|Isle of Chios|
History of the Peloponnesian War
Book VIII: While Athens is paralyzed in disbelief about the catastrophic Sicilian expedition, Sparta takes advantage of their weakness and begins to foment strife among Athenian allies. They instigate revolts in Chios and Miletus, as well as other areas that pay tribute to Athens. The Athenians fight back with some success. Various battles and political strategems abound, with Alcibiades coming to the forefront, inciting unrest and disagreement wherever he goes, a result of his selfish manipulations. Finally the Peloponnesians suspect him of subterfuge as he is now tight with the Persian, Tissapherne, and the Athenians mistrust him as well. It is unclear as to whether Alcibiades' urging is the main catalyst, but suddenly Athenian groups break from their beloved democracy and revolt against it, sending envoys back to Athens to overthrow the democracy and establish oligarchies along the way. Their actions are so ill-planned that the areas they convert are so intoxicated with their new freedom that they begin self-government and the intended plan of the reform set to them by the Athenian envoys is completely ignored. Sparta and Persia form an alliance and Alcibiades is up to his usual no-good, playing off Sparta and Athens against each other with the help of Tissapherne, the corrupt Persian governor.
In Athens, mistrust and subterfuge is rampant as no one knows who to trust and any opponent of oligarchies is murdered. A “party” named the Four Hundred overthrows the democracy in Athens and takes control, and another oligarchic party in Samos plans the same, but they are thwarted by a number of pro-democratic Athenians who vow to have nothing to do with the oligarchs in Athens, intending to restore democracy by fighting on their own.
|Eretria, Euboea, Greece|
|The Acropolis of Athens (1883)|
This final chapter though was quite riveting and exposed the perils and weaknesses of human nature like no other has done so far.