|The Story of Greece|
|by Mary Macgregor|
| Stories from the history of ancient Greece beginning with mythical and legendary stories of gods and heroes and ending with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Gives short accounts of battles and sieges, and of the men who made Greece a great nation. Ages 10-14 |
ANTIOCHUS DISOBEYS ALCIBIADES
 THE king of Persia was not pleased with his governor
Tissaphernes, because he had made an alliance with
neither the Athenians nor the Spartans. So he now sent
his younger son Cyrus to take the place of
Tissaphernes, bidding him make terms with the Spartans.
Lysander was now in command of the Spartan fleet. He
was as brave and as skilful an admiral as Brasidas had
been, although he could not win the trust of strangers
as his famous countryman had done. But he gained the
affection of his men and cared for their welfare.
Cyrus invited Lysander to a feast and tried to bribe him
to join the Persians, but in vain.
The Persian prince then offered to give him whatever he
chose to ask. Lysander wished nothing for himself, but,
to the surprise of all who were present, he begged that
the daily wage of his sailors might be increased.
In September 407 B.C., the Spartan sailed with his
fleet close to the harbour of Ephesus. About the same
time, Alcibiades, with the Athenian fleet, arrived at
Notium, from which port he could watch the movements of
As he had little money with which to pay his men, he
determined to leave the fleet in charge of his pilot,
Antiochus, while he, taking with him a few ships,
sailed away to plunder a neighbouring city. In this
way he hoped to find the money that he needed.
Alcibiades strictly forbade Antiochus to risk a battle.
 No sooner, however, had the admiral gone than the pilot
disobeyed his orders, and with a number of ships he
sailed past the Spartan fleet, challenging Lysander to
The Spartan in reply merely sent a few vessels to drive
away the reckless pilot, but the ships that had been
left at Notium soon noticed that Antiochus was being
chased, and they at once hastened to join him.
In a short time the two fleets were engaged in battle.
Antiochus was slain, and fifteen of the Athenian ships
were taken or sunk. Those that escaped sailed to
Samos, where Alcibiades soon joined them. He
determined, if it were possible, to avenge the
punishment the Spartans had inflicted on the Athenian
vessels, so he sailed to Ephesus and offered battle to
Lysander. But the Spartan had won a great victory and
he did not mean to risk a defeat. He refused to fight
Alcibiades still had enemies in Athens, and they were
so angry with him for having left the charge of the
fleet to Antiochus that they clamoured for his command
to be taken from him. The assembly was forced to yield
to them, and Alcibiades was deposed, while the command
was given to an Athenian named Conon.
The admiral then fled to a city on the Hellespont,
where he had long ago bought a castle, lest at any time
he should need a place of refuge from his enemies.
Conon, the new commander, gained a great victory, at
the island of Arginusæ, on the coast of Asia. After
the victory a storm arose, and a dozen Athenian vessels
which had been disabled in the battle went down with
all their crews on board.
No attempt was made to rescue the unfortunate sailors,
and eight Athenian generals were ordered to come home
to be tried for neglect of duty. Six only obeyed.
The assembly met and condemned the generals, but their
sentence was left undetermined. On the day after the
 trial a festival was held in the city, at which solemn
family gatherings took place.
When the relations of those who had perished at
Arginusæ appeared, clad in black, their number roused
the people to fresh fury against the condemned
The assembly met shortly afterwards, and one of the
members demanded that the people should vote without
delay, and if the generals were found guilty that they
should be put to death.
Now the generals had not yet finished their defence;
moreover, there was a law in Athens that prisoners
should be judged and sentenced one at a time.
At first the assembly wished to obey this law, but the
mob was so fierce that it yielded, and pronounced
sentence of death on all the generals at once. To each
was brought a cup of hemlock.
Socrates was present in the assembly, and he was not
afraid to denounce the sentence as unlawful. Nor would
he withdraw his protest in face of the angry crowd.
This was a brave deed, such as you would expect from
the great philosopher.
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