About the same time Panactum, a fortress on the Athenian border, was taken by treachery by the Boeotians. Meanwhile Cleon, after placing a garrison in Torone, weighed anchor and sailed around Athos on his way to Amphipolis. About the same time Phaeax, son of Erasistratus, set sail with two colleagues as ambassador from Athens to Italy and Sicily.
Some say that it was not Nikias but Phaeax with whom Alkibiades joined interest, and that with the assistance of his political party he managed to expel Hyperbolus, who never expected any such treatment; for before that time this punishment had never been extended to low persons of no reputation, as Plato, the comic dramatist, says in the lines where he mentions Hyperbolus: "Full worthy to be punished though he be, Yet ostracism's not for such as he."
Meantime I am not ignorant that Theophrastus says, that when Hyperbolus was banished Phaeax, not Nicias, contested it with Alcibiades; but most authors differ from him.
But the plaintiff in this action is named Tisias, and not Diomedes. As soon as he began to intermeddle in the government, which was when he was very young, he quickly lessened the credit of all who aspired to the confidence of the people, except Phaeax, the son of Erasistratus, and Nicias, the son of Niceratus, who alone could contest it with him.
As soon as he began to intermeddle in the government, which was when he was very young, he quickly lessened the credit of all who aspired to the confidence of the people, except Phaeax and Nicias, who alone could contest with him. Nicias was arrived at a mature age, and was esteemed their first general.
But Philochorus says that Theseus had one Nausithous sent him from Skirus of Salamis, to steer the ship, and Phaeax to act as look-out, as the Athenians had not yet turned their attention to the sea. One of the youths chosen by lot was Menestheos the son of Skirus's daughter.
The reference seems to be to a passage in Plutarch's Alcibiades, where Phaeax is thus described: 'He seemed fitter for soliciting and persuading in private than for stemming the torrent of a public debate; in short, he was one of those of whom Eupolis says: "True he can talk, and yet he is no speaker." Langhome's Plutarch, ed. 1809, ii. 137.
His chief rivals were Phaeax, the son of Erasistratus, and Nikias, the son of Nikeratus, the latter a man advanced in life, and bearing the reputation of being an excellent general, while the former, like Alkibiades himself, was a young man of good family, just rising into notice, but inferior to him in many respects, particularly in oratory.
Phaeax was but a rising statesman like Alcibiades; he was descended from noble ancestors, but was his inferior in many other things, but principally in eloquence. Alcibiades was not less disturbed at the distinction which Nicias gained among the enemies of Athens, than at the honors which the Athenians themselves paid to him.
They were the only people of the allies who, when the reconciliation between the Sicilians took place, had not made peace with her; nor indeed would they have done so now, if they had not been pressed by a war with the Hipponians and Medmaeans who lived on their border, and were colonists of theirs. Phaeax meanwhile proceeded on his voyage, and at length arrived at Athens.