Alcibiades also advised Tissaphernes not to be in a hurry about putting an end to the war, and neither to bring up the Phoenician fleet which he was preparing, nor to give pay to more Hellenic sailors; he should not be so anxious to put the whole power both by sea and land into the same hands. Let the dominion only remain divided, and then, whichever of the two rivals was troublesome, the King might always1
use the other against him.
But if one defeated the other and became supreme on both elements, who would help Tissaphernes to overthrow the conqueror? He would have to take the field in person and fight, which he might not like, at great risk and expense. The danger would be easily averted at a fraction of the cost, and at no risk to himself, if he wore out the Hellenes in internal strife.
Alcibiades also said that the Athenians would be more suitable partners of empire, because they were less likely to encroach by land, and both their principles and their practice in carrying on the war accorded better with the King's interest. For if he helped them to subject the element of the sea to themselves, they would gladly help him in the subjugation of the Hellenes who were in his country, whereas the Lacedaemonians came to be their liberators. But a power which was at that very moment emancipating the Hellenes from the dominion of another Hellenic power like themselves would not be satisfied to leave them under the yoke of the Barbarian2
if they once succeeded in crushing the Athenians3
So he advised him first to wear them both out, and when he had clipped the Athenians as close as he could, then to get the Peloponnesians out of his country.
To this course Tissaphernes was strongly inclined, if we may judge from his acts. For he gave his full confidence to Alcibiades, whose advice he approved, and kept the Peloponnesians ill-provided, at the same time refusing to let them fight at sea, and insisting that they must wait until the Phoenician ships arrived; they would then fight at an advantage. In this manner he ruined their affairs and impaired the efficiency of their navy, which had once been in first-rate condition. There were many other ways in which he showed openly and unmistakably that he was not in earnest in the cause of his allies.