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The Story of the Greeks by  H. A. Guerber

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THE PEACE OF ANTALCIDAS

[189] THE Athenians hated the Spartans, and were only waiting for an excuse to make war against them: so they were only too glad to accept the bribe which Artaxerxes offered, and were paid with ten thousand Persian coins on which was stamped the figure of an archer.

As soon as the Spartan ephors heard that the Athenians had revolted, they sent a message to Agesilaus to tell him to come home. The Spartan king was about to deal a crushing blow to the Persians, but he was forced to obey the summons. As he embarked he dryly said, "I could easily have beaten the whole Persian army, and still ten thousand Persian archers have forced me to give up all my plans.

The Thebans joined the Athenians in this revolt, so Agesilaus was very indignant against them too. He energetically prepared for war, and met the combined Athenian and Theban forces at Coronea, where he defeated them completely.

The Athenians, in the mean while, had made their alliance with the Persians, and used the money which they had received to strengthen their ramparts, as you have seen, and to finish the Long Walls, which had been ruined by the Spartans ten years before.

All the Greek states were soon in arms, siding with the Athenians or with the Spartans; and the contest continued until everybody was weary of fighting. There was, besides, much jealousy among the people themselves, and even the laurels of Agesilaus were envied.

[190] The person who was most opposed to him was the Spartan Antalcidas, who, fearing that further warfare would only result in increasing Agesilaus' popularity and glory, now began to advise peace. As the Greeks were tired of the long struggle, they sent Antalcidas to Asia to try to make a treaty with the Persians.

Without thinking of anything but his hatred of Agesilaus, Antalcidas consented to all that the Persians asked, and finally signed a shameful treaty, by which all the Greek cities of Asia Minor and the Island of Cyprus were handed over to the Persian king. The other Greek cities were declared independent, and thus Sparta was shorn of much of her power. This treaty was a disgrace, and it has always been known in history by the name of the man who signed it out of petty spite.


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