Ancient History & Civilisation

BOOK SEVEN

After refitting their ships, Gylippus and Pythen coasted along from Tarentum to Epizephyrian Locri. They now received the more correct information that the siege works at Syracuse were not yet complete, and that it was still possible for an army arriving by Epipolae to effect an entrance; they considered, accordingly, whether they should keep Sicily on their right and risk sailing in by sea, or leaving it on their left, should first sail to Himera, and taking with them the Himeraeans and any others that might agree to join them, go to Syracuse by land. [2] Finally they decided to sail for Himera, especially as the four Athenian ships which Nicias had at last sent off, on hearing that they were at Locri, had not yet arrived at Rhegium. Accordingly, before these reached their post, the Peloponnesians crossed the strait and after touching at Rhegium and Messana, came to Himera. [3] There they persuaded the Himeraeans to join in the war, and not only to go with them themselves but to provide arms for the seamen from their vessels which they had drawn ashore at Himera; and they sent and appointed a place for the Selinuntines to meet them with all their forces. [4] A few troops were also promised by the Geloans and by some of the Sicels, who were now ready to join them with much greater alacrity, owing to the recent death of Archonidas, a powerful Sicel king in that neighborhood and friendly to Athens, and owing also to the vigor shown by Gylippus in coming from Sparta. [5] Gylippus now took with him about seven hundred of his sailors and marines (that number only having arms), a thousand hoplites and light troops from Himera with a body of a hundred horse, some light troops and cavalry from Selinus, a few Geloans, and Sicels numbering a thousand in all, and set out on his march for Syracuse.


7.1
414
18th Year/Summer
SICILY
Hearing that Syracuse might still be saved, Gylippus sails to Himera where he gathers allies before marching overland to Syracuse.


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MAP 7.1 REINFORCEMENTS FOR SYRACUSE


7.2
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Just as the Athenians are about to close their siege walls, and the Syracusans are losing hope, Gongylus arrives with news that reinforcements from the Peloponnesus are coming. The arrival of Gylippus restores Syracusan morale.


Meanwhile the Corinthian fleet from Leucas made all haste to arrive; and one of their commanders, Gongylus, starting last with a single ship, was the first to reach Syracuse, a little before Gylippus. Gongylus found the Syracusans on the point of holding an assembly to consider whether they should not put an end to the war. This he prevented, and reassured them by telling them that more vessels were still to arrive, and that Gylippus son of Cleandridas had been despatched by the Spartans to take the command. [2] Upon this the Syracusans took courage, and immediately marched out with all their forces to meet Gylippus, who they found was now close at hand. [3] Meanwhile Gylippus, after taking Ietae, a fort of the Sicels, on his way, formed his army in order of battle, and so arrived at Epipolae, and ascending by Euryelus, as the Athenians had done at first, now advanced with the Syracusans against the Athenian lines. [4] By chance, he had arrived at a critical moment. The Athenians had already finished a double wall of almost a mile to the Great Harbor, with the exception of a small portion next to the sea, which they were still engaged upon; and in the remainder of the circle toward Trogilus on the other sea, stones had been laid ready for building for the greater part of the distance, and some points had been left half finished, while others were entirely completed. The danger of Syracuse had indeed been great.


7.3
414
18th Year/Summer
EPIPOLAE
The two armies form up but neither will attack. While they confront each other, Gylippus sends out a force that captures the Athenian fort of Labdalum.


Meanwhile the Athenians, recovering from the confusion into which they had been at first thrown by the sudden approach of Gylippus and the Syracusans, formed in order of battle. Gylippus halted at a short distance off and sent on a herald to tell them that if they would evacuate Sicily with bag and baggage within five days’ time, he was willing to make a truce accordingly. [2] The Athenians treated this proposition with contempt, and dismissed the herald without an answer. After this both sides began to prepare for action. [3] Gylippus, observing that the Syracusans were in disorder and did not easily fall into line, drew off his troops more into the open ground, while Nicias did not lead on the Athenians but lay still by his own wall. When Gylippus saw that they did not come on, he led off his army to the citadel of the quarter of Apollo Temenites, and passed the night there. [4] On the following day he led out the main body of his army, and drawing them up in order of battle before the walls of the Athenians to prevent their going to the relief of any other quarter, dispatched a strong force against Fort Labdalum and took it, and put all whom he found in it to the sword, the place not being within sight of the Athenians. [5] On the same day an Athenian trireme that lay moored off the harbor was captured by the Syracusans.


7.4
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans begin to construct a counter wall. Nicias fortifies Plemmyrium and other sites, and dispatches a squadron to intercept the approaching Corinthian ships.


After this the Syracusans and their allies began to build a single wall, starting from the city, in a slanting direction up Epipolae, in order to prevent the Athenians, unless they could hinder the work, from extending and completing their siege wall. [2] Meanwhile the Athenians, having now finished their wall down to the sea, had come up to the heights; and part of their wall being weak, Gylippus drew out his army by night and attacked it. [3] However, the Athenians who happened to be bivouacking outside realized what was happening and came out to meet him, upon seeing which he quickly led his men back again. The Athenians now built their wall higher, and in future kept guard at this point themselves, disposing their confederates along the remainder of the works, at the stations assigned to them. [4] Nicias also determined to fortify Plemmyrium, a promontory opposite the city, which juts out and narrows the mouth of the Great Harbor. He thought that the fortification of this place would make it easier to bring in supplies, as they would be able to carry on their blockade from a shorter distance, and near the port used by the Syracusans; instead of being obliged, upon every movement of the enemy’s navy, to sail out against them from the bottom of the Great Harbor. Besides this, he now began to pay more attention to the war by sea, seeing that the coming of Gylippus had diminished their hopes by land. [5] Accordingly, he conveyed over his ships and some troops, and built three forts in which he placed most of his baggage, and moored there for the future the larger craft and warships. [6] This was the first and chief occasion of the losses which the crews experienced. The water which they used was scarce and had to be fetched from far away, and the sailors could not go out for firewood without being cut off by the Syracusan horse, who were masters of the country; a third of the enemy’s cavalry being stationed at the little town of Olympieum, to prevent plundering incursions on the part of the Athenians at Plemmyrium. [7] Meanwhile Nicias learned that the rest of the Corinthian fleet was approaching, and sent twenty ships to watch for them, with orders to be on the lookout for them in the vicinity of Locri and Rhegium and the approaches to Sicily.

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MAP 7.4 GYLIPPUS’ FIRST BATTLES AT SYRACUSE


7.5
414
18th Year/Summer
EPIPOLAE
Because Gylippus orders an attack in a constricted area where the Syracusan cavalry cannot be used, the Syracusans are defeated. Gylippus accepts blame for the defeat and promises a second effort with better results.


Gylippus, meanwhile, went on with the wall across Epipolae, using the stones which the Athenians had laid down for their own wall, and at the same time constantly led out the Syracusans and their allies, and formed them in order of battle in front of the lines, the Athenians forming against him. [2] At last he thought that the moment had come, and began the attack; and a hand-to-hand fight ensued between the lines, where the Syracusan cavalry could be of no use; [3] and the Syracusans and their allies were defeated and took up their dead under truce, while the Athenians erected a trophy. After this Gylippus called the soldiers together, and said that the fault was not theirs but his; he had kept their lines too much within the works, and had thus deprived them of the services of their cavalry and darters. [4] He would now, therefore, lead them on a second time. He begged them to remember that in material force they would be fully a match for their opponents, while with respect to moral advantages, it were intolerable if Peloponnesians and Dorians should not feel confident of overcoming Ionians and islanders with the motley rabble that accompanied them, and of driving them out of the country.


7.6
414
18th Year/Summer
EPIPOLAE
Gylippus orders another attack. This time he uses his cavalry effectively and defeats the Athenians. The Syracusans then carry their counterwall past the Athenian works and prevent Athenian investment of the city.


After this he embraced the first opportunity that arose of again leading them against the enemy. Now Nicias and the Athenians were of the opinion that even if the Syracusans should not wish to offer battle, it was necessary for them to prevent the building of the cross wall, as it already almost overlapped the extreme point of their own, and if it went any further it would from that moment make no difference whether they fought ever so many successful actions, or never fought at all. They accordingly came out to meet the Syracusans. [2] Gylippus led out his hoplites further from the fortifications than on the former occasion, and so joined battle; posting his horse and darters upon the flank of the Athenians in the open space, where the works of the two walls terminated. [3] During the engagement the cavalry attacked and routed the left wing of the Athenians, which was opposed to them; and the rest of the Athenian army was in consequence defeated by the Syracusans and driven headlong within their lines. [4] The night following the Syracusans extended their wall up to the Athenian works and passed them, thus putting it out of their power any longer to stop them, and depriving them, even if victorious in the field, of all chance of investing the city for the future.


7.7
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Eluding the Athenians, the Corinthian ships arrive safely. Gylippus leaves to raise Sicilian forces. Both sides request reinforcements and the Syracusans begin to exercise their fleet.


After this the remaining twelve vessels of the Corinthians, Ambraciots, and Leucadians sailed into the harbor under the command of the Corinthian Erasinides, having eluded the Athenian ships on guard, and helped the Syracusans in completing the remainder of the cross wall. [2] Meanwhile Gylippus went into the rest of Sicily to raise land and naval forces, and also to bring over any of the cities that either were lukewarm in the cause or had until then kept out of the war altogether. [3] Syracusan and Corinthian envoys were also dispatched to Sparta and Corinth to get a fresh force sent over, in any way possible, either in merchant vessels or transports, or in any other manner likely to prove successful, as the Athenians too were sending for reinforcements; [4] while the Syracusans proceeded to man and train a fleet, intending to try their fortune in this way also, and generally became exceedingly confident.


7.8
414
18th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias, feeling that his force must immediately depart or be strongly reinforced, sends a letter to Athens that frankly describes the situation. While awaiting their response, he adopts a defensive posture.


Nicias perceiving this, and seeing the strength of the enemy and his own difficulties daily increasing, himself also sent to Athens. He had before sent frequent reports of events as they occurred, and felt it especially incumbent upon him to do so now, as he thought that they were in a critical position, and that unless speedily recalled or strongly reinforced from home, they had no hope of safety. [2] He feared, however, that the messengers, either through inability to speak, or through failure of memory, or from a wish to please the multitude, might not report the truth, and so thought it best to write a letter, to insure that the Athenians should know his own opinion without its being lost in transmission, and be able to decide upon the real facts of the case. [3] His emissaries, accordingly, departed with the letter and the requisite verbal instructions; and he attended to the affairs of the army, making it his aim now to keep on the defensive and to avoid any unnecessary danger.


7.9
414
18th Year/Summer
AMPHIPOLIS
The Athenians fail to take Amphipolis.


At the close of the same summer the Athenian general Euetion marched in concert with Perdiccas with a large body of Thracians against Amphipolis, and failing to take it brought some triremes round into the Strymon, and blockaded the city from the river, having his base at Himeraeum.


7.10
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
Nicias’ letter arrives at Athens.


Summer was now over.

The winter ensuing, the persons sent by Nicias, reaching Athens, gave the verbal messages which had been entrusted to them, and answered any questions that were asked them, and delivered the letter. The secretary of the city now came forward and read out to the Athenians the letter, which was as follows:


7.11
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
Nicias describes the recent defeat, the arrival of Gylippus and reinforcements to the enemy, and the success of the enemy’s counterwall which, given his superiority in cavalry, has forced the Athenians to remain on the defensive.


“Our past operations, Athenians, have been made known to you by many other letters; it is now time for you to become equally familiar with our present condition, and to take your measures accordingly. [2] We had defeated the Syracusans, against whom we were sent, in most of our engagements with them, and we had built the works which we now occupy, when Gylippus arrived from Sparta with an army obtained from the Peloponnesus and from some of the cities in Sicily. In our first battle with him we were victorious; in the battle on the following day we were overpowered by a multitude of cavalry and darters, and compelled to retire within our lines. [3] We have now, therefore, been forced by the numbers of those opposed to us to discontinue the work of circumvallation, and to remain inactive; being unable to make use even of all the force we have, since a large portion of our hoplites are absorbed in the defense of our lines. Meanwhile the enemy have carried a single wall past our lines, thus making it impossible for us to invest them in future, until this cross wall is attacked by a strong force and captured. [4] So that the besieger in name has become, at least from the land side, the besieged in reality; as we are prevented by their cavalry from even going for any distance into the country.”

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MAP 7.9 END OF SUMMER, 414


7.12
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
Nicias warns that the enemy is raising larger forces and is preparing to fight at sea, exploiting the deterioration that time has wreaked on Athenian ships and crews.


“Besides this, an embassy has been dispatched to the Peloponnesus to procure reinforcements, and Gylippus has gone to the cities in Sicily, partly in the hope of inducing those that are at present neutral to join him in the war, partly of bringing from his allies additional contingents for the land forces and material for the navy. [2] For I understand that they contemplate a combined attack upon our lines with their land forces and with their fleet by sea. [3] You must none of you be surprised that I say by sea also. They have discovered that the length of time we have now been in commission has rotted our ships and wasted our crews, and that with the completeness of our crews and the soundness of our ships the pristine efficiency of our navy has departed. [4] For it is impossible for us to haul our ships ashore and dry them out because the enemy’s vessels being as many or more than our own, we are constantly anticipating an attack. [5] Indeed, they may be seen exercising, and it lies with them to take the initiative; and not having to maintain a blockade, they have greater facilities for drying their ships.”


7.13
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
Nicias elaborates on the reasons for the decline of his fleet’s strength and efficiency.


“This we should scarcely be able to do, even if we had plenty of ships to spare, and were freed from our present necessity of exhausting all our strength upon the blockade. For it is already difficult to carry in supplies past Syracuse; and were we to relax our vigilance in the slightest degree it would become impossible. [2] The losses which our crews have suffered and still continue to suffer arise from the following causes. Expeditions for fuel and for forage, and the distance from which water has to be fetched, cause our sailors to be cut off by the Syracusan cavalry; the loss of our previous superiority emboldens our slaves to desert; our foreign seamen are impressed by the unexpected appearance of a navy against us, and the strength of the enemy’s resistance; such of them as were pressed into the service take the first opportunity of departing to their respective cities; such as were originally seduced by the temptation of high pay, and expected little fighting and large gains, leave us either by desertion to the enemy or by availing themselves of one or other of the various facilities of escape which the magnitude of Sicily affords them. Some even engage in trade themselves and prevail upon the captains to take Hyccaric slaves on board in their place; thus they have ruined the efficiency of our navy.”


7.14
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
Nicias reports that he can neither remedy these problems nor recruit local reinforcements. If Italian markets are closed to the Athenians, which might occur in the absence of further support, the Athenians will have to evacuate Sicily. Nicias emphasizes that his report offers the unvarnished truth.


“Now I need not remind you that the time during which a crew is in its prime is short, and that the number of sailors who can start a ship on her way and keep the rowing in time is small. [2] But by far my greatest trouble is that holding the post which I do, I am prevented by the natural indiscipline of the Athenian seaman from putting a stop to these evils; and that meanwhile we have no source from which to recruit our crews, which the enemy can do from many quarters, but are compelled to depend both for supplying the crews in service and for making good our losses upon the men whom we brought with us. For our present allies, Naxos and Catana, are incapable of supplying us. [3] There is only one thing more that our opponents lack, I mean the loss of our Italian markets. If the Italians were to see you neglect to relieve us from our present condition, and were to go over to the enemy, famine would compel us to evacuate, and Syracuse would finish the war without a blow.”

[4] “I might, it is true, have written to you something different and more agreeable than this, but nothing certainly more useful, if it is desirable for you to know the real state of things here before taking your measures. Besides I know that it is your nature to love to be told the best side of things, and then to blame the teller if the expectations which he has raised in your minds are not answered by the result; and I therefore thought it safest to declare to you the truth.”


7.15
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
Nicias closes by asking that the Athenian response, whether to recall or to reinforce the expedition, be made rapidly. He also asks to resign his command for reasons of health.


“Now you are not to think that either your generals or your soldiers have ceased to be a match for the forces originally opposed to them. But you are to reflect that a general Sicilian coalition is being formed against us; that a fresh army is expected from the Peloponnesus, while the force we have here is unable to cope even with our present antagonists; and you must promptly decide either to recall us or to send out to us another fleet and army as numerous again, with a large sum of money, and someone to succeed me, as a disease in the kidneys renders me unfit to retain my post. [2] I have, I think, some claim on your indulgence, as while I was in my prime I did you much good service in my commands. But whatever you mean to do, do it at the commencement of spring and without delay as the enemy will obtain his Sicilian reinforcements shortly, those from the Peloponnesus after a longer interval; and unless you attend to the matter the former will be here before you, while the latter will elude you as they have done before.”


7.16
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
The Athenians want Nicias to retain his command. They decide to send new generals to assist him and a new expedition to reinforce the Athenians at Syracuse.


[1] Such were the contents of Nicias’ letter. When the Athenians had heard it they refused to accept his resignation, but chose him two colleagues, naming Menander and Euthydemus, two of the officers in Sicily, to fill their places until their arrival, that Nicias might not be left alone in his sickness to bear the whole weight of affairs. They also voted to send out another army and navy, drawn partly from the Athenians on the muster roll, partly from the allies. [2] The colleagues chosen for Nicias were Demosthenes son of Alcisthenes, and Eurymedon son of Thucles. Eurymedon was sent off at once, about the time of the winter solstice, with ten ships, a hundred and twenty talents of silver, and instructions to tell the army that reinforcements would arrive, and that care would be taken of them; [7.17.1] but Demosthenes stayed behind to organize the expedition, meaning to start as soon as it was spring, and sent for troops to the allies, and meanwhile got together money, ships, and hoplites at home.


7.17
414/3
18th Year/Winter
ATHENS
The Athenians decide to send the expedition in the spring. Athenian triremes are sent to block enemy reinforcements from reaching Sicily. The Corinthians plan to challenge the Athenian squadron at Naupactus.


[2] The Athenians also sent twenty vessels round the Peloponnesus to prevent anyone crossing over to Sicily from Corinth or the Peloponnesus. [3] For the Corinthians, filled with confidence by the favorable alteration in Sicilian affairs which had been reported by the envoys upon their arrival, and convinced that the fleet which they had before sent out had not been without use, were now preparing to despatch a force of hoplites in merchant vessels to Sicily, while the Spartans did the same for the rest of the Peloponnesus. [4] The Corinthians also manned a fleet of twenty-five vessels, intending to try the result of a battle with the squadron on guard at Naupactus, and meanwhile to make it less easy for the Athenians there to hinder the departure of their merchant vessels by obliging them to keep an eye upon the triremes thus arrayed against them.


7.18
414/3
18th Year/Winter
SPARTA
The Spartans prepare to invade Attica, to fortify Decelea (as Alcibiades advised), and thus to force a second front upon the Athenians. They were encouraged by their perception that they no longer carried the legal and moral opprobrium of refusing arbitration which they had borne when the war began.


In the meantime the Spartans prepared for their invasion of Attica, in accordance with their own previous resolve, and at the instigation of the Syracusans and Corinthians, who wished for an invasion to prevent the reinforcements which they heard that Athens was about to send to Sicily. Alcibiades also urgently advised the fortification of Decelea, and a vigorous prosecution of the war. [2] But the Spartans derived most encouragement from the belief that Athens, with two wars on her hands, against themselves and against the Sicilians, would be more easy to subdue, and from the conviction that she had been the first to violate the truce. In the former war, they considered that the offense had been more on their own side, both on account of the attack of the Thebans on Plataea in time of peace, and also of their own refusal to listen to the Athenian offer of arbitration, in spite of the clause in the former treaty that where arbitration should be offered there should be no appeal to arms. For this reason they thought that they deserved their misfortunes, and took to heart seriously the disaster at Pylos and whatever else had befallen them. [3] But when, besides the ravages from Pylos, which went on without any intermission, the thirty Athenian ships came out from Argos and wasted part of Epidaurus, Prasiae, and other places; when upon every dispute that arose as to the interpretation of any doubtful point in the treaty, their own offers of arbitration were always rejected by the Athenians—the Spartans at length decided that Athens had now committed the very same offense as they had before done, and had become the guilty party; and they began to be full of enthusiasm for the war. [4] They spent this winter in sending round to their allies for iron, and in getting ready the other implements for building their fort; and meanwhile began raising at home, and also by forced requisitions in the rest of the Peloponnesus, a force to be sent out in the merchant ships to their allies in Sicily Winter thus ended, and with it the eighteenth year of this war of which Thucydides is the historian.

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MAP 7.18 WINTER 414


7.19
413
19th Year/Summer
ATTICA
The Spartans invade Attica and fortify Decelea. PELOPONNESUS Peloponnesian reinforcements leave for Sicily. A Corinthian squadron successfully prevents intervention by the Athenian ships at Naupactus.


In the first days of the following spring, at an earlier period than usual, the Spartans and their allies invaded Attica, under the command of Agis son of Archidamus, king of the Spartans. They began by devastating the parts bordering upon the plain, and next proceeded to fortify Decelea, dividing the work among the different cities. [2] Decelea is about thirteen or fourteen miles from the city of Athens, and the same distance or not much further from Boeotia; and the fort was intended to damage the plain and the richest parts of the country, being in sight of Athens. [3] While the Peloponnesians and their allies in Attica were engaged in the work of fortification, their countrymen at home sent off, at about the same time, the hoplites in the merchant vessels to Sicily; the Spartans furnishing a picked force of Helots and neodamodeis, six hundred hoplites in all, under the command of Eccritus, a Spartiate; and the Boeotians three hundred hoplites, commanded by two Thebans, Xenon and Nicon, and by Hegesander, a Thespian. [4] These were among the first to put out into the open sea, starting from Taenarum in Laconia. Not long after their departure the Corinthians sent off a force of five hundred hoplites, consisting partly of men from Corinth itself, and partly of Arcadian mercenaries, placed under the command of Alexarchus, a Corinthian. The Sicyonians also sent off two hundred hoplites at the same time as the Corinthians, under the command of Sargeus, a Sicyonian. [5] Meantime the five-and-twenty vessels manned by Corinth during the winter lay confronting the twenty Athenian ships at Naupactus until the hoplites in the merchant ships were fairly on their way from the Peloponnesus; thus fulfilling the object for which they had been manned originally, which was to divert the attention of the Athenians from the merchant ships to the triremes.


7.20
413
19th Year/Summer
ATHENS
Athenian hoplites are joined by Argives and other allies. As Demosthenes prepares to leave, another squadron departs to raid the Peloponnesus.


During this time the Athenians were not idle. Simultaneously with the fortification of Decelea, at the very beginning of spring, they sent thirty ships round the Peloponnesus, under Charicles son of Apollodorus, with instructions to call at Argos1b and demand a force of their hoplites for the fleet, in agreement with the alliance. At the same time they dispatched Demosthenes to Sicily, [2] as they had intended, with sixty Athenian and five Chian vessels, twelve hundred Athenian hoplites from the enlistment roll, and as many of the islanders as could be raised in the different quarters, drawing upon the other subject allies for whatever they could supply that would be of use for the war. Demosthenes was instructed first to sail round with Charicles and to operate with him upon the coasts of Laconia, [3] and accordingly sailed to Aegina and there waited for the remainder of his force, and for Charicles to fetch the Argive troops.


7.21
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Gylippus urges the Syracusans to build and man a fleet to challenge the Athenians at sea. Hermocrates supports him, saying that such audacity will unnerve the Athenians and lead to victory. The Syracusans agree to try.


In Sicily about the same time in this spring, Gylippus came to Syracuse with as many troops as he could bring from the cities which he had persuaded to join. [2] Calling the Syracusans together, he told them that they must man as many ships as possible, and try their hand at a sea fight, by which he hoped to achieve an advantage in the war not unworthy of the risk. [3] With him Hermocrates actively joined in trying to encourage his countrymen to attack the Athenians at sea, saying that the latter had not inherited their naval prowess nor would they retain it forever; they had been landsmen even to a greater degree than the Syracusans, and had only become a maritime power when obliged by the Mede. Besides, to daring spirits like the Athenians, a daring adversary would seem the most formidable; and the Athenian plan of paralyzing by the boldness of their attack a neighbor often not their inferior in strength, could now be used against them with as good effect by the Syracusans. [4] He was convinced also that the unlooked-for spectacle of Syracusans daring to face the Athenian navy would cause a terror to the enemy, the advantages of which would far outweigh any loss that Athenian science might inflict upon their inexperience. He accordingly urged them to throw aside their fears and to try their fortune at sea; [5] and the Syracusans, under the influence of Gylippus and Hermocrates, and perhaps some others, made up their minds for the sea fight and began to man their vessels.


7.22
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Gylippus plans a combined land and sea attack on Plemmyrium. His fleet attempts to unite in the Great Harbor and the Athenians man ships to engage them.


When the fleet was ready, Gylippus led out the whole army by night; his plan being to assault in person the forts of Plemmyrium by land, while thirty-five Syracusan triremes sailed according to an agreed plan against the enemy from the Great Harbor, and the forty-five remaining came round from the Lesser Harbor, where they had their arsenal, in order to join up with those inside and simultaneously to attack Plemmyrium, and thus to distract the Athenians by assaulting them on two sides at once. [2] The Athenians quickly manned sixty ships, and with twenty-five of these engaged the thirty-five of the Syracusans in the Great Harbor, sending the rest to meet those sailing round from the arsenal; and an action now ensued directly in front of the mouth of the Great Harbor, maintained with equal tenacity on both sides; the one wishing to force the passage, the other to prevent them.


7.23
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
As the naval battle develops, a surprise attack by the Syracusan land forces captures the Athenian forts at Plemmyrium. Confusion among the inexperienced Syracusan ships finally permits the Athenians to gain a naval victory.


In the meantime, while the Athenians in Plemmyrium were down at the sea, attending to the engagement, Gylippus made a sudden attack on the forts in the early morning and took the largest first, and afterwards the two smaller, whose garrisons did not wait for him, seeing the largest so easily taken. [2] At the fall of the first fort, the men from it who succeeded in taking refuge in their boats and merchant ships, found great difficulty in reaching the camp, as the Syracusans were having the best of it in the engagement in the Great Harbor, and sent a fast sailing trireme to pursue them. But when the two others fell, the Syracusans were now being defeated; and the fugitives from these sailed along shore with more ease. [3] The Syracusan ships fighting off the mouth of the harbor forced their way through the Athenian vessels and sailing in without any order fell foul of one another, and transferred the victory to the Athenians; who not only routed the squadron in question, but also that by which they were at first being defeated in the harbor, [4] sinking eleven of the Syracusan vessels and killing most of the men, except the crews of three ships whom they made prisoners. Their own loss was confined to three vessels; and after hauling ashore the Syracusan wrecks and setting up a trophy upon the islet in front of Plemmyrium, they retired to their own camp.


7.24
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Athens’ naval victory is outweighed by the Syracusan capture of Plemmyrium, due to high casualties, loss of stores and equipment, and damaged Athenian morale.


Unsuccessful at sea, the Syracusans had nevertheless the forts in Plemmyrium, for which they set up three trophies. One of the two last taken they razed, but put in order and garrisoned the two others. [2] In the capture of the forts a great many men were killed and made prisoners, and a great quantity of property was taken in all. As the Athenians had used them as warehouses, there was a large stock of goods and grain of the merchants inside, and also a large stock belonging to the captains; the masts and other equipment of forty triremes being taken, besides three triremes which had been drawn up on shore. [3] Indeed the first and foremost cause of the ruin of the Athenian army was the capture of Plemmyrium; even the entrance of the harbor being now no longer safe for carrying in provisions, as the Syracusan vessels were stationed there to prevent it, and nothing could be brought in without fighting; besides the general impression of dismay and discouragement produced upon the army.


7.25
413
19th Year/Summer
ITALY
A Syracusan squadron intercepts Athenian supply vessels and destroys stores gathered for the Athenians in Italy. The Athenians fail to block enemy reinforcements from the Peloponnesus. The Syracusans redouble their efforts to destroy the Athenians already in Sicily before the reinforcements arrive.


After this the Syracusans sent out twelve ships under the command or Agatharchus, a Syracusan. One of these went to the Peloponnesus with ambassadors to describe the hopeful state of their affairs, and to incite the Peloponnesians to prosecute the war there even more actively than they were now doing, while the eleven others sailed to Italy, hearing that vessels laden with stores were on their way to the Athenians. [2] After falling in with and destroying most of the vessels in question, and burning in the Caulonian territory a quantity of timber for shipbuilding, which had been gathered for the Athenians, [3] the Syracusan squadron went to Locri, and while they were at anchor there, one of the merchant ships from the Peloponnesus came in, carrying Thespian hoplites; [4] these they took on board and sailed along shore toward home. The Athenians were on the lookout for them with twenty ships at Megara, but were only able to take one vessel with its crew; the rest getting clear off to Syracuse. [5] There was also some skirmishing in the harbor about the piles which the Syracusans had driven in the sea in front of the old docks, to allow their ships to lie at anchor inside, without being hurt by the Athenians sailing up and running them down. [6] The Athenians brought up to them a ship of ten thousand talents’ burden furnished with wooden turrets and screens, and fastened ropes round the piles from their boats, wrenched them up and broke them, or dived down and sawed them in two. Meanwhile the Syracusans plied them with missiles from the docks, to which they replied from their large vessel; until at last most of the piles were removed by the Athenians. [7] But the most difficult part of the stockade was the part out of sight: some of the piles which had been driven in did not appear above water, so that it was dangerous to sail up, for fear of running the ships upon them, just as upon a reef, through not seeing them. However divers went down and sawed off even these for reward; although the Syracusans drove in others. [8] Indeed there was no end to the contrivances to which they resorted against each other, as might be expected between two hostile armies confronting each other at such a short distance; skirmishes and all kinds of other attempts were constant occurrences. [9] Meanwhile the Syracusans sent embassies composed of Corinthians, Ambraciots, and Spartans to the cities to tell them of the capture of Plemmyrium, and that their defeat in the sea fight was due less to the strength of the enemy than to their own disorder; and generally, to let them know that they were full of hope, and to ask them to come to their help with ships and troops, as the Athenians were expected with a fresh army, and if the one already there could be destroyed before the other arrived, the war would be at an end.

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MAP 7.25 OPENING MOVES OF THE SUMMER OF 413


7.26
413
19th Year/Summer
PELOPONNESUS
The Athenians sail round the Peloponnesus, fortifying a Laconian isthmus opposite Cythera and pillaging while on their way to Corcyra and Sicily.


While the contending parties in Sicily were thus engaged, Demosthenes, having now got together the armament with which he was to go to that island, put out from Aegina, and making sail for the Peloponnesus, joined Charicles and the thirty ships of the Athenians. Taking on board the hoplites from Argos they sailed to Laconia, [2] and after first plundering part of Epidaurus Limera, landed on the coast of Laconia, opposite Cythera, where the temple of Apollo stands, and laying waste part of the country, fortified a sort of isthmus, to which the Helots of the Spartans might desert, and from which plundering raids might be made as from Pylos. [3] Demosthenes helped to occupy this place, and then immediately sailed on to Corcyra to take up some of the allies in that island, and so to proceed without delay to Sicily; while Charicles waited until he had completed the fortification of the place, and leaving a garrison there, returned home subsequently with his thirty ships and the Argives also.


7.27
413
19th Year/Summer
ATTICA
The Thracian Dii arrive too late to join the Syracusan expedition. They are too expensive to maintain, especially since the permanent occupation of Decelea has deprived the Athenians of their land and cattle, and caused many valuable slaves to escape.


This same summer thirteen hundred peltasts, Thracian swordsmen of the tribe of the Dii, who were to have sailed to Sicily with Demosthenes, arrived at Athens. [2] Since they had come too late, the Athenians determined to send them back to Thrace, from where they had come; to keep them for the Decelean war seemed too expensive, as the pay of each man was a drachma a day. [3] Indeed since Decelea had been first fortified by the whole Peloponnesian army during this summer, and then occupied for the continuous harassment of the country—the garrisons from the cities relieving each other at stated intervals—it had been causing great harm to the Athenians. In fact this occupation, by the destruction of property and loss of men which resulted from it, was one of the principal causes of their ruin. [4] Previously the invasions were short, and did not prevent them from making use of their land during the rest of the time: the enemy was now permanently fixed in Attica; at one time it was an attack in force, at another it was the regular garrison overrunning the country and making forays for its subsistence, and the Spartan king, Agis, was in the field and diligently prosecuting the war; great damage was therefore done to the Athenians. [5] They were deprived of their whole country: more than twenty thousand slaves had deserted, a great part of them artisans, and all their sheep and beasts of burden were lost; and as the cavalry rode out daily upon excursions to Decelea and to guard the country, their horses were either lamed by being constantly worked upon rocky ground, or wounded by the enemy.


7.28
413
19th Year/Summer
ATTICA
All Athenian provisions now had to come by sea. The stresses of the double war at home and at Syracuse began to exhaust the Athenians, whose endurance had thus far exceeded earlier estimates. They now replaced the tribute system with taxes on imports and exports to increase revenues.


Besides, the transport of provisions from Euboea, which had before been carried on so much more quickly over land by Decelea from Oropus, was now effected at great cost by sea round Cape Sunium; everything the city required had to be imported from abroad, and instead of a city it became a fortress. [2] Summer and winter the Athenians were worn out by having to keep guard on the fortifications, during the day by turns, by night all together, the cavalry excepted, at the different military posts or upon the wall. [3] But what most oppressed them was that they had two wars at once, and had thus reached a pitch of frenzy which no one would have believed possible if he had heard of it before it had come to pass. For could anyone have imagined that even when besieged by the Peloponnesians entrenched in Attica, they would still, instead of withdrawing from Sicily, stay on there besieging in like manner Syracuse, a city (taken as a city) in no way inferior to Athens, or would so thoroughly upset the Hellenic estimate of their strength and audacity, as to give the spectacle of a people which, at the beginning of the war, some thought might hold out one year, some two, none more than three, if the Peloponnesians invaded their country, now seventeen years after the first invasion, after having already suffered from all the evils of war, going to Sicily and undertaking a new war nothing inferior to that which they already had with the Peloponnesians? [4] These causes, the great losses from Decelea, and the other heavy charges that fell upon them, produced their financial distress; and it was at this time that they imposed upon their subjects, instead of the tribute, the tax of a twentieth upon all imports and exports by sea, which they thought would raise more money for them; their expenditure being now not the same as at first, but having grown with the war while their revenues decayed.


7.29
413
19th Year/Summer
MYCALLESUS
On their return to Thrace, the Dii stop in Boeotia to launch a surprise dawn attack on the city of Mycalessus. They sack the city and massacre its inhabitants—a disaster unsurpassed in suddenness and horror.


Accordingly, not wishing to incur expense in their present want of money, they sent back at once the Thracians who came too late for Demosthenes, under the conduct of Diitrephes, who was instructed, as they were to pass through the Euripus, to make use of them if possible in the voyage along shore to injure the enemy. [2] Diitrephes first landed them at Tanagra and hastily snatched some booty; he then sailed across the Euripus in the evening from Chalcis in Euboea and disembarking in Boeotia led them against Mycalessus. [3] He passed the night unobserved near the temple of Hermes, not quite two miles from Mycalessus, and at daybreak assaulted and took the city, which is not a large one; the inhabitants being off their guard and not expecting that anyone would ever come up so far from the sea to molest them, the wall too being weak, and in some places having tumbled down, while in others it had not been built to any height, and the gates also being left open through their feeling of security. [4] The Thracians bursting into Mycalessus sacked the houses and temples, and butchered the inhabitants, sparing neither youth nor age but killing all they fell in with, one after the other, children and women, and even beasts of burden, and whatever other living creatures they saw; the Thracian people, like the bloodiest of the barbarians, being ever most murderous when it has nothing to fear. [5] Everywhere confusion reigned and death in all its shapes; and in particular they attacked a boys’ school, the largest that there was in the place, into which the children had just gone, and massacred them all. In short, the disaster falling upon the whole city was unsurpassed in magnitude, and unapproached by any in suddenness and in horror.

Image

MAP 7.29 MYCALESSUS


7.30
413
19th Year/Summer
MYCALESSUS
Theban cavalry drive the Dii to their ships, inflicting casualties. Mycalessus loses a large proportion of its population.


Meanwhile the Thebans heard of it and marched to the rescue, and overtaking the Thracians before they had gone far, recovered the plunder and drove them in panic to the Euripus and the sea, where the vessels which brought them were lying. [2] The greatest slaughter took place while they were embarking, as they did not know how to swim, and those in the vessels on seeing what was going on shore moored them out of bowshot: in the rest of the retreat the Thracians made a very respectable defense against the Theban horse, by which they were first attacked, dashing out and closing their ranks according to the tactics of their country, and lost only a few men in that part of the affair. A good number who were after plunder were actually caught in the city and put to death. [3] Altogether the Thracians had two hundred and fifty killed out of thirteen hundred, the Thebans and the rest who came to the rescue about twenty, troopers and hoplites, with Scirphondas, one of the boeotarchs. The Mycalessians lost a large proportion of their population.


7.31
413
19th Year/Summer
ACARNANIA
Demosthenes sails to Acarnania, gathering forces along the way. Eurymedon and Conon join him there, the latter requesting more triremes for Naupactus with which to face the threatening Corinthian fleet.


While Mycalessus thus experienced a calamity, for its extent, as lamentable as any that happened in the war, [7.31.1] Demosthenes, who was at that time sailing to Corcyra after building the fort in Laconia, found a merchant ship lying at Pheia in Elis, in which the Corinthian hoplites were to cross to Sicily. The ship he destroyed, but the men escaped and subsequently got another in which they pursued their voyage. [2] After this, arriving at Zacynthus and Cephallenia, he took a body of hoplites on board, and sending for some of the Messenians from Naupactus, crossed over to the opposite coast of Acarnania, to Alyzia, and to Anactorium which was held by the Athenians. [3] While he was in these parts he was met by Eurymedon returning from Sicily, where he had been sent during the winter, with the money for the army, who told him the news, and also that he had heard, while at sea, that the Syracusans had taken Plemmyrium. [4] Here, also, Conon the commander at Naupactus came to them with news that the twenty-five Corinthian ships stationed opposite to him, far from refraining from war, were meditating an engagement; and he therefore begged them to send him some ships, as his own eighteen were not a match for the enemy’s twenty-five. [5] Demosthenes and Eurymedon, accordingly, sent ten of their fastest triremes with Conon to reinforce the squadron at Naupactus, and meanwhile prepared for the assembly of their forces; Eurymedon, who was now the colleague of Demosthenes, and had turned back in consequence of his appointment, sailed to Corcyra to tell them to man fifteen ships and to enlist hoplites while Demosthenes raised slingers and darters from the parts about Acarnania.


7.32
413
19th Year/Summer
SICILY
Hearing that reinforcements were approaching Syracuse by land, Nicias asks friendly Sicels for help. They ambush the enemy and inflict large casualties.


Meanwhile the envoys who had gone from Syracuse to the cities after the capture of Plemmyrium had succeeded in their mission, and were about to bring the army that they had collected to Syracuse, when Nicias got wind of it, and sent to ask the Centoripae and Alicyae and other friendly Sicels who held the passes, not to let the enemy through, but to combine to prevent their passing, there being no other way by which they could even attempt it, as the Agrigentines would not give them a passage through their country. [2] In response to this request the Sicels laid a triple ambush for the Sicilians on their march, and attacking them suddenly, while off their guard, killed about eight hundred of them and all the envoys except the Corinthian by whom fifteen hundred who escaped were conducted to Syracuse.

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MAP 7.32 OPENING MOVES AND COUNTERMOVES IN 413


7.33
413
19th Year/Summer
SICILY-ITALY
While all Sicily (except for Agrigentum) now actively sends assistance to Syracuse, Demosthenes and his expedition cross to Italy and advance via Metapontum to Thurii.


About the same time the Camarinaeans also came to the assistance of Syracuse with five hundred hoplites, three hundred darters, and as many archers, while the Geloans sent crews for five ships, four hundred darters, and two hundred horse. [2] Indeed almost the whole of Sicily, except the Agrigentines, who were neutral, now ceased merely to watch events as it had previously been doing, and actively joined Syracuse against the Athenians.

[3] While the Syracusans after the Sicel disaster put off any immediate attack upon the Athenians, Demosthenes and Eurymedon, whose forces from Corcyra and the mainland were now ready, crossed the Ionian gulf with all their armament to the Iapygian promontory, [4] and starting from thence touched at the Choerades Isles lying off Iapygia, where they took on board a hundred and fifty Iapygian darters of the Messapian tribe, and after renewing an old friendship with Artas the chief, who had furnished them with the darters, arrived at Metapontum in Italy. [5] Here they persuaded their allies the Metapontines to send with them three hundred darters and two triremes, and with this reinforcement coasted on to Thurii, where they found the party hostile to Athens recently expelled by a revolution, [6] and accordingly remained there to muster and review the whole army, to see if any had been left behind, and to prevail upon the Thurians resolutely to join them in their expedition, and in the circumstances in which they found themselves to conclude a defensive and offensive alliance with the Athenians.


7.34
413
19th Year/Summer
ACHAEA
In an inconclusive naval battle off Erineus structurally braced Corinthian triremes cause extensive damage to seven Athenian ships, while losing three of their own number. Both sides erect trophies but the Corinthians claim victory for having avoided defeat and the Athenians are reluctant to claim victory for not having won decisively.


About the same time the Peloponnesians in the twenty-five ships stationed opposite to the squadron at Naupactus in order to protect the passage of the transports to Sicily, had prepared for battle, and manning some additional vessels, so as to be numerically little inferior to the Athenians, anchored off Erineus in Achaea in the Rhypic country. [2] The place off which they lay being in the form of a crescent, the land forces furnished to them by the Corinthians and their allies on the spot came up and ranged themselves upon the projecting headlands on either side, while the fleet, under the command of Polyanthes the Corinthian, held the intervening space and blocked up the entrance. [3] The Athenians under Diphilus now sailed out against them with thirty-three ships from Naupactus [4] and the Corinthians, at first not moving, at length thought they saw their opportunity, raised the signal, and advanced and engaged the Athenians. [5] After an obstinate struggle, the Corinthians lost three ships, and without sinking any altogether, disabled seven of the enemy, which were struck prow to prow and had their outriggers smashed by the Corinthian vessels, whose catheads had been strengthened for this very purpose. [6] After an action of this even character, in which either party could claim the victory (although the Athenians became masters of the wrecks through the wind driving them out to sea, the Corinthians not putting out again to meet them), the two combatants parted. No pursuit took place, and no prisoners were made on either side; the Corinthians and Peloponnesians who were fighting near the shore escaping with ease, and none of the Athenian vessels having been sunk. [7] The Athenians now sailed back to Naupactus, and the Corinthians immediately set up a trophy as victors, because they had disabled a greater number of the enemy’s ships. Moreover they held that they had not been defeated, for the very same reason that their opponent held that he had not been victorious; the Corinthians considering that they were conquerors, if not decidedly conquered, and the Athenians thinking themselves vanquished, because not decidedly victorious. [8] However, when the Peloponnesians sailed off and their land forces had dispersed, the Athenians also set up a trophy as victors in Achaea, about two miles and a quarter from Erineus, the Corinthian station. This was the termination of the action at Naupactus.


7.35
413
19th Year/Summer
ITALY
Demosthenes’ force, reinforced by Thurian hoplites, sails along the Italian coast to Petra in Rhegian territory.


To return to Demosthenes and Eurymedon: the Thurians having now got ready to join in the expedition with seven hundred hoplites and three hundred darters, the two generals ordered the ships to sail along the coast to the Crotonian territory, and meanwhile held a review of all the land forces upon the river Sybaris, and then led them through the Thurian country. [2] Arrived at the river Hylias, they here received a message from the Crotonians, saying that they would not allow the army to pass through their country; upon which the Athenians descended toward the shore, and bivouacked near the sea and the mouth of the Hylias, where the fleet also met them, and the next day embarked and sailed along the coast touching at all the cities except Locri, until they came to Petra in the Rhegian territory.


7.36
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Following the Corinthian model, the Syracusans strengthen their ships to prepare them for head on ramming. They intend to engage the Athenians again, counting on the lack of room in the harbor and their control of the shore to prevent the Athenians from exploiting their superior maneuvering skills.


Meanwhile the Syracusans hearing of their approach resolved to make a second attempt with their fleet and their other forces on shore, which they had been collecting for this very purpose in order to do something before their arrival. [2] In addition to other improvements suggested by the recent sea fight which they now adopted in the equipment of their navy, they cut down their prows to a smaller compass to make them more solid and made their catheads stronger, and from these let support beams into the vessel’s sides for a length of six cubits within and without, in the same way as the Corinthians had altered their prows before engaging the squadron at Naupactus. [3] The Syracusans thought that they would thus have an advantage over the Athenian vessels, which were not constructed with equal strength, but were slight in the bows, from their being more used to sail round and charge the enemy’s side than to meet him prow to prow, and that the battle being in the Great Harbor, with a great many ships in not much room, was also a fact in their favor. Charging prow to prow, they would stave in the enemy’s bows, by striking with solid and stout beaks against hollow and weak ones; [4] and secondly, the Athenians for want of room would be unable to use their favorite maneuver of breaking the line or of sailing round, as the Syracusans would do their best not to let them do the one, and want of room would prevent their doing the other. [5] This charging prow to prow which had up till then been thought lack of skill in a helmsman, would be the Syracusans’ chief maneuver, as being that which they should find most useful, since the Athenians, if repulsed, would not be able to back water in any direction except toward the shore, and that only for a little way, and in the little space in front of their own camp. The rest of the harbor would be commanded by the Syracusans; [6] and the Athenians, if hard pressed and crowded together in a small space, would run foul of one another and fall into disorder, which was in fact what did the Athenians most harm in all the sea fights, since they had not, like the Syracusans, the whole harbor available for retreat. As to their sailing round into the open sea, this would be impossible with the Syracusans in possession of the way in and out, especially as Plemmyrium would be hostile to them and the mouth of the harbor was not large.


7.37
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusan army advances against the Athenian walls while their fleet deploys in the harbor. The Athenians man their walls and ships to confront this double attack.


With these contrivances to suit their skill and ability, and now more confident after the previous sea fight, the Syracusans attacked by land and sea at once. [2] Gylippus led out the city force a little before and brought it up to the wall of the Athenians, where it looked toward the city, while the force from the Olympieum, that is to say, the hoplites that were there with the horse and the light troops of the Syracusans, advanced against the wall from the opposite side; the ships of the Syracusans and allies sailing out immediately afterwards. [3] The Athenians at first supposed that they were to be attacked by land only, and it was not without alarm that they saw the fleet suddenly approaching as well; and while some were forming upon the walls and in front of them against the advancing enemy, and some marching out in haste against the numbers of horse and darters coming from the Olympieum and from outside, others manned the ships or rushed down to the beach to oppose the enemy, and when the ships were manned put out with seventy-five sail against about eighty of the Syracusans.


7.38
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
After much skirmishing and maneuvering, the Syracusans retire. Nicias, anticipating more attacks, prepares harbor defenses for his fleet.


After spending a great part of the day in advancing and retreating and skirmishing with each other, without either being able to gain any advantage worth speaking of, except that the Syracusans sank one or two of the Athenian vessels, they parted, the land force at the same time retiring from the lines. [2] The next day the Syracusans remained quiet, and gave no signs of what they were going to do; but Nicias, seeing that the battle had been a drawn one, and expecting that they would attack again, compelled the captains to refit any of the ships that had suffered, and moored merchant vessels before the stockade which they had driven into the sea in front of their ships, [3] to serve instead of an enclosed harbor, at about two hundred feet from each other, in order that any ship that was hard pressed might be able to retreat in safety and sail out again at leisure. These preparations occupied the Athenians all day until nightfall.


7.39
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans attack again, planning to surprise the Athenians by a second, sudden attack after breaking off for a hasty meal.


The next day the Syracusans began operations at an earlier hour, but with the same plan of attack by land and sea. [2] A great part of the day the rivals spent as before, confronting and skirmishing with each other; until at last Ariston son of Pyrrhicus, a Corinthian, the ablest helmsman in the Syracusan service, persuaded their naval commanders to send to the officials in the city, and tell them to move the market as quickly as they could down to the sea, and oblige everyone to bring whatever edibles he had and sell them there, thus enabling the commanders to land the crews and dine at once close to the ships, and shortly afterwards, the same day, to attack the Athenians again when they were not expecting it.


7.40
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans retire to their docks, where the market has been relocated so that they may eat quickly and attack again. Taken by surprise, the Athenians man their ships and advance. The reinforced Syracusan ships stave in the bows of many of the Athenian vessels.


In compliance with this advice a messenger was sent and the market got ready, upon which the Syracusans suddenly backed water and withdrew to the city, and immediately landed and took their dinner upon the spot; [2] while the Athenians, supposing that they had returned to the city because they felt they were beaten, disembarked at their leisure and set about getting their dinners and about their other occupations, under the impression that they had done with fighting for that day. [3] Suddenly the Syracusans manned their ships and again sailed against them; and the Athenians, in great confusion and most of them hungry, got on board, and with great difficulty put out to meet them. [4] For some time both parties remained on the defensive without engaging, until the Athenians at last resolved not to let themselves be worn out by waiting where they were, but to attack without delay, and giving a cheer, went into action. [5] The Syracusans received them, and charging prow to prow as they had intended, stove in a great part of the Athenian outriggers by the strength of their beaks; the darters on the decks also did great damage to the Athenians, but still greater damage was done by the Syracusans who went about in small boats, ran in upon the oars of the Athenian triremes, and sailed against their sides, and from there threw their javelins at the sailors.


7.41
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians flee to their harbor, pursued by the victorious and now confident Syracusans.


At last, fighting hard in this fashion, the Syracusans gained the victory, and the Athenians turned and fled between the merchant ships to their own station. [2] The Syracusan ships pursued them as far as the merchant ships, where they were stopped by the beams armed with dolphins suspended from those vessels over the passage. [3] Two of the Syracusan vessels went too near in the excitement of victory and were destroyed, one of them being taken with its crew. [4] After sinking seven of the Athenian vessels and disabling many, and taking most of the men prisoners and killing others, the Syracusans retired and set up trophies for both the engagements, being now confident of having a decided superiority by sea, and by no means despairing of equal success by land.


7.42
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Demosthenes’ relief expedition arrives, dismaying the Syracusans and raising the spirits of the Athenians. Demosthenes decides to attack and either achieve decisive success immediately or to withdraw the Athenians from their present difficult position.


In the meantime, while the Syracusans were preparing for a second attack by both land and sea, Demosthenes and Eurymedon arrived with the reinforcements from Athens, consisting of about seventy-three ships, including the foreigners; nearly five thousand hoplites, Athenian and allied; a large number of darters, Hellenic and barbarian, and slingers and archers and everything else upon a corresponding scale. [2] The Syracusans and their allies were for the moment not a little dismayed at the idea that there was to be no term or end to their dangers, seeing, in spite of the fortification of Decelea, a new army arrive nearly equal to the former, and the power of Athens proving so great in every quarter. On the other hand, the first Athenian armament regained a certain confidence in the midst of its misfortunes. [3] Demosthenes, seeing how matters stood, felt that he could not drag on and fare as Nicias had done, who by wintering in Catana instead of at once attacking Syracuse had allowed the terror of his first arrival to evaporate in contempt, and had given time to Gylippus to arrive with a force from the Peloponnesus, which the Syracusans would never have sent for if he had attacked immediately; for they thought that they were a match for him by themselves, and would not have discovered their inferiority until they were already under siege, and even if they then sent for help they would no longer have been equally able to profit by its arrival. Recollecting this, and well aware that it was now on the first day after his arrival that he like Nicias was most formidable to the enemy, Demosthenes determined to lose no time in drawing the utmost profit from the consternation at the moment inspired by his army; [4] and seeing that the counterwall of the Syracusans, which hindered the Athenians from investing them, was a single one, and that he who should become master of the way up to Epipolae, and afterwards of the camp there, would find no difficulty in taking it, as no one would even wait for his attack, made all haste to attempt the enterprise. [5] This he took to be the shortest way of ending the war, as he would either succeed and take Syracuse, or would lead back the armament instead of frittering away the lives of the Athenians engaged in the expedition and the resources of the country at large.

[6] First therefore the Athenians went out and laid waste the lands of the Syracusans about the Anapus and carried all before them as at first by land and by sea, the Syracusans not offering to oppose them upon either element, unless it were with their cavalry and darters from the Olympieum.


7.43
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
After failing to take the Syracusan counterwall by seige engine and assault, Demosthenes attempts a night attack on Epipolae. It proves initially successful, but increasing Athenian disorganization and a determined stand by the Boeotians turn victory into defeat.


Next Demosthenes resolved to make an attempt on the counterwall first by means of siege engines. As however the engines that he brought up were burnt by the enemy fighting from the wall, and the rest of the forces repulsed after attacking at many different points, he determined to delay no longer, and having obtained the consent of Nicias and his fellow commanders, proceeded to put into execution his plan of attacking Epipolae. [2] As by day it seemed impossible to approach and get up without being observed, he ordered provisions for five days, took all the masons and carpenters, and other things such as arrows, and everything else that they could want for the work of fortification if successful; and after the first watch set out with Eurymedon and Menander and the whole army for Epipolae, Nicias being left behind in the lines. [3] Having come up by the hill of Euryelus (where the former army had ascended at first), unobserved by the enemy’s guards, they went up to the fort which the Syracusans had there, and took it, and put to the sword part of the garrison. [4] The greater number, however, escaped at once and gave the alarm to the camps, of which there were three upon Epipolae, defended by outworks, one of the Syracusans, one of the other Sicilians, and one of the allies; and also to the six hundred Syracusans forming the original garrison for this part of Epipolae. [5] These at once advanced against the assailants, and encountering Demosthenes and the Athenians, were routed by them after a sharp resistance, the victors immediately pushing on, eager to achieve the objects of the attack without giving time for their ardor to cool; meanwhile others from the very beginning were taking the counterwall of the Syracusans, which was abandoned by its garrison, and pulling down the battlements. [6] The Syracusans and the allies, and Gylippus with the troops under his command, advanced to the rescue from the outworks, but engaged with some consternation (a night attack being a piece of audacity which they had never expected), and were at first compelled to retreat. [7] But while the Athenians, flushed with their victory, now advanced with less order, wishing to make their way as quickly as possible through the whole force of the enemy not yet engaged, without relaxing their attack or giving them time to rally, the Boeotians made the first stand against them, attacked them, routed them, and put them to flight.


7.44
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Despite bright moonlight, the participants could perceive little of the battle. Athenian forces became scattered; they were confused by the paean of their Dorian allies, which was so like that of their Dorian foes. Many Athenians became lost in the rout that followed.


The Athenians now fell into great disorder and perplexity, so that it was not easy to get from one side or the other any detailed account of the affair. By day certainly the combatants have a clearer notion, though even then by no means of all that takes place, no one knowing much of anything that does not go on in his own immediate neighborhood; but in a night engagement (and this was the only one that occurred between great armies during the war) how could anyone know anything for certain? [2] Although there was a bright moon they saw each other only as men do by moonlight, that is to say, they could distinguish the form of the body, but could not tell for certain whether it was a friend or an enemy. Both had great numbers of hoplites moving about in a small space. [3] Some of the Athenians were already defeated, while others were coming up yet unconquered for their first attack. A large part also of the rest of their forces either had only just got up, or were still ascending, so that they did not know which way to march. Owing to the rout that had taken place all in front was now in confusion, and the noise made it difficult to distinguish anything. [4] The victorious Syracusans and allies were cheering each other on with loud cries, by night the only possible means of communication, and meanwhile receiving all who came against them; while the Athenians were seeking for one another, taking all in front of them for enemies, even though they might be some of their now flying friends; and by constantly asking for the watchword, which was their only means of recognition, not only caused great confusion among themselves by asking all at once, but also made it known to the enemy, [5] whose own they did not so readily discover, as the Syracusans were victorious and not scattered, and thus less easily mistaken. The result was that if the Athenians fell in with a party of the enemy that was weaker than they, it escaped them through knowing their watchword; while if they themselves failed to answer they were put to the sword. [6] But what hurt them as much, or indeed more than anything else, was the singing of the paean, from the perplexity which it caused by being nearly the same on either side: the Argives and Corcyraeans and any other Dorian peoples in the [Athenian] army struck terror into the Athenians whenever they raised their paean, no less than did the enemy. [7] Thus, after being once thrown into disorder, they ended by coming into collision with each other in many parts of the field, friends with friends, and citizens with citizens, and not only terrified one another, but even came to blows and could only be parted with difficulty. [8] In the pursuit many perished by throwing themselves down the cliffs, the way down from Epipolae being narrow; and of those who got down safely into the plain, although many, especially those who belonged to the first armament, escaped through their better acquaintance with the locality, some of the newcomers lost their way and wandered over the country, and were cut off in the morning by the Syracusan cavalry and killed.

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MAP 7.44 FIGHTING AT SYRACUSE IN
413


7.45
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans erect trophies and return the dead Athenian losses are high.


The next day the Syracusans set up two trophies, one upon Epipolae where the ascent had been made, and the other on the spot where the first check was given by the Boeotians; and the Athenians took back their dead under truce. [2] A great many of the Athenians and allies were killed, although still more arms were taken than could be accounted for by the number of the dead, as some of those who were obliged to leap down from the cliffs without their shields escaped with their lives and did not perish like the rest.


7.46
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Their victory restores Syracusan morale.


After this the Syracusans, recovering their old confidence at such an unexpected stroke of good fortune, despatched Sicanus with fifteen ships to Agrigentum where there was a revolution, to induce if possible the city to join them; while Gylippus again went by land into the rest of Sicily to bring up reinforcements, being now in hope of taking the Athenian lines by storm, after the result of the affair on Epipolae.

In the meantime the Athenian generals consulted upon the disaster which had happened, and the general weakness of the army. They saw themselves unsuccessful in their enterprises, and the soldiers disgusted with their stay; [2] disease being rife among them owing to its being the sickly season of the year, and to the marshy and unhealthy nature of the spot in which they were encamped; and the state of their affairs generally being thought desperate. [3] Accordingly, Demosthenes was of opinion that they ought not to stay any longer; but consistent with his original idea in risking the attempt upon Epipolae, now that this had failed, he gave his vote for going away without further loss of time, while the sea might yet be crossed, and their late reinforcement might give them the superiority at all events on that element. [4] He also said that it would be more profitable for the state to carry on the war against those who were building fortifications in Attica, than against the Syracusans whom it was no longer easy to subdue; besides which it was not right to squander large sums of money to no purpose by going on with the siege.


7.47
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Demosthenes urges an immediate withdrawal while his expedition’s forces maintain their naval superiority, arguing that Athens had greater need of them at home.


This was the opinion of Demosthenes. Nicias, without denying the bad state of their affairs, was unwilling to admit their weakness, or to have it reported to the enemy that the Athenians in full council were openly voting for retreat; for in that case they would be much less likely to accomplish it when they wanted without discovery. [2] Moreover, his own particular information still gave him reason to hope that the affairs of the enemy would soon be in a worse state than their own, if the Athenians persevered in the siege; as they would wear out the Syracusans by lack of money, especially with the more extensive command of the sea now given them by their present navy. Besides this, there was a party in Syracuse who wished to betray the city to the Athenians, and kept sending him messages and telling him not to raise the siege. [3] Accordingly, knowing this and really waiting because he hesitated between the two courses and wished to see his way more clearly, in his public speech on this occasion he refused to lead off the army, saying he was sure the Athenians would never approve of their returning without a vote of theirs. Those who would vote upon their conduct, instead of judging the facts as eyewitnesses like themselves and not from what they might hear from hostile critics, would simply be guided by the calumnies of the first clever speaker; [4] while many, indeed most, of the soldiers on the spot, who now so loudly proclaimed the danger of their position, when they reached Athens would proclaim just as loudly the opposite, and would say that their generals had been bribed to betray them and return. For himself, therefore, who knew the Athenian temper, sooner than perish under a dishonorable charge and by an unjust sentence at the hands of the Athenians, he would rather take his chance and die, if die he must, a soldier’s death at the hand of the enemy. [5] Besides, after all, the Syracusans were in a worse case than themselves. What with paying mercenaries, spending upon fortified posts, and now for a full year maintaining a large navy, they were already at a loss and would soon be at a standstill: they had already spent two thousand talents and incurred heavy debts besides, and could not lose even ever so small a fraction of their present force through not paying it, without ruin to their cause; depending as they did more upon mercenaries than upon soldiers obliged to serve, like their own. [6] He therefore said that they ought to stay and carry on the siege, and not depart defeated in point of money, in which they were much superior.


7.48
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias disagrees, arguing from information received from Syracusan informants that the enemy is running out of funds with which to pay mercenaries and sailors, and may soon financially collapse. He also fears Athenian blame for defeat and prefers a soldier’s honorable death in the field to dishonorable execution in Athens.


Nicias spoke positively because he had exact information of the financial distress at Syracuse, and also because of the strength of the pro-Athenian party there which kept sending him messages not to raise the siege; besides which he had more confidence than before in his fleet, and felt sure at least of its success. [2] Demosthenes, however, would not hear for a moment of continuing the siege, but said that if they could not lead off the army without a decree from Athens, and if they were obliged to stay on, they ought to remove to Thapsus or Catana; where their land forces would have a wide extent of country to overrun, and could live by plundering the enemy, and would thus do them damage; while the fleet would have the open sea to fight in, that is to say, instead of a narrow space which was all in the enemy’s favor, a wide sea room where their skills would be of use, and where they could retreat or advance without being confined or circumscribed either when they put out or put in. [3] In any case he was altogether opposed to their staying on where they were, and insisted on removing at once, as quickly and with as little delay as possible; and in this judgment Eurymedon agreed. [4] Nicias however still objecting, a certain diffidence and hesitation came over them, with a suspicion that Nicias might have some further information to make him so positive.


7.49
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Demosthenes insists that they at least withdraw to some more favorable location from which to carry on the war. Nicias refuses, arousing suspicions that he knows more than he is telling, and no action is taken.


While the Athenians lingered on in this way without moving from where they were, Gylippus and Sicanus now arrived at Syracuse. Sicanus had failed to win over Agrigentum, the party friendly to the Syracusans having been driven out while he was still at Gela; but Gylippus was accompanied not only by a large number of troops raised in Sicily, but by the hoplites sent off in the spring from the Peloponnesus in the merchant vessels that had arrived at Selinus from Libya. [2] They had been carried to Libya by a storm, and having obtained two triremes and pilots from the Cyrenians, on their voyage along shore had taken sides with the Euesperitae and had defeated the Libyans who were besieging them, and from thence coasting on to Neapolis, a Carthaginian trading post, and the nearest point to Sicily, from which it is only two days’ and a night’s voyage, there crossed over and came to Selinus. [3] Immediately upon their arrival the Syracusans prepared to attack the Athenians again by land and sea at once. The Athenian generals seeing a fresh army come to the aid of the enemy, and that their own circumstances, far from improving, were becoming daily worse, and above all distressed by the sickness of the soldiers, now began to repent of not having departed before; and Nicias no longer offering the same opposition, except by urging that there should be no open voting, they gave orders as secretly as possible for all to be prepared to sail out from the camp at a given signal. [4] All was at last ready, and they were on the point of sailing away when an eclipse of the moon, which was then at the full, took place. Most of the Athenians, deeply impressed by this occurrence, now urged the generals to wait; and Nicias, who was somewhat overaddicted to divination and practices of that kind, refused from that moment even to take the question of departure into consideration, until they had waited the thrice nine days prescribed by the soothsayers.


7.50
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
After Gylippus returns to Syracuse with reinforcements, the Athenians finally decide to leave Syracuse. An eclipse of the moon changes their minds, however, and Nicias insists that they wait at least twenty-seven days, as prescribed by the soothsayers.


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MAP 7.49 MORE REINFORCEMENTS FOR SYRACUSE

The besiegers were thus condemned to stay in the country; [7.51.1] and the Syracusans getting wind of what had happened, became more eager than ever to press the Athenians, who had now themselves acknowledged that they were no longer their superiors either by sea or by land, as otherwise they would never have planned to sail away. Besides which the Syracusans did not wish them to settle in any other part of Sicily, where they would be more difficult to deal with, but desired to force them to fight at sea as quickly as possible, in a position favorable to themselves. [2] Accordingly they manned their ships and practiced for as many days as they thought sufficient. When the moment arrived they assaulted on the first day the Athenian lines, and upon a small force of hoplites and horse sallying out against them by certain gates, cut off some of the former and routed and pursued them to the lines, where, as the entrance was narrow, the Athenians lost seventy horses and a few hoplites.


7.51
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans, eager to deal with the Athenians in their present location, renew their training at sea and attack the Athenians on land.


Drawing off their troops for this day, on the next the Syracusans went out with a fleet of seventy-six sail, and at the same time advanced with their land forces against the lines. The Athenians put out to meet them with eighty-six ships, came to close quarters, and engaged. The Syracusans and their allies first defeated the Athenian center, [2] and then caught Eurymedon, the commander of the right wing, who was sailing out from the line more toward the land in order to surround the enemy, in the hollow and recess of the harbor, and killed him and destroyed the ships accompanying him; after which they now chased the whole Athenian fleet before them and drove them ashore.


7.52
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans decisively win a naval battle in the harbor. Eurymedon is killed.


Gylippus seeing the enemy’s fleet defeated and carried ashore beyond their stockades and camp, ran down to the breakwater with some of his troops, in order to cut off the men as they landed and make it easier for the Syracusans to tow off the vessels by the shore being friendly ground. [2] The Tyrrhenians who guarded this point for the Athenians seeing them come on in disorder, advanced out against them and attacked and routed their van, hurling it into the marsh of Lysimeleia. [3] Afterwards the Syracusan and allied troops arrived in greater numbers, and the Athenians fearing for their ships came up also to the rescue and engaged them, and defeated and pursued them for some distance and killed a few of their hoplites. They succeeded in rescuing most of their ships and brought them down by their camp; eighteen however were taken by the Syracusans and their allies, and all the men killed. [4] The rest the enemy tried to burn by means of an old cargo ship which they filled with brush and pinewood, set on fire, and let drift down the wind which blew full on the Athenians. The Athenians, however, alarmed for their ships, contrived means for stopping it and putting it out, and checking the flames and the nearer approach of the merchant ship, thus escaped the danger.


7.53
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Gylippus attempts to capture some Athenian ships but is thwarted by the Athenians, who also stop a Syracusan fireship before it causes harm.


After this the Syracusans set up a trophy for the sea fight and for the hoplites whom they had cut off up at the lines, where they took the horses; and the Athenians for the rout of the foot driven by the Tyrrhenians into the marsh, and for their own victory with the rest of the army.


7.54
413
Each side erects trophies.


The Syracusans had now gained a decisive victory at sea, where until now they had feared the reinforcement brought by Demosthenes, and deep, in consequence, was the despondency of the Athenians, and great their disappointment, and greater still their regret for having come on the expedition. [2] These were the only cities that they had yet encountered, similar to their own in character, under democracies like themselves, which had ships and horses, and were of considerable magnitude. They had been unable to divide and bring them over by holding out the prospect of changes in their governments, or to crush them by their great superiority in force, and had failed in most of their attempts, and being already in perplexity, had now been defeated at sea, where defeat could never have been expected, and were thus plunged deeper into bewilderment than ever.


7.55
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Naval defeat causes despair among the Athenians, who realize that they had never fought a city like Syracuse, which could not be suborned, overpowered, or persuaded to ally.


Meanwhile the Syracusans immediately began to sail freely along the harbor, and determined to close up its mouth, so that the Athenians might not be able to steal out in future, even if they wished. [2] Indeed, the Syracusans no longer thought only of saving themselves, but also how to hinder the escape of the enemy; thinking, and thinking rightly, that they were now much the strongest, and that to conquer the Athenians and their allies by land and sea would win them great glory in Hellas. The rest of the Hellenes would thus immediately be either freed or released from apprehension, as the remaining forces of Athens would be henceforth unable to sustain the war that would be waged against her; while they, the Syracusans, would be regarded as the authors of this deliverance, and would be held in high admiration, not only with all men now living but also with posterity. [3] Nor were these the only considerations that gave dignity to the struggle. They would thus conquer not only the Athenians but also their numerous allies, and conquer not alone, but with their companions-in-arms, commanding side by side with the Corinthians and Spartans, having offered their city to stand in the van of danger, and having been in a great measure the pioneers of naval success.


7.56
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans perceive their superiority, and begin to close the harbor mouth to prevent an Athenian escape. They are now ambitious to win glory from the defeat and capture of such an expedition, and the consequent liberation of Hellas.


[4] Indeed, there were never so many peoples assembled before a single city, if we except the grand total gathered together in this war under Athens and Sparta.

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MAP 7.56 EASTERN CONTRIBUTORS TO ATHENIAN FORCES AT SYRACUSE

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MAP 7.57 WESTERN CONTRIBUTORS TO ATHENIAN AND SYRACUSAN FORCES

The following were the states on either side who came to Syracuse to fight for or against Sicily, to help to conquer or defend the island. Right or community of blood was not the bond of union between them, so much as interest or compulsion as the case might be. [2] The Athenians themselves being Ionians went against the Dorians of Syracuse of their own free will; and the peoples still speaking Attic and using the Athenian laws, the Lemnians, Imbrians, and Aeginetans, that is to say, the then occupants of Aegina, being their colonists, went with them. To these must be also added the Histiaeans dwelling at Histiaea in Euboea. [3] Of the rest some joined in the expedition as subjects of the Athenians, others as independent allies, others as mercenaries. [4] To the number of the subjects paying tribute belonged the Eretrians, Chalcidians, Styrians, and Carystians from Euboea; the Ceans, Andrians, and Tenians from the islands; and the Milesians, Samians, and Chians from Ionia. The Chians, however, joined as independent allies, paying no tribute, but furnishing ships. Most of these were Ionians and descended from the Athenians, except the Carystians, who are Dryopes, and although subjects and obliged to serve, were still Ionians fighting against Dorians. [5] Besides these there were men of Aeolic race, the Methymnians, subjects who provided ships, not tribute, and the Tenedians and Aenians who paid tribute. These Aeolians fought against their Aeolian founders, the Boeotians in the Syracusan army, because they were obliged, while the Plataeans, the only native Boeotians opposed to Boeotians, did so upon a just quarrel. [6] Of the Rhodians and Cytherians, both Dorians, the latter, Spartan colonists, fought in the Athenian ranks against their Spartan countrymen with Gylippus; while the Rhodians, Argives by race, were compelled to bear arms against the Dorian Syracusans and their own colonists, the Geloans, serving with the Syracusans. [7] Of the islanders round the Peloponnesus, the Cephallenians and Zacynthians accompanied the Athenians as independent allies, although their insular position really left them little choice in the matter, owing to the maritime supremacy of Athens, while the Corcyraeans, who were not only Dorians but Corinthians, were openly serving against Corinthians and Syracusans, although colonists of the former and of the same race as the latter, ostensibly under compulsion, but really out of free will through hatred of Corinth. [8] The Messenians, as they are now called in Naupactus and from Pylos, then held by the Athenians, were taken with them to the war. There were also a few Megarian exiles, whose fate it was to be now fighting against the Megarian Selinuntines.


7.57
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Thucydides lists all participants in the Athenian force, recounting their ethnicity, their status, and the circumstances that led to their inclusion in the expedition.


[9] The engagement of the rest was more of a voluntary nature. It was less the alliance than hatred of the Spartans and the immediate private advantage of each individual that persuaded the Dorian Argives to join the Ionian Athenians in a war against Dorians; while the Mantineans and other Arcadian mercenaries, accustomed to go against the enemy pointed out to them at the moment, were led by interest to regard the Arcadians serving with the Corinthians as just as much their enemies as any others. The Cretans and Aetolians also served for hire, and the Cretans who had joined the Rhodians in founding Gela thus came to consent to fight for pay against, instead of for, their colonists. [10] There were also some Acarnanians paid to serve, although they came chiefly for love of Demosthenes and out of goodwill to the Athenians whose allies they were. These all lived on the Hellenic side of the Ionian gulf. [11] Of the Italians, there were the Thurians and Metapontines, dragged into the quarrel by the stern necessities of a time of revolution; of the Sicilians, the Naxians and the Catanians; and of the barbarians, the Egestaeans, who called in the Athenians, most of the Sicels, and outside Sicily some Tyrrhenian enemies of Syracuse and Iapygian mercenaries. Such were the peoples serving with the Athenians.

Against these the Syracusans had the Camarinaeans their neighbors, the Geloans who live next them, and then passing over the neutral Agrigentines, the Selinuntines settled on the farther side of the island. [2] These inhabit the part of Sicily looking toward Libya; the Himeraeans came from the side toward the Tyrrhenian sea, being the only Hellenic inhabitants in that quarter, and the only people that came from thence to the aid of the Syracusans. [3] Of the Hellenes in Sicily the above peoples joined in the war, all Dorians and independent, and of the barbarians the Sicels only, that is to say, such as did not go over to the Athenians. Of the Hellenes outside Sicily there were the Spartans, who provided a Spartan to take the command, and a force of neodamodeis and of Helots; the Corinthians, who alone joined with naval and land forces, with their Leucadian and Ambraciot kinsmen; some mercenaries sent by Corinth from Arcadia; some Sicyonians forced to serve, and from outside the Peloponnesus the Boeotians. [4] In comparison, however, with these foreign auxiliaries, the great Sicilian cities furnished more in every department—numbers of hoplites, ships and horses, and an immense multitude besides having been brought together; while in comparison, again, one may say, with all the rest put together, more was provided by the Syracusans themselves, both from the greatness of the city and from the fact that they were in the greatest danger.


7.58
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Thucydides lists the nationality, tribe, status, and circumstances of all participants in the force defending Syracuse against the Athenians.


Such were the auxiliaries brought together on either side, all of which had by this time assembled, neither party receiving any further support. [2] It was no wonder, therefore, if the Syracusans and their allies thought that it would win them great glory if they could follow up their recent victory in the sea fight by the capture of the whole Athenian armada, without letting it escape either by sea or by land. [3] They began at once to close up the Great Harbor by means of boats, merchant vessels, and triremes moored broadside across its mouth, which is nearly a mile wide, and made all their other arrangements for the event of the Athenians again venturing to fight at sea. There was, in fact, nothing small either in their plans or their ideas.


7.59
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans begin to close the Great Harbor with moored boats, intending to capture the entire Athenian force.


The Athenians, seeing them closing up the harbor and informed of their further designs, called a council of war. [2] The generals and other commanders assembled and discussed the difficulties of the situation; the point which pressed most being that they no longer had provisions for immediate use (having sent on to Catana to tell them not to send any, in the belief that they were going away), and that they would not have any in future unless they could command the sea. They therefore determined to evacuate their upper lines, to enclose with a crosswall and garrison a small space close to the ships, only just sufficient to hold their stores and sick, and manning all the ships, seaworthy or not, with every man that could be spared from the rest of their land forces, to fight it out at sea, and if victorious, to go to Catana, but if not, to burn their vessels, form in close order, and retreat by land to the nearest friendly place they could reach, Hellenic or barbarian. [3] This was no sooner settled than carried into effect: they descended gradually from the upper lines and manned all their vessels, compelling all to go on board who were of age to be in any way of use. [4] They thus succeeded in manning about one hundred and ten ships in all, on board of which they embarked a number of archers and darters taken from the Acarnanians and from the other foreigners, making all other provisions allowed by the nature of their plan and by the necessities which imposed it. [5] All was now nearly ready, and Nicias, seeing the soldiery disheartened by their unprecedented and decided defeat at sea, and by reason of the scarcity of provisions eager to fight it out as soon as possible, called them all together, and first addressed them speaking as follows:


7.60
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Seeing the Syracusan efforts, the Athenians decide to reduce their lines to just a harbor fort, to man the largest fleet possible in order to defeat the enemy, and to withdraw to Catana. If defeated at sea, they plan to march to the nearest friendly city.


“Soldiers of the Athenians and of the allies, we have all an equal interest in the coming struggle, in which life and country are at stake for us quite as much as they can be for the enemy; since if our fleet wins the day, each can see his native city again, wherever that city may be. [2] You must not lose heart, or be like men without any experience, who fail in a first attempt, and ever afterwards fearfully expect a future as disastrous. [3] But let the Athenians among you who have already had experience of many wars, and the allies who have joined us in so many expeditions, remember the surprises of war, and with the hope that fortune will not be always against us, prepare to fight again in a manner worthy of the number which you see yourselves to be.”

“Now, whatever we thought would be of service against the crush of vessels in such a narrow harbor, and against the force upon the decks of the enemy, from which we suffered before, has all been considered with the helmsmen, and, as far as our means allowed, provided. [2] A number of archers and darters will go on board, and a multitude that we should not have employed in an action in the open sea, where our science would be crippled by the weight of the vessels; but in the present land fight that we are forced to make from shipboard all this will be useful. [3] We have also discovered the changes in construction that we must make to meet theirs; and against the thickness of their cheeks, which did us the greatest mischief, we have provided grappling irons, which will prevent an assailant backing water after charging, if the marines on deck here do their duty; [4] since we are absolutely compelled to fight a land battle from the fleet, and it seems to be our interest neither to back water ourselves, nor to let the enemy do so, especially as the shore, except so much of it as may be held by our troops, is hostile ground.”

“You must remember this and fight on as long as you can, and must not let yourselves be driven ashore, but once alongside must make up your minds not to part company until you have swept the hoplites from the enemy’s deck. [2] I say this more for the hoplites than for the seamen, as it is more the business of the men on deck; and our land forces are even now on the whole the strongest. [3] The sailors I advise, and at the same time implore, not to be too much daunted by their misfortunes, now that we have our decks better armed and a greater number of vessels. Bear in mind how well worth preserving is the pleasure felt by those of you who through your knowledge of our language and imitation of our manners were always considered Athenians, even though not so in reality, and as such were honored throughout Hellas, and had your full share of the advantages of our empire, and more than your share in the respect of our subjects and in protection from ill treatment. [4] You, therefore, with whom alone we freely share our empire, we now justly require not to betray that empire in its extremity, and in scorn of Corinthians, whom you have often conquered, and of Sicilians, none of whom so much as presumed to stand against us when our navy was in its prime, we ask you to repel them, and to show that even in sickness and disaster your skill is more than a match for the fortune and vigor of any other.”

“For the Athenians among you I add once more this reflection: you left behind you no more such ships in your docks to compare with these, no more hoplites in their flower; if you do other than conquer, our enemies here will immediately sail thither, and those that are left of us at Athens will become unable to repel their home assailants, reinforced by these new allies. Here you will fall at once into the hands of the Syracusans—I need not remind you of the intentions with which you attacked them—and your countrymen at home will fall into those of the Spartans. [2] Since the fate of both thus hangs upon this single battle—now, if ever, stand firm, and remember, each and all, that you who are now going on board are the army and navy of the Athenians, and all that is left of the state and the great name of Athens, in whose defense if any man has any advantage in skill or courage, now is the time for him to show it, and thus serve himself and save all.”


7.61
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias reminds his men that victory will permit them to see again their native cities. He calls upon them to act like veterans.

7.62
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias lists the many steps they have taken in order to win the upcoming naval battle, which should give them confidence.

7.63
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias begs the seamen not to be daunted by recent reverses; he reminds them of the many privileges they enjoy under the empire; and he calls upon them to fight now in order to preserve themselves and it.

7.64
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias tells the Athenians that Athens has no military resources in reserve and concludes that failure here will lead to Athens’ quick defeat by Syracuse and Sparta.


After this address Nicias at once gave orders to man the ships. Meanwhile Gylippus and the Syracusans could perceive by the preparations which they saw going on that the Athenians meant to fight at sea. They had also received intelligence of the grappling irons, [2] against which they specially provided by stretching hides over the prows and much of the upper part of their vessels, in order that the irons when thrown might slip off without taking hold. [3] All being now ready, the generals and Gylippus addressed them in the following terms:


7.65
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Gylippus and the Syracusan generals address their forces.


“Syracusans and allies, the glorious character of our past achievements and the no less glorious results at issue in the coming battle are, we think, understood by most of you, or you would never have thrown yourselves with such ardor into the struggle; and if there be anyone not as fully aware of the facts as he ought to be, we will declare them to him. [2] The Athenians came to this country first to conquer Sicily, and after that, if successful, the Peloponnesus and the rest of Hellas, possessing already the greatest empire yet known, of present or former times, among the Hellenes. Here for the first time they found in you men who faced their navy which made them masters everywhere; you have already defeated them in the previous sea fight, and will in all likelihood defeat them again now. [3] When men are once checked in what they consider their special excellence, their whole opinion of themselves suffers more than if they had not at first believed in their superiority, the unexpected shock to their pride causing them to give way more than their real strength warrants; and this is probably now the case with the Athenians.”

“With us it is different. The original estimate of ourselves which gave us courage in the days of our unskillfulness has been strengthened, while the conviction added to it that we must be the best seamen of the time, if we have conquered the best, has given a double measure of hope to every man among us; and, for the most part, where there is the greatest hope, there is also the greatest ardor for action. [2] The means to combat us which they have tried to find in copying our armament are familiar to our warfare, and will be countered by appropriate measures; while they will never be able to have a number of hoplites on their decks, contrary to their custom, and a number of darters—born landsmen, one may say, Acarnanians and others, embarked afloat, who will not know how to discharge their weapons when they have to keep still, without hampering their vessels and falling all into confusion among themselves through fighting not according to their own tactics. [3] For they will gain nothing by the number of their ships—I say this to those of you who may be alarmed by having to fight against odds—as a quantity of ships in a confined space will only be slower in executing the movements required, and most exposed to injury from our means of offense. [4] Indeed, if you would know the plain truth, as we are credibly informed, the excess of their sufferings and the necessities of their present distress have made them desperate; they have no confidence in their force, but wish to try their fortune in the only way they can, and either to force their passage and sail out, or after this to retreat by land, it being impossible for them to be worse off than they are.”

“The fortune of our greatest enemies having thus betrayed itself, and their disorder being what I have described, let us engage in anger, convinced that nothing is more legitimate between adversaries than to claim to satisfy the whole wrath of one’s soul in punishing the aggressor, and nothing more sweet, as the proverb has it, than the vengeance upon an enemy which it will now be ours to take. [2] That enemies they are and mortal enemies you all know, since they came here to enslave our country, and if successful had in reserve for our men all that is most dreadful, and for our children and wives all that is most dishonorable, and for the whole city the name which conveys the greatest reproach. [3] None should therefore relent or think it gain if they go away without further danger to us. This they will do just the same, even if they get the victory; while if we succeed, as we may expect, in chastising them, and in handing down to all Sicily her ancient freedom strengthened and confirmed, we shall have achieved no mean triumph. And the rarest dangers are those in which failure brings little loss and success the greatest advantage.”


7.66
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Gylippus speaks to his troops, recalling Athens’ plan to first subdue Sicily and then the Peloponnesus. He asserts that the recently defeated Athenians are unlikely to recover their spirits.

7.67
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Gylippus asserts that the Syracusans’ superior morale, resulting from recent successes, will overcome Athenian desperation and numbers. He points out that the Athenians will be forced to use unfamiliar tactics.

7.68
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Gylippus urges the Syracusans to take revenge and accept nothing less than total victory, asserting that failure will bring little loss and success great advantage.


After the above address to the soldiers on their side, the Syracusan generals and Gylippus now perceived that the Athenians were manning their ships, and immediately proceeded to man their own also. [2] Meanwhile Nicias, appalled by the state of affairs, realizing the greatness and the nearness of the danger now that they were on the point of putting out from shore, and thinking, as men are apt to think in great crises, that when all has been done they have still something left to do, and when all has been said that they have not yet said enough, again called on the captains one by one, addressing each by his father’s name and by his own, and by that of his tribe, and beseeched them not to be false to their own personal renown, or to obscure the hereditary virtues for which their ancestors were illustrious; he reminded them of their country, the freest of the free, and of the unfettered discretion allowed to all in it to live as they pleased; and added other arguments such as men would use at such a crisis, and which, with little alteration, are made to serve on all occasions alike—appeals to wives, children, and national gods—without caring whether they are thought commonplace, but loudly invoking them in the belief that they will be of use in the consternation of the moment. [3] Having thus admonished them, not, he felt, as he would, but as he could, Nicias withdrew and led the troops to the sea, and arranged them in as long a line as he was able, in order to sustain as far as possible the courage of the men afloat; [4] while Demosthenes, Menander, and Euthydemus, who took the command on board, put out from their own camp and sailed straight to the barrier across the mouth of the harbor and to the passage left open, to try to force their way out.


7.69
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
After both sides manned their ships, Nicias, feeling the crisis keenly, continued to speak, calling on captains by name and tribe to remember their ancestors, country, families, and gods, in hope of inciting them to greater efforts.


The Syracusans and their allies had already set out with about the same number of ships as before, a part of which kept guard at the outlet, and the remainder all round the rest of the harbor, in order to attack the Athenians on all sides at once; while the land forces held themselves in readiness at the points at which the vessels might put into the shore. The Syracusan fleet was commanded by Sicanus and Agatharchus, who each had a wing of the whole force, with Pythen and the Corinthians in the center. [2] When the rest of the Athenians came up to the barrier, with the first shock of their charge they overpowered the ships stationed there, and tried to undo the fastenings; after this, as the Syracusans and allies bore down upon them from all quarters, the action spread from the barrier over the whole harbor, and was more obstinately disputed than any of the preceding ones. [3] On either side the rowers showed great zeal in bringing up their vessels at the boatswains’ orders, and the helmsmen great skill in maneuvering, and great emulation one with another; and once the ships were alongside each other, the marines on board did their best not to let the service on deck be out-done by the others; in short, every man strove to prove himself the first in his particular department. [4] And as many ships were engaged in a small compass (for these were the largest fleets fighting in the narrowest space ever known, being together little short of two hundred), the regular attacks with the beak were few, there being no opportunity of backing water or of breaking the line; while the collisions caused by one ship chancing to run foul of another, either in flying from or attacking a third, were more frequent. [5] So long as a vessel was coming up to the charge the men on the decks rained darts and arrows and stones upon her; but once alongside, the marines tried to board each other’s vessel, fighting hand to hand. [6] In many quarters also it happened, by reason of the narrow room, that a vessel was charging an enemy on one side and being charged herself on another, and that two, or sometimes more ships, had perforce got entangled round one, obliging the helmsmen to attend to defense here, offense there, not to one thing at once, but to many on all sides; while the huge din caused by the number of ships crashing together not only spread terror, but made the orders of the boatswains inaudible. [7] The boatswains on either side in the discharge of their duty and in the heat of the conflict incessantly shouted orders and appeals to their men; the Athenians they urged to force the passage out, and now if ever to show their mettle and lay hold of a safe return to their country; to the Syracusans and their allies they cried that it would be glorious to prevent the escape of the enemy, and conquering, to exalt the countries that were theirs. [8] The generals, moreover, on either side, if they saw in any part of the battle backing ashore without being forced to do so, called out to the captain by name and asked him—the Athenians, whether they were retreating because they thought the thrice hostile shore more their own than that sea which had cost them so much labor to win—the Syracusans, whether they were fleeing from the fleeing Athenians, whom they well knew to be eager to escape in whatever way they could.


7.70
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans take stations around the harbor as the Athenians charge the barrier at its mouth. After the first shock a general mêlée occurs in which crowding prevents maneuver, so that much chaotic fighting amid noise and confusion takes place, with both sides displaying great zeal for battle.


Meanwhile the two armies on shore, while victory hung in the balance, were a prey to the most agonizing and conflicting emotions; the natives thirsting for more glory than they had already won, while the invaders feared to find themselves in even worse plight than before. [2] The fate of the Athenians being placed in their fleet, their fear for the event was like nothing they had ever felt; while their view of the struggle was necessarily as checkered as the battle itself. [3] Close to the scene of action and not all looking at the same point at once, some saw their friends victorious and took courage, and fell to calling upon heaven not to deprive them of salvation, while others who had their eyes turned upon those who were losing, wailed and cried aloud, and, although spectators, were more overcome than the actual combatants. Others, again, were gazing at some spot where the battle was evenly disputed; as the strife was protracted without decision, their swaying bodies reflected the agitation of their minds, and they suffered the worst agony of all, ever just within reach of safety or just on the point of destruction. [4] In short, in that one Athenian army as long as the sea fight remained doubtful there was every sound to be heard at once, shrieks, cheers, “We win,” “We lose,” and all the other manifold exclamations that a great host would necessarily utter in great peril; [5] and with the men in the fleet it was nearly the same; until at last the Syracusans and their allies, after the battle had lasted a long while, put the Athenians to flight, and with much shouting and cheering chased them in open rout to the shore. [6] The naval force, one one way, one another, as many as were not taken afloat, now ran ashore and rushed from on board their ships to their camp; while the army, no more divided, but carried away by one impulse, all with shrieks and groans deplored the event, and ran down, some to help the ships, others to guard what was left of their wall, while the remaining and most numerous part already began to consider how they should save themselves. [7] Indeed, the panic of the present moment had never been surpassed. They now suffered very nearly what they had inflicted at Pylos; as then the Spartans with the loss of their fleet lost also the men who had crossed over to the island, so now the Athenians had no hope of escaping by land, without the help of some extraordinary accident.


7.71
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Thucydides describes the varied emotions, cries, exaltation, and anguish of the armies watching from shore as the sea battle rages. Finally as the Athenian ships are routed, the Athenians give way to panic and despair, with many wondering how they will save themselves.


The sea fight having been a severe one, and many ships and lives having been lost on both sides, the victorious Syracusans and their allies now picked up their wrecks and dead, and sailed off to the city and set up a trophy. [2] The Athenians, overwhelmed by their misfortune, never even thought of asking leave to take up their dead or wrecks, but wished to retreat that very night. [3] Demosthenes, however, went to Nicias and gave it as his opinion that they should man the ships they had left and make another effort to force their passage out next morning; saying that they had still left more ships fit for service than the enemy, the Athenians having about sixty remaining as against less than fifty of their opponents. [4] Nicias was quite in agreement; but when they wished to man the vessels, the sailors refused to go on board, being so utterly overcome by their defeat as no longer to believe in the possibility of success.


7.72
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The defeated Athenians are so stunned that they forget to ask for their dead. Demosthenes and Nicias agree to mount a second attack, but the demoralized Athenian sailors refuse to man the triremes.


Accordingly they all now made up their minds to retreat by land. Meanwhile the Syracusan Hermocrates, suspecting their intention and impressed by the danger of allowing a force of that magnitude to retire by land, establish itself in some other part of Sicily, and from there to renew the war, went and stated his views to the authorities, and pointed out to them that they ought not to let the enemy get away by night, but that all the Syracusans and their allies should at once march out and block up the roads and seize and guard the passes. [2] The authorities were entirely of his opinion, and thought that it ought to be done, but on the other hand felt sure that the people, who had given themselves over to rejoicing and were taking their ease after a great battle at sea, would not be easily brought to obey; besides, they were celebrating a festival, having on that day a sacrifice to Heracles, and most of them in their rapture at the victory had fallen to drinking at the festival, and would probably consent to anything sooner than to take up their arms and march out at that moment. [3] For these reasons the thing appeared impracticable to the magistrates; and Hermocrates, finding himself unable to do anything further with them, had now recourse to the following stratagem of his own. What he feared was that the Athenians might quietly get ahead of them by passing the most difficult places during the night; and he therefore sent, as soon as it was dusk, some friends of his own to the camp with some horsemen who rode up within earshot and called out to some of the men, as though they were well-wishers of the Athenians, and told them to tell Nicias (who had in fact some contacts who informed him of what went on inside the city), not to lead off the army by night as the Syracusans were guarding the roads, but to make his preparations at his leisure and to retreat by day. [4] After saying this they departed; and their hearers informed the Athenian generals, [7.74.1] who put off going for that night on the strength of this message, not doubting its sincerity.


7.73
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians now plan to retreat by land this very night. Hermocrates, afraid they might escape, sends messengers to deceive the Athenian generals by warning them not to leave immediately because the roads are guarded. The Athenians follow this advice.


Since after all they had not set out at once, they now determined to stay also the following day to give time to the soldiers to pack up as well as they could the most useful articles, and, leaving everything else behind, to start only with what was strictly necessary for their personal subsistence. [2] Meanwhile the Syracusans and Gylippus marched out and blocked the roads through the country by which the Athenians were likely to pass, and kept guard at the fords of the streams and rivers, posting themselves so as to receive them and stop the army where they thought best; while their fleet sailed up to the beach and towed off the ships of the Athenians. Some few were burned by the Athenians themselves as they had intended; the rest the Syracusans lashed on to their own at their leisure as they had been thrown up on shore, without anyone trying to stop them, and conveyed to the city.


7.74
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians allow their soldiers one day to pack, and the Syracusans use this time to occupy strategic points on possible escape routes, and to tow off Athenian ships without opposition.


After this, Nicias and Demosthenes now thinking that enough had been done in the way of preparation, the departure of the army took place upon the second day after the sea fight. [2] It was a lamentable scene, not merely from the single circumstance that they were retreating after having lost all their ships, their great hopes gone, and themselves and their state in peril; but also in leaving the camp there were things most grievous for every eye and heart to contemplate. [3] The dead lay unburied, and each man as he recognized a friend among them shuddered with grief and horror; while the living whom they were leaving behind, wounded or sick, were to the living far more shocking than the dead, and more to be pitied than those who had perished. [4] These fell to entreating and bewailing until their friends knew not what to do, begging them to take them and loudly calling to each individual comrade or relative whom they could see, hanging upon the necks of their tent-fellows in the act of departure, and following as far as they could, and when their bodily strength failed them, calling again and again upon heaven and shrieking aloud as they were left behind. So that the whole army being filled with tears and in a distraught state, found it not easy to go, even from an enemy’s land, where they had already suffered evils too great for tears and in the unknown future before them feared to suffer more. [5] Dejection and self-condemnation were also rife among them. Indeed they could only be compared to a starved-out city, and that no small one, escaping; the whole multitude upon the march being not less than forty thousand men. All carried anything they could which might be of use, and the hoplites and troopers, contrary to their custom while under arms, carried their own provisions, in some cases for lack of servants, in others through not trusting them; as they had long been deserting and now did so in greater numbers than ever. Yet even thus they did not carry enough, as there was no longer food in the camp. [6] Moreover their disgrace generally, and the universality of their sufferings, although to a certain extent alleviated by being borne in company, were still felt at the moment a heavy burden, especially when they contrasted the splendor and glory of their setting out with the humiliation in which it had ended. [7] For this was by far the greatest reverse that ever befell an Hellenic army. They had come to enslave others, and were departing in fear of being enslaved themselves: they had sailed out with prayer and paeans, and now started to go back with omens directly contrary; traveling by land instead of by sea, and trusting not in their fleet but in their hoplites. Nevertheless the greatness of the danger still impending made all this appear tolerable.


7.75
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Saddened and shamed by the necessity to leave the unburied dead and their sick and wounded comrades, the forty thousand Athenians finally march out. Having already absorbed reverses greater than those suffered by any Hellenic army, they march in fear of capture and enslavement, their initial glory turned to humiliation.


Nicias seeing the army dejected and greatly altered, passed along the ranks and encouraged and comforted them as far as was possible under the circumstances, raising his voice still higher and higher as he went from one company to another in his earnestness, and in his anxiety that the benefit of his words might reach as many as possible:


7.76
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias tries to encourage his men.


“Athenians and allies, even in our present position we must still hope on, since men have before now been saved from worse straits than this; and you must not condemn yourselves too severely either because of your disasters or because of your present unmerited sufferings. [2] I myself who am not superior to any of you in strength—indeed you see how I am in my sickness—and who in the gifts of fortune am, I think, whether in private life or otherwise, the equal of any, am now exposed to the same danger as the meanest among you; and yet my life has been one of much devotion toward the gods, and of much justice and without offense toward men. [3] I have, therefore, still a strong hope for the future, and our misfortunes do not terrify me as much as they might. Indeed we may hope that they will be lightened: our enemies have had good fortune enough; and if any of the gods was offended at our expedition, we have already been amply punished. [4] Others before us have attacked their neighbors and have done what men will do without suffering more than they could bear; and we may now justly expect to find the gods more kind, for we have become fitter objects for their pity than their jealousy. And then look at yourselves, mark the numbers and efficiency of the hoplites marching in your ranks, and do not give way too much to despondency, but reflect that you are yourselves at once a city wherever you sit down, and that there is no other in Sicily that could easily resist your attack, or expel you when once established. [5] The safety and order of the march is for yourselves to attend to; the one thought of each man being that the spot on which he may be forced to fight must be conquered and held as his country and stronghold. [6] Meanwhile we shall hasten on our way night and day alike, as our provisions are scanty; and if we can reach some friendly place of the Sicels, whom fear of the Syracusans still keeps true to us, you may from then on consider yourselves safe. A message has been sent on to them with directions to meet us with supplies of food. [7] To sum up, be convinced, soldiers, that you must be brave, as there is no place near for your cowardice to take refuge in, and that if you now escape from the enemy, you may all see again what your hearts desire, while those of you who are Athenians will raise up again the great power of the state, fallen though it be. Men make the city and not walls or ships without 7en in them.”


7.77
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias argues that others have survived worse straits, and that the gods may now find them more an object of pity than of jealousy and stop tormenting them. He points out that they are still a formidable force, may still find friends among the Sicels, and may hope to raise Athens’ power again.


As he made this address, Nicias went along the ranks, and brought back to their place any of the troops that he saw straggling out of the line; while Demosthenes did as much for his part of the army, addressing them in words very similar. [2] The army marched in a hollow square, the division under Nicias leading, and that of Demosthenes following, the hoplites being outside and the baggage carriers and the bulk of the army in the middle. [3] When they arrived at the ford of the river Anapus they there found drawn up a body of the Syracusans and allies, and routing these, made good their passage and pushed on, harassed by the charges of the Syracusan horse and by the missiles of their light troops. [4] On that day they advanced about four miles and a half, halting for the night upon a certain hill. On the next they started early and got on about two miles further, and descended into a place in the plain and there encamped in order to procure some edibles from the houses, as the place was inhabited, and to carry with them water from there, as for many miles in front, in the direction in which they were going, it was not plentiful. [5] The Syracusans meanwhile went on and fortified the pass in front, where there was a steep hill with a rocky ravine on each side of it, called the Acraean cliff. [6] The next day the Athenians advancing found themselves impeded by the missiles and charges of the horse and darters, both very numerous, of the Syracusans and allies; and after fighting for a long while, at length retired to the same camp, where they no longer had provisions as before, it being impossible to leave their position by reason of the cavalry.


7.78
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians make slow progress on the march, crossing the Anapus and camping where they hope to find food. Halted by the Syracusans and prevented from foraging by enemy cavalry, they begin to run low on provisions.


Early next morning they started afresh and forced their way to the hill, which had been fortified, where they found before them the enemy’s infantry drawn up many shields deep to defend the fortification, the pass being narrow. [2] The Athenians assaulted the work, but were greeted by a storm of missiles from the hill, which told with the greater effect through its being a steep one, and unable to force the passage, retreated again and rested. [3] Meanwhile occurred some claps of thunder and rain, as often happens toward autumn, which still further disheartened the Athenians, who thought all these things to be omens of their approaching ruin. [4] While they were resting Gylippus and the Syracusans sent a part of their army to throw up works in their rear on the way by which they had advanced; however, the Athenians immediately sent some of their men and prevented them; [5] after which they retreated more toward the plain and halted for the night. When they advanced the next day the Syracusans surrounded and attacked them on every side, and disabled many of them, falling back if the Athenians advanced and coming on if they retired, and in particular assaulting their rear, in the hope of routing them in detail, and thus striking a panic into the whole army. [6] For a long while the Athenians persevered in this fashion, but after advancing for about a half a mile, halted to rest in the plain, the Syracusans also withdrawing to their own camp.


7.79
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenians fail to pierce the Syracusan defense and a thunderstorm is seen by them as an omen of ruin. The next day they are attacked on every side by cavalry and infantry, and make very little progress.


During the night Nicias and Demosthenes, seeing the wretched condition of their troops, now in want of every kind of necessity, and numbers of them disabled in the numerous attacks of the enemy, determined to light as many fires as possible, and to lead off the army, no longer by the same route as they had intended, but toward the sea in the opposite direction to that guarded by the Syracusans. [2] This route led the army not to Catana but to the other side of Sicily, toward Camarina, Gela, and the other Hellenic and barbarian cities in that quarter. [3] They accordingly lit a number of fires and set out by night. Now all armies, and the greatest most of all, are liable to fears and alarms, especially when they are marching by night through an enemy’s country and with the enemy near; and the Athenians now fell into one of these panics, [4] the leading division, that of Nicias, kept together and got on a good way in front, while that of Demosthenes, comprising rather more than half the army, became separated and marched on in some disorder. [5] By morning, however, they reached the sea, and getting onto the Helorine road, pushed on to reach the river Cacyparis in order to follow that stream up into the interior, where they hoped to be met by the Sicels whom they had sent for. [6] When they arrived at the river, they found there also a Syracusan party engaged in barring the passage of the ford with a wall and a palisade, and forcing this guard, crossed the river and went on to another called the Erineus, according to the advice of their guides.


7.80
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Because the troops’ condition is deteriorating, the Athenians try to escape by secretly leaving their camp at night and marching south toward the sea. The army’s two divisions become separated but both reach the Helorine Road and cross the Erineus River.


Meanwhile, when day came and the Syracusans and allies found that the Athenians were gone, most of them accused Gylippus of having let them escape on purpose, and hastily pursuing by the road that they had taken (which they had no difficulty finding), overtook them about dinnertime. [2] They first came up with the troops under Demosthenes, who were behind and marching somewhat slowly and in disorder, owing to the night panic above referred to, and at once attacked and engaged them, the Syracusan horse surrounding them with more ease now that they were separated from the rest, and hemming them in on one spot. [3] The division of Nicias was five or six miles on in front, as he led them more rapidly, thinking that under the circumstances their safety lay not in staying and fighting, unless obliged, but in retreating as fast as possible, and only fighting when forced to do so. [4] On the other hand, Demosthenes was, generally speaking, harassed more incessantly, as his post in the rear left him the first exposed to the attacks of the enemy; and now, finding that the Syracusans were in pursuit, he ceased to push on, in order to form his men for battle, and so lingered until he was surrounded by his pursuers and himself and the Athenians with him placed in the most distressing position, being huddled into an enclosure with a wall all round it, a road on this side and on that, and olive trees in great number, where missiles were showered in upon them from every quarter. [5] This mode of attack the Syracusans had with good reason adopted in preference to fighting at close quarters, as to risk a struggle with desperate men was now more to the advantage of the Athenians than to their own; besides, their success had now become so certain that they began to spare themselves a little in order not to be killed in the moment of victory, thinking too that they would in any case be able in this way to subdue and capture the enemy.


7.81
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans pursue the Athenians and overtake the division of Demosthenes; that of Nicias is some miles ahead. Demosthenes’ men are soon surrounded and assaulted with missiles. Now certain of victory, the Syracusans become unwilling to risk close combat.


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MAP7.81 THE ATHENIAN RETREAT AND SURRENDER

In fact, after plying the Athenians and allies all day long from every side with missiles, they at length saw that they were worn out with their wounds and other sufferings; and Gylippus and the Syracusans and their allies made a proclamation, offering their liberty to any of the islanders who chose to come over to them; and some few cities went over. [2] Afterwards a capitulation was agreed upon for all the rest with Demosthenes, to lay down their arms on condition that no one was to be put to death either by violence or imprisonment or want of the necessaries of life. [3] Upon this they surrendered to the number of six thousand in all, laying down all the money in their possession, which filled the hollows of four shields, and were immediately conveyed by the Syracusans to the city.


7.82
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Syracusans offer liberty to islanders who surrender, but only a few go over. Then Demosthenes agrees to capitulate on condition that no one will be killed; six thousand Athenians surrender.


Meanwhile Nicias with his division arrived that day at the river Erineus, crossed over, and posted his army upon some high ground upon the other side. [7.83.1] The next day the Syracusans overtook him and told him that the troops under Demosthenes had surrendered, and invited him to follow their example. Incredulous of the fact, Nicias asked for a truce to send a horseman to see, [2] and upon the return of the messenger with the tidings that they had surrendered, sent a herald to Gylippus and the Syracusans, saying that he was ready to agree with them on behalf of the Athenians to repay whatever money the Syracusans had spent upon the war if they would let his army go; and offered until the money was paid to give Athenians as hostages, one for every talent. [3] The Syracusans and Gylippus rejected this proposition, and attacked this division as they had the other, standing all round and plying them with missiles until the evening. [4] Food and necessaries were as miserably wanting to the troops of Nicias as they had been to their comrades; nevertheless they watched for the quiet of the night to resume their march. But as they were taking up their arms the Syracusans perceived it and raised their paean, [5] upon which the Athenians, finding that they were discovered, laid them down again, except about three hundred men who forced their way through the guards and went on during the night as they were able.


7.83
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
When the Syracusans inform Nicias of Demosthenes’ surrender, Nicias offers to pay for his army’s liberty. The Syracusans refuse his offer and attack his men from all sides with missiles. An attempt by Nicias to march off by night is thwarted.


As soon as it was day Nicias put his army in motion, pressed as before, by the Syracusans and their allies, pelted from every side by their missiles, and struck down by their javelins. [2] The Athenians pushed on for the Assinarus, impelled by the attacks made upon them from every side by a numerous cavalry and the swarm of other arms, supposing that they should breathe more freely if once across the river, and driven on also by their exhaustion and craving for water. [3] Once there they rushed in, and all order was at an end, each man wanting to cross first, and the attacks of the enemy making it difficult to cross at all; forced to huddle together, they fell against and trampled one another, some dying immediately upon the javelins, others getting entangled together and stumbling over the articles of baggage, without being able to rise again. [4] Meanwhile the opposite bank, which was steep, was lined by the Syracusans, who showered missiles down upon the Athenians, most of them drinking greedily and heaped together in disorder in the hollow bed of the river. [5] The Peloponnesians also came down and butchered them, especially those in the water, which was thus immediately spoiled, but which they went on drinking just the same, mud and all, bloody as it was, most even fighting to have it.


7.84
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Under attack all the way, the Athenians march to the Assinarus river, driven by thirst and the hope that they would be safe there. When they arrive, they find the Syracusans waiting for them. All order is lost as men rush to drink even the foul water in which they are being butchered.


At last, when many dead now lay piled one upon another in the stream, and part of the army had been destroyed at the river, and the few that escaped from there had been cut off by the cavalry, Nicias surrendered himself to Gylippus, whom he trusted more than he did the Syracusans, and told him and the Spartans to do what they liked with him, but to stop the slaughter of the soldiers. [2] Gylippus, after this, immediately gave orders to take prisoners; upon which the rest were assembled alive, except a large number secretly kept by the soldiery, and a party was sent in pursuit of the three hundred who had got through the guard during the night, and who were now taken with the rest. [3] The number of the enemy collected as public property was not considerable; but that taken privately was very large, and all Sicily was filled with them, no agreement having been made in their case as for those taken with Demosthenes. [4] Besides this, a large portion were killed outright, the carnage being very great, and not exceeded by any in this Sicilian war. In the numerous other encounters upon the march, not a few also had fallen. Nevertheless many escaped, some at the moment, others served as slaves, and then ran away subsequently. These found refuge at Catana.


7.85
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Nicias surrenders to Gylippus, who then orders that prisoners be taken. Although more men died on this march than in any action of the Sicilian war, many escaped or were enslaved and escaped later to Catana.


The Syracusans and their allies now mustered and took up the spoils and as many prisoners as they could, and went back to the city. [2] The rest of their Athenian and allied captives were deposited in the quarries, this seeming the safest way of keeping them; but Nicias and Demosthenes were butchered, against the will of Gylippus, who thought that it would be the crown of his triumph if he could take the enemy’s generals to Sparta. [3] One of them, as it happened, Demosthenes, was one of her greatest enemies, on account of the affair of the island and of Pylos; while the other, Nicias, was for the same reasons one of her greatest friends, owing to his exertions to procure the release of the prisoners by persuading the Athenians to make peace. [4] For these reasons the Spartans felt kindly toward him; and it was in this that Nicias himself mainly confided when he surrendered to Gylippus. But some of the Syracusans who had been in correspondence with him were afraid, it was said, of his being put to the torture and troubling their success by his revelations; others, especially the Corinthians, of his escaping by means of bribes (as he was wealthy), and living to do them further harm; and these persuaded the allies and put him to death. [5] This or the like was the cause of the death of a man who, of all the Hellenes in my time, least deserved such a fate, seeing that the whole course of his life had been regulated with strict attention to virtue.


7.86
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
The Athenian and allied prisoners are held in quarries. Demosthenes and Nicias are executed. Thucydides remarks that Nicias did not deserve this fate.


The prisoners in the quarries were at first harshly treated by the Syracusans. Crowded in a narrow hole, without any roof to cover them, the heat of the sun and the stifling closeness of the air tormented them during the day, and then the nights which came on autumnal and chilly made them ill by the violence of the change; [2] besides, as they had to do everything in the same place for want of room, and the bodies of those who died of their wounds or from the variation in the temperature, or from similar causes, were left heaped together one upon another, intolerable stenches arose; while hunger and thirst never ceased to afflict them, each man during eight months having only half a pint of water and a pint of grain given him daily. In short, no single suffering to be apprehended by men thrust into such a place was spared them. [3] For some seventy days they thus lived all together, after which all, except the Athenians and any Siceliots or Italians who had joined in the expedition, were sold. [4] The total number of prisoners taken it would be difficult to state exactly, but it could not have been less than seven thousand.

[5] This was the greatest Hellenic achievement of any in this war, or, in my opinion, in Hellenic history; at once most glorious to the victors, and most calamitous to the conquered. [6] They were beaten at all points and altogether; all that they suffered was great; they were destroyed, as the saying is, with a total destruction, their fleet, their army—everything was destroyed, and few out of many returned home. Such were the events in Sicily.


7.87
413
19th Year/Summer
SYRACUSE
Thucydides describes the torments of the seven thousand or more captives who endured the crowded quarries for eight months before being sold as slaves. Many died. Thucydides calls the Syracusan victory the greatest of the war, and the Athenian defeat the most calamitous and total.


Tarentum, Italy, Map 7.1.

Locri (Epizephyrian), Italy: Map 7.1.

Syracuse: Map 7.1.

Epipolae: Map 7.4, AX.

Himera: Map 7.1.

Rhegium: Map 7.1.

Messana: Map 7.1.

Selinus:Map 7.1.

Gela: Map 7.1.

Sparta: Map 7.1.

Hoplite is the Greek word for a heavily armed infantryman. See Glossary and Appendix F, Land Warfare, ©2. Marines were hoplites trained to fight from the decks of triremes; seeAppendix G, Trireme warfare, ©8, ©11, ©14.

Corinth: Map 7.1.

Leucas: Map 7.1.

Ietae: site unknown.

Euryelus on Epipolae: Map 7.4, AX.

Thucydides actually wrote six or seven stades: the Attic stade was 607 feet, the Olympic stade 630.8 feet. Complete and incomplete Athenian walls: Map 7.4.

Trogilus: Map 7.4, AY. For another theory as to its location, see note 6.99.1a.

Heralds, already a venerable Greek institution in Thucydides’ day, operated under the protection of the god Hermes, and were easily identified by the staff they carried. They alone could travel unmolested between states or armies during wartime in order to deliver messages, take back replies, and make perfunctory arrangements.

Temenites district of Syracuse: Map 7.4, AY.

Fort Labdalum: Map 7.4, AX.

Triremes were the standard warship of this period; see Appendix G, ©4-7.

Plemmyrium: Map 7.4, BY.

Map 7.4 basically follows the interpretation of Peter Green in Armada from Athens (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1971), passim, particularly regarding the locations of Trogilus (Map 7.4, AY) and the Lysimeleia marsh (Map 7.41, BY). The reader should be aware, however, that many scholars follow the views of K. J. Dover as set out in A.W. Gomme, A. Andrewes, and K.J. Dover, A Historical Commentary on Thucydide, iv (Oxford, 1970), 466 ff. See note 6.99.1a.

Olympieum: Map 7.4, BX.

Locri (Epizephyrian) and Rhegium: Map 7.1.

Syracusan counterwall: Map 7.4, AY.

According to the ritual of hoplite warfare; see Appendix F, Land Warfare, ©6.

This is another expression of Dorian contempt for Ionian prowess; see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©8.

Ambracia: Map 7.9.

Leucas: Map 7.9.

For training a fleet, see Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©11-15.

Perdiccas was the king of nearby Macedonia, Map 7.9.

Amphipolis: Map 7.9. The previous attempt by Athens to capture Amphipolis had been organized in the winter of 417/6, and was to have been led by Nicias, but was aborted when Perdiccas joined the Spartan-Argive alliance and refused to assist Athens; see 5.83.

Strymon river: Map 7.9.

Himeraeum: location unknown.

Circumvallation: the building of a wall to completely isolate a city by land.

For the importance of regularly beaching triremes to dry their hulls, see Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©6.

The capture of Hyccara and the enslavement of its inhabitants was described in 6.62.

For the significance of crew discipline and efficiency, see Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©11-15 and the speech of the Athenian Phormio to his troops before battle in 2.89.9.

Naxos and Catana: Map 7.9.

A talent is a unit of weight and money. See Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©5.

Naupactus: Map 7.18, AX.

Attica: Map 7.18, AX.

Decelea: Map 7.18, AX.

Thucydides describes the Theban assault on Plataea in 2.2-6.

Pericles appeals to the arbitration clause in the treaty establishing the Thirty Years’ Peace in 1.144.2, and the Athenians formally challenge the Spartans to submit their complaint to arbitration in 1.145.

Pylos: Map 7.18, BX. Thucydides describes the Spartan defeat at Pylos in 4.2-6, 4.8-23, and 4.26-41.

For the incursions from Pylos, see 6.105.2.

Argos: Map 7.18, BX.

Epidaurus: Map 7.18, BX.

Prasiae: Map 7.18, BX.

Boeotia: Map 7.18, AX.

For a discussion of Sparta’s Helots, see Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©3.

The first mention of the class of neodamodeis is in 4.21 when they are settled on the border of Elis alongside the Helots which Brasidas took to Thrace. The name would appear to signify “newly put in the damos” (“newly made citizens”) but their precise status is still debated. They were used by Sparta more and more as the war progressed; see 5.67.1 (at the battle of Mantinea), 7.58.3 (in Sicily), and frequently in large numbers in the early decades of the fourth century. A Spartiate is a full citizen of Sparta, a member of its highest military caste.

Taenarum: Map 7.18, BX.

Laconia: Map 7.18, BX.

Corinth: Map 7.18, AX.

Arcadia: Map 7.18, BX.

Sicyon: Map 7.18, AX.

Naupactus: Map 7.18, AX.

Decelea: Map 7.18, AX.

Argos: Map 7.18, BX.

Chios: Map 7.18, AY.

Aegina: Map 7.18, BX. The narrative of Demosthenes’ expedition continues in 7.26.

By the Mede here, Thucydides means the Persians; see note 1.18.1d and Appendix E, The Persians, ©1.

Plemmyrium: Map 7.25, inset.

Great Harbor: Map 7.25, inset.

Lesser Harbor: Map 7.25, inset.

Plemmyrium and Nicias’ forts: Map 7.4, BY, and Map 7.25, inset.

Regarding the loss of “masts and other equipment,” see note 6.34.5a, 8.28.1, and 8.43.1, and Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©8.

Caulonia: Map 7.25, BX.

Locri (Epizephyrian): Map 7.25, BX.

Thespiae: Map 7.25, BY.

Megara (Hyblaea), Sicily: Map 7.25, BX.

The talent as a unit of weight varied over time and place between sixty and eighty pounds, which would make the burden of this vessel somewhere between three and four hundred tons.

Ambracia: Map 7.25, AY.

Aegina: Map 7.25, BY, and Map 7.29.

Argos: Map 7.25, BY.

Laconia: Map 7.25, BY.

Epidaurus Limera: Map 7.25, BY.

Cythera: Map 7.25, BY.

Isthmus opposite Cythera: site unknown.

For more on the Spartan Helots, see Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©3-4.

Pylos: Map 7.25, BY.

Corcyra: Map 7.25, AY.

Territory of the Dii: Map 7.29, locator. Peltasts were lightly armed troops who could move much more quickly than the heavily and expensively armed hoplites.

For the drachma, See Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©3.

Decelea: Map 7.29.

Presumably Thucydides refers not just to the losses of slaves in the first few months of the Decelean War but to losses sustained during the whole Decelean War. The figure of twenty thousand may have been a “late” addition. For slavery in Athens, see Appendix A, The Athenian Government, ©2.

Euboea: Map 7.29.

7.28.1b Oropus: Map 7.29.

Cape Sunium: Map 7.29.

For more on the annual tribute that Athens collected from subject states, see Appendix B, The Athenian Empire, ©2, 10. Also see 1.96.2, 2.13.4-5, 2.69.1, and 3.19.1.

Euripus, the narrowest portion of the strait lying between Euboea and the mainland: Map 7.29.

Tanagra: Map 7.29.

Chalcis, Euboea: Map 7.29.

Mycalessus: Map 7.29.

Thebes: Map 7.29.

Boeotarchs were chief magistrates of the Boeotian federal government. See note 5.38.2a.

Corcyra: Map 7.32, AY.

Laconia: Map 7.32, BY. Construction of this fort was mentioned in 7.26.3.

Pheia, in Elis: Map 7.32, BY.

Possibly these are the hoplites blown by a storm to Libya who turn up in Syracuse in 7.50.1.

Zacynthus: Map 7.32, BY.

Cephallenia: Map 7.32, BY.

Naupactus: Map 7.32, BY.

Acarnania: Map 7.32, AY.

Alyzia: Map 7.32, AY.

Anactorium: Map 7.32, AY.

Thucydides apparently omitted reporting that Eurymedon was ordered in 7.16 to return to the main force after delivering the money, but it must be so.

These envoys went to the cities in 7.25.9.

Alicyae and Centoripae: the latter presumably inhabiting the territory around Centoripa (Map 7.32, BX).

Agrigentum: Map 7.32, BX.

Camarina: Map 7.32, BX.

Gela: Map 7.32, BX.

Corcyra: Map 7.32, AY.

Ionian gulf: Map 7.32, AY.

Iapygian promontory (Cape Iapygium): Map 7.32, AY.

Choerades Isles, thought to be small islands lying off the harbor of Tarentum, Italy: Map 7.32, AX. See A. W. Gomme, A. Andrewes, and K.J. Dover, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, iv (Oxford, 1970), 413.

Iapygia: Map 7.32, AX.

Metapontum, Italy: Map 7.32, AX.

Thurii, Italy: Map 7.32, AX.

Erineus and Rhypes, Achaea: Map 7.32, BY.

The outriggers, in which the topmost oarsmen were seated, projected out from the sides of the ship and so were very vulnerable to attack. The Corinthians seem to have reinforced at least the front faces of their own outriggers with strong bow timbers (“catheads”). This allowed them to ram their opponents’ ships head on, thereby smashing the enemy’s outriggers without causing damage to their own. See 7.36.1a and Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©14.

Thurii, Italy: Map 7.32, AX.

Croton, Italy: Map 7.32, AX.

Sybaris river: Map 7.32, AX.

Hylias river: site unknown.

Locri (Epizephyrian), Italy: Map 7.32, BX.

Petra, in Rhegian territory: site unknown. Rhegium: Map 7.32, BX.

See note 7.34.5a and Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©14.

For these maneuvers, see Phormio’s speech on naval tactics in 2.89, and Appendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©11-14.

Plemmyrium and the harbor mouth: Map 7.44, BY.

Olympieum: Map 7.44, BX.

Nicias’ substitute for an enclosed harbor, probable location: Map 7.44, BY.

Greek soldiers and sailors at this time had to purchase their food from local markets, so the speed with which a trireme crew’s meal could be prepared and eaten would be significantly effected by the proximity of markets to the boat. See also 8.95.4, where the Athenians had to disperse to the outskirts of Eretria to purchase food because nothing was for sale in theagora, and thus were unable to quickly man and deploy their ships to meet an enemy attack.

These “dolphins” were heavy lead weights which were suspended from the main yardarms of the merchant ships that had been anchored to form a stockade harbor and refuge for the Athenians. The sail of an ancient ship was suspended from a long spar that, when squared (set perpendicular to its axis), extended far beyond its hull. Dolphins heavy enough to pierce a ship’s deck and hull were hung from the end of the spar and dropped on any enemy boat that ventured too close.

Decelea, in Attica: Map 7.29.

Catana: Map 7.49. See 6.71 for the Athenian decision to winter at Catana in 415/4.

Syracusan crosswall, probable location: Map 7.44, AX.

Epipolae: Map 7.44, AX.

Anapus River: Map 7.44, BX.

Olympieum: Map 7.44, BX.

Euryelus: Map 7.44, AX.

Boeotia: Map 7.29.

The paean was the war chant sung by troops going into battle. Apparently, among other Dorian cultural elements, there was a distinctive Dorian paean, see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©9.

Map 7.44 follows the interpretation of Peter Green in Armada from Athens; see note 7.4.7c.

Agrigentum: Map 7.49.

Demosthenes’ original plan was described in 7.42.3-5.

For the pro-Athenian faction in Syracuse, see 6.103.3-4 and 7.73.3.

Thapsus: Map 7.49.

Catana: Map 7.49.

Syracuse, Agrigentum, Gela, and Selinus: Map 7.49.

Libya: Map 7.49. These hoplites were possibly the Corinthian hoplites mentioned in 7.31.1.

Cyrene, in Libya: Map 7.49.

Euesperides, in Libya: Map 7.49.

Neapolis: Map 7.49.

Carthage: Map 7.49.

This eclipse took place on August 27, 413.

Recess of the great harbor, probable location: Map 7.44, BY.

The “breakwater” was probably a narrow spit of high ground lying north of the Athenian camp between the waters of the great harbor and the marsh of Lysimeleia; see Map 7.44, BY.

“Tyrrhenians” is Thucydides’ name for the Etruscans from Etruria (Thucydides’ Tyrrhenia) in central Italy; see Map 7.49.

Marsh of Lysimeleia, probable location: Map 7.44, BY; see note 6.99.1a.

Lemnos and Imbros: Map 7.56, AY. For Ionians against Dorians, see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©8.

Aegina (Map 7.56, BX) was colonized by Athens in 431; see 2.27: Histiaea, Euboea (Map 7.56, AX), was colonized in 446; see 1.114.2. Some have argued from the phrase “the then occupants” that Thucydides wrote these words after 404.

Eretria and Chalcis: Map 7.56, AX; Styria and Carystus: Map 7.56, AY; all are cities in Euboea.

Ceos, Andros, and Tenos: Map 7.56, BY.

Chios, in Ionia: Map 7.56, AY; Miletus and Samos: Map 7.56, BY.

Methymna, on Lesbos: Map 7.56, AY. Methymna was the only city of Lesbos not involved in the revolt of 427; see 3.2.1, 3.5.1, and 3.18.1.

Aenus, Tenedos, and Aeolis: Map 7.56, AY.

Plataea, in Boeotia: Map 7.56, AX. For the Aeolians from Boeotia and Lesbos, see Appendix H, Dialects and Ethnic Groups, ©6.

Rhodes: Map 7.56, BY.

Cythera: Map 7.56, BX.

Gela: Map 7.57, BX.

Cephallenia: Map 7.56, AX; Zacynthus: Map 7.56, BX.

Corcyra: Map 7.56, AX, and Map 7.57, AY.

Corinth: Map 7.56, BX.

Messenia and Pylos: Map 7.56, BX; Naupactus: Map 7.56, AX.

Megara: Map 7.56, BX.

Selinus: Map 7.57, BX.

Argos, Mantinea, and Arcadia: Map 7.56, BX.

Crete: Map 7.56, BY.

Aetolia: Map 7.56, AX.

Acarnania: Map 7.56, AX.

Ionian gulf: Map 7.57, AY.

Thurii and Metapontum: Map 7.57, AY.

Naxos and Catana: Map 7.57, BX.

Egesta: Map 7.57, BX. See 6.2.3 and 6.11.7, where Egesta is declared to be an Elymian (i.e., non-Greek) city.

Tyrrhenia (Etruria): Map 7.57, locator.

Iapygia: Map 7.57, AY.

Camarina, Gela, Agrigentum, and Selinus: Map 7.57, BX.

Libya: Map 7.49.

Himera: Map 7.57, BX.

Tyrrhenian Sea: Map 7.57, AX.

For the neodamodeis, see note 7.19.3a.

For Helots, see Appendix C, Spartan Institutions, ©3-4.

Corinth: Map 7.56, BX.

Leucas and Ambracia: Map 7.56, AX.

Arcadia: Map 7.56, BX.

Sicyon: Map 7.56, BX.

Boeotia: Map 7.56, AX.

Syracusan harbor barrier, general location: Map 7.44, BY.

Catana: Map 7.57, BX.

Acarnania: Map 7.56, AX.

By the use of grappling irons, the Athenians have clearly adopted the tactics of combat at close quarters to counteract the enemy’s new battle strategies (see 7.34.5a). See 4.25.4a andAppendix G, Trireme Warfare, ©14.

See the Introduction (sect. II.v) for a discussion of the speeches in Thucydides.

Gylippus and the generals refer here to the proper fighting tactics for trireme marines to employ while the ship was under way.

Syracusan harbor barrier, general location: Map 7.44, BY.

Syracusan harbor barrier, general location: Map 7.44, BY.

Pylos: Map 7.56, BX. For a description of the Pylos campaign, see 4.2-41.

For Nicias’ Syracusan contacts, see 6.103.3-4 and 7.49.1.

Anapus river: Map 7.81. The site of the particular ford referred to is unknown.

First Athenian camp, possible location: Map 7.81.

Acraean cliff and pass, possible location: Map 7.81.

Compare this reaction with the impact of a thunderstorm on the Syracusans in 6.70.1.

Second Athenian camp, possible location: Map 7.81.

Catana, Camarina, and Gela: Map 7.81, locator.

Compare this panic with the panic of the Macedonians in 4.125.1.

Helorine road: Map 7.81.

Cacyparis river: Map 7.81.

Erineus river, possible location: Map 7.81.

Locations in this map are based primarily on Donald Kagan, The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1981), Map 12, p. 341.

The plight of the Athenians here parallels that of the Corinthians in 1.106.

Terms that the Syracusans did not carry out, see 7.86-7.

Possible site of Demosthenes’ surrender: Map 7.81.

Assinarus river: Map 7.81.

Prisoners and other property taken in war were deemed to belong to the state, not to those who captured it.

Catana : Map 7.81, locator.

Pylos: Map 7.56, BX. For a description of the Pylos campaign, see 4.2-41.

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