Monday, November 13, 2017

Battle of Olpae in 426 BC

Olpae was a stronghold near Amphilochian Argos. The battle of Olpae (426 BC) was an Athenian victory that ended a Spartan campaign aimed at the conquest of Acarnania and Amphilochia.

In the winter of 426 BC the Ambraciots invaded Amphilochia and took Olpae. The Acarnanians hastened to the defense of Amphilochia and asked Demosthenes to come from Naupactus to join their central command.

It has been suggested that the Acarnanians were impressed with Demosthenes’ military skills. Soon after the arrival, Demosthenes took part in the battle of Olpae.

Demosthenes gave battle to the enemy between Olpae and Argos and by skillfully contrived ambuscade annulled the advantage which they had in superior numbers.

According to Thucydides, Demosthenes’, generalship was responsible for the major victory of the Acarnanian-Athenian force over the Ambraciot-Peloponnesian enemy.

The victory cost the conquerors about three hundred men. On the other side the loss was great; and Menedaius (Spartan), on whom the command devolved after the death of his colleagues, found himself reduced to the embarrassing alternative of sustaining a blockade both by land and sea.
Battle of Olpae in 426 BC

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