History of the Peloponnesian War


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

The same summer and simultaneously with the expedition against Plataea, the Athenians marched with two thousand heavy infantry and two hundred horse against the Chalcidians in the direction of Thrace and the Bottiaeans, just as the corn was getting ripe, under the command of Xenophon, son of Euripides, with two colleagues.

Arriving before Spartolus in Bottiaea, they destroyed the corn and had some hopes of the city coming over through the intrigues of a faction within.

But those of a different way of thinking had sent to Olynthus; and a garrison of heavy infantry and other troops arrived accordingly.

These issuing from Spartolus were engaged by the Athenians in front of the town:

the Chalcidian heavy infantry, and some auxiliaries with them, were beaten and retreated into Spartolus; but the Chalcidian horse and light troops defeated the horse and light troops of the Athenians.

The Chalcidians had already a few targeteers from Crusis, and presently after the battle were joined by some others from Olynthus;

upon seeing whom the light troops from Spartolus, emboldened by this accession and by their previous success, with the help of the Chalcidian horse and the reinforcement just arrived again attacked the Athenians, who retired upon the two divisions which they had left with their baggage.

Whenever the Athenians advanced, their adversary gave way, pressing them with missiles the instant they began to retire.

The Chalcidian horse also, riding up and charging them just as they pleased, at last caused a panic amongst them and routed and pursued them to a great distance.

The Athenians took refuge in Potidaea, and afterwards recovered their dead under truce, and returned to Athens with the remnant of their army; four hundred and thirty men and all the generals having fallen.

The Chalcidians and Bottiaeans set up a trophy, took up their dead, and dispersed to their several cities.