History of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides

Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.

Meanwhile the army of the Peloponnesians was advancing.

The first town they came to in Attica was Oenoe, where they were to enter the country.

Sitting down before it, they prepared to assault the wall with engines and otherwise.

Oenoe, standing upon the Athenian and Boeotian border, was of course a walled town, and was used as a fortress by the Athenians in time of war.

So the Peloponnesians prepared for their assault, and wasted some valuable time before the place.

This delay brought the gravest censure upon Archidamus.

Even during the levying of the war he had gained credit for weakness and Athenian sympathies by the half measures he had advocated; and after the army had assembled he had further injured himself in public estimation by his loitering at the Isthmus and the slowness with which the rest of the march had been conducted.

But all this was as nothing to the delay at Oenoe.

During this interval the Athenians were carrying in their property; and it was the belief of the Peloponnesians that a quick advance would have found everything still out, had it not been for his procrastination.

Such was the feeling of the army towards Archidamus during the siege.

But he, it is said, expected that the Athenians would shrink from letting their land be wasted, and would make their submission while it was still uninjured; and this was why he waited.