(8.7) At the beginning of the next summer the Chians were eager to get the fleet sent off at once. For their proposals, like those of the other allies, had been made secretly, and they were afraid that the Athenians would detect them. Thereupon the Lacedaemomans sent to Corinth three Spartans, who were to give orders that the ships then lying at the Isthmus should be as quickly as possible dragged over from the Corinthian gulf to the coast on the other side. They were all to be despatched to Chios, including the ships which Agis had been equipping for Lesbos. The allied fleet then at the Isthmus numbered in all thirty-nine.
(8.8) Calligitus and Timagoras, who represented Pharnabazus, took no part in the expedition to Chios, nor did they offer to contribute towards the expenses of it the money which they had brought with them, amounting to twenty-five talents;10 they thought of sailing later with another expedition. Agis, when he saw that the Lacedaemonians were bent on going to Chios first, offered no opposition; so the allies held a conference at Corinth, and after some deliberation determined to sail, first of all to Chios, under the command of Chalcideus, who was equipping the five ships in Laconia, then to proceed to Lesbos, under the command of Alcamenes, whom Agis had previously designed to appoint to that island, and finally to the Hellespont; for this last command they had selected Clearchus the son of Rhamphias. They resolved to carry over the Isthmus half the ships first; these were to sail at once, that the attention of the Athenians might be distracted between those which were starting and those which were to follow. They meant to sail quite openly, taking it for granted that the Athenians were powerless, since no navy of theirs worth speaking of had as yet appeared. In pursuance of their plans they conveyed twenty-one ships over the Isthmus.
(8.9) They were in a hurry to be off, but the Corinthians were unwilling to join them until the conclusion of the Isthmian games, which were then going on. Agis was prepared to respect their scruples and to take the responsibility of the expedition on himself. But the Corinthians would not agree to this proposal, and there was delay. In the meantime the Athenians began to discover the proceedings of the Chians, and despatched one of their generals, Aristocrates, to accuse them of treason. They denied the charge; whereupon he desired them to send back with him a few ships as a pledge of their fidelity to the alliance; and they sent seven. They could not refuse his request, for the Chian people were ignorant of the whole matter, while the oligarchs, who were in the plot, did not want to break with the multitude until they had secured their ground. And the Peloponnesian ships had delayed so long that they had ceased to expect them.
(8.10) Meanwhile the Isthmian games were celebrated. The Athenians, to whom they had been formally notified, sent representatives to them; and now their eyes began to be opened to the designs of the Chians. On their return home they took immediate measures to prevent the enemy's ships getting away from Cenchreae unperceived. When the games were over, the Peloponnesians, under the command of Alcamenes, with their twenty-one ships set sail for Chios; the Athenians, with an equal number, first sailed up to them and tried to draw them into the open sea. The Peloponnesians did not follow them far, but soon turned back to Cenchreae; the Athenians likewise retired, because they could not depend on the fidelity of the seven Chian ships which formed a part of their fleet. So they manned some more ships, making the whole number thirty-seven, and when the Peloponnesians resumed their voyage along the coast they pursued them into Piraeum, a lonely harbour, the last in the Corinthian territory before you reach Epidauria. One ship was lost by the Peloponnesians at sea, but they got the rest together and came to anchor in the harbour. Again the Athenians attacked them, not only on the water, but also after they had landed; there was a fierce struggle, but no regular engagement; most of the enemy's ships were damaged by the Athenians on the beach, and their commander, Alcamenes, was slain. Some Athenians also fell.
(8.11) When the conflict was over, the conquerors left a sufficient number of ships to watch the enemy, and with the remainder they lay to under a little island not far off, where they encamped, and sent to Athens, requesting reinforcements. For on the day after the battle the Corinthians had come to assist the Peloponnesian ships, and the other inhabitants of the country quickly followed them. Foreseeing how great would be the labour of keeping guard on so desolate a spot, the Peloponnesians knew not what to do; they even entertained the idea of burning their ships, but on second thoughts they determined to draw them high up on shore, and to keep guard over them with their land-forces stationed near, until some good opportunity of escape should occur. Agis was informed of their condition, and sent Thermon, a Spartan, to them. The first tidings which had reached Sparta were to the effect that the ships had left the Isthmus (the Ephors having told Alcamenes to send a horseman announcing the fact), and immediately they determined to send out the five ships of their own which they had ready, under the command of Chalcideus, who was to be accompanied by Alcibiades. But when they were on the point of departure, a second messenger reported that the other squadron had been chased into Piraeum; and then, disheartened by finding that they had begun the Ionian war with a failure, they determined to give up sending the ships from Laconia, and even to recall some others which had already sailed.