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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 369: Agesilaus Return Bahasa Indonesia

“Help me sit down.” Aristophanes then sat while leaning against the side of the mountain path, watching the cheering crowd and his heart equally throbbed with excitement. Although he knew in his heart that the Athenian Conon was now a navarch employed by Persia and leading the Persian fleet, his victory still made Athens face much less threat at sea.

Although the ecclesia approved the alliance with Thebes and declaring war on Sparta, the shadow of their defeat in the Peloponnesian War ten years ago and the fierceness of the Spartans pressed on the hearts of every Athenians like a nightmare. Particularly now that the anti-Spartan alliance are still losing more than winning even though the war situation in Isthmus is in a stalemate, and they recently heard that the Spartan king, Agesilaus, led another army from Asia Minor and landed in Northern Greece, so how could the Athenians remain calm?! Thus the victory of this naval battle was like a timely rain, which lightened the boulders pressing on them, causing them to cheer loudly in order to vent their long-suppressed fear.

Aristophanes became relieved after seeing the Athenians becoming slightly angrier. Afterwards, he showed a surprised expression when he saw a man in shabby clothes sitting on the dusty steps at the corner of the street, leaning against the rough stone wall and reading intently at something.

This quiet image was in stark contrast to the joy around him, and Aristophanes was familiar with the figure of this person.

He walked over and shouted with uncertainty, “Antisthenes?”

The man looked at him but had no intention to stand up, “Aristophanes, don’t bother my reading if you are only here to ask me about Plato’s whereabouts.”

How could Aristophanes not know that although Antisthenes and Plato were both students of Socrates, they had different ideas, so he said with a bit of teasing, “I just want to tell you that the fleet led by Conon had defeated the Spartan navy, and now the whole city is spreading the news of this victory.”

“So?” Antisthenes said disapprovingly, “Victory will only encourage the people to throw themselves more into the war blindly. Athens had only gotten its calm for only a bit, and yet another long war is going to happen…” Speaking till here, he shook his head and glanced at Aristophanes, “You have just returned from the theatre, haven’t you? The new play you wrote, The Theonians, seems to be very popular with the people.”

The negative attitude of Antisthenes towards the victory made Aristophanes dissatisfied, so he said sarcastically, “Oh! It’s my honour that Antisthenes, who has always refused to watch drama, knows about my new play!”

“That’s because the people are talking about it every day these days. I kept saying that you are too nosy. It’s their business to send what kind of Theonian citizens to the Sports Games, so what’s the point of having to write a play satirising them?”

Aristophanes had gotten so angry, but when he was about to refute, Antisthenes, said with his head tilting sideways and his fingers picking his ears, “Do you know that some time ago, after the news of Theonia’s public trial of the traitors and Syracuse’s ambition came to light, Thrasybulus and the statesmen of the council were discussing whether to send envoys to negotiate an alliance with Theonia and make them restrain Syracuse, the ally of Sparta. For that reason, you’d better not perform that play of yours to avoid provoking the Theonians and leading to the failure of the alliance.”

“What Thrasybulus wants to do is their own business, but they have no right to interfere with the legal freedom of an Athenian citizen!” Aristophanes shouted angrily.

“That’s what I was going to say.” Antisthenes pointed to the cheering people, “What does their victory have to do with me?”

This has made Aristophanes so angry that he just turned and left. Afterwards, he once more affirmed to himself of his understanding, ‘The reason why I can become a good friend with Plato, but remained estranged with Antisthenes is the sense of responsibility.’

On the other hand, Antisthenes did not care about the departure of Aristophanes. He just gently brushed away the dust of his book and started reading again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Agesilaus led his army through Thrace, Macedonia and arriving in central Greece. Even though he heard the news of Sparta’s victory at Corinth in Amphipolis, it still did not cheer him up as the Spartans were still blocked at the Isthmus and could not advance an inch.

Worried about the war, he increased the pace of the march, but upon arriving in Coroneia, he encountered an eclipse, which caused the soldiers to panicked as it was an ill omen.

Followed by the news of Sparta’s navy lost at Knidos, and while shocked, he was secretly glad that he had chosen to make his way to Boeotia by land rather than by sea. Otherwise, he might still be blocked in Asia Minor.

In order to avoid causing the morale of the army to wave, he immediately blocked the news. And at the same time, he also felt that he must launch a war soon and wash away the bad news with victory.

Thus he led his troops again and finally entered Boeotia. He then encountered the anti-Spartan allies stationed in Coroneia guarding the passage to Thebes, leading to an inevitable great battle.

But before the battle, Agesilaus called Xenophon, the leader of the remnant of the famous ten thousand mercenaries who went to Persia.

After fighting for Sparta in Asia Minor for five years, the 35-year-old Athenian was now already a veteran strategos. He stood before Agesilaus like a tall, upright cedar, exuding a manly air.

Agesilaus looked at him admiringly and said, “Xenophon, my friend. The enemies of Sparta have formed up in front of us, and only after defeating them could we advance to the city of Thebes. But…among the enemies are the reinforcement from Athens, some of them might be your relatives, friends and classmates. Fighting them would undoubtedly be an extremely painful thing for you…alas, although I am reluctant, I…”

Exuding an unusual regretful looked, Agesilaus said emotionally, “I…will allow you to lead your troops away, or even join the other side. Nevertheless, I am thankful for your selfless help to Sparta in these recent years! And even if you and I will become enemies in the next battle, I still regard you as one of Agesilaus’ friends.”

Hearing this, Xenophon became furious, “King of Sparta, you are questioning my integrity! Before leading the mercenaries to follow you out of Asia Minor, I had already said that since the Athenian ecclesia executed my teacher, Socrates, and tried me in absentia, I regarded Athens as an enemy! Besides, I swear to Zeus that I agree with the political idea of Sparta, and I am willing to fight for it! Since you are insisting on me to leave here, then I…I will leave.” With that, he turned around without reluctance and was about to walk out of the main tent.

“Xenophon, pardon my rudeness!” Agesilaus hurried forward, grabbed him and apologised, “I just did not want you and your compatriots to fight each other. However, I now realise that you have great convictions that go far beyond your feelings to your mother state, and for that, I would like to apologise!” With that, he bowed sincerely to Xenophon.

Xenophon scrambled to stop him, and now much of the anger in his heart subsided.

“My friend, I have decided to appoint you as the commander of the army in the centre for tomorrow’s battle.” Agesilaus then made a decisive decision.

Although Xenophon was a bit surprised, he didn’t reject it and gladly took the order, for he knew that there were some rumours about him going around in the army recently. Thus, he secretly vowed that in this battle, he would take practical actions to shut those who questioned him!

After Xenophon exited the tent, Archidamus, the adjutant of Agesilaus and was also his son, entered. Afterwards, he became surprised to learn of his father’s decision, “Father, have you truly placed the Athenian to command our centre?”

“So what if he is an Athenian?!” Agesilaus then said loudly at a volume that the guards outside the tent could hear, “Xenophon is a true friend of I, Agesilaus! And I have always trusted my friends. Besides, Xenophon is a very talented person, and he deserves my trust!”

At this point, Agesilaus remembered something. He sighed and said to his son, “You must understand that Sparta had already missed out on Davos that Cheirisophus highly recommended. And now, the Theonia City-State Union that the young man had founded had become a huge problem for Dionysius in just a few short years…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

The following day, both sides went into formation in Coroneia.

Agesilaus led the main Spartan force and formed the left-wing, and faced their long-time enemy, Argos. Xenophon led the remnant of the ten thousand mercenaries and other Asia Minor mercenaries in the centre, and the enemy he is facing is his fellow Athenians. On the right-wing is the Spartan allied Phocis, and their enemy is Thebes, the initiator of this war.

At the forefront of the Theban army, Pelopidas and Epaminondas, who are now 26, formed in line as hoplites.

“Why haven’t the salpinx sounded yet?! I am itching for a fight!” Pelopidas said eagerly.

However, Epaminondas did not reply and just looked at the front with melancholy.

“Epa, what are you worried about? Are you afraid that we can’t beat the Phocis?” Said Pelopidas, who noticed something different about his friend.

“I am not worried about them, as they could never match us. What I am worried about are the Argosians and whether they could fend off the Spartan’s attack.” Epaminondas said anxiously.

“Epa, you worry too much. This is what the commander needs to consider, and the only thing we need to do is to defeat the Phocis quickly!” Pelopidas pointed the spear forward and said in high spirits.


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