History of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides

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

About the same time in this summer, the Plataean being now without provisions, and unable to support the siege, surrendered to the Peloponnesians in the following manner.

An assault had been made upon the wall, which the Plataeans were unable to repel.

The Lacedaemonian commander, perceiving their weakness, wished to avoid taking the place by storm; his instructions from Lacedaemon having been so conceived, in order that if at any future time peace should be made with Athens, and they should agree each to restore the places that they had taken in the war, Plataea might be held to have come over voluntarily, and not be included in the list.

He accordingly sent a herald to them to ask if they were willing voluntarily to surrender the town to the Lacedaemonians, and accept them as their judges, upon the understanding that the guilty should be punished, but no one without form of law.

The Plataeans were now in the last state of weakness, and the herald had no sooner delivered his message than they surrendered the town.

The Peloponnesians fed them for some days until the judges from Lacedaemon, who were five in number, arrived.

Upon their arrival no charge was preferred; they simply called up the Plataeans, and asked them whether they had done the Lacedaemonians and allies any service in the war then raging.

The Plataeans asked leave to speak at greater length, and deputed two of their number to represent them; Astymachus, son of Asopolaus, and Lacon, son of Aeimnestus, Proxenus of the Lacedaemonians, who came forward and spoke as follows:—