Afraid to return to his native city, where he knew the people would blame him for their sufferings, Alcibiades fled. After roaming about for some time, he took refuge in a castle which he had built on the Chersonesus.
From the height upon which the castle stood, Alcibiades could overlook the sea on both sides; and he watched the Spartan and Athenian fleets, which, unknown to each other, had come to anchor very near him. He soon discovered that the Spartans had become aware of the presence of the Athenians, and were preparing to surprise them.
He therefore left his castle, and, at the risk of his life, went down to warn the Athenians of the coming danger. They, however, treated his warning with scorn, and bade him return to his castle, and remember that he no longer had any right to interfere in their affairs.
From the top of his promontory, Alcibiades saw the complete destruction of the Athenian fleet. Only a few men managed to escape to his castle for shelter; while a single ship sailed in haste to Athens, to report the defeat, and warn the people of the coming danger.
A few days later the victorious Spartan army marched unchallenged into Athens, for there were now no fighting men left to oppose them. The Spartans said that Athens must now obey them in all things; and, to humiliate the people, they tore down the Long Walls to the sound of joyful music on the anniversary of the glorious victory of Salamis.
Thus ended the Peloponnesian War, which, as you have seen, began shortly before the death of Pericles. From this time on, the fame of Athens was due mostly to her literature and art.
By order of the Spartans, Solon’s laws were set aside, and thirty men were chosen to govern the city. These rulers proved so stern and cruel, that they were soon known as the Thirty Tyrants, and were hated by every one.