The Social War, also known as the War of the
Allies, was fought from 357 to 355 between Athens with the Second Athenian
League and the allied city-states of Chios, Rhodes, Cos and Byzantion.
Opponents: Athens and the Second Athenian League versus Chios Rhodes Kos
Commanders and leaders:
Athens - Chares
Allies - Numerous including: Mausolus
Provoked by Athens' increasingly dominating stance over the Second Athenian
League, Chios, Rhodes, Cos and Byzantion overthrew their democratic governments
and broke away from the league. The Athenian generals Chares and Chabrias were
given command of the Athenian fleet.
During midsummer of 357 Chabrias's fleet was defeated and he was killed in the
attack on the island of Chios. Chares was
given complete command of the Athenian fleet and withdrew to the Hellespont for
operations against Byzantion.
The generals Timotheus, Iphicrates and his son Menestheus were sent to help him
during an oncoming naval battle between the sighted enemy fleet on the
Hellespont. Timotheus and Iphicrates refused to engage due to a blowing gale
but Chares did engage and lost many of his ships. Timotheus and Iphicrates were
accused by Chares and put on trial, however only Timotheus was condemned to pay
a fine, and escaped.
In 356, the revolting allies ravaged the Athenian-loyal islands of Lemnos and
Imbros but were only able to lay siege to
Samos because it was defended by cleruchs. Chares commanded the Athenian
fleet at the Battle of Embata, and lost
Philip II's interference:
King Philip II of
Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, used the war as an opportunity to
further the interests of his Macedonian kingdom in the Aegean region. In 357,
Philip captured Amphipolis, a depot for the gold and silver mines from Mount
Pangaion and the approach to it, as well as for timber, securing Macedon's
economic and political future. He secretly offered Amphipolis to the Athenians
in exchange for the valuable port Pydna; when they complied, both Pydna and
Potidaea were conquered over the winter and occupied; Philip, however, did not
surrender Amphipolis. He also took the city of Crenides from the Odrysae and
renamed it Philippi.
Persian interference and the end of the war:
Chares was in need of money for his war effort but frowned upon asking it from
home; thus, partly compelled by his mercenaries, he entered the service of the
revolted Persian satrap
Artabazus. The Athenians originally approved this collaboration but then
ordered it to be dropped due to the Persian king
Ochus's complaint and their fear of Persian support for the revolting
confederates. Furthermore, as a result of increasing Athenian operations near
the Persian empire, in 356 Persia asked Athens to leave Asia Minor, threatening
war. In 355 Athens, not in any shape for another war, complied and withdrew,
recognizing the independence of the confederate allies. Chares' war party was
replaced by a peaceful one under Eubulus. The financial surplus racked for the
war was put in a fund to be used for public entertainment.