Perceiving this, the division opposed to the Corcyraeans fearing a
repetition of the disaster of Naupactus, came to support their friends, and
the whole fleet now bore down, united, upon the Athenians,
who retired before it, backing water, retiring as leisurely as possible in
order to give the Corcyraeans time to escape, while the enemy was thus kept
Such was the character of this sea-fight, which lasted until sunset.
The Corcyraeans now feared that the enemy
would follow up their victory and sail against the town and rescue the men
in the island, or strike some other blow equally decisive, and accordingly
carried the men over again to the temple of Hera, and kept guard over the
The Peloponnesians, however, although victorious in the sea-fight, did not
venture to attack the town, but took the thirteen Corcyraean vessels which
they had captured, and with them sailed back to the continent from whence
they had put out.
The next day equally they refrained from attacking the city, although the
disorder and panic were at their height, and though Brasidas, it is said,
urged Alcidas, his superior officer, to do so, but they landed upon the
promontory of Leukimme and laid waste the country.
Meanwhile the commons in Corcyra, being still
in great fear of the fleet attacking them, came to a parley with the
suppliants and their friends, in order to save the town; and prevailed upon some of them to go on board the ships, of which they
still manned thirty, against the expected attack.
But the Peloponnesians after ravaging the country until midday sailed away,
and towards nightfall were informed by beacon signals of the approach of
sixty Athenian vessels from Leucas, under the command of Eurymedon, son of
Thucles; which had been sent off by the Athenians upon the news of the revolution
and of the fleet with Alcidas being about to sail for Corcyra.
The Peloponnesians accordingly at once set
off in haste by night for home, coasting along shore; and hauling their ships across the Isthmus of Leucas, in order not to be
seen doubling it, so departed.
The Corcyraeans, made aware of the approach of the Athenian fleet and of
the departure of the enemy, brought the Messenians from outside the walls
into the town, and ordered the fleet which they had manned to sail round
into the Hyllaic harbor; and while it was so doing, slew such of their enemies as they laid hands
on, dispatching afterwards as they landed them, those whom they had
persuaded to go on board the ships.
Next they went to the sanctuary of Hera and persuaded about fifty men to
take their trial, and condemned them all to death.
The mass of the suppliants who had refused to do so, on seeing what was
taking place, slew each other there in the consecrated ground; while some hanged themselves upon the trees, and others destroyed
themselves as they were severally able.
During seven days that Eurymedon stayed with his sixty ships, the
Corcyraeans were engaged in butchering those of their fellow-citizens whom
they regarded as their enemies: and although the crime imputed was that of
attempting to put down the democracy, some were slain also for private
hatred, others by their debtors because of the monies owed to them.
Death thus raged in every shape; and, as usually happens at such times, there was no length to which
violence did not go; sons were killed by their fathers, and suppliants dragged from the altar or
slain upon it; while some were even walled up in the temple of Dionysus and died there.
So bloody was the march of the revolution,
and the impression which it made was the greater as it was one of the first
Later on, one may say, the whole Hellenic world was convulsed; struggles being everywhere made by the popular chiefs to bring in the
Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the Lacedaemonians.
In peace there would have been neither the pretext nor the wish to make
such an invitation; but in war, with an alliance always at the command of either faction for
the hurt of their adversaries and their own corresponding advantage,
opportunities for bringing in the foreigner were never wanting to the