History of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides

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

Agis, however, did not believe in the tranquillity of the city, or that the commons would thus in a moment give up their ancient liberty, but thought that the sight of a large Lacedaemonian force would be sufficient to excite them if they were not already in commotion, of which he was by no means certain.

He accordingly gave to the envoys of the Four Hundred an answer which held out no hopes of an accommodation, and sending for large reinforcements from Peloponnese, not long afterwards, with these and his garrison from Decelea, descended to the very walls of Athens; hoping either that civil disturbances might help to subdue them to his terms, or that, in the confusion to be expected within and without the city, they might even surrender without a blow being struck; at all events he thought he would succeed in seizing the Long Walls, bared of their defenders.

However, the Athenians saw him come close up, without making the least disturbance within the city; and sending out their cavalry, and a number of their heavy infantry, light troops, and archers shot down some of his soldiers who approached too near, and got possession of some arms and dead.

Upon this Agis, at last convinced, led his army back again,

and remaining with his own troops in the old position at Decelea, sent the reinforcement back home, after a few days' stay in Attica.

After this the Four Hundred persevering sent another embassy to Agis, and now meeting with a better reception, at his suggestion despatched envoys to Lacedaemon to negotiate a treaty, being desirous of making peace.