferred the one or the other. After much discussion, Alcibiades happening
to be in the town, the Lacedaemonian party who now ventured to act openly, persuaded
the Argives to accept the proposal for an accommodation; which ran as follows:
The assembly of the Lacedaemonians agrees to treat with the Argives upon the terms following:
1. The Argives shall restore to the Orchomenians their children, and to the Moenalians their men, and shall restore the men they have in Mantinea to the Lacedaemonians.
2. They shall evacuate Epidaurus, and raze the fortification there. If the Athenians refuse to withdraw from Epidaurus, they shall be declared enemies of the Argives and of the Lacedaemonians, and of the allies of the Lacedaemonians and the allies of the Argives.
3. If the Lacedaemonians have any children in their custody, they shall restore them every one to his city.
4. As to the offering to the god, the Argives, if they wish, shall impose an oath upon the Epidaurians, but, if not, they shall swear it themselves.
5. All the cities in Peloponnese, both small and great, shall be independent according to the customs of their country.
6. If any of the powers outside Peloponnese invade Peloponnesian territory, the parties contracting shall unite to repel them, on such terms as they may agree upon, as being most fair for the Peloponnesians.
7. All allies of the Lacedaemonians outside Peloponnese shall be on the same footing as the Lacedaemonians, and the allies of the Argives shall be on the same footing as the Argives, being left in enjoyment of their own possessions.
8. This treaty shall be shown to the allies, and shall be concluded, if they approve: if the allies think fit, they may send the treaty to be considered at home.
The Argives began by accepting this proposal, and the Lacedaemonian army returned home from Tegea. After this intercourse was renewed between them, and not long afterwards the same party contrived that the Argives should give up the league with the Mantineans, Eleans, and Athenians, and should make a treaty and alliance with the Lacedaemonians; which was consequently done upon the terms following:
The Lacedaemonians and Argives agree to a treaty and alliance for fifty years upon the terms following:
1. All disputes shall be decided by fair and impartial arbitration, agreeably to the customs of the two countries.
2. The rest of the cities in Peloponnese may be included in this treaty and alliance, as independent and sovereign, in full enjoyment of what they possess; all disputes being decided by fair and impartial arbitration, agreeably to the customs of the said cities.
3. All allies of the Lacedaemonians outside Peloponnese shall be upon the same footing as the Lacedaemonians themselves, and the allies of the Argives shall be upon the same footing as the Argives themselves, continuing to enjoy what they possess.
4. If it shall be anywhere necessary to make an expedition in common, the Lacedaemonians and Argives shall consult upon it and decide, as may be most fair for the allies.
5. If any of the cities, whether inside or outside Peloponnese, have a question whether of frontiers or otherwise, it must be settled; but if one allied city should have a quarrel with another allied city, it must be referred to some third city thought impartial by both parties. Private citizens shall have their disputes decided according to the laws of their several countries.
The treaty and above alliance concluded, each party at once released everything whether acquired by war or otherwise, and thenceforth acting in common voted to receive neither herald nor embassy from the Athenians unless they evacuated their forts and withdrew from Peloponnese, and also to make neither peace nor war with any, except jointly. Zeal was not wanting: both parties sent envoys to the Thracian places and to Perdiccas, and persuaded the latter to join their league. Still he did not at once break off from Athens, although minded to do so upon seeing the way shown him by Argos, the original home of his family. They also renewed their old oaths with the Chalcidians and took new ones: the Argives, besides, sent ambassadors to the Athenians, bidding them evacuate the fort at Epidaurus. The Athenians, seeing their own men outnumbered by the rest of the garrison, sent Demosthenes to bring them out. This general, under color of a gymnastic contest which he arranged on his arrival, got the rest of the garrison out of the place, and shut the gates behind them. Afterwards the Athenians renewed their treaty with the Epidaurians, and by themselves gave up the fortress.
After the defection of Argos from the league, the Mantineans, though they held out at first, in the end finding themselves powerless without the Argives, themselves too came to terms with Lacedaemon, and gave up their sovereignty over the towns.  The Lacedaemonians and Argives, each a thousand strong, now took the field together, and the former first went by themselves to Sicyon and made the government there more oligarchical than before, and then both, uniting, put down the democracy at Argos and set up an oligarchy favorable to Lacedaemon. These events occurred at the close of the winter, just before spring; and the fourteenth year of the war ended. (Thuc. 5.67.1-81.2)
This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.
The next summer...the popular party at Argos little by little gathered new consistency and courage,
and waited for the moment of the Gymnopaedic festival at Lacedaemon, and then
fell upon the oligarchs. After a fight in the city victory declared for the commons,
who slew some of their opponents and banished others. The Lacedaemonians for a
long while let the messages of their friends at Argos remain without effect. At
last they put off the Gymnopaediae and marched to their succor, but learning at
Tegea the defeat of the oligarchs, refused to go any further in spite of the entreaties
of those who had escaped, and returned home and kept the festival. Later on, envoys
arrived with messages from the Argives in the town and from the exiles, when the
allies were also at Sparta; and after much had been said on both sides, the Lacedaemonians
decided that the party in the town had done wrong, and resolved to march against
Argos, but kept delaying and putting off the matter. Meanwhile the commons at
Argos, in fear of the Lacedaemonians, began again to court the Athenian alliance,
which they were convinced would be of the greatest service to them; and accordingly
proceeded to build long walls to the sea, in order that in case of a blockade
by land, with the help of the Athenians they might have the advantage of importing
what they wanted by sea. Some of the cities in Peloponnese were also privy to
the building of these walls; and the Argives with all their people, women and
slaves not excepted, addressed themselves to the work, while carpenters and masons
came to them from Athens.
The winter following the Lacedaemonians, hearing of the walls that were building, marched against Argos with their allies, the Corinthians excepted, being also not without intelligence in the city itself; Agis, son of Archidamus, their king, was in command. The intelligence which they counted upon within the town came to nothing; they however took and razed the walls which were being built, and after capturing the Argive town Hysiae and killing all the freemen that fell into their hands, went back and dispersed every man to his city. After this the Argives marched into Phlius and plundered it for harboring their exiles, most of whom had settled there, and so returned home.(Thuc. 5.82.2-83.3)
The oligarchy which was established in Argos pros ear, say in March, lasted until the time of the gymnopaediae, a period of about five months, since this festival took place in Hecatombaeum (about July). During this period the secret meetings and deliberations of the popular party were held, until sufficient confidence for a rising had been gained. Paus., ii. 20. 2, says that this fierce insurrection broke out because the leader of the chilioi logades outraged the betrothed bride of a man of the common people, and this may have been the immediate occasion of the outbreak.
Gymnopaediae = this was a festival somewhat resembling the Lupercalia at Rome, in which boys and men danced naked, each arranged in distinct chori, the movements expressing warlike and gymnastic contests; while at the same time coarse and licentious language was interchanged, as in the Roman triumphs. The festival was mainly in honour of Apollo.
The same winter the Lacedaemonians and their allies, the Corinthians
expected, marched into the Argive territory, and ravaged a small part of the land,
and took some yokes of oxen and carried off some corn. They also settled the Argive
exiles at Orneae, and left them a few soldiers taken from the rest of the army;
and after making a truce for a certain while, according to which neither Orneatae
nor Argives were to injure each other's territory, returned home with the army.
Not long afterwards the Athenians came with thirty ships and six hundred heavy
infantry, and the Argives joining them with all their forces, marched out and
besieged the men in Orneae for one day; but the garrison escaped by night, the
besiegers having bivouacked some way off. The next day the Argives, discovering
it, razed Orneae to the ground, and went back again; after which the Athenians
went home in their ships.
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