History of the Peloponnesian War


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

The Lacedaemonians now sent to the fleet to Cnemus three commissioners, Timocrates, Brasidas, and Lycophron, with orders to prepare to engage again with better fortune, and not to be driven from the sea by a few vessels;

for they could not at all account for their discomfiture, the less so as it was their first attempt at sea; and they fancied that it was not that their marine was so inferior, but that there had been misconduct somewhere, not considering the long experience of the Athenians as compared with the little practice which they had had themselves.

The commissioners were accordingly sent in anger.

As soon as they arrived they set to work with Cnemus to order ships from the different states, and to put those which they already had in fighting order.

Meanwhile Phormio sent word to Athens of their preparations and his own victory, and desired as many ships as possible to be speedily sent to him, as he stood in daily expectation of a battle.

Twenty were accordingly sent, but instructions were given to their commander to go first to Crete.

For Nicias, a Cretan of Gortys, who was Proxenus of the Athenians, had persuaded them to sail against Cydonia, promising to procure the reduction of that hostile town; his real wish being to oblige the Polichnitans, neighbors of the Cydonians.

He accordingly went with the ships to Crete, and, accompanied by the Polichnitans, laid waste the lands of the Cydonians; and, what with adverse winds and stress of weather, wasted no little time there.