History of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides

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

Meanwhile Thrasyllus had heard of his having put out from Miletus, and immediately set sail with fifty-five ships from Samos, in haste to arrive before him in the Hellespont.

But learning that he was at Chios, and expecting that he would stay there, he posted scouts in Lesbos and on the continent opposite to prevent the fleet moving without his knowing it, and himself coasted along to Methymna, and gave orders to prepare meal and other necessaries, in order to attack them from Lesbos in the event of their remaining for any length of time at Chios.

Meanwhile he resolved to sail against Eresus, a town in Lesbos which had revolted, and, if he could, to take it.

For some of the principal Methymnian exiles had carried over about fifty heavy infantry, their sworn associates, from Cuma, and hiring others from the continent, so as to make up three hundred in all, chose Anaxander, a Theban, to command them, on account of the community of blood existing between the Thebans and the Lesbians, and first attacked Methymna.

Baulked in this attempt by the advance of the Athenian guards from Mitylene, and repulsed a second time in a battle outside the city, they then crossed the mountain and effected the revolt of Eresus.

Thrasyllus accordingly determined to go there with all his ships and to attack the place.

Meanwhile Thrasybulus had preceded him thither with five ships from Samos, as soon as he heard that the exiles had crossed over, and coming too late to save Eresus, went on and anchored before the town.

Here they were joined also by two vessels on their way home from the Hellespont, and by the ships of the Methymnians, making a grand total of sixty-seven vessels; and the forces on board now made ready with engines and every other means available to do their utmost to storm Eresus.