Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 21

Strategy and Tactics in the Mytilene Campaign Author(s): John Wilson Source: Historia: Zeitschrift fr Alte Geschichte, Bd.

30, H. 2 (2nd Qtr., 1981), pp. 144-163 Published by: Franz Steiner Verlag Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4435753 . Accessed: 15/08/2013 12:41
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Franz Steiner Verlag is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Historia: Zeitschrift fr Alte Geschichte.


This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

STRATEGY AND TACTICS IN THE MYTILENE CAMPAIGN The Mytilene revolt was a very serious business for Athens, as the Athenians recognised at the time (>tEyaEQyov flyoivTo, Thuc.III.3.1). Some problems about the ensuing campaign deserve our attention: the more so since, as I shall try to show, it was largely owing to good fortune that Athens settled matters so easily. 1. Athenian and Lesbian Numbers Our first problem concerns the remarkably small numbers of troops which seem to have been involved on either side. In 5. 1-2 we are told that the Mytilenians had the support of all Lesbos except for Methymna (that is, of Antissa, Pyrra, and Eresos: cf. 18.1), and that they marched out against the Athenians in full force (n v68qtci, 5.2). Honours were at least even in the ensuing battle, certainly not more on the Athenian side: the Mytilenians are described as oivx 'XEcooov ExovTE. They also, with the help of their allies, controlled all the land except that in the immediate vicinity of the Athenian camps (6.2). Yet the addition of only 1000 hoplites to the Athenian forces completely reversed this position, and enabled the Athenians to build a wall round Mytilene apparently without hindrance (18.4ff.). The problem cannot be solved by any effect that Athens' allies had on the situation. In 5.1 Thucydides says that the rest of Lesbos as well as the Mytilenians (except for Methymna) went to war with Athens, and that the Athenians were supported by the Methymnans, Imbrians, Lemnians and a few of the other allies. But here he is clearly summarising prospectively the overall result of the Mytilenian embassy to Athens, not saying that these allies were present right from the start; for the Athenians do not send for their own allies until after the first battle (6.1). So the probability is that the Mytilenians too fought this battle on their own; and this is reinforced by 6.2, in which he describes the Mytilenian allies, some time after the battle, as :rooPEjOX1?hjXOTE; i8nj, which implies that they. had only just arrived. The full muster of the Mytilenians, then, was opposed in this first battle to whatever troops the Athenians had on the 40 ships with which they originally came (3.2). After the allies of both sides have arrived, the Athenians are still unable to enjoy any superiority by land. On the contrary, it seems clear that the advent of forces from the allied cities made the Athenian position worse (6.2); and that means that Mytilene must have gained more troops, or more effective troops, from her allies than the Athenians gained from theirs. Worse still, from

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Strategyand Tacticsin the MytileneCampaign


the Athenian point of view, it appears that by 18.1 (at the very end of the

are taken summer,for the Atheniancounter-measures

qhVO6w QOV, FQi TrO

18.3) the Mytilenians were supported by mercenaries: so too were the Antissans (18.2). It is certain that the Mytilenians would have done everything possible to avoid the circumvallation, which would have seemed fatal to them (as in fact it was). Yet we hear of no attempt to interrupt it. We must therefore assume (1) that the numbers of Mytilenian hoplites were small enough for them to have no serious chance of success once the 1000 Athenians had arrived: (2) that their mercenaries did not include significant numbers of hoplites: and (3) that they were not supported in any numbers by hoplites from Antissa, Pyrra and Eresos (for such forces would have made the pro-Mytilenian total too high for 1000 hoplites to change the whole situation). As to (3) above, it seems likely that there was a deliberate plan on the part of the Athenians in conjunction with the Methymnans to keep the Antissan forces, at least, in play: that may apply also to the forces of Eresos, not many miles from Antissa. The operation of this plan emerges in 18.2; and in 18.3 its partial failure (the Antissans defeated the Methymnans) made the Athenians realise the need to send troops of their own. But at least Methymna's willingness to fight pinned down some of Mytilene's allies, who would have been reluctant to send many troops over the considerable distance to Mytilene (it is over 30 miles, as the crow flies, from Antissa and Eresos) whilst Methymna posed any kind of threat (see Map 1). The Athenians no doubt relied on this in sending only 1000 men.

E IR o




We may now go back to the probable numbers on either side in the first battle. The normal complement of epibatai on 40 Athenian ships would total only about 400, and it is hard to believe that the Mytilenians (however timorous) could not have defeated such a small force, or that they would have retreated from it after the battle. Admittedly, the ships were to have been used 7thQ FlEko7o6vvojov (3.2), presumably for the hit-and-run attacks on the

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



Peloponnese which were a common feature of Athenian strategy, and may well have contained additional troops. But anything more than a complement of 40 epibatai per ship is improbable both for reasons of space and because Athens (since the plague) was short of hoplites. I find it hard to believe in many more than 30 per ship in the 40 ships, giving a hoplite force of 1200. The increased force of 2200 must, as we saw, have been decisively superior, so that the Mytilenians cannot have deployed more than about 1500 hoplites at most. That is a strikingly small figure but, so far as I can see, one which we are compelled to adopt. In fact I suspect the figures were smaller still: perhaps 800 Athenians (20 per ship) and 1000 Mytilenians. But in any case some explanation is required: Mytilene was surely a bigger city than that, and the Mytilenians were (literally) fighting for their lives. The explanation is political. It becomes clear in 27.2ff. that Mytilene was at this time run by an oligarchy, in which the demos had been denied hoplite equipment (VpktOv o6vTa, 27.2). There could have been more Mytilenian hoplites - in fact, many more, since the armed demos was strong enough to disobey the government and the government was powerless to prevent them (27.3 and 28.1) - but the oligarchy did not dare to risk demotic hoplites. In view of this, there seems to be no reason for objecting to quite small numbers. The 1000 aLTLWT'tTO1J (50.1) who were condemned to death may have represented the majority of the upper-middle classes in Mytilene, who were in fact the appropriate victims. We cannot hope to estimate the numbers of the armed demos accurately: perhaps two or three times as many. We may make some guesses at the political background. Mytilene was not a subject-ally, and there is no reason to assume that the Athenians would have (or even could have) enforced a democratic regime before the time of the revolt hence we need not suppose that the oligarchs had gained power by a specific coup. On the other hand, their grip on the situation seems curiously insecure. Clearly they did not trust their fellow-citizens, otherwise they would have armed them as hoplites and been able to confront the Athenians with a force perhaps not far short of 5000 hoplites - a force which Athens could not have defeated with ease, and possibly not at all. Nor were the 1000 or so oligarchs effectively united: if they had been, they could surely have kept the newlyarmed demos under discipline and control even though the demos outnumbered them. We know from 2.3 that there was a pro-Athenian group or party (&vbQEg xtTcv catotv) in Mytilenejust before the revolt; and it seems likely that the oligarchs, in the years immediately before 428, had become (as it were) more oligarchical and exclusive, thinning their numbers to include only the hard core of committed anti-Athenian revolutionaries. Unless we are to imagine large quantities of spare hoplite equipment, which is extremely improbable, we must suppose that the hard-core oligarchs had somehow managed to gain control of hoplite equipment which had previously belonged

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Strategyand Tacticsin the MytileneCampaign


to their fellow-citizens. If that did not involve a coup, it involved something very like one. But the demos cannot have been a totally unwilling partner in the revolt. They do not, when properly armed, immediately take the Athenian side (despite Diodotos' remark in 42.3): they only threaten to do so if they are not given the (real or imagined) food (27.3). Almost certainly the demos manned the ships that Lesbos contributed as an ally of Athens, and they may have been fed up with fighting Athens' battles for her. In 430 (II.56) 50 ships from Chios and Lesbos take part in an abortive Athenian expedition: if, say, 20 of these were Mytilenian, that meant a contribution of not much less than 3500 men. We know there were 10 serving at the time of the revolt (III.3.4) and no doubt, as Gomme says, contributions were ordered every year. The numbers of men involved are sufficient to generate some anti-Athenian feeling, but perhaps not a very violent one: the sailors who manned the ships sent against the Athenians in 4.2 seem not to have had their heart in the business. The demos would, presumably, have gained from a successful revolt and from the synoikesis, if the latter gave Mytilene as a whole more power; but probably they disliked and distrusted the oligarchs as much as the Athenians. On balance - and of course the evidence is tenuous - we may conclude at least that the oligarchs had to keep a close eye on the demos throughout the revolt: and this helps to account for the extreme caution of Mytilenian strategy and tactics particularly the iovXfav of 6.1, which was a pleasant surprise for the Athenians. Possibly the oligarchs waited until the revolt became overt (so that the demos was committed), and then arranged their coup: that, at least, would account for all the evidence that we have. The only other way in which the problem of numbers may be solved is to regard the MSS numbers as corrupt (often the case in Thucydides); but they are part of a coherent picture which it would be difficult to alter in any plausible direction. Thus the numbers condemned to death (50.1) seem to many scholars too large; but the Athenians could hardly have felt safe in allowing significant numbers of rebellious oligarchs to go free. In Corcyra the Athenians acquiesced in the destruction of at least as many (III.75-85, IV.46-48). Again, if we increase Paches' hoplites to many more than 1000 we overcome the apparent difficulty of the small numbers on either side; but that there were in fact small hoplite-numbers in Mytilene seems clear from the political set-up, that the Lesbian allies did not reinforce Mytilene to any great extent seems highly probable, and that the Athenians were short of hoplites is not in dispute. Some confirmation of this comes from the arrangements made by the Athenians when the revolt was over (50). Here too it seems wrong to question the figures in the MSS, since they cohere with the general picture. Something over 1000 men were executed, and these must surely be all or nearly all from

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



Mytilene itself; for though the text of 35.1 and 50.1 does not absolutely exclude the possibility that there were other Lesbians, the speakers at Athens in the debate refer uniquely to the Mytilenians, never to rebellious Lesbians in general. In any case Mytilene was clearly the instigator of the revolt, and the vast majorityof attLTWTC'oT; (50.1) musthavecome fromthere.Objectionsto the large number have usually neglected 35.1, where Paches is preparedto send - a pretty loose criterion.The Et6OXEL to Athens Et TLg4CXXoavc )a'LTLOg execution of 1,000 would then have liquidated the large majority of Mytilenians of hoplite rank (or above): presumably those who held most of the land. The figure of 3,000 allotments is also reasonable (50.2), though we can do no more than guess about this particular matter. The distribution of low-lying and fertile land in Lesbos is such that we may plausibly ascribe about a third of it to Mytilene and two-thirds to Pyrra, Antissa and Eresos, corresponding to the 1000 executed Mytilenians (originally holders of 1000 of the 3000 allotments) and 2000 from the other cities; excluding, of course, Methymnan land. Mytilene's preeminence in Lesbos was not due to her possession of the bulk of good land, but to her trade in general and possessions on the mainland in particular (50.2). If that is anywhere near right, it argues for at least 2000 hoplites shared between Pyrra, Antissa and Eresos, as against 1000 from Mytilene. Had hoplite forces from the allied cities combined effectively with the Mytilenians, Athens' task would have been much more difficult: but they could not be expected to leave their own cities defenceless.

2. Peloponnesian Numbers How many fighting troops did Alcidas have with him on his 42 ships? Characteristically, if not always, Thucydides tells us of any substantial numbers of hoplite troops on expeditions from the Peloponnese (e. g. for Cnemos' expedition, II 80.1: 1000 hoplites); and it would be surprising if he omitted to mention such numbers here. Moreover, the Spartans were commonly reluctant to commit their own or allied hoplites in dangerous expeditions by sea. On a priori grounds, then, there were probably not many. At the same time, the fleet and troops were presumably supposed to reinforce the Lesbians successfully, and might (failing that) have engaged in other activities: these aims could hardly have been achieved with ships alone. Teutiaplos suggested to Alcidas (111.30) that they should attack Mytilene: and this must have at least seemed a plausible enterprise, however daring, even with the advantage of surprise. It would have been less daring if he had thought the Athenian troops to be dispersed or engaged elsewhere in Lesbos, but in fact 30.2); he still thought that with he took them to be in the city (nO6tv EXO'vTwv, T5 aQCt 1TIv EotV i53JTo'to; the help of some supportersin Mytilene (E'L ?VvouV, 30.3) the thing was possible. That is all the more striking in that the

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Strategy and Tactics in the Mytilene Campaign


fleet may have had adequate information about the situation. At Icaros and Mykonos they learn of the capture of the city (29.1); they then go to Embaton TO ?E3ouXEr?ovto 6JcEq TO EibEVaL (29.2),andJ[tLEVOL r fBOVXO6iEVOI PE$g

If we take TI o aqE to imply detailed information, we must suppose that they knew more or less accurately what the Athenian numbers were: as we have seen, not far short of 2,000 hoplites, plus allied troops from elsewhere. In that case it is hard to see how Teutiaplos' proposal would have been plausible unless they had available at least 1,000 hoplites. Alternatively, we may translate


as 'wishing to know for certain' (sc. that

Mytilene had in fact been taken, and not accepting outright the information they had received at Icaros and Mykonos); and that implies no such knowledge about Athenian strength. They might, in that case, have believed Athenian numbers to have been much less. A similar problem is presented by the second option suggested to Alcidas: that he should seize one of the Ionian cities, or Cyme in Aiolia (31.1). The word used is XaTaXaFiv. To capture a town against the will of resolute need citizens would require a substantial number of troops: but xaTCaXCEEiv not imply that it might mean just 'occupy' or 'take over'. The general goodwill towards the Spartan cause mentioned in 31.1 - that oiU&v' a'xouicsWg
acpiXOml - might apply to the city to be first taken over and used as a base, so

that no fighting would be needed: and hence no large number of men. There is even a third uncertainty of the same kind. In 33.3 Paches thought it fortunate (since the Athenians had not managed to intercept the fleet in the open sea) that the fleet was on its way home to the Peloponnese: the alternative would have been that the Athenians caught the Peloponnesians on land somewhere, when they would have built a fortified camp and forced the cT6O7rv t, xTX.).It is not Athenians to blockade them by land and sea (0TQa possible to tell with certainty from the text whether the last part of these remarks are just Paches' beliefs or represent the true facts: possibly both, but on the first hypothesis we have the option of claiming that the Peloponnesians did not in fact dispose of enough troops to put up any serious resistance even within a fortified camp - Paches just thought they did. On the other hand, if they represent the true facts (whether or not Paches knew them) we seem obliged to say that there were enough Peloponnesian troops to merit a serious effort on the part of the Athenians by way of a blockade - something Paches was glad to avoid. The balance of probability, I think - particularly in this third passage -, lies with the idea that the fleet possessed a fairly substantial number of hoplite troops (and perhaps others as well). The text of 33.3 reads more naturally thus (Thucydides uses indicatives to describe the necessity of blockade): the takeover of an Ionian city, however potentially friendly, would be very dangerous

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



without a fair numberof effectivetroops; andeven if the fleet did not learn detailsof the Atheniannumbersat Embaton,those numberscould havebeen guessedat. Some figurelike 800 seemsplausible. We mustremember thatthese were (mostly) allied ships, and not Spartanones: Spartanhoplites were not being risked. We do not know the normalcomplementof fightingtroops or epibatai on such ships, but it was almost certainly more than the normal Atheniancomplementof 10-12, sincethe Atheniansreliedon light,swift ships which would win by navalmanoeuvre rather thansloggingit out (as at Sybota: 1.49.2-3)with fightingtroops. A figure of 20 per ship is plausible,yielding a total strengthof 840. Such a figure makes both Teutiaplos'suggestions,and Alcidas' cautiousrefusalof them, quite reasonable: enough to makesense of the potentialattackon Mytilene,the seizingof an Ioniancity, andthe necessity for an Athenianblockade,but not enoughto construeAlcidas'failureto take up these options as mere cowardice.After all, he had to accountfor himself back in Sparta:and the accountmust have been plausibleenough for him to continue in commandagainstCorcyra,even with the help of advisers(69.1). 3. The LesbianFleet
The Mytilenian ambassadors to the Peloponnese claim that alliance with Mytilene would give the Peloponnesians vatTLxOv yttya (13.7). The claim must be true: too many Peloponnesians might know the facts for the Mytilenians to lie. vctVTLxov pEya cannot be pressed too hard, and does not necessarily imply that the Spartan Alliance included no states which had a vaUTLxOv (as for instance Corinth): but it can hardly imply that the Alliance already deployed many cities in this category. In fact, as we know, not only Corinth but also Megara could produce over 40 ships (11.93.2): Ambracia had contributed 27 to the battle of Sybota (1.46.1): and however optimistic Spartan hopes may have been about the capacity of the allied states in general (11.7, VIII.3), the Alliance often had large numbers operating at once (e. g. 100 against Zacynthos, 11.66, and 77 against Phormio, 11.86). It would be odd if the Mytilenians did not dispose of, say, 40 ships at least: anything much less could hardly count, in this context, as vaiTLxOv REya. Does that number (whatever it is) include the other Lesbian cities? Antissa, Pyrra and Eresos were all either on the sea or possessed of a nearby harbour: their potential contribution may have been considerable. In the above passage, the ambassadors appear to be talking of Mytilene alone, a single city (7o6xtv, 13.7): but that might be taken to refer, if somewhat prospectively, to the synoikesis which would make Lesbos a single city. The other relevant passage o E is 11.6: TO ot' 6v xct(' 'E vaTLX'Ov TlIibv vtaQ cX OiiV > ?Vyvo6EVov &'XX TW 7tQOfE'oVoV XTX. About this Gomme says ... . there is ii V4iV "I

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Strategyand Tacticsin the MytileneCampaign


little point in emphasizing the uniting of the entire Lesbian fleet (Steup). A better meaning would be the uniting of all the remaining independent squadrons (in fact only the Lesbian and Chian), if we may take '[aia to refer not to Mytilene only"' (in the sentences beginning with I.3). If this case is to be made out at all, it can be strengthened by enlargement. The earlier sections are, in part, an account of how Athens subjected her originally independent allies in previous years; hence the iEig (and the #ui v in 11.6) might refer to a great many more cities than those of Lesbos and Chios. A difficulty with this, however, is that a&XWT then has no very obvious reference: UV4~lV,since the ambassadors are talking to the Peloponnesians in general, will include all the states of the Spartan Alliance, and (since on this view the independent cities of the Aegean will be nautically united) who is there left for them to join with? Perhaps the Persians: but this is hardly convincing. On the other hand, if we take illuiv to refer only to the Lesbian cities, their united fleet might join with some other independent ally (e. g. Chios). This second interpretation seems, in any case, much more probable: it refers to the attempted synoikesis of Lesbos, which alarmed Athens partly because it would create a large united fleet. We cannot say in advance that 'there is little point in emphasizing the uniting of the entire Lesbian fleet': the contributions of Mytilene's allies, as we have said, might have made a big difference. It also seems likely that the first person plurals in the sentences immediately following this passage (and, I think, in most of those before) refer uniquely to the Lesbians or Mytilenians, not in past history to the Athenian allies or subjects generally. The Mytilenians made a poor showing against the 40 Athenian ships (4.2) chiefly because they were unprepared. Ten of their ships were in service with the Athenian fleet (3.2); and they and their allies had hoped to build more ships before rebelling (2.2). But their main unpreparedness was the result of disunity. Admittedly we can only speculate, but I find it hard to believe that, with help from three allies, they could not have produced a squadron which had some chance of coping with the 40 Athenians in battle. Even as it was,
xeOL..xi ctVf



?MOLlOcVTO (4.2): and that could hardly have seemed serious if they had not deployed, say, at least 20 ships. On this occasion they were surely testing the Athenians' intentions, to discover whether Athens was in fact willing to fight immediately: to oppose the 40 Athenians with only a very few ships would hardly have been a test at all. The Mytilenians failed to get even minimal reinforcements from their allies: 5 or 10 ships from each might have altered the whole balance of naval power on the spot.

A. W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides (O.U.P. 1956). Vol. 11, p. 265.

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



4. Athenian encampments This is one of the few problems that has engaged the attention of commentators. It is also one of the many cases in which Thucydides' topography is almost universally, but wrongly, regarded as erroneous. The difficulty is that Thucydides seems to be ignorant of the location of Malea, apparently placing it to the north of Mytilene, whereas we seem to know from Strabo and others2 that it was to the south of the city. The interpretation of later movements on the part of the Athenians depends on the solution of this problem. The two relevant passages are: (a) xal '; xnv AaxE6a'Lova nQEr(etL EnO`TEXkOUGL TQLrQEL, Xac6VTE; TO TOV 'ANVivcaLwv vaUTLx6v, ot 6)QLouv eVV Tn (III.4.5). MaX?t nQO'; 0OQ?'aV Tij; &6FXcW. ... xaLt3TEQLOQ&iLOCEVOL TO 7tQO; VOTOVT'u5 6OkEXw E'TE'(LoaV
Ev TOV(Tw 6& TOVS.' bu' F,XaLxEQwfEV CnQa1T67tEa Tng rt6UE(g, XCat t6F'PO'Q[OEZ'7 T1 T01 X[tE'OLVtAOLO)VTO. xai g yLv E-tkakoMs; ELQyov &RCPOTEpOQg % TiS be YnS Tng LE"V a'nTg E'XQC'EOUV XQn0oaLL Tov'g MvULk1jV(XLoUq, oi oTMiTrtXrivaiot xCL akkOL AEOfhLOL JTQooPoEPO xotXOTEg '616,To &E

and (b)

Tl uQt6i&Eba 7tEQL

Va 7to be [t6kkov CL'Tv

ot 'AvaIOtL, xCEiELXov ovUn3oXi3 a' a xCai kO(WV &yoQa




jOQEav trg EVTf MaXkEt In (a) above it seems natural to take Ol Wt)Q[OUV 7TQ6o nokXw; together, "who were at anchor at Malea on the north side of the city": and this seems to land Thucydides with the topographical error. There are, however, two possible ways of avoiding this conclusion. The first is to reject the translation: this is more plausible than has been thought, but entails certain problems of its own and - a more important point - sheds no new light on, or makes no better sense of, the military situation in general and what Thucydides tells us about it. The second is to accept the translation but deny that the conclusion follows: and this does, in my judgement, improve our understanding of the scene. The first possibility was canvassed by Stahl3, though in an unnecessarily implausible form. He takes JtQo; 3oLEav ('septentrionem versus') with anooTEXkouoL ('emittere'): we are to translate along the lines of "They sent out ambassadors to Sparta too in a trireme northwards from the city, escaping the notice of the Athenian fleet which was anchored at Malea" (i. e. to the south). Most editors have viewed this harshly, with some justice: Gomme4, for xatL 'E t. A. 7Q. TQL'tEi itQo; Po&v tiT; instance, says that "&AOGTEotXOUol
2 3

ibid. p. 258. ibid. p. 255. 4 ibid.

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

StrategyandTacticsin the MytileneCampaign


7t6Xrwg has no good sense: we should want at least kcr6vtrg Tr T. 'Aqva(wv of E'LOvTE; VWVTLXOV tJ6; is a simple fOQtaV T.n. ( E'OVTE;) ." The suggestion

error of syntax: it is not the Mytilenians doing the sending who 'go out', though in the sending: it is rather the they may be said to escape notice (kafX0&vTe) ambassadors, which requires the accusative tLOvtTag.Nevertheless, the wordorder required by Stahl's interpretation is certainly peculiar. It would however be distinctly less peculiar if we were to take (as Stahl himself does not) uQ6og oQEav Ti no'rtEw tO mean 'on the north side of the it but also, indirectly, with kaft0vTeg. The with &MtooTEXXouot city': taking Mytilenians had two harbours, separated by an isthmus: one on the north side, and one on the south. If they wished to escape the Athenians' notice, and if the Athenians were anchored to the south, they would naturally use the northern harbour. The sense would be "They sent out ambassadors in a trireme, escaping the Athenians' notice [by doing this] on the north side of the cilty" There is an apparent objection to this (and to Stahl's interpretation) in Thucydides' later descriptions of the Athenians nEQLOQLCFtLOaEVOLTO 3QOg VOTOV. For the present interpretation entails that the Athenians were alreadyat anchor south of the city, whereas Thucydides plainly intends some kind of move or alteration of position. It is not, as Gomme wrongly says, that

means 'changingtheir station': it means simply 'bringing

their ships to anchor round', just as 3tEQLOQ[tE means 'anchor round'. But they could not 'bring their ships to anchor round the south of the city' if they were there already. However, this may be answered by maintaining that, though the Athenians were indeed to the south of the city, they could not be described as already 'anchored round the area to the south of the city'. They were, as Thucydides says, ev T1 Mat4qt: and the cape itself is some 6 miles away from the city - much further away than their second place of anchorage could have been. This possibility is not to be lightly discounted; but it is somewhat forced, and fits in badly with what we can induce about the strategic situation (see below). A second, and basically simpler, solution is to be preferred. No one familiar with the coastline could suppose that they anchored at or near the tip of Malea itself; so the question arises of how much ground the term 'Malea' might reasonably be thought to cover. That it could have covered a good deal more than the immediate vicinity of the cape is evident (if we need a parallel, what Strabo says about Leucas will serve5); and this makes it at least possible that 'Malea' was used to include the whole promontory, which extends some miles to the north of Mytilene (see maps). It is unsurprising that Strabo and other writers who are primarily interested in sea-distances should refer to Malea always as a cape: that is no argument against the possibility that the term
5 Strabo C. 452 (Leucas named after Cape Leucas).

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



could also mean the whole promontory.In that case, of course,?EV Ti~ Mak'Q arenot inconsistent.The Atheniansmightthen and tQo; I3oQEav TPj jT6X?Ew most plausibly be placed some three or four miles north of the city, where includinga small islandwhich could give there is a bay and good anchorage, them securityagainstattackfrom the land (see Map 2).








Apart from its merits as clearing up the problem, there are two supporting arguments which suggest tha this is how Thucydides conceived of Malea. The first is the oddity of ?v in ?V Tqi Mcaet, if he thinks of Malea simply as a cape: he might at least more naturally have used jTF,( as with TQ'L to XEL?EQLOV (1.30.3) (where he is clear that Cheimerion is a cape or axQa, 1.46.5). The . second depends on a proper interpretation of vcnvotact[ov... Mca4ca. Nearly all editors take this to imply that the base at Malea was somewhere different from the two camps: Gomme flirts temporarily with the idea that "Malea is the site of one of the two camps"6, but if Malea identifies no more than the cape it is far too distant from the town. If our translation produces a tactical situation in which the Athenians occupy two camps (one on either side of the city) for purposes of blockade, and also a vCV'TCtaiov some 6 miles away at an inhospitable cape, something is wrong with our translation. Not only is there no reason in the world why, having command of the sea, the Athenians did not put their ships (and their dayoQ6) where their camps were; they positively needed their ships there in order to carry out the blockade. The vYVowa?fov clause is tacked on, as it were, to the second half of the Ev... . &e antithesis. If Thucydides had meant "The Mytilenians and allies held
6 Gomme, ibid., p. 257.

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

StrategyandTacticsin the MytileneCampaign


the rest of the land, whereasthe Atheniansonly held (a) a smallareaneartheir camps, and (b) Malea", he would have written differently. He might have
delayed the oi 'AhvacoL until the end of the sentence: or he might have put Malea at the beginning, not the end, of its clause: "they held the area round the

as even Gommesees, thereis on camps,andMaleaas a vaIGoTWf[toV". Further,

Much more this interpretation a problem about what is meant by uCikXov. probably the sense is this (I give a loose translation to emphasise the relevant points): "As to territory, all the rest of it (on the one hand) was controlled by the Mytilenians and the other Lesbians who had already come to their help, whereas only a small area round the camps (on the other hand) was held by the Athenians: it was rather as a place to put their ships and as a market-place that Malea served them" (sc. rather than anything which they controlled more widely and could use as a more permanent base). In other words, the OQctTaoTEbt are on, or in, or part of Malea: that is, the whole promontory. We turn now to the meaning of JTEQOQpLoG6[tivoL and to the point of this operation. Gomme gives: 'changed their situation and took up position to watch the south side'7. This is a loose translation: the term used for changing one's anchorage is ?tEQoe@w. nFItoQtL4w is found in the middle voice only in this passage: and the most natural meaning is surely 'bringing their ships to anchor round', just as (to take two examples reasonably close in general meaning) EQL7Tkw means 'sail round', and 7 QLMQtTo7TE6Evo1iat'encamp round'. Like them, it would be followed by an accusative, not a prepositional in the original verb. T6 7rQ6;VOTOV phrase: an accusative governed by the juLm' means 'the area to the south' (of the city): it is not just, as Gomme's translation implies, that they are watching the south side of the city, but that they are anchored there. Why did they do this,;andwhy did they choose to anchoritco;g PoLQpvin the first place? To the former question there are two possible answers: (a) Not all the ships were brought to the south side: we have to take the sense as "bringing [some of] their ships round to the south side [also]". There is some tactical plausibility in this: if the Athenians had camps on both sides of the city, they would surely need ships near to each camp - especially since each camp was under fairly heavy pressure from the enemy. One difficulty, however, is that Thucydides does not actually say this, when he easily could have done (e. g. the addition of xct( before lo TQo; VOTOV would have sufficed): and there is in any case the more serious objection that if the original Athenian camp was where we have placed it (in the bay just north of Mavros Lophos, which is in fact the only plausible anchorage near Mytilene in a northerly direction), then the Athenians could hardly be said to be anchored round the north side of the city - the anchorage is too far away, and not all of it

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



even has a clear view of Mytilene. Hence we cannot interpret ".... anchor round the south side as well". (b) The more plausible answer is thatthe Athenians (i) wantedan anchorage

close to and with a good view of Mytilene,and (ii) with as good a protection against the weather as was possible under the circumstances.The bay immediately to the south of the city is the only place that fulfils these conditions,some protectionbeing given by the promontoryagainstwinds to the north and north-west. The Athenians chose for their first anchoragea bay not too far from Mytilene, with an island which might give them additional security: far enough from the city for them not to be in dangerof a surpriseattackby the Mytilenians:and, perhaps,they may at the beginningof the campaign have wished to position themselvesbetween Mytilene and her Lesbianallies. (It would not then have been too difficult for the Mytileniansto escape the Athenians'notice in sendingtheirtriremeto Sparta:they would haveusedthe south-facingharbour,which was out of sight.)Whenthe Athenians determine on a blockade,this position will no longer serve: they need somethingmuch nearer,and move to the bay immediately southof the city. Thatwill havebeen the main anchorage,and one of the oQaTOJtEca: the other, on the northside of the city, will have been used only as a temporarybase, the blockading triremes presumably commuting between the two but returningto the southernbase for any long period of rest. E6c Thucydides says that the Athenians to r EQTt Tt 0'TC ovUIToXU for if the Lesbianswere superiorby XOTETXoV: at first sight rathersurprising, land, why did they not challengeAthenianpossessionof this area?Thatthey did not challengethe Athenianoccupationof their camps is not surprising,
because the latter were fortified (ETELXLoav 6.1). We cannot put it down to any

of the Mytileniansto leave the securityof their city walls,since in reluctance 18.1 (without, so far as we know, any changein the militarysituation)they marchout and go as far as Methymna:leaving,it is to be presumed,enough troops to man the defencesagainstany possible Athenianattack.The answer must simply be that the Athenians controlled (rather than permanently occupiedor possessed)territorynearenoughto theircampsfor themto retreat
in safety before any Lesbians attack. The Lesbians could have contested this

area, but to no purpose: the Athenianswould not have resistedthem, but to their camps;and nothingwould havebeen gainedby the Lesbians retreated In the to &Earei clause areaspermanently. trying to occupy those particular Thucydidesimplies some of these points: the Athenianswere in Malea,but for controlled only a small areaof it - in effect, enough only for anchorages their shippingand a marketfor their troops. Certainlythe first of these, and almost certainlythe second also, would in fact have been within the fortified area.

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Strategyand Tacticsin the MytileneCampaign


5. Tactics by Land In 18.1 the Mytilenians time their operation to coincide with the presence of the Spartanforces (and perhaps allied forces) at the Isthmus, when the threat to Athens would have been most immediate and obvious: presumably so that Athens would have been (perhaps then was) deterred from sending reinforcements to Lesbos. They strike at Methymna, appreciating that the capture of the city would release the troops of their allies in Antissa, Pyrrha and Eresos: troops which could then reinforce Mytilene. If this move had succeeded, it would certainly have made a big difference to the strategic position. For on any account the hoplites of Antissa, Pyrra and Eresos must surely have totalled several thousand: too many, with the Mytilenians, for Athens to be sure of defeating in battle without sending a great many hoplites. This, surely, is why the Athenians thought it such a serious business. For much the same strategic reasons, as we saw in 1. above, it is likely that the Athenians cooperated with or encouraged the Methymnians in their attack on Antissa immediately afterwards (18.2) - that is, in order to keep the Lesbian forces divided. The attack failed disastrously; but the continued existence of an independent Methymna still tied down the forces of the two allies in the west of Lesbos, Antissa and Eresos. The strategic position by land (as by sea: see 3. above) depended on this crucial factor. Athens could blockade Mytilene by sea without too much difficulty. Even if she could not maintain fortified camps on the mainland of Lesbos in the teeth of united Lesbian opposition, there was at least one island (the modern Pamphyllon) close enough (about 4 miles) from the town to serve as a base: and it was there or near there, almost certainly, that the Athenians first encamped (see 4. above). But it is not clear how much Athens would have gained by this whilst the city could have been supplied by land. Nor were Mytilene's allies overcome: not only Mytilene but also her three allies were apparently walled cities (xcFxi1 x9cVriUVctVTE;, 18.2). Antissa and Eresos were a long way distant: Pyrra near the head of a deep gulf, the entrance of which could have been defended (it is not more than about two-thirds of a mile wide) by a very few ships. No sudden assault on walled cities, unless assisted by treachery from inside, would have succeeded: and any Athenian land army would soon have had to face the combined Lesbians. We do not know the politics of Antissa, Pyrra and Eresos: they may well have been oligarchic to have sided against Athens with Mytilene, but it is unlikely that they had such a small proportion of hoplite citizens as Mytilene. It is not absurd to guess at a minimum figure of 3,000 hoplites in all: including the Mytilenians, a total force of 4,000 hoplites. The island was large and fertile enough to be self-supporting; nor could the Athenians have blockaded it in toto. Moreover, the Lesbians had the advantage of knowing the terrain, and were adequately supported by light-armed troops - a serious danger for

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



Athenian hoplites when moving over difficult terrain in an attempt to force a battle. Even an Athenian army of comparable or greater size could not have been certain of a quick victory if the Lesbians acted under a centralised and well-organised command, such as might have been provided by Spartan leadership. That was, of course, a condition unlikely to be met (as in fact it was not) in view of the reluctance of independent cities to combine: but there is no a priori reason why the Athenians should not have anticipated a campaign at least as difficult, expensive, lengthy and uncertain in its outcome as they had had at Potidaia. 6. The Synoikesis By far the most important strategic feature of the campaign, as we have seen, was the possibility of the Lesbian cities acting under a central command; and this is worth further investigation. In 2.1-2 we are told of the revolt and the preparations for it. The subject of these sections is not the Mytilenians alone,

but Lesbos (or the Lesbians,OP3oXi?VTEg

in 2.1 standingin appositionto the

earlier APoIBo;). They were intending to block their harbour-mouths, build walls and ships, and get archers from Pontos. All this, then, applies to the men of Antissa, Pyrra and Eresos. The Athenians, however, first received information from the men of Tenedos and Methymna, xai actwnv M,TLnVaL'WV, to

the effect that






(2.3). The subject of

might be taken as the Lesbians in general (except for those of Methymna), as in the previous sections: but in that case it is not easy to make sense of PiLQt: against whom was the force used? A possible answer is that the Lesbians in question are oligarchic groups which controlled the three allied cities as well as the oligarchic group which controlled Mytilene: they might be construed as using force against the demos in their respective cities. But that is hardly convincing: the natural subject is the Mytilenians, already mentioned in the sentence, who must therefore be exerting force or pressure on the other cities, and who apparently have the power Tmv TE $UVOixrOlV xct TrIV
bLa61 EIV


Yet that interpretation also faces problems. First, the tense of tVVOLXLlOUGL and the general context both imply that the Mytilenians had not completed the process: the Athenians were told that they were forcing (not that they had forced) a synoikesis. But in 3.1 the process seems to be complete: the ambassadors fail to persuade the Mytilenians to break up or dissolve the synoikesis. Secondly, if the other cities (one or more of them) had to be forced into it, why did they continue to support Mytilene during the campaign? It would have been open to them to have seceded from the synoikesis as soon as the Athenians arrived. We have to say, I think, that the Mytilenians had made at least some successful moves towards synoikesis :8 at least to the extent of persuading (by

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Strategy and Tactics in the Mytilene Campaign


with themselves:but that threatof force) other cities to revoltsimultaneously they had not completedthe business,or achievedany realsecurityor unity of command.Sincethey were hurriedinto actingbeforethey wantedto (2.1), this is not surprising.It will account not only for the lack of unity in Lesbian but also strategyand tactics(each city still in effect operatingindependently), ease with which PachesrecoveredAntissa- he simply sent for the remarkable
triremes there and 'acquired' it (7rQoocxEXTouTo,28.3) - and the other two towns also, which he seems to have no difficulty in 'winning over' (naQ have resistedfor cTijocTo, 35.1) These walled cities (18.1) could presumably some time. Possibly they despaired at the surrender of Mytilene itself; but we may reasonably suspect that the pressure for rebellion, as well as for synoikesis, came mostly from Mytilene. It may well also be that the Mytilenians had attempted to place the government of these cities in oligarchic O6XECol hands (xaTaCaT6CE[tEvoL TWlTCtL PE,catoTEeQ, 18.1), and TC EV TaLi that these political arrangements did not survive the surrender: pro-Athenian democratic factions would have come into power, and surrendered their own cities without the need for Athenian force. That did not save them from becoming subject to Athens and having their land divided along with Mytilene's: but the Athenians would have done that in any case. 7. Alcidas' movements Thucydides makes it quite clear that he thought Alcidas not to be a bold or decisive admiral. He wasted time both round the Peloponnese and on the way to Delos (29.11):he rejected both Teutiaplos' suggestion and the suggestion that he should seize a city and stir up revolt in Ionia (31), and after the surrender of Mytilene was chiefly concerned to get back as quickly as possible to the Peloponnese (31.2). His main worry was presumably to avoid interception by any Athenian fleet. But that presents us with problems: why did he move so slowly in places where he was vulnerable to such a fleet - in particular, on the way to Delos and in Ionia? The ships left at the beginning of the campaigning season of 427 (it is the first event mentioned by Thucydides after he has finished those of the previous year: 25.2-26.1). Since they wasted time round the Peloponnese, they almost certainly came from Cyllene (a habitual starting-point for naval expeditions, and the point to which the fleet eventually returned, 69.1). The Spartan Alliance seems to have had no great number of ships available on the Peloponnesian coast east of the isthmus of Corinth, since for their earlier attack on Athens the allies arrange to have ships hauled across the isthmus from west to east (15.1). Probably, as with the fleets which faced Phormio, the ships came partly from the north-western allies - Elis itself, Leucas, perhaps
8 Diodoros, for what he is worth, says that the synoikesis was the chief cause of Athenian intervention (12.55.1).

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



Ambracia, - and partly from the Corinthian Gulf states: for it seems doubtful whether the north-western allies alone could easily have produced a total of 40. The collection of such a fleet would have taken time: but it was probably ordered in the summer of 428 (16.3) and had all winter to muster in. The ships' delay round the Peloponnese must have been due to Alcidas' fear of meeting an Athenian fleet making a periplous in the opposite direction, as it had done in most previous years: the Spartan Alliance seems to have had no effective signalling system round the Peloponnese (as there was at Leucas: 80.2) on which they could rely to tell them of approaching Athenian fleets. (It is doubtful whether the Spartans ever had such a system: IV.55 and 56 imply that they had not.) Once having passed Malea, however, there seems no obvious reason why their best policy, to avoid interception, was not to move as fast as possible. But we must again assume that Alcidas tried to keep one or other secure anchorage within range on his way to Delos: he might, for instance, have started by going to Melos (then neutral or pro-Spartan). We may imagine that they moved jerkily from the vicinity of one defensible harbour or landing-ground to another, always prepared to put into shore if they saw the Athenians coming. His general route, from the Peloponnese to Delos, Icaros and Mykonos, and thence to Erythraia, shows that he was trying to keep south of the usual route from Athens to Lesbos and the Hellespontine cities, on which he may well have thought himself most likely to be identified and intercepted. All that, whether or not showing undue caution and misapprehension, is intelligible enough. A good deal more mysterious is his failure to return at once to the Peloponnese either from Icaros and Mykonos, where he first heard of the capture of Mytilene, or from Embaton, where he received clearer or fuller information of it (see 2. above). Thucydides, having just said that his main idea was to get back to the Peloponnese as quickly as possible, then tells us without explanation that he TaQE'kEL (32.1 : sc. along the Ionian coastline), put in at Myonnesos, killed prisoners whom he had taken en route (including at Chios: 32.3), put in at Ephesos, received a deputation of Samians, released other prisoners, and finally fled, having been sighted by the Salaminia and Paralos around Claros (32.1-33.1). He must have returned via the Patmos region, where Paches gave up his pursuit (33.3); and we learn later that his ships met a storm off Crete (69.1), whence they returned in dribs and drabs (aoToQa6;g)to the Peloponnese. The even more southerly route is intelligible, to avoid the Athenian pursuit; but what was he doing in Ionia? The answer must be that he wished to make some kind of showing before his return to the Peloponnese. He would not do anything so definitive and risky as was suggested to him, but was at least prepared to make his fleet visible to some lonian cities, who might have taken the opportunity to rebel. 42 ships could not be thrown away lightly, particularly since the Alliance wished to

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

StrategyandTacticsin the MytileneCampaign


conduct an expedition against Corcyra (69.1). Had any city done so, it is
conceivable that he would have stayed and fortified it against Athenian attack: possibly his own treatment of the prisoners dissuaded any revolt, or perhaps the failure of Mytilene had made the cities too reluctant. Even in making this move he was cautious enough to steer southwards, conveniently for his southerly route back home; and as soon as he was sighted, he fled. This caution is easy to criticise; but we must remember that this was the first time the Spartan Alliance had ventured into the Aegean. The Spartans, after all, claimed to be liberating Greece (e. g. 1.139.3, IV 8.5). The contemporary lonians would not have been so critical and regarded Alcidas as bold rather Ti than cowardly: ~k;tt& O"Ub TTqV kXLTTv ELaxov [o JroTE 'AMiqvct(wv
xQaToOvtwv vavS; ftcTkahocng


'IwvWav naQacaktv (32.3).

8. Salaithos,Spartaand the Surrender

Salaithos reached Mytilene via Pyrra: and with the benefit of hindsight we may think it surprising that the Athenians, having established the blockade of Mytilene, did not spare a ship or two to control the (extremely narrow) entrance to the gulf within which Pyrra lay. But they were short of ships, having to guard against a sudden excursus by the Mytilenian fleet (which may have numbered not much fewer than their own) and also against the possibility of naval help from the Peloponnese; and the blockade of Pyrra would hardly have prevented Salaithos' arrival- though the Athenians were now preeminent by land as well as sea, their forces were too few to blockade the whole island against the advent of a single trireme. They concentrated, rightly, on Mytilene; and if they were to blame at all, it was for letting Salaithos through the wall. The Peloponnesians should have acted much earlier: it was not till the end of the winter (25.1) that Salaithos was sent, and then only Salaithos. As the later example of Gylippos, Gongylos and their associates (VII.2) shows, a great deal could be achieved without much actual strength: in particular, the Lesbian allies of Mytilene could have been persuaded to help more effectively (cf. VII. 1). Corinth and other states, who could easily have spared a few boldly-led triremes, were as much to blame as Sparta for the omission. Given the small numbers on both sides, even a small body of Peloponnesian hoplites supported, as they could have been, by the Lesbian allies as well as Mytilene could have prevented the circumvallation of Mytilene and, indeed, made it virtually impossible for Athens to prevail by land. Why did they not try - particularly since they had been willing earlier in the war to make attempts on islands which were either neutral or positively hostile (Cephallenia, II.33: Zacynthos, II.66)? Phormio's victories and Cnemos' failure in 429 no doubt lowered their morale in respect of oversea adventures, and the distance to Lesbos was very much greater: yet they were willing to risk

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



40 ships under Alcidas. The answer must be, I think, that both they and the Mytilenians believed the most effective measures to consist of a direct attack upon Athens: it is not until these fail that Alcidas' squadron is put under orders (15-16). By that time the campaigning season was coming to an end, and Athens had sent her 1000 hoplites to besiege Mytilene: it is not too surprising that the Spartan Alliance waited till the following summer before doing anything. Nor is it clear that the Mytilenians in their speech, advocate the forces should be sent to Lesbos. They request, admittedly, that the Spartan Alliance should bt6a taXEWV ,3OEMLaV Wtoc0TCXXELV (13.2); but there follows almost immediately the suggestion of an attack on Athens which, they think,

will do the trick: fiv


v TO

16E iE'QEL vaT


'i 7TEd 4[La

TO &OTcE1oV (13.4). The Peloponnesian attackmay in itself MEGP6ikXTE constitute the Po?ELctav asked for in 13.2; in any case, it is the Mytilenians'

only practical suggestion. In the final surrender, the Athenians had remarkably good fortune in more than one respect. First, although Thucydides says that the food supplies had run out (nEkXEkoCLt, 27.1), he gives the events of 27.2-28.1 as the reason why they were compelled to come to terms (6L& TO6E at the end of 27.1 is prospective). It is clear, in fact, that even Alcidas' caution had put the Peloponnesian fleet within easy distance of Mytilene before it had to capitulate: the Peloponnesians are at Embaton only seven days after the surrender (29.2). In any case, the Mytilenians were not yet starving, otherwise Salaithos' idea of leading them out to fight the Athenians would have been unrealistic: they could certainly have held out for some days at least, no doubt even weeks. Secondly, Salaithos was wrong to despair of the fleet so soon, however understandably: and it was also lucky for the Athenians that there was no communication between him and the fleet. If he had realised how near it was, he would surely have held on. We are not told of Salaithos' negotiations with the oligoi and the demos at Mytilene, if indeed there were any: he may have appreciated the dangers of arming the demos, or he may not. But in either case he seems to have been unable to prevent the ensuing muddle, which he could in principle have done either (if there was no food to distribute) by persuading the demos that there was no food, or (if there was) by persuading the oligoi to distribute it. His performance compares badly with Gylippos': but he may have had a less receptive audience. Thirdly, the oligoi were equally incompetent both so far as the food was concerned (either in not distributing it or in not being able to make the demos realise there was none), and in their general assessment of the situation. Their own initiative in coming to terms with the Athenians did not save their own necks. The demos seem almost as imprudent: in the event, they too nearly perished, and would certainly have done had not the Athenians had a sudden

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Strategy and Tactics in the Mytilene Campaign


change of heart, almost too late. Both underestimated potential Athenian wrath at a rebellious ally. Oxford University, Department of Educational Studies
Selective Bibliography For the sake of simplicity, I have confined referencesin my article almost exclusivelyto work for modern Gomme's Commentary, perhapsthe best-knownand most readilyavailable readers. Gommecontainsmost, thoughby no meansall, of the other relevantreferences. In considering we haveto face (1) the problemof its vast amount: other secondaryliterature, and directlyrelevant here I have thoughtit best to select some 30 of the most important works. Thereis also (2) the fact that most modernscholarshaveconcerned themselves with the politics, ratherthan the strategyand tactics,of the rebellion:thoughof coursethese are interconnected. Here it may be helpful to say that, for strategy and tactics, early editions of Thucydides with close (particularly PoppoandClassen)arethe most helpfulsources,particularly if combined study of mapsand terrain. Adcock, F. and D. J. Mosley Diplomacy in AncientGreece(London, 1975). Amit, M. Athensand the Sea (Brussels,1965). Andrewes,A. 'The MytileneDebate'in Phoenix16 (1962)64-85. Arnold,T. (edition)(Oxford, 1847). Bloomfield,S. T. (edition)(London, 1842). Bohme,G. (edition,revisedby Widmann) (Leipzig,1894). of the AthenianEmpire'in Historia9 (1960)25749. Bradeen,D. W. 'The Popularity Busolt, G. Griechische Geschichte (Gotha, 1893-1904). Classen,J. (edition,revisedby Steup)(Berlin,1905). Condis,J. D. Lesbos(Athens,1978). Conze, A. Reiseauf der Insel Lesbos(Hannover,1865). Ducrey, P. Le traitement desprisonniers de guerredansla Greceantique(Paris, 1965). von Fritz, K. Gnrechische Geschichtsschreibung (Berlin,1967). G. K. Nomos Lesbou(Athens,1931). Georgiades, Gillis, D. 'The Revolt at Mytilene'in AJP92 (1971)38-47. Jones, A. H. M. AthenianDemocracy (Oxford, 1957). Kagan,D. TheArchidamian War(Cornell, 1974). Losada,L. The Fifth Columnin the Peloponnesian War(Leiden,1972). D. P. Oi Qi)T Mantzouranes, xuTE yxaTctaot1 Afoo (Mytilene,1949). T6)V 'EXkkvov aTi
To ftnoeto yeoQyLxo6 E1o661ca

John Wilson

Afof3ou cTiv &QXcLtct6Ta (Mytilene, 1950).

Meiggs,R. TheAthenianEmpire(Oxford, 1972). Merritt,B. D., H. T. Wade-Gery, and M. F. McGregor,TheAthenianTribute Lists(Cambridge, Mass., 1939-53). Muller,C. and Th. Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (Paris,1841-85). Philippson,A. Die Griechischen Landschaften (Frankfurt, 1950-59). Poppo, E. F. (edition,revisedby Stahl). Quinn, T. J. 'PoliticalGroups at Lesbosduringthe Peloponnesian War',in Historia20 (1971) 405-8. de St. Croix, G. E. M. The Originsof the Peloponnesian War(London, 1972). Westlake, H. D. 'The Commonsat Mytilene'in Historna 25 (1976)429-40. Wilson,J. Pylos425 (London, 1979). Winnington-Ingram, R. P. 'Cleon and Diodotos' in Bull. Inst. Class.Stud. 12 (1965)70-82.

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:41:18 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions