amfipoli  1 24grammataA MESSAGE FOR AMPHIPOLIS
by R. A. Bauman
(University of Sydney)

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In the winter of 424 – 423 Brasidas reached the Strymon bridge at Amphipolis late at night, forced the crossing (aided by treachery), and occupied the suburban area outside the walls, taking a number of prisoners. He then pitched camp, although local opinion held that an immediate assault on the city would probably have succeeded; but he was waiting for the gates to be opened by his friends inside. Within Amphipolis the pro-Athenian party forestalled the opening of the gates and, in conjunction with Eucles, co-strategos with Thucydides in Thrace, sent a call for assistance to the latter, who was with a squadron of seven triremes at Thasos. Thereupon Brasidas offered moderate terms of surrender, inviting the defenders either to remain in the city, in full possession of their proprietary and civic rights, or to depart within five days with their property. The terms were accepted. Late in the afternoon Thucydides reached Eion at the mouth of the Strymon, three miles from Amphipolis, only to learn that Amphipolis had just surrendered to Brasidas. Thucydides secured Eion, but went into exile as a result of the loss of Amphipolis.1
Attention has been concentrated on Thucydides’ part in and responsibility for these events, 2 to the almost entire exclusion from the reckoning of Eucles and those in the city. Apart from suggestions that Eucles was incompetent and was probably prosecuted, 3 not enough questions have been asked about the happenings at Amphipolis itself, 4 and in particular the volte face of the pro-Athenian majority in the city. We are told that this group, because of its numerical superiority, 5 gained the ascendancy
over the friends of Brasidas, stalled off the opening of the gates, and despatched the urgent call to Thucydides.6 (…)