Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE SEVENTH BOOK of the HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. - The English Works, vol. IX (The Peloponnesian War Part II)
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THE SEVENTH BOOK of the HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. - Thucydides, The English Works, vol. IX (The Peloponnesian War Part II) 
The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; Now First Collected and Edited by Sir William Molesworth, Bart., (London: Bohn, 1839-45). 11 vols. Vol. 9.
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THE SEVENTH BOOK of the HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES.
THE PRINCIPAL CONTENTS.
Gylippus arriveth at Syracuse: checketh the fortune of the Athenians: and cutteth off their works with a counter–wall.—The Lacedæmonians invade Attica and fortify Deceleia.—The confederates of each side are solicited for supplies to be sent to Syracuse.—Two battles fought in the great haven: in the first of which the Syracusians are beaten, in the second superior.—Demosthenes arriveth with a new army: and attempting the works of the enemy in Epipolæ by night, is repulsed with great slaughter of his men.—They fight the third time: and the Syracusians having the victory, block up the haven with boats.—A catalogue of the confederates on each side.—They fight again at the bars of the haven: where the Athenians losing their galleys, prepare to march away by land.—In their march they are afflicted, beaten, and finally subdued by the Syracusians.—The death of Nicias and Demosthenes, and misery of the captives in the quarry.—Which happened in the ninteenth year of this war.
year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol 91. 3. Gylippus and Pythen resolve to go to Syracuse.They took the aid of the men of Himera.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.
1. Gylippus and Pythen, having repaired their galleys, from Tarentum went along the coast to Locri Epizephyrii1 . And upon certain intelligence now, that Syracuse was not wholly enclosed, but coming with an army there was entrance still by Epipolæ; they consulted whether it were better to take Sicily on their right hand, and adventure into the town by sea; or on the left, and so first to go to Himera, and then taking along both them and as many other as they could get to their side, to go into it by land. And it was resolved to go to Himera: the rather, because the four Attic galleys, which Nicias, though he contemned them before, had now when he heard they were at Locri sent to wait for them, were not arrived yet at Rhegium. Having prevented this guard, they crossed the strait: and touching at Rhegium and Messana by the way, came to Himera. Being there, they prevailed so far with the Himeræans, that they not only followed them to the war themselves, but also furnished with armour such of Gylippus and Pythen’s mariners as wanted: for at Himera they had drawn their galleys to land. They likewise sent to the Selinuntians, to meet them at a place assigned with their whole army. The Geloans also, and other1 of the Siculi, promised to send them forces, though not many: being much the willinger to come to the side, both for that Archonidas was lately dead, (who reigning over some of the Siculi in those parts, and being a man of no mean power, was friend to the Athenians), and also for that Gylippus seemed to come from Lacedæmon with a good will to the business. Gylippus, taking with him of his own mariners and sea–soldiers, for whom he had gotten arms, at the most seven hundred, and Himeræans with armour and without in the whole one thousand, and one hundred horse, and some light–armed Selinuntians, with some few horse of the Geloans, and of the Siculi in all about one thousand, marched with these towards Syracuse.
The Corinthian galleys left by Gylippus, make haste after him: and Gongylus arriving first, keepeth the Syracusians from compounding.Gylippus arriveth at Syracuseyear xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.
2. In the meantime, the Corinthians with the rest of their galleys putting to sea from Leucas, made after [as they were] every one with what speed he could: and Gongylus, one of the Corinthian commanders, though the last that set forth, arrived first at Syracuse with one galley, and but a little before the coming of Gylippus. And finding them ready to call an assembly about an end of the war, he hindered them from it, and put them into heart: relating, how both the rest of the galleys were coming, and also Gylippus the son of Cleandridas for general, sent unto them by the Lacedæmonians. With this the Syracusians were re–confirmed, and went presently out with their whole army to meet him: for they understood now that he was near1 . He, having taken Iegas, a fort, in his way, as he passed through the territory of the Siculi, and embattled his men, cometh to Epipolæ: and getting up by Euryelus, where also the Athenians had gotten up before, marched together with the Syracusians towards the wall of the Athenians. At the time when he arrived, the Athenians had finished a double wall of seven or eight furlongs towards the great haven1 ; save only a little next the sea, which they were yet at work on. And on the other side of their circle, towards Trogilus and the other sea, the stones were for the most part laid ready upon the place: and the work was left in some places half, and in some wholly finished. So great was the danger that Syracuse was now brought into.
Gylippus offereth the Athenians five days’ truce to be gone in.The Syracusians win Labdalum.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.
3. The Athenians, at the sudden coming on of Gylippus, though somewhat troubled at first, yet put themselves in order to receive him. And he, making a stand when he came near, sent a herald to them; saying, that if they would abandon Sicily within five days with bag and baggage, he was content to give them truce. Which the Athenians contemning, sent him away without any answer. After this, they were putting themselves into order of battle one against another: but Gylippus finding the Syracusians troubled, and not easily falling into their ranks, led back his army in a more open ground. Nicias led not the Athenians out against him, but lay still at his own fortification. And Gylippus seeing he came not up, withdrew his army into the top called Temenites2 ; where he lodged all night. The next day, he drew out the greater part of his army, and embattled them before the fortification of the Athenians, that they might not send succour to any other place; but a part also they sent to the fort of Labdalum, and took it, and slew all those they found within it: for the place was out of sight to the Athenians. The same day the Syracusians also took an Athenian galley, as it entered into the great haven.
The Syracusians build a wall upwards through Epipolæ, to stop the proceeding of the wall of the Athenians.The Athenians fortify Plemmyrium.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.Nicias sendeth twenty galleys to lie in wait for the aid coming from Peloponnesus.
4. After this, the Syracusians and their confederates began a wall through Epipolæ, from the city towards the single cross wall1 upwards: that the Athenians, unless they could hinder it, might be excluded from bringing their own wall any further on. And the Athenians by this time, having made an end of their wall to the sea, were come up again: and Gylippus (for some part of the wall was but weak) rising with his army by night, went to assault it. But the Athenians also knowing it, (for they lodged all night without the wall), went presently to relieve it: which Gylippus perceiving, again retired2 . And the Athenians, when they had built it higher, kept the watch in this part themselves: and divided the rest of the wall to the charge of their confederates. Also it seemed good to Nicias to fortify the place called Plemmyrium. It is a promontory over against the city, which shooting into the entrance of the great haven straiteneth the mouth of the same: which fortified, he thought would facilitate the bringing in of necessaries to the army. For by this means, their galleys might ride nearer to the haven3 of the Syracusians: and not upon every motion of the navy of the enemies, to be to come out against them, as they were before, from the bottom of the [great] haven. And he had his mind set chiefly now upon the war by sea: seeing his hopes by land diminished since the arrival of Gylippus. Having therefore drawn his army and galleys to that place, he built about it three fortifications, wherein he placed his baggage; and where now also lay at road both his great vessels of carriage, and the nimblest of his galleys1 . Hereupon principally ensued the first occasion of the great loss of his sea soldiers. For having but little water, and that far to fetch, and his mariners going out also to fetch in wood, they were continually intercepted by the Syracusian horsemen, that were masters of the field. For the third part of the Syracusian cavalry were quartered in a little town called Olympieium2 , to keep those in Plemmyrium from going abroad to spoil the country. Nicias was advertised moreover of the coming of the rest of the Corinthian galleys: and sent out a guard of twenty galleys, with order to wait for them about Locri and Rhegium, and the passage there into Sicily.
Gylippus goeth on with his wall, and fighteth with the Athenians twice: and in the latter battle having the victory, he finished his wall, and utterly excluded theyear xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3. proceeding of the wall of the Athenians.
5. Gylippus in the meantime went on with the wall through Epipolæ, using the stones laid ready there by the Athenians3 ; and withal drew out the Syracusians and their confederates beyond the point of the same, and ever as he brought them forth put them into their order; and the Athenians, on the other side, embattled themselves against them. Gylippus, when he saw his time, began the battle: and being come to hands, they fought between the fortifications of them both, where the Syracusians and their confederates had no use at all of their horsemen. The Syracusians and their confederates being overcome, and the Athenians having given them truce to take up their dead and erected a trophy, Gylippus assembled the army, and told them, that this was not theirs, but his own fault; who by pitching the battle so far within the fortifications, had deprived them of the use both of their cavalry and darters; and that therefore he meant to bring them on again: and wished them to consider, that for forces they were nothing inferior to the enemy; and for courage, it were a thing not to be endured, that being Peloponnesians and Dorians, they should not master and drive out of the country Ionians, islanders, and a rabble of mixed nations.
year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.
6. After this, when he saw his opportunity, he brought out the army again. Nicias and the Athenians, who thought it necessary, if not to begin the battle, yet by no means to set light by the wall in hand1 : (for by this time it wanted but little of passing the point of theirs, and proceeding, would give the enemy advantage, both to win if he fought, and not to fight unless he listed)2 : did therefore also set forth to meet the Syracusians. Gylippus, when he had drawn his men of arms farther without the walls than he had done before, gave the onset. His horsemen and darters he placed upon the flank of the Athenians, in ground enough, to which neither of their walls extended. And these horsemen, after the fight was begun, charging upon the left wing of the Athenians next them, put them to flight: by which means the rest of the army was by the Syracusians overcome likewise, and driven headlong within their fortifications. The night following, the Syracusians brought up their wall beyond the wall of the Athenians, so as they could no longer hinder them, but should be utterly unable, though masters of the field, to enclose the city.
The rest of the galleys come in from Peloponnesus, unseen of the Athenians that were set to watch them.
7. After this, the other twelve galleys of the Corinthians, Ambraciotes, and Leucadians, undescried of the Athenian galleys that lay in wait for them, entered the haven, under the command of Erasinides, a Corinthian: and helped the Syracusians to finish what remained to the cross wall1 .
Gylippus goeth about Sicily, and sendeth into Peloponnesus for more aid.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.
Now Gylippus went up and down Sicily, raising forces both for sea and land, and soliciting to his side all such cities as formerly either had not been forward, or had wholly abstained from the war. Other ambassadors also, both of the Syracusians and Corinthians, were sent to Lacedæmon and Corinth, to procure new forces to be transported either in ships or boats, or how they could; because the Athenians had also sent to Athens for the like. In the meantime, the Syracusians both manned their navy, and made trial of themselves, as intending to take in hand that part also: and were otherwise exceedingly encouraged.
Nicias writeth to Athens for supply, and to be eased of his charge.
8. Nicias perceiving this, and seeing the strength of the enemy and his own necessities daily increasing, he also sent messengers to Athens, both at other times and often, upon the occasion of every action that passed: and now especially, as finding himself in danger, and that unless they quickly sent for those away that were there already, or sent a great supply unto them, there was no hope of safety. And fearing lest such as he sent, through want of utterance or judgment1 , or through desire to please the multitude, should deliver things otherwise than they were, he wrote unto them a letter: conceiving that thus the Athenians should best know his mind, whereof no part could now be suppressed by the messenger, and might therefore enter into deliberation upon true grounds. With these letters, and other their instructions, the messengers took their journey. And Nicias in the meantime having a care to the well guarding of his camp, was wary of entering into any voluntary dangers.
The Athenians besiege Amphipolis.The end of the eighteenth summer.
9. In the end of this summer, Euetion, general for the Athenians, with Perdiccas, together with many Thracians warring against Amphipolis, took not the city; but bringing his galleys about into Strymon, besieged it from the river, lying at Imeræum. And so this summer ended.
year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.
10. The next winter, the messengers from Nicias arrived at Athens; and having spoken what they had in charge, and answered to such questions as they were asked, they presented the letter: which the clerk of the city1 , standing forth, read unto the Athenians, containing as followeth:
the letter of nicias to the people of athens.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3. Letter of Nicias.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3. Letter of Nicias.year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3. Letter of Nicias.
11. “Athenians, you know by many2 other my letters what hath passed formerly: nor is it less needful for you to be informed of the state we are in, and to take counsel upon it, at this present. When we had in many battles beaten the Syracusians, against whom we were sent, and had built the walls within which we now lie, came Gylippus a Lacedæmonian, with an army out of Peloponnesus, and also out of some of the cities of Sicily; and in the first battle was overcome by us: but in the second, forced by his many horsemen and darters, we retired within our works. Whereupon giving over our walling up of the city for the multitude of our enemies, we now sit still. Nor3 can we indeed have the use of our whole army, because some part of the men of arms are employed to defend our walls. And they have built a single wall up to us, so that now we have no more means to enclose it, except one should come with a great army and win that cross wall of theirs by assault. And so it is, that we who seemed to besiege others, are besieged ourselves for so much as concerneth the land: for we cannot go far abroad by reason of their cavalry. 12. They have also sent ambassadors for another army into Peloponnesus: and Gylippus is gone amongst the cities of Sicily, both to solicit such to join with him in the war as have not yet stirred, and of others to get, if he can, both more land–soldiers and more munition for their navy. For they intend, as I have been informed, both to assault our wall by land with their army, and to make trial what they are able to do with their navy by sea. For1 though our fleet (which they also have heard) were vigorous at first, both for soundness of the galleys and entireness of the men: yet our galleys are now soaked2 with lying so long in the water, and our men consumed. For we want the means to haul a–land our galleys, and trim3 them: because the galleys of the enemy, as good as ours and more in number, do keep us in a continual expectation of assault, which they manifestly endeavour4 . And seeing it is in their own choice to attempt or not, they have therefore liberty to dry their galleys at their pleasure: for they lie not, as we, in attendance upon others. 13. Nay, we could hardly do it, though we had many galleys spare, and were not constrained, as now, to keep watch upon them with our whole number. For should we abate though but a little of our observance, we should want provision: which as we are, being to pass so near their city, is brought in with difficulty. And hence it is, that our mariners both formerly have been, and are now wasted. For our mariners, fetching wood and water and foraging far off, are intercepted by the horsemen: and our slaves1 , now we are on equal terms, run over to the enemy. As for strangers, some of them having come aboard by constraint, return presently to their cities; and others having been levied at first with great wages, thinking they came to enrich themselves rather than to fight, now they see the enemy make so strong resistance, both otherwise beyond their expectation and especially with their navy, partly take pretext to be gone that they may serve the enemy, and partly, Sicily being large, shift themselves away every one as he can. Some there are also, who having bought here Hyccarian slaves2 , have gotten the captains of galleys to accept of them in the room of themselves, and thereby destroyed the purity of our naval strength. 14. To you I write, who know how small a time any fleet continueth in the height of vigour: and how few of the mariners are skilful both how to hasten the course of a galley and how to contain the oar. But of all, my greatest trouble is this: that being general, I can neither make them do better, (for your natures are hard to be governed), nor get mariners in any other place, (which the enemy can do from many places), and must of necessity have them from whence we brought both those we have and those we have lost1 . For our now confederate cities, Naxos and Catana, are not able to supply us. Had the enemy but that one thing more, that the towns of Italy that now send us provision, seeing what estate we are now in and you not help us, would turn to them, the war were at an end and we expugned without another stroke.
year xviii. A. C. 414. Ol. 91. 3.
“I could have written to you other things more pleasing than these, but not more profitable: seeing it is necessary for you to know certainly the affairs here, when you go to council upon them. Withal, because I know your natures to be such, as though you love to hear the best, yet afterwards when things fall not out accordingly you will call in question them that write it, I thought best to write the truth for my own safety’s sake. 15. And now think thus: that though we have carried ourselves, both captains and soldiers, in that for which we came at first hither, unblameably; yet since all Sicily is united against us, and another army expected out of Peloponnesus, you must resolve (for those we have here are not enough for the enemy’s present forces) either to send for these away, or to send hither another army, both of land and sea–soldiers, no less than the former, and money not a little; and also a general to succeed me, who am able no longer to stay here, being troubled with the stone [in the kidneys]. I must crave your pardon2 . I have done you many good services in the conducts of your armies, when I had my health. What you will do, do in the very beginning of spring, and delay it not. For the enemy will soon have furnished himself of his Sicilian aids: and though those from Peloponnesus will be later, yet if you look not to it, they will get hither partly unseen, as before, and partly by preventing you with speed.”
The Athenians conclude to send a new army to Syracuse.
16. These were the contents of the letter of Nicias. The Athenians, when they had heard it read, though they released not Nicias of his charge, yet for the present, till such time as others chosen to be in commission might arrive, they joined with him two of those that were already in the army, Menander and Euthydemon: to the end that he might not sustain the whole burthen alone in his sickness. They concluded likewise to send another army, as well for the sea as the land, both of Athenians enrolled and of their confederates. And for fellow–generals with Nicias, they elected Demosthenes the son of Alcisthenes, and Eurymedon the son of Thucles. Eurymedon they sent away presently for Sicily about the time of the winter solstice, with ten galleys and twenty1 talents of silver, to tell them there that aid was coming, and that there was care taken of them. 17. But Demosthenes staying, made preparation for the voyage to set out early the next spring: and sent unto the confederates, appointing what forces they should provide, and to furnish himself amongst them with money and galleys and men of arms.
They send twenty galleys toyear xviii. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3. Naupactus, to keep the Corinthians from transporting their forces into Sicily.
The Athenians sent also twenty galleys about Peloponnesus, to watch that none should go over into Sicily from Corinth or Peloponnesus. For the Corinthians, after the ambassadors were come to them and had brought news of the amendment of the affairs in Sicily, thought it was well that they had sent thither those other galleys before: but now they were encouraged a great deal more, and prepared men of arms to be transported into Sicily in ships1 ; and the Lacedæmonians did the like for the rest of Peloponnesus. The Corinthians manned five–and–twenty galleys, to present battle to the fleet that kept watch at Naupactus: that the ships with the men of arms, whilst the Athenians attended these galleys so embattled against them, might pass by unhindered.
The Lacedæmonians prepare to invade Attica and fortify Deceleia, supposing the Athenians to have broken the peace.year xviii. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.
18. The Lacedæmonians, as they intended before, and being also instigated to it by the Syracusians and Corinthians, upon advertisement now of the Athenians’ new supply for Sicily prepared likewise to invade Attica; thereby to divert them. And Alcibiades also importunately urged the fortifying of Deceleia, and by no means to war remissly. But the Lacedæmonians were heartened thereunto principally, because they thought the Athenians having in hand a double war, one against them and another against the Sicilians, would be the easier pulled down: and because they conceived the breach of the last peace was in themselves2 . For in the former war, the injury proceeded from3 their own side: in that the Thebans had entered Platæa in time of peace; and because also, whereas it was inserted in the former articles, that arms should not be carried against such as would stand to trial of judgment, they had refused such trial when the Athenians offered it. And they thought all their misfortunes had deservedly befallen them for that cause: remembering amongst others, the calamity at Pylus. But when the Athenians with a fleet of thirty sail1 had spoiled part of the territory of Epidaurus, and of Prasiæ and other places, and their soldiers that lay in garrison in Pylus had taken booty in the country about; and seeing that as often as there arose any controversy touching any doubtful point of the articles, the Lacedæmonians offering trial by judgment, they refused it: then indeed, the Lacedæmonians conceiving the Athenians to be in the same fault that themselves had been in before, betook themselves earnestly to the war. And this winter, they sent about unto their confederates to make ready iron, and all instruments of fortification. And for the aid they were to transport in ships to the Sicilians, they both made provision amongst themselves, and compelled the rest of Peloponnesus to do the like. So ended this winter, and the eighteenth year of the war written by Thucydides.
year xix. The Peloponnesians invade Attica, and fortify Deceleia.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.The Peloponnesians send away their men of arms for Sicily.
19. The next spring, in the very beginning, earlier than ever before2 , the Lacedæmonians and their confederates entered with their army into Attica, under the command of Agis the son of Archidamus, their king. And first they wasted the champagne country; and then went in hand with the wall at Deceleia, dividing the work amongst the army, according to their cities. This Deceleia is from the city of Athens, at the most1 , but one hundred and twenty furlongs: and about as much or a little more from Bœotia. This fort they made in the plain, and in the most opportune place that could be to annoy the Athenians, and in sight of the city. Now the Peloponnesians and their confederates in Attica, went on with their fortification. They in Peloponnesus, sent away their ships with the men of arms about the same time into Sicily: of which the Lacedæmonians, out of the best of their Helotes and men made newly free2 , sent in the whole six hundred, and Eccritus a Spartan for commander: and the Bœotians three hundred, under the conduct of Xenon and Nicon, Thebans, and Hegesander, a Thespian. And these set forth first, and put to sea at Tænarus in Laconia. After them a little, the Corinthians sent away five hundred more, part from the city itself of Corinth, and part mercenary Arcadians; and Alexarchus, a Corinthian, for captain. The Sicyonians also sent two hundred with them that went from Corinth, and Sargeus a Sicyonian for captain. Now the twenty–five Corinthian galleys that were manned in winter, lay opposite to the twenty galleys of Athens which were at Naupactus, till such time as the men of arms in the ships from Peloponnesus might get away: for which purpose they were also set out at first, that the Athenians might not have their minds upon these ships so much as upon the galleys.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.The Athenians send out Demosthenes towards Sicily.
20. In the meantime also the Athenians, whilst Deceleia was fortifying, in the beginning of the spring, sent twenty1 galleys about Peloponnesus under the command of Charicles the son of Apollodorus; with order when he came to Argos, to take aboard the men of arms which the Argives were to send them, according to league2 : and sent away Demosthenes (as they intended before) into Sicily, with threescore galleys of Athens and five of Chios, and one thousand two hundred men of arms of the roll of Athens, and as many of the islanders as they could get, provided by their subject confederates of all other necessaries for the war3 . But he had order to join first with Charicles, and help him to make war first upon Laconia. So Demosthenes went to Ægina, and stayed there both for the remnant of his own army, if any were left behind, and for Charicles till he had taken aboard the Argives.
Gylippus persuadeth the Syracusians to fight by sea.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.
21. In Sicily, about the same time of the spring, Gylippus also returned to Syracuse, bringing with him from the cities he had dealt withal as great forces as severally he could get from them. And having assembled the Syracusians, he told them that they ought to man as many galleys as they could, and make trial of a battle by sea: and that he hoped thereby to perform somewhat to the benefit of the war, which should be worthy the danger. Hermocrates also was none of the least means of getting them to undertake the Athenians with their navy: who told them, “that neither the Athenians had this skill by sea hereditary, or from everlasting; but were more inland men than the Syracusians, and forced to become seamen by the Medes: and that to daring men, such as the Athenians are, they are most formidable that are as daring against them; for wherewith they terrify their neighbours, which is not always the advantage of power, but boldness of enterprizing, with the same shall they in like manner be terrified by their enemies1 ”. “He knew it,” he said, “certainly, that the Syracusians by their unexpected daring to encounter the Athenian navy, would get more advantage in respect of the fear it would cause, than the Athenians should endamage them by their odds of skill.” He bade them therefore to make trial of their navy, and to be afraid no longer. The Syracusians, on these persuasions of Gylippus and Hermocrates, and others if any were, became now extremely desirous to fight by sea: and presently manned their galleys.
The Syracusians win Plemmyrium, but are beaten by sea.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.The Syracusians win the works of the Athenians in Plemmyrium.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3. The Athenians get the victory by water.
22. Gylippus, when the navy was ready, drew out his whole power of land soldiers in the beginning of night, meaning to go himself and assault the fortifications in Plemmyrium2 : withal the galleys of the Syracusians, by appointment, thirty–five of them came up towards it out of the great haven; and forty–five more came about out of the little haven, where also was their arsenal, with purpose to join with those within, and to go together to Plemmyrium, that the Athenians might be troubled on both sides. But the Athenians having quickly manned sixty galleys to oppose them; with twenty–five of them they fought with the thirty–five of the Syracusians in the great haven, and with the rest went to meet those that came about from the little haven1 . And these fought presently before the mouth of the great haven, and held each other to it for a long time; one side endeavouring to force, the other to defend the entrance. 23. In the meantime, Gylippus (the Athenians in Plemmyrium being now come down to the water side, and having their minds busied upon the fight of the galleys) betimes in the morning, and on a sudden assaulted the fortifications before they could come back again to defend them; and possessed first the greatest, and afterwards the two lesser: for they that watched in these, when they saw the greatest so easily taken, durst stay no longer. They that fled upon the losing of the first wall, and put themselves into boats and into a certain ship, got hardly into the camp: for whilst the Syracusians in the great haven had yet the better in the fight upon the water, they gave them chase with one nimble galley2 . But by that time that the other two walls were taken, the Syracusians upon the water were overcome: and the Athenians which fled from those two walls got to their camp with more ease. For those Syracusian galleys that fought before the haven’s mouth, having beaten back the Athenians, entered in disorder; and falling foul one on another, gave away the victory unto the Athenians: who put to flight not only them, but also those other by whom they had before been overcome within the haven, and sunk eleven galleys of the Syracusians and slew most of the men aboard them, save only the men of three galleys, whom they took alive. Of their own galleys they lost only three. When they had drawn to land the wreck of the Syracusian galleys, and erected a trophy in the little island over against Plemmyrium, they returned to their camp.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.
24. The Syracusians, though such were their success in the battle by sea, yet they won the fortification in Plemmyrium; and set up three trophies, for every wall one. One of the two walls last taken, they demolished: but two they repaired, and kept with a garrison. At the taking of these walls, many men were slain, and many taken alive: and their goods, which altogether was a great matter, were all taken. For the Athenians using these works for their storehouse, there was in them much wealth and victual belonging unto merchants, and much unto captains of galleys. For there were sails within it for forty galleys, besides other furniture; and three galleys drawn to land. And this loss of Plemmyrium, was it that most and principally impaired the Athenians’ army. For the entrance of their provision was now no longer safe; for the Syracusians lying against them there with their galleys, kept them out, and nothing could be brought in unto them but by fight: and the army besides was thereby otherwise terrified and dejected.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.
25. After this the Syracusians sent out twelve galleys under the command of Agatharchus, a Syracusian. Of which one carried ambassadors into Peloponnesus, to declare what hope they had now of their business, and to instigate them to a sharper war in Attica. The other eleven went into Italy, upon intelligence of certain vessels laden with commodities coming to the Athenian army: which also they met with, and destroyed most of them; and the timber, which for building of galleys the Athenians had ready framed, they burned in the territory of Caulonia. After this they went to Locri: and riding here, there came unto them one of the ships that carried the men of arms of the Thespians, whom the Syracusians took aboard, and went homeward by the coast. The Athenians that watched for them with twenty galleys at Megara, took one of them, and the men that were in her; but could not take the rest: so that they escaped through to Syracuse. There was also a light skirmish in the haven of Syracuse, about the piles which the Syracusians had driven down before their old harbour1 , to the end that the galleys might ride within, and the Athenians not annoy them by assault. The Athenians having brought to the place a ship of huge greatness1 , fortified with wooden turrets and covered against fire, caused certain men with [little] boats to go and fasten cords unto the piles, and so broke2 them up with craning. Some also the divers did cut up with saws. In the meantime the Syracusians from the harbour3 , and they from the great ship, shot at each other: till in the end the greatest part of the piles were by the Athenians gotten up. But the greatest difficulty was to get up those piles which lay hidden. For some of them they had so driven in, as that they came not above the water: so that he that should come near, was in danger to be thrown upon them as upon a rock4 . But these also for reward, the divers went down and sawed asunder. But the Syracusians continually drave down other in their stead. Other devices they had against each other, as was not unlikely between armies so near opposed: and many light skirmishes passed, and attempts of all kinds were put in execution. The Syracusians moreover sent ambassadors, some Corinthians, some Ambraciotes, and some Lacedæmonians, unto the cities about them5 : to let them know that they had won Plemmyrium; and that in the battle by sea, they were not overcome by the strength of the enemy, but by their own disorder; and also to show what hope they were in in other respects, and to entreat their aid both of sea and land forces: forsomuch as the Athenians expecting another army, if they would send aid before it came whereby to overthrow that which they had now there, the war would be at an end. Thus stood the affairs of Sicily.
Demosthenes in his way to Sicily fortifieth a neck of land in Laconia.
26. Demosthenes, as soon as his forces which he was to carry to the succour of those in Sicily were gotten together, put to sea from Ægina, and sailing into Peloponnesus joined with Charicles and the thirty galleys that were with him. And having taken aboard some men of arms of the Argives, came to Laconia; and first wasted part of the territory of Epidaurus Limera. From thence going to that part of Laconia which is over against the island Cythera, where there is a temple of Apollo1 , they wasted a part of the country: and fortified an isthmus there, both that the Helotes might have a refuge in it running away from the Lacedæmonians, and that freebooters from thence, as from Pylus, might fetch in prizes from the territory adjoining. As soon as the place was taken in, Demosthenes himself went on to Corcyra, to take up the confederates there, with intent to go thence speedily into Sicily. And Charicles having stayed to finish and put a garrison into the fortification, went afterwards with his thirty galleys to Athens: and the Argives also went home.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3. The aids of the Thracians come too late to go into Sicily.The incommodities which befell the Athenians by the fortification in Deceleia.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.
27. The same winter also came to Athens a thousand and three hundred targetiers, of those called Machærophori1 of the race of them that are called Dii: and were to have gone with Demosthenes into Sicily. But coming too late, the Athenians resolved to send them back again into Thrace, as being too chargeable a matter to entertain them only for the war in Deceleia: for their pay was to have been a drachma a man by the day. For Deceleia being this summer fortified first by the whole army, and then by the several cities maintained with a garrison2 by turns, much endamaged the Athenians; and weakened their estate, both by destroying their commodities and consuming of their men, so as nothing more. For the former invasions, having been short, hindered them not from reaping the benefit of the earth for the rest of the time. But now, the enemy continually lying upon them, and sometimes with greater forces, sometimes of necessity with the ordinary garrison making incursions and fetching in booty, Agis the king of Lacedæmon being always there in person and diligently prosecuting the war: the Athenians were thereby very grievously afflicted. For they were not only deprived of the fruit of the land, but also above twenty thousand of their slaves fled over to the enemy, whereof the greatest part were artificers: besides they lost all their sheep and oxen. And by the continual going out of the Athenian horsemen, making excursions to Deceleia and defending the country, their horses became partly lamed through incessant labour in rugged grounds, and partly wounded by the enemy. 28. And their provision, which formerly they used to bring in from Eubœa by Oropus the shortest way, through Deceleia by land, they were now forced to fetch in by sea at great cost about the promontory of Sunium. And whatsoever the city was wont to be served withal from without, it now wanted: and instead of a city was become as it were a fort. And the Athenians watching on the battlements of the wall, in the day time by turns, but in the night, both winter and summer, all at once (except the horsemen), part at the walls and part at the arms, were quite tired1 . But that which pressed them most, was that they had two wars at once. And yet their obstinacy was so great, as no man would have believed till now they saw it. For being besieged at home from the fortification of the Peloponnesians, no man would have imagined that they should not only not have recalled their army out of Sicily, but have also besieged Syracuse there, a city of itself no less than Athens: and therein so much have exceeded the expectation of the rest of the Grecians both in power and courage, (who in the beginning of this war conceived, that if the Peloponnesians invaded their territory, some of them, that they might hold out two years, others three, no man more), as that in the seventeenth year after they were first invaded they should have undertaken an expedition into Sicily, and being every way weakened already by the former war, have undergone another, not inferior to that which they had before with the Peloponnesians. Now their treasure being by these wars, and by the detriment sustained from Deceleia, and other great expenses that came upon them, at a very low ebb, about this time they imposed on such as were under their dominion, a twentieth part of all goods passing by sea for a tribute1 ; by this means to improve their comings in. For their expenses were not now as before; but so much greater, by how much the war was greater: and their revenue besides cut off.
The Thracians sent back, in their way sack the city of Mycalessus.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3. The barbarous cruelty of the Thracians.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.
29. The Thracians, therefore, that came too late to go with Demosthenes, they presently sent back, as being unwilling to lay out money in such a scarcity: and gave the charge of carrying them back to Diitrephes, with command as he went along those coasts, (for his way was through the Euripus), if occasion served, to do somewhat against the enemy. He accordingly landed them by Tanagra, and hastily fetched in some small booty. Then2 going over the Euripus from Chalcis in Eubœa, he disbarked again in Bœotia and led his soldiers towards Mycalessus; and lay all night at the temple of Mercury undiscovered, which is distant from Mycalessus about sixteen furlongs. The next day he cometh to the city, being a very great one3 , and taketh it: for they kept no watch, nor expected that any man would have come in and assaulted them so far from the sea. Their walls also were but weak, in some places fallen down, and in others low–built: and their gates open through security. The Thracians entering into Mycalessus, spoiled both houses and temples, slew the people, without mercy on old or young, but killed all they could light on, both women and children; yea, and the labouring cattle, and whatsoever other living thing they saw. For the nation of the Thracians, where they dare, are extreme bloody, equal to any of the barbarians. Insomuch as there was put in practice at this time, besides other disorder1 , all forms of slaughter that could be imagined: they likewise fell upon the school–house, which was in the city a great one, and the children newly entered into it; and killed them every one. And the calamity of the whole city, as it was as great as ever befell any, so also was it more unexpected and more bitter. 30. The Thebans hearing of it, came out to help them: and overtaking the Thracians before they had gone far, both recovered the booty, and chased them to the Euripus and to the sea, where the galleys lay that brought them. Some of them they killed: of those most in their going aboard; for swim they could not; and such as were in the [small] boats, when they saw how things went a–land, had thrust off their boats, and lay without the Euripus2 . In the rest of the retreat, the Thracians behaved themselves not unhandsomely against the Theban horsemen, by whom they were charged first: but running out, and again rallying themselves in a circle, according to the manner of their country, defended themselves well, and lost but few men in that action. But some also they lost in the city itself, whilst they stayed behind for pillage. But in the whole of thirteen hundred there were slain [only] two hundred and fifty. Of the Thebans and others that came out to help the city, there were slain, horsemen and men of arms, one with another about twenty; and amongst them Scirphondas of Thebes, one of the governors of Bœotia: and of the Mycallesians there perished a part1 . Thus went the matter at Mycalessus: the loss which it received being, for the quantity of the city, no less to be lamented than any that happened in the whole war.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3. Eurymedon cometh to Demosthenes out of Sicily, and telleth him of the taking of Plemmyrium.Demosthenes and Eurymedon levy forces for Sicily.
31. Demosthenes going from2 Corcyra after his fortifying in Laconia, found a ship lying in Pheia of Elis, and in her certain men of arms of Corinth, ready to go into Sicily. The ship he sunk: but the men escaped, and afterwards getting another ship went on in their voyage. After this, Demosthenes being about3 Zacynthus and Cephallenia, took aboard their men of arms, and sent to Naupactus for the Messenians. From thence he crossed over to the continent of Acarnania, to Alyzea and Anactorium, which belonged to the Athenians. Whilst he was in these parts, he met with Eurymedon out of Sicily, that had been sent in winter unto the army with commodities1 : who told him amongst other things, how he had heard by the way after he was at sea, that the Syracusians had won Plemmyrium. Conon also, the captain of Naupactus, came to them, and related that the twenty–five galleys of Corinth that lay before Naupactus would not give over war and yet delayed to fight2 : and therefore desired to have some galleys sent him, as being unable with his eighteen to give battle to twenty–five of the enemy. Whereupon Demosthenes and Eurymedon sent ten galleys more to those at Naupactus, the nimblest of the whole fleet, by Conon himself3 : and went themselves about furnishing of what belonged to the army. Of whom Eurymedon went to Corcyra, and having appointed them there to man fifteen galleys, levied men of arms: for now giving over his course to Athens, he joined with Demosthenes, as having been elected with him in the charge of general: and Demosthenes took up slingers and darters in the parts about Acarnania.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3. Nicias overthroweth the new supply going to Syracuse from the neighbouring cities, and killeth eight hundred of them.
32. The ambassadors of the Syracusians, which after the taking of Plemmyrium had been sent unto the cities about1 , having now obtained and levied an army amongst them, were conducting the same to Syracuse. But Nicias, upon intelligence thereof, sent unto such cities of the Siculi as had the passages and were their confederates, the Centoripines, Halicyæans, and others, not to suffer the enemy to go by, but to unite themselves and stop them: for that they would not so much as offer to pass any other way, seeing the Agrigentines had already denied them. When the Sicilians were marching, the Siculi, as the Athenians had desired them, put themselves in ambush in three several places: and setting upon them unawares and on a sudden, slew about eight hundred of them, and all the ambassadors save only one, a Corinthian: which conducted the rest that escaped, being about fifteen hundred, to Syracuse. 33. About the same time came unto them also the aid of the Camarinæans, five hundred men of arms, three hundred darters, and three hundred archers. Also the Geloans sent them men for five galleys2 , besides four hundred darters and two hundred horsemen. For now all Sicily3 , except the Agrigentines, who were neutral; but all the rest, who before stood looking on, came in to the Syracusian side against the Athenians. [Nevertheless], the Syracusians, after this blow received amongst the Siculi, held their hands; and assaulted not the Athenians for a while.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.
Demosthenes and Eurymedon having their army now ready, crossed over from Corcyra and the continent with the whole army to the promontory of Iapygia1 . From thence they went to the Chœrades, islands of Iapygia: and here took in certain Iapygian darters to the number of two hundred and fifty, of the Messapian nation. And having renewed a certain ancient alliance with Artas, who reigned there and granted them those darters, they went thence to Metapontum2 , a city of Italy. There by virtue of a league, they got two galleys and three hundred darters: which taken aboard, they kept along the shore till they came to the territory of Thurii. Here they found the adverse faction to the Athenians to have been lately driven out in a sedition. And because they desired to muster their army here, that they might see if any were left behind; and persuade the Thurians to join with them freely in the war, and, as things stood, to have for friends and enemies the same that were so to the Athenians: they stayed about that in the territory of the Thurians.
The battle by sea before Naupactus between the Corinthians and Athenians.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 3.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
34. The Peloponnesians and the rest, who were at the same time in the twenty–five galleys that for safeguard of the ships lay opposite to the galleys before Naupactus, having prepared themselves for battle, and with more galleys1 , so as they were little inferior in number to those of the Athenians, went to an anchor under Irineus of Achaia in Rhypica. The place where they rode was in form like a half moon; and their land forces they had ready on either side to assist them, both Corinthians and other their confederates of those parts2 , embattled upon the points of the promontory; and their galleys made up the space between, under the command of Polyanthes, a Corinthian. Against these the Athenians came up with thirty–three galleys from Naupactus, commanded by Diphilus. The Corinthians at first lay still; but afterwards when they saw their time, and the signal given, they charged the Athenians, and the fight began. They held each other to it long. The Athenians sunk three galleys of the Corinthians: and though none of their own were sunk, yet seven were made unserviceable, which having encountered the Corinthian galleys a–head, were torn on both sides between the beaks and the oars by the beaks1 of the Corinthian galleys, made stronger for the same purpose. After they had fought with equal fortune, and so as both sides challenged the victory; though yet the Athenians were masters of the wrecks, as driven by the wind into the main, and because the Corinthians came not out to renew the fight; they at length parted. There was no chasing of men that fled, nor a prisoner taken on either side; because the Peloponnesians and Corinthians fighting near the land easily escaped, nor was there any galley of the Athenians sunk. But when the Athenians were gone back to Naupactus, the Corinthians presently set up a trophy as victors; in regard that more of the Athenian galleys were made unserviceable, than of theirs; and thought themselves not to have had the worse, for the same reason that the others thought themselves not to have had the better. For the Corinthians think they have the better, when they have not much the worse2 : and the Athenians think they have the worse, when they have not much the better. And when the Peloponnesians were gone and their army by land dissolved, the Athenians also set up a trophy in Achaia, as if the victory had been theirs; distant from Erineus, where the Peloponnesians rode, about twenty furlongs. This was the success of that battle by sea.
Demosthenes and Eurymedon come along the shore of Italy, and take up forces.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
35. Demosthenes and Eurymedon, after the Thurians had put in readiness to go with them seven hundred men of arms and three hundred darters, commanded their galleys to go along the coast to Croton1 ; and conducted their land soldiers, having first taken a muster of them all upon the side of the river Sybaris, through the territory of the Thurians. But coming to the river Hylias, upon word sent them from the men of Croton, that if the army went through their territory it should be against their will, they marched down to the seaside and to the mouth of the river Hylias; where they stayed all that night, and were met by their galleys. The next day embarking, they kept along the shore and touched at every town saving Locri, till they arrived at Petra in the territory of Rhegium.
The Syracusians make ready their galleys to fight with the Athenians there before the supply came.Their manner of strengthening their galleys.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
36. The Syracusians in the meantime, upon intelligence of their coming on, resolved to try again what they could do with their navy; and with their new supply of landmen, which they had gotten together on purpose to fight with the Athenians before Demosthenes and Eurymedon should arrive. And they furnished their navy, both otherwise and according to the advantages they had learnt in the last battle, and also made shorter the heads of their galleys, and thereby stronger; and made beaks to them of a great thickness, which they also strengthened with rafters fastened to the sides of the galleys, both within and without, of six cubits long1 : in such manner as the Corinthians had armed their galleys a–head, to fight with those before Naupactus. For the Syracusians made account, that against the Athenian galleys not so built, but weak before, as not using so much to meet the enemy a–head as upon the side by fetching a compass, they could not but have the better; and that to fight in the great haven many galleys in not much room, was an advantage to them: for that using the direct encounter, they should break with their firm and thick beaks the hollow and infirm foreparts of the galleys of their enemies; and that the Athenians, in that narrow room, would want means both to go about and to go through them1 , which was the point of art they most relied on. For as for their passing through, they would hinder it themselves as much as they could: and for fetching compass, the straitness of the place would not suffer it. And that fighting a–head, which seemed before to be want of skill in the masters [to do otherwise], was it they would now principally make use of: for in this would be their principal advantage. For the Athenians, if overcome, would have no retiring but to the land, which was but a little way off and little in compass, near their own camp2 : and of the rest of the haven themselves should be masters. And the enemy being pressed, could not choose, thronging together into a little room and all into one and the same place, but disorder one another: which was indeed the thing, that in all their battles by sea did the Athenians the greatest hurt; having not, as the Syracusians had, the liberty of the whole haven to retire unto3 . And to go about into a place of more room, they having it in their power to set upon them from the main sea, and to retire again at pleasure, they should never be able; especially having Plemmyrium for enemy, and the haven’s mouth not being large.
The Athenians and Syracusians fight.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
37. The Syracusians having devised thus much over and above their former skill and strength1 , and far more confident now since the former battle by sea, assaulted them both with their army and with their navy at once. The landmen from the city Gylippus drew sooner out a little, and brought them to the wall of the Athenians’ camp upon the side toward the city2 : and from Olympieium, the men of arms all that were there, and the horsemen and light armed of the Syracusians came up to the wall on the other side. And by and by after3 , came sailing forth also the galleys of the Syracusians and their confederates. The Athenians, that thought at first they would have made the attempt only with their landmen, seeing also the galleys on a sudden coming towards them, were in confusion; and some of them put themselves in order upon and before the walls, against those that came from the city: and others went out to meet the horsemen and darters, that were coming in great numbers and with speed from Olympieium and the parts without: others again went aboard, and withal came to aid those ashore. But when the galleys were manned they put off, being seventy–five in number; and those of Syracuse about eighty. 38. Having spent much of the day in charging and retiring and trying each other, and performed nothing worth the mentioning, save that the Syracusians sunk a galley or two of the Athenians, they parted again: and the land soldiers retired at the same time from the wall of the Athenian camp. The next day the Syracusians lay still, without showing any sign of what they meant to do. Yet Nicias seeing that the battle by sea was with equality, and imagining that they would fight again, made the captains to repair their galleys, such as had been torn1 : and two great ships to be moored without those piles which he had driven into the sea before his galleys, to be instead of a haven enclosed. These ships he placed about two acres’ breadth2 asunder: to the end, if any galley chanced to be pressed, it might safely run in and again go safely out at leisure. In performing of this, the Athenians spent a whole day from morning until night.
The Athenians and Syracusians fight again.The stratagem of Ariston, a master of a galley.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
39. The next day the Syracusians assaulted the Athenians again with the same forces3 , both by sea and land, that they had done before; but begun earlier in the morning; and being opposed fleet against fleet, they drew out a great part of the day, now again as before, in attempting upon each other without effect. Till at last Ariston the son of Pyrrhichus, a Corinthian, the most expert master that the Syracusians had in their fleet, persuaded the commanders in the navy to send to such in the city as it belonged to, and command that the market should be speedily kept at the sea–side, and to compel every man to bring thither whatsoever he had fit for meat, and there to sell it: that the mariners disbarking, might presently dine by the galleys’ side, and quickly again unlooked–for assault the Athenians afresh the same day. 40. This advice being liked, they sent a messenger, and the market was furnished. And the Syracusians suddenly rowed astern1 towards the city; and disbarking, dined there right on the shore. The Athenians, supposing they had retired towards the city as vanquished, landed at leisure: and amongst other business went about the dressing of their dinner, as not expecting to have fought again the same day. But the Syracusians suddenly going aboard, came towards them again: and the Athenians, in great tumult and for the most part undined, embarking disorderly, at length with much ado went out to meet them. For a while they held their hands on both sides, and but observed each other. But anon after, the Athenians thought not fit, by longer dallying, to overcome themselves with their own labour, but rather to fight as soon as they could; and thereupon at once with a joint shout charged the enemy, and the fight began. The Syracusians received [and resisted2 ] their charge; and fighting, as they had before determined, with their galleys head to head with those of the Athenians, and provided with beaks for the purpose, brake the galleys of the Athenians very much between the heads of the galleys and the oars. The Athenians were also annoyed much by the darters from the decks; but much more by those Syracusians, who going about in small boats passed under the rows of the oars of the enemy’s galleys, and coming close to their sides, threw their darts at the mariners from thence1 .
The Syracusians have the victory.
41. The Syracusians having fought in this manner with the utmost of their strength, in the end gat the victory: and the Athenians, between the [two] ships, escaped into their harbour. The Syracusian galleys chased them as far as to those ships: but the dolphins hanging from the masts2 over the entrance of the harbour, forbade them to follow any further. Yet there were two galleys, which upon a jollity after victory approached them, but both were lost: of which one with her men and all was taken. The Syracusians, after they had sunk seven galleys of the Athenians and torn many more, and of the men had taken some alive and killed others, retired, and for both the battles erected trophies: and had already an assured hope of being far superior by sea, and also made account to subdue the army by land. And they prepared to assault them again in both kinds.
Demosthenes and Eurymedon with a new army arrive at Syracuse.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.Demosthenes attempteth to win the wall which the Syracusians had built through Epipolæ to exclude the proceeding of the wall of the Athenians.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
42. In the meantime Demosthenes and Eurymedon arrived with the Athenian supply; being3 about seventy–three galleys, and men of arms, of their own and of their confederates, about five thousand; besides darters, as well barbarians as Greeks, not a few, and slingers and archers, and all other provision sufficient. For the present it not a little daunted the Syracusians and their confederates, to see no end of their danger; and that, notwithstanding the fortifying in Deceleia, another army should come now equal and like unto their former; and that their power should be so great in every kind. And on the other side, it was a kind of strengthening after weakness to the Athenian army that was there before. Demosthenes, when he saw how things stood, and thinking it unfit to loiter and fall into Nicias his case:—for Nicias, who was formidable at his first coming, when he set not presently upon Syracuse but wintered at Catana, both grew into contempt, and was prevented also by the coming of Gylippus thither with an army out of Peloponnesus: the which, if Nicias had gone against Syracuse at first, had never been so much as sent for: for supposing themselves to have been strong enough alone, they had at once both found themselves too weak, and the city been enclosed with a wall; whereby, though they had sent for it, it could not have helped them as it did:—Demosthenes, I say, considering this, and that he also even at the present and the same day was most terrible to the enemy, intended with all speed to make use of this present terribleness of the army. And having observed that the cross wall of the Syracusians, wherewith they hindered the Athenians from enclosing the city, was but single; and that if they could be masters of the ascent to Epipolæ, and again of the camp there, the same might easily be taken, (for none would have stood against them): hasted to put it to trial, and thought it his shortest way to the dispatching of the war. For either he should have success, he thought, and so win Syracuse, or he would lead away the army, and no longer without purpose consume both the Athenians there with him and the whole state. The Athenians therefore went out, and first wasted the territory of the Syracusians about the river Anapus; and were the stronger, as at first, both by sea and land. For the Syracusians durst neither way go out against them, but only with their horsemen and darters from Olympieium. 43. After this, Demosthenes thought good to try the wall which the Athenians had built to enclose the city withal1 , with engines. But seeing the engines were burnt by the defendants fighting from the wall, and that having assaulted it in divers parts with the rest of his army, he was notwithstanding put back, he resolved to spend the time no longer; but having gotten the consent of Nicias and the rest in commission thereunto, to put in execution his design for Epipolæ, as was before intended. By day, it was thought impossible not to be discovered, either in their approach or in their ascent. Having therefore first commanded to take five days’ provision of victual, and all the masons and workmen, as also store of casting weapons, and whatsoever they might need, if they overcame, for fortification: he and Eurymedon and Menander, with the whole army, marched about midnight to Epipolæ, leaving Nicias in the camp. Being come to Epipolæ at Euryelus, where also the army went up before, they were not only not discovered by the Syracusians that kept the watch, but ascending1 took a certain fortification of the Syracusians there, and killed part of them that kept it. But the greatest number escaping, ran presently to the camps, of which there were in Epipolæ three walled about without the city, one of Syracusians, one of other Sicilians, and one of confederates2 , and carried the news of their coming in, and told it to those six hundred Syracusians that kept this part of Epipolæ at the first; who presently went forth to meet them. But Demosthenes and the Athenians lighting on them, though they fought valiantly, put them to flight; and presently marched on3 , making use of the present heat of the army to finish what he came for before it were too late: and others [going on] in their first course took the cross–wall of the Syracusians, they flying that kept it, and were throwing down the battlements thereof. The Syracusians, and their confederates, and Gylippus and those with him, came out to meet them from their camps: but because the attempt was unexpected and in the night, they charged the Athenians timorously, and were even at first forced to retire. But as the Athenians advanced more out of order, [chiefly] as having already gotten the victory, but1 desiring also quickly to pass through all that remained yet unfoughten with, lest through their remissness in following they might again rally themselves; the Bœotians withstood them first, and charging forced them to turn their backs.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.The Athenians fly.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
44. And here the Athenians were mightily in disorder and perplexed: so that it hath been very hard to be informed of any side, in what manner each thing passed. For if in the day time, when things are better seen, yet they that are present cannot tell how all things go, save only what every man with much ado seeth near unto himself: how then in a battle by night, (the only one that happened between great armies in all this war), can a man know2 anything for certain? For though the moon shined bright, yet they saw one another no otherwise than as by the moonlight was likely: so as to see a body, but not be sure whether it were a friend or not. And the men of arms on both sides, being not a few in number, had but little ground to turn in. Of the Athenians, some were already overcome, others3 went on in their first way. Also a great part of the rest of the army was already, part gotten up, and part ascending, and knew not which way to march. For after the Athenians once turned their backs, all before them was in confusion4 ; and it was hard to distinguish of anything for the noise. For the Syracusians and their confederates prevailing, encouraged each other and received the assailants with exceeding great shouts: (for they had no other means in the night to express themselves): and the Athenians sought each other, and took for enemies all before them, though friends and of the number of those that fled; and by often asking the word, there being no other means of distinction, all asking at once they both made a great deal of stir amongst themselves, and revealed the word to the enemy. But they did not in like manner know the word of the Syracusians; because these, being victorious and undistracted, knew one another better: so that when they lighted on any number of the enemy, though they themselves were more, yet the enemy escaped as knowing the watchword; but they, when they could not answer, were slain. But that which hurt them most was the tune of the Pæan: which being in both armies the same, drave them to their wits’ end. For the Argives and Corcyræans, and all other of the Doric race on the Athenians’ part, when they sounded the Pæan, terrified the Athenians on one side: and the enemy terrified them with the like on the other side. Wherefore at the last1 , falling one upon another in divers parts of the army, friends against friends, and countrymen against countrymen, they not only terrified each other, but came to hand–strokes and could hardly again be parted. As they fled before the enemy, the way of the descent from Epipolæ by which they were to go back being but strait, many of them threw themselves down from the rocks, and died so. And of the rest that gat down safely into the plain, though the greatest part, and all that were of the old army by their knowledge of the country, escaped into the camp: yet of these that came last, some lost their way; and straying in the fields, when the day came on were cut off by the Syracusian horsemen that ranged the country about.
45. The next day the Syracusians erected two trophies; one in Epipolæ at the ascent1 , and another where the first check was given by the Bœotians. The Athenians received their dead under truce. And many there were that died, both of themselves and of their confederates: but the arms taken were more than for the number of the slain. For of such as were forced to quit their bucklers and leap down from the rocks, though some perished, yet some there also were that escaped.
The Syracusians send for more supplies, and hope to win the Athenian camp.
46. After this, the Syracusians having by such unlooked–for prosperity recovered their former courage, sent Sicanus with fifteen galleys to Agrigentum, being in sedition; to bring that city, if they could, to their obedience2 . And Gylippus went again to the Sicilian cities3 by land, to raise yet another army, as being in hope to take the camp of the Athenians by assault, considering how the matter had gone in Epipolæ.
The Athenianyear xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. commanders take council what to do.The advice of Demosthenes.
47. In the meantime the Athenian generals went to council upon their late overthrow, and present general weakness1 of the army. For they saw not only that their designs prospered not, but that the soldiers also were weary of staying. For they were troubled with sickness, proceeding from a double cause; this being the time of the year most obnoxious to diseases, and the place where they lay moorish and noisome: and all things else appeared desperate. Demosthenes2 thought fit to stay no longer; and since the execution of his design at Epipolæ had failed, delivered his opinion for going out of the haven, whilst the seas were open, and whilst, at least with this addition of galleys, they were stronger than the army of the enemy. “For it was better,” he said, “for the city to make war upon those which fortify against them at home, than against the Syracusians; seeing they cannot now be easily overcome: and there was no reason why they should spend much money in lying before the city.” This was the opinion of Demosthenes.
The opinion of Nicias.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
48. Nicias, though he also thought their estate bad, yet was unwilling to have their weakness discovered3 ; and by decreeing of their departure openly with the votes of many, to make known the same to the enemy; for if at any time they had a mind to be gone, they should then be less able to do it secretly. Besides, the estate of the enemy, inasmuch as he understood it better than the rest, put him into some hope that it might yet grow worse than their own, in case they pressed the siege; especially being already masters of the sea, far and near, with their present fleet1 . There was moreover a party for the Athenians in Syracuse, that desired to betray the state into their hands: and that sent messengers unto him, and suffered him not to rise and be gone. All which he knowing, though he were in truth doubtful what opinion to be of, and did yet consider; nevertheless openly in his speech, he was against the withdrawing of the army: and said, “that he was sure the people of Athens would take it ill, if he went thence without their order: for that they were not to have such judges as should give sentence upon their own sight of things done, rather than upon the report of calumniators; but such as would believe whatsoever some fine speaker should accuse them of. That many, nay most of the soldiers here, who now cry out upon their misery2 , will there cry out on the contrary; and say the generals have betrayed the state, and come away for a bribe. That he3 would not therefore, knowing the nature of the Athenians so well, choose to be put to death unjustly, and charged with a dishonourable crime by the Athenians, rather than, if he must needs do one, to suffer the same at the hand of the enemy by his own adventure4 . And yet,” he said, “the state of the Syracusians was still inferior to their own. For paying much money to strangers, and laying out much more on forts1 [without and about the city]; having also had a great navy a year already in pay; they must needs want money at last, and all these things fail them2 . For they have spent already two thousand talents, and are much in debt besides. And whensoever they shall give over this course and make pay no longer, their strength is gone3 ; as being auxiliary, and not constrained to follow the war, as the Athenians are. Therefore it was fit,” he said, “to stay close to the city; and not to go away as if they were too weak in money, wherein they were much superior.”
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
49. Nicias, when he spake this, assured them of it4 , as knowing the state of Syracuse precisely and their want of money; and that there were some that desired to betray the city to the Athenians, and sent him word not to go. Withal he had now confidence in the fleet, which, as being before overcome, he had not5 . As for lying where they did, Demosthenes would by no means hear of it. But if the army might not be carried away without order from the Athenians, but must needs stay in Sicily; then, he said, they might go6 to Thapsus or Catana, from whence by their landmen they might invade and turn much of the country to them1 and wasting the fields of the enemies, weaken the Syracusians; and be to fight with their galleys in the main sea, and not in a narrow, (which is the advantage of the enemy), but in a wide place, where the benefit of skill should be theirs; and where they should not be forced, in charging and retiring, to come up and fall off in narrow and circumscribed limits. In sum he said, he by no means liked to stay where they were: but with all speed, no longer delaying the matter, to arise and be gone. Eurymedon also gave the like counsel. Nevertheless, upon the contradiction of Nicias, there grew a kind of sloth and procrastination in the business; and a suspicion withal, that the asseveration2 of Nicias was grounded on somewhat that he knew above the rest. And thereupon the Athenians deferred their going thence, and stayed upon the place.
Gylippus returneth with another army from the cities of Sicily.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.The Athenians out of superstition forbear to remove, because of an eclipse of the moon.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
50. In the meantime Gylippus and Sicanus returned unto Syracuse. Sicanus without his purpose at Agrigentum; for whilst he was yet in Gela, the sedition which had been raised in the behalf of the Syracusians was turned into friendship3 : but Gylippus not without another great army out of Sicily, besides the men of arms, which having set forth from Peloponnesus in ships the spring before, were then lately arrived at Selinus from out of Afric. For having been driven into Afric, and the Cyrenæans having given them two galleys with pilots, in passing by the shore they aided the Euesperitæ1 besieged by the Africans; and having overcome the Africans, they went over to Neapolis, a town of traffic belonging to the Carthagenians; where the passage into Sicily is shortest, and but two days and a night’s sail over; and from thence they crossed the sea to Selinus. As soon as they were come, the Syracusians again presently prepared to set upon the Athenians, both by sea and land. The Athenian generals seeing them have another army, and their own2 not bettering, but every day growing worse than other, but especially as being pressed to it by the sickness of the soldiers, repented now that they removed not before: and Nicias being now no longer against it as he was, but desirous only that it might not be concluded openly3 , gave order unto all as secretly as was possible to put forth of the harbour, and to be ready when the sign should be given. But when they were about it, and everything was ready, the moon happened to be eclipsed: for it was full moon. And not only the greatest part of the Athenians4 called upon the generals to stay, but Nicias also (for he was addicted to superstition and observations of that kind somewhat too much) said that it should come no more into debate whether they should go or not, till the three times nine days were past, which the soothsayers appoint in that behalf. And the Athenians, though upon going, stayed still for this reason.
The Syracusians assault the Athenian camp with their landsoldiers.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. The Syracusians overcome the Athenians again by sea.
51. The Syracusians also having intelligence of this, were encouraged unto the pressing of the Athenians much the more: for that they confessed themselves already too weak for them, both by sea and land; for else they would never have sought to have run away. Besides, they would not have them sit down in any other part of Sicily, and become the harder to be warred on; but had rather thereright, and in a place most for their own advantage, compel them to fight by sea. To which end they manned their galleys; and after they had rested1 as long as was sufficient, when they saw their time, the first day they assaulted the Athenians’ camp. And some small number of men of arms and horsemen of the Athenians sallied out against them by certain gates: and the Syracusians intercepting some of the men of arms, beat1 them back into the camp. But the entrance being strait, there were seventy of the horsemen lost; and men of arms some, but not many. 52. The2 next day they came out with their galleys, seventy–six in number, and the Athenians set forth against them with eighty–six; and being come together, they fought. Eurymedon had charge of the right wing of the Athenians; and desiring to encompass the galleys of the enemies, drew forth his own galleys in length more towards the shore; and was cut off by the Syracusians, that had first overcome the middle battle of the Athenians, from the rest, in the bottom and inmost part of the haven; and both slain himself, and the galleys that were with him lost. And that done, the rest of the Athenian fleet was also chased and driven ashore.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
53. Gylippus, when he saw the navy of the enemy vanquished, and carried past the piles and their own harbour, came with a part of his army to the pier3 to kill such as landed, and to cause that the Syracusians might the easier pull the enemy’s galleys from the shore, whereof themselves were masters. But the Tuscans, who kept guard in that part for the Athenians, seeing them coming that way in disorder, made head: and charging these first1 , forced them into the marsh called Lysimeleia. But when afterwards a greater number of the Syracusians and their confederates came to help them, then also the Athenians, to help the Tuscans, and for fear to lose their galleys, fought with them; and having overcome them, pursued them, and not only slew many2 of their men of arms, but also saved the most of their galleys, and brought them back into the harbour. Nevertheless the Syracusians took eighteen, and slew the men taken in them. And amongst the rest they let drive before the wind (which blew right upon the Athenians) an old ship full of faggots and brands set on fire, to burn them. The Athenians on the other side, fearing the loss of their navy, devised remedies for the fire: and having quenched the flame and kept the ship from coming near, escaped that danger.
54. After this the Syracusians set up a trophy, both for the battle by sea, and for the men of arms which they intercepted above before the camp, where also they took the horses. And the Athenians erected a trophy likewise, both for the flight of those footmen which the Tuscans drave into the marsh, and for those which they themselves put to flight with the rest of the army.
The Athenians dejected, repent of the voyage.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
55. When the Syracusians had now manifestly overcome their fleet3 ; (for they feared at first the supply of galleys that came with Demosthenes); the Athenians were in good earnest utterly out of heart. And as they were much deceived in the event, so they repented more of the voyage1 . For having come against these cities, the only ones that were for institution like unto their own, and governed by the people as well as themselves2 , and which had a navy and horses and greatness; seeing they could create no dissension amongst them about change of government, to win them that way, nor could subdue it with the greatness of their forces when they were far the stronger, but misprospered in most of their designs; they were then at their wits’ end: but now, when they were also vanquished by sea, (which they would never have thought), they were much more dejected than ever.
The Syracusians intend to keep in the Athenians, and reckon upon the glory of a full victory.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.The nations that were at the wars of Syracuse on the one side or other.
56. The Syracusians went presently about the haven without fear, and meditated how to shut up the same: that the Athenians might not3 steal away without their knowledge, though they would. For now they studied not only how to save themselves, but how to hinder the safety of the Athenians. For the Syracusians conceived, not untruly, that their own strength was at this present the greater; and that if they could vanquish the Athenians and their confederates both by sea and land, it would be a mastery of great honour to them amongst the rest of the Grecians. For all the rest of Greece should be4 one part freed by it, and the other part out of fear of subjection hereafter: for it would be impossible for the Athenians, with the remainder of their strength, to sustain the war that would be made upon them afterwards. And they being reputed the authors of it, should be had in admiration, not only with all men now living, but also with posterity. And to say truth, it was a worthy mastery; both for the causes shewn, and also for that they became victors not of the Athenians only, but many others their confederates; nor again they themselves alone, but their confederates also, having been in joint command with the Corinthians and Lacedæmonians, and both exposed their city to the first hazard, and of the business by sea performed the greatest part themselves1 . The greatest number of nations, except the general roll of those which in this war adhered to Athens and Lacedæmon, were together at this one city.
Athenians. Lemnians. Imbrians. Æginetæ. year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Hestiæans of Eubœa. Eretrians. Chalcideans. Styrians. Carystians. Ceians. Andrians. Tenians. Milesians. Samians. Chians. Methymnæans. Tenedians. Ænians. Platæans. year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Rhodians and Cythereans. Cephallenians. Zacynthians. Corcyræans. Messenians. Megareans. Argives. year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Mantineans and other Arcadians. Cretans. Ætolians. Acarnanians. Thurians. Metapontians. Naxians. Catanæans. Egestæans. Tuscans. Iapygians.
57. And this number on both sides, against Sicily and for it, some to help win, and some to help save it, came to the war at Syracuse: not on any pretence of right, nor as kindred to aid kindred, but as profit or necessity severally chanced to induce them2 . The Athenians being Ionic, went against the Syracusians that be Doric, voluntarily. With these, as being their colonies, went the Lemnians and Imbrians3 , and the Æginetæ that dwelt in Ægina then, all of the same language and institutions with themselves: also the Hestiæans of Eubœa1 . Of the rest, some went with them as their subjects, and some as their free confederates; and some also hired. Subjects and tributaries: as the Eretrians, Chalcideans, Styrians, and Carystians, from Eubœa: Ceians, Andrians, Tenians, from out of the islands: Milesians, Samians, and Chians, from Ionia. Of these the Chians followed them as free, not as tributaries of money, but of galleys. And these were almost all of them Ionians, descended from the Athenians; except only the Carystians, that are of the nation of the Dryopes2 . And though they were subjects and went upon constraint, yet they were Ionians against Dorians3 . Besides these there went with them Æolians: namely, the Methymnæans, subjects to Athens, not tributaries of money but of galleys; and the Tenedians and Ænians, tributaries. Now here, Æolians were constrained to fight against Æolians4 ; namely, against their founders the Bœotians, that took part with the Syracusians. But the Platæans, and only they, being Bœotians5 , fought against Bœotians upon just quarrel. The Rhodians and Cythereans, Doric both1 , by constraint bore arms; one of them, namely the Cythereans, a colony of the Lacedæmonians, with the Athenians against the Lacedæmonians that were with Gylippus; and the other, that is to say, the Rhodians, being by descent Argives, not only against the Syracusians, who were also Doric, but against their own colony, the Geloans, which took part with the Syracusians. Then of the islanders about Peloponnesus, there went with them the Cephallenians and Zacynthians: not but that they were free states, but because they were kept in awe as islanders by the Athenians, who were masters of the sea. And the Corcyræans, being not only Doric but Corinthians, fought openly against both Corinthians and Syracusians, though a colony of the one, and of kin to the other: which they did necessarily, (to make the best of it2 ); but indeed no less willingly, in respect of their hatred to the Corinthians. Also the Messenians now so called, in Naupactus, were taken along to this war; and the Messenians at Pylus, then holden by the Athenians. Moreover the Megarean outlaws3 , though not many, by advantage taken of their misery, were fain to fight against the Selinuntians that were Megareans likewise. But now the rest of their army was rather voluntary. The Argives not so much for the league, as for their enmity against the Lacedæmonians and their present particular spleen4 , followed the Athenians to the war though Ionic, against Dorians. And the Mantineans and other Arcadian mercenaries went with them, as men accustomed ever to invade the enemy shewed them: and now for gain had for enemies, as much as any, those other Arcadians which went thither with the Corinthians. The Cretans and Ætolians were all1 mercenary: and it fell out, that the Cretans, who together with the Rhodians were founders of Gela, not only took not part with their colony, but fought against it willingly for their hire2 . And some Acarnanians also went with them for gain: but most of them went as confederates, in love to Demosthenes and for good will to the state of Athens. And thus many within the bound of the Ionian gulf. Then of Italians, fallen into the same necessity of seditious times3 , there went with them to this war the Thurians and Metapontians: of Greek Sicilians, the Naxians and Catanæans. Of barbarian, the Egestæans, who also drew with them the most of those Greek Sicilians4 . Without Sicily, there went with them some Tuscans, upon quarrels between them and the Syracusians; and some Iapygian mercenaries. These were the nations that followed the army of the Athenians.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Syracusians. Camarinæans. Himeræans. Siculi. Lacedæmonians. Corinthians. Leucadians. Ambraciotes. Arcadian mercenaries. Sicyonians.
58. On the other side, there opposed them on the part of the Syracusians, the Camarinæans their borders: and beyond them again the Geloans: and then (the Agrigentines not stirring) beyond them again the same way, the Selinuntians. These inhabit the part of Sicily that lieth opposite to Afric. Then the Himeræans, on the side that lieth on the Tyrrhene sea, where they are the only Grecians inhabiting, and only aided them. These were their confederates of the Greek nation within Sicily; all Dorians and free states. Then of the barbarians there, they had the Siculi1 , all but what revolted to the Athenians. For Grecians without Sicily, the Lacedæmonians sent them a Spartan commander, with some Helotes and the rest freedmen2 . Then aided them both with galleys and with land–men, the Corinthians only; and for kindred’s sake, the Leucadians and Ambraciotes: out of Arcadia, those mercenaries sent by the Corinthians: and Sicyonians on constraint3 : and from without Peloponnesus, the Bœotians. To the foreign aids the Sicilians themselves, as being great cities, added more in every kind than as much again: for they got together men of arms, galleys, and horses, great store, and other number in abundance. And to all these again the Syracusians themselves added, as I may say, about as much more, in respect of the greatness both of their city and of their danger.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.The Syracusians shut up the haven.
59. These were the succours assembled on either part, and which were then all there: and after them came no more, neither to the one side nor the other. No marvel then, if the Syracusians1 thought it a noble mastery, if to the victory by sea already gotten they could add the taking of the whole Athenian army, so great as it was; and hinder their escape both by sea and land. Presently therefore they fall in hand with stopping up the mouth of the great haven, being about eight furlongs wide, with galleys laid cross and lighters and boats upon their anchors: and withal prepared whatsoever else was necessary in case the Athenians would hazard another battle; meditating on no small matters in anything.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
60. The Athenians, seeing the shutting up of the haven and the rest of the enemy’s designs, thought good to go to council upon it. And the generals and commanders of regiments2 having met and considered their present want, both otherwise and in this, that they neither had provision for the present, (for upon their resolution to be gone, they had sent before to Catana to forbid the sending in of any more), nor were likely to have for the future unless their navy got the upper hand: they resolved to abandon their camp above, and to take in some place, no greater than needs they must3 , near unto their galleys, with a wall; and leaving some to keep it, to go aboard with the rest of the army, and to man every galley they had, serviceable and less serviceable: and having caused all sorts of men to go aboard and fight it out, if they gat the victory, to go to Catana; if not, to make their retreat in order of battle by land (having first set fire on their navy) the nearest way unto some amicable place, either barbarian or Grecian, that they should best be able to reach unto before the enemy.
As they had concluded, so they did. For they both came down to the shore from their camp above: and also manned every galley they had, and compelled to go aboard every man of age of any ability whatsoever. So the whole navy was manned to the number of one hundred and ten galleys: upon which they had many archers and darters, both Acarnanians and other strangers, and all things else provided according to their means and purpose1 . And Nicias, when almost everything was ready, perceiving the soldiers to be dejected for being so far overcome by sea, contrary to their custom, and yet in respect of the scarcity of victual desirous as soon as could be to fight, called them together, and encouraged them then the first time2 with words to this effect:
the oration of nicias.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Oration of Niciasyear xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Oration of Niciasyear xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Oration of Nicias
61. “Soldiers, Athenians and other our confederates, [though] the trial at hand will be common to all alike, and will concern the safety and country no less of each of us than of the enemy: (for if our galleys get the victory, we may every one see his native city again): yet1 ought we not to be discouraged like men of no experience, who failing in their first adventures, ever after carry a fear suitable to their misfortunes. But you Athenians here present, having had experience already of many wars, and you our confederates, that have always gone along with our armies, remember how often the event falleth out otherwise in war than one would think: and in hope that fortune will once also be of our side, prepare yourselves to fight again in such manner as shall be worthy the number you see yourselves to be. 62. What we thought would be helps in the narrowness of the haven, against such a multitude of galleys as will be there, and against the provision of the enemy upon their decks, whereby we were formerly annoyed, we have with the masters now considered them all; and as well as our present means will permit, made them ready. For many archers and darters shall go aboard: and that multitude, which if we had been to fight in the main sea we would not have used, because by slugging the galleys it would take away the use of skill, will nevertheless be useful here, where we are forced to make a landfight from our galleys. We have also devised, instead of what should have been provided for in the building of our galleys2 , against the thickness of the beaks of theirs, which did most hurt us, to lash their galleys unto ours with iron grapnels: whereby (if the men of arms1 do their part) we may keep the galleys which once come close up from falling back again. For we are brought to a necessity now, of making it a land–fight upon the water: and it will be the best for us neither to fall back ourselves, nor to suffer the enemy to do so; especially when, except what our men on land shall make good, the shore is altogether hostile. 63. Which you remembering, must therefore fight it out to the utmost, and not suffer yourselves to be beaten back unto the shore: but when galley to galley shall once be fallen close, never think any cause worthy to make you part, unless you have first beaten off the men of arms of the enemy from their decks. And this I speak to you rather that are the men of arms, than to the mariners: inasmuch as that part belongeth rather unto you that fight above; and in you2 it lieth even yet to achieve the victory for the most part with the landmen. Now for the mariners, I advise, and withal beseech them, not to be too much daunted with the losses past; having now both a greater number of galleys, and greater forces upon the decks. Think3 it a pleasure worth preserving, that being taken, by your knowledge of the language and imitation of our fashions, for Athenians (though you be not so), you are not only admired for it through all Greece, but also partake of our dominion in matter of profit, no less than ourselves; and for awfulness to the nations subject and protection from injury, more. You therefore that alone participate freely of our dominion, cannot with any justice betray the same. In despite therefore of the Corinthians, whom you have often vanquished, and of the Sicilians, who as long as our fleet was at the best durst never so much as stand us, repel them: and make it appear that your knowledge even with weakness and loss, is better than the strength of another with fortune. 64. Again, to such of you as are Athenians, I must remember this: that you have no more such fleets in your harbours, nor such able men of arms; and that if aught happen to you but victory, your enemies here will presently be upon you at home; and those at home will be unable to defend themselves, both against those that shall go hence, and against the enemy that lieth there already. So one part of us shall fall into the mercy of the Syracusians, against whom you yourselves know with what intent you came hither: and the other part which is at home, shall fall into the hands of the Lacedæmonians. Being therefore in this one battle to fight both for yourselves and them, be therefore valiant now if ever: and bear in mind every one of you, that you that go now aboard, are the land forces, the sea forces, the whole estate and great name of Athens. For which, if any man excel others in skill or courage, he can never shew it more opportunely than now, when he may both help himself with it and the whole.”
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
65. Nicias having thus encouraged them, commanded presently to go aboard. Gylippus and the Syracusians might easily discern that the Athenians meant to fight, by seeing their preparation. Besides, they had advertisement of their purpose to cast iron grapnels into their galleys; and as for everything else, so also for that they had made provision. For they covered the fore–part of their galleys, and also the decks for a great way, with hides: that the grapnels cast in might slip, and not be able to take hold. When all was ready, Gylippus likewise and the other commanders used unto their soldiers this hortative:
the oration of gylippus and the syracusian generals.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Oration of Gylippus and the Syracusian generals.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Oration of Gylippus and the Syracusian generals.
66. “That not only our former acts have been honourable, but that we are to fight now also for further honour, men of Syracuse and confederates, the most of you seem to know already; for else you never would so valiantly have undergone it1 : and if there be any man that is not so sensible of it as he ought, we will make it appear unto him better. For whereas the Athenians came into this country, with design first to enslave Sicily, and then if that succeeded, Peloponnesus and the rest of Greece; and whereas already they had the greatest dominion of any Grecians whatsoever, either present or past: you, the first that ever withstood their navy, wherewith they were everywhere masters, have in the former battles overcome them, and shall in likelihood overcome them again in this. For men that are cut short where they thought themselves to exceed, become afterwards further out of opinion with themselves than they would have been if they had never thought so: and when they come short of their hope in things they glory in, they come short also in courage of the true strength of their forces. And this is likely now to be the case of the Athenians. 67. Whereas with us it falleth out, that our former courage, wherewith though unexperienced we durst stand them, being now confirmed, and an opinion added of being the stronger1 , giveth to every one of us a double hope. And in all enterprises, the greatest hope conferreth for the most part the greatest courage. As for their imitation of our provisions, they are things we are acquainted withal, and we shall not in any kind be unprovided for them. But they, when they shall have many men of arms upon their decks, being not used to it; and many, as I may term them, land–darters2 , both Acarnanians and others, who would not be able to direct their darts though they should sit3 ; how can they choose but put the galleys into danger, and be all in confusion amongst themselves, moving in a fashion not their own4 ? As for the number of their galleys, it will help them nothing: if any of you fear also that, as being to fight against odds in number. For many in little room are so much the slower to do what they desire, and easiest to be annoyed by our munition5 . But the very truth you shall now understand by these things, whereof we suppose we have most certain intelligence. Overwhelmed with calamities, and forced by the difficulties which they are in at this present, they are grown desperate; not trusting to their forces, but willing to put themselves upon the decision of fortune, as well as they may; that so they may either go out by force, or else make their retreat afterward by land, as men whose estates cannot change into the worse.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
68. “Against such confusion, therefore, and against the fortune of our greatest enemies now betraying itself into our hands, let us fight with anger: and with an opinion, not only that it is most lawful to fulfil our hearts’ desire upon those our enemies, that justified their coming hither as a righting of themselves against an assailant; but also, that to be revenged on an enemy, is both most natural, and, as is most commonly said, the sweetest thing in the world1 . And that they are our enemies, and our greatest enemies, you all well enough know; seeing them come hither into our dominion to bring us into servitude. Wherein if they had sped, they had put the men to the greatest tortures, the women and children to the greatest dishonesty, and the whole city to the most ignominous name2 in the world. In regard whereof, it is not fit that any of you should be so tender, as to think it gain if they go away without putting you to further danger; for so they mean to do, though they get the victory: but effecting (as it is likely we shall) what we intend, both to be revenged of these, and to deliver unto all Sicily their liberty, which they enjoyed before, but now is more assured. Honourable is that combat1 , and rare are those hazards, wherein the failing bringeth little loss, and the success a great deal of profit.”
1st September.Nicias encourageth his soldiers anew.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. He prepareth to fight.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. The Athenians and Syracusians fight.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
69. When Gylippus and the commanders of the Syracusians had in this manner encouraged their soldiers, they presently put their men on board; perceiving the Athenians to do the same. Nicias perplexed2 with this present estate, and seeing how great and how near the danger was, being now on the point to put forth from the harbour; and doubting, as in great battles it falleth out, that somewhat in every kind was still wanting, and that he had not yet sufficiently spoken his mind, called unto him again all the captains of galleys, and spake unto them every one by their fathers, their tribes, and their proper names, and entreated every one of them that had reputation in any kind, not to betray the same; and those whose ancestors were eminent, not to deface their hereditary virtues; remembering them of their country’s liberty, and the uncontrolled power of all men to live as they pleased: and saying whatsoever else in such a pinch men are accustomed, not out of their store, to utter things stale3 , and in all occasions the same, touching their wives, children, and patrial gods, but such things as being thought by them available in the present discouragement, they use to cry into their ears. And when he thought he had admonished them, not enough, but as much as the time would permit him, he went his way, and drew out those forces that were to serve on land on the sea–side: and embattled them so as they might take up the greatest length of ground they were able, thereby so much the more to confirm the courage of them that were aboard. And Demosthenes, Menander, and Eudemus, (for those of the Athenian commanders went aboard), putting forth of the harbour1 , went immediately to the lock of the haven, and to the passage that was left open, with intention to force their way out. 70. But the Syracusians and their confederates, being out already with the same number of galleys they had before, disposed part of them to the guard of the open passage2 , and the rest in circle about the haven; to the end they might fall upon the Athenians from all parts at once, and that their land–forces might withal be near to aid them wheresoever the galleys touched. In the Syracusian navy commanded Sicanus and Agatharchus, each of them over a wing; and Pythen, with the Corinthians, had the middle battle. After the Athenians were come to the lock of the haven, at the first charge they overcame the galleys placed there to guard it, and endeavoured to break open the bars thereof. But when afterwards the Syracusians and confederates came upon them from every side, they fought not at the lock only, but also in the haven itself: and the battle was sharp, and such as there had never before been the like. For the courage wherewith the mariners on both sides brought up their galleys to any part1 they were bidden, was very great, and great was the plotting and counterplotting, and contention one against another of the masters: also the soldiers, when the galleys boarded each other, did their utmost to excel each other in all points of skill that could be used upon the decks2 : and every man, in the place assigned him, put himself forth to appear the foremost. But many galleys falling close together in a narrow compass, (for they were the most galleys that in any battle they had used, and fought in the least room: being little fewer on the one side and the other than two hundred), they ran against each other but seldom, because there was no means of retiring nor of passing by, but made assaults upon each other oftener, as galley with galley, either flying or pursuing, chanced to fall foul3 . And as long as a galley was making up, they that stood on the decks used4 their darts and arrows and stones in abundance: but being once come close, the soldiers at hand–strokes attempted to board each other. And in many places it so fell out, through want of room, that they which ran upon a galley on one side, were run upon themselves on the other; and that two galleys, or sometimes more, were forced to lie aboard of one; and that the masters were at once to have a care, not in one place only, but in many together, how to defend on the one side, and how to offend on the other: and the great noise of many galleys fallen foul of one another, both amazed them and took away their hearing of what their directors directed. For1 they directed thick and loud on both sides, not only as art required, but out of their present eagerness: the Athenians crying out to theirs to force the passage, and now if ever valiantly to lay hold upon their safe return to their country; and the Syracusians and their confederates to theirs, how. honourable a thing to every one of them it would be to hinder their escape, and by this victory to improve every man the honour of his own country. Moreover, the commanders of either side, where they saw any man without necessity to row a–stern, would call unto the captain of the galley by his name, and ask him, the Athenians, whether he retired because he thought the most hostile land to be more their friend than the sea, which they had so long been masters of2 : the Syracusians theirs, whether when they knew that the Athenians desired earnestly by any means to fly, they would nevertheless fly from the flyers.
The diversity of passion of them that beheld theyear xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. fight from the shore.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. The Athenians fly.
71. Whilst the conflict was upon the water, the land–men had a conflict, and sided with them in their affections1 : they of the place, contending for increase of the honours they had already gotten; and the invaders, fearing a worse estate than they were already in. For the Athenians, who had their whole fortune at stake in their galleys, were in such a fear of the event as they had never been in the like: and were thereby of necessity to behold the fight upon the water with very different passions2 . For the sight being near, and not looking all of them upon one and the same part, he that saw their own side prevail took heart, and fell to calling upon the gods, that they would not deprive them of their safety: and they that saw them have the worse, not only lamented, but shrieked outright; and had their minds more subdued by the sight of what was done, than they that were present in the battle itself. Others that looked on some part where the fight was equal, because the contention continued so as they could make no judgment on it, with gesture of body on every occasion agreeable to their expectation, passed the time in a miserable perplexity3 . For they were ever within a little either of escaping, or of perishing. And one might hear in one and the same army, as long as the fight upon the water was indifferent, at one and the same time lamentations, shouts that they won, that they lost: and whatsoever else a great army in great danger is forced differently to utter. They also that were aboard suffered the same: till at last the Syracusians and their confederates, after long resistance on the other side, put them to flight, and manifestly pressing, chased them with great clamour and encouragement of their own to the shore. And the sea–forces making to the shore, some one way and some another, except only such as were lost by being far from it, escaped into the harbour1 . And the army that was upon the land, no longer now of different passions, with one and the same vehemence2 , all with shrieks and sighs unable to sustain what befel, ran part to save the galleys, part to the defence of the camp: and the residue, who were far the greatest number, fell presently to consider every one of the best way to save himself. And this was the time wherein of all other they stood in greatest fear3 , and they suffered now the like to what they had made others to suffer before at Pylus. For the Lacedæmonians then, besides4 the loss of their fleet, lost the men which they had set over into the island: and the Athenians now, without some accident not to be expected, were out of all hope to save themselves by land.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.The stratagem of Hermocrates, to hinder the escape of the Athenians.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.2d September.Gylippus goeth out with his forces, and besets the way.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
72. After this cruel battle, and many galleys and men on either side consumed, the Syracusians and their confederates, having the victory, took up the wreck and the bodies of their dead: and returning into the city, erected a trophy. But the Athenians, in respect of the greatness of their present loss, never thought upon asking leave to take up their dead or wreck: but fell immediately to consultation how to be gone1 the same night. And Demosthenes coming unto Nicias, delivered his opinion for going once again aboard, and forcing the passage, if it were possible, betimes the next morning, saying that their galleys which were yet remaining and serviceable were more than those of the enemy: for the Athenians had yet left them about sixty, and the Syracusians under fifty. But when Nicias approved the advice, and would have manned out the galleys, the mariners refused to go aboard: as being not only dejected with their defeat, but also without opinion of ever having the upperhand any more. Whereupon they now resolved all to make their retreat by land. 73. But Hermocrates of Syracuse suspecting their purpose, and apprehending it as a matter dangerous that so great an army, going away by land and sitting down in some part or other of Sicily, should there renew the war, repaired unto the magistrates: and admonished them, that it was not fit, through negligence, to suffer the enemy in the night time to go their ways, (alleging what he thought best to the purpose); but that all the Syracusians and their confederates should go out and fortify in their way, and prepossess all the narrow passages with a guard. Now they were all of them of the same opinion no less than himself, and thought it fit to be done: but they conceived withal, that the soldier now joyful and taking his ease after a sore battle, being also holiday, (for it was their day of sacrifice to Hercules2 ), would not easily be brought to obey. For through excess of joy for the victory, they would most of them, being holiday, be drinking; and look for anything rather than to be persuaded at this time to take up arms again and go out1 . But seeing the magistrates upon this consideration thought it hard to be done, Hermocrates not prevailing, of his own head contrived this. Fearing lest the Athenians should pass the worst of their way in the night, and so at ease out–go them, as soon as it grew dark he sent certain of his friends, and with them certain horsemen, to the Athenian camp: who approaching so near as to be heard speak, called to some of them to come forth, as if they had been friends of the Athenians; (for Nicias had some within that used to give him intelligence); and bade them to advise Nicias not to dislodge that night, for that the Syracusians had beset the ways; but that the next day, having had the leisure to furnish their army, they might march away. 74. Upon this advertisement they abode that night, supposing it had been without fraud2 . And afterwards, because they went not presently, they thought good to stay there that day also, to the end that the soldiers might pack up their necessaries as commodiously as they could, and begone, leaving all things else behind them save what was necessary for their bodies. But Gylippus and the Syracusians, with their land forces, went out before them: and not only stopped up the ways in the country about by which the Athenians were likely to pass, and kept a guard at the fords of brooks and rivers, but also stood embattled to receive and stop their army in such places as they thought convenient. And with their galleys they rowed to the harbour of the Athenians, and towed their galleys away from the shore. Some few whereof they burnt, as the Athenians themselves meant to have done: but the rest at their leisure, as any of them chanced in any place to drive ashore, they afterwards hauled into the city1 .
3rd September. The Athenians march away from before Syracuse by land.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
75. After this, when everything seemed unto Nicias and Demosthenes sufficiently prepared, they dislodged, being now the third day from their fight by sea. It was a lamentable departure, not only for the particulars2 , as that they marched away with the loss of their whole fleet, and that instead of their great hopes they had endangered both themselves and the state: but also for the dolorous objects which were presented both to the eye and mind of every of them in particular, in the leaving of their camp. For their dead lying unburied, when any one saw his friend on the ground, it struck him at once both with fear and grief. But the living that were3 sick or wounded, both grieved them more than the dead, and were more miserable. For with entreaties and lamentations they put them to a stand, pleading to be taken along by whomsoever they saw of their fellows or familiars, and hanging on the necks of their comrades1 , and following as far as they were able: and when the strength of their bodies failed, that they could go no further, with ah–mes! and imprecations were there left. Insomuch as the whole army, filled with tears and irresolute2 , could hardly get away; though the place were hostile, and they had suffered already, and feared to suffer in the future, more than with tears could be expressed: but3 hung down their heads, and generally blamed themselves. For they seemed nothing else but even the people of some great city expugned by siege, and making their escape. For the whole number that marched, were no less one with another than forty thousand men. Of which not only the ordinary sort carried every one what he thought he should have occasion to use; but also the men of arms and horsemen, contrary to their custom, carried their victuals under their arms, partly for want and partly for distrust of their servants, who from time to time4 ran over to the enemy; but at this time went the greatest number. And yet what they carried was not enough to serve the turn: for not a jot more provision was left remaining in the camp. Neither were the sufferings of others5 , and that equal division of misery, which nevertheless is wont to lighten it, in that we suffer with many, at this time so much as thought light in itself. And the rather, because they considered from what splendour and glory which they enjoyed before, into how low an estate they were now fallen. For never Grecian army so differed from itself. For whereas they came with a purpose to enslave others, they departed in greater fear of being made slaves themselves; and instead of prayers and hymns with which they put to sea, they went back again with the contrary maledictions1 ; and whereas they came out seamen, they departed landmen, and relied not upon their naval forces but upon their men of arms. Nevertheless, in respect of the great danger yet hanging over them, these miseries seemed all [but] tolerable.
76. Nicias, perceiving the army to be dejected, and the great change that was in it, came up to the ranks, and encouraged and comforted them as far as for the present means he was able. And as he went from part to part he exalted his voice more than ever before, both as being earnest in his exhortation, and because also he desired that the benefit of his words might reach as far as might be.
the oration of nicias to his afflicted armyyear xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Oration of Niciasyear xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Oration of Nicias
77. “Athenians and confederates, we must hope still, even in our present estate. Men have been saved ere now from greater dangers than these are. Nor ought you too much to accuse yourselves, either for your losses past, or the undeserved miseries we are now in. Even I myself, that have the advantage of none of you in strength of body, (you see how I am in my sickness), nor am I thought inferior to any of you for prosperity past, either in respect of mine own private person or otherwise, am nevertheless now in as much danger as the meanest of you. And yet I have worshipped the gods frequently according to the law, and lived justly and unblameably towards men. For which cause my hope is still confident of the future: though these calamities, as being not according to the measure of our desert, do indeed make me fear. But they may perhaps cease. For both the enemies have already had sufficient fortune: and the gods, if any of them have been displeased with our voyage, have already sufficiently punished us. Others have invaded their neighbours as well as we: and as their offence, which proceeded of human infirmity, so their punishment also hath been tolerable. And we have reason now, both to hope for more favour from the gods; (for our case deserveth their pity rather than their hatred); and also not to despair of ourselves, seeing how good and how many men of arms you are, marching together in order of battle1 . Make account of this, that wheresoever you please to sit down, there presently of yourselves you are a city: such as not any other in Sicily can either easily sustain, if you assault, or remove, if you be once seated. Now for your march, that it may be safe and orderly, look to it yourselves; making no other account any of you, but what place soever he shall be forced to fight in, the same, if he win it, must be his country and his walls2 . March you must with diligence, both night and day alike, for our victual is short: and if we can but reach some amicable territory of the Siculi, (for these are still firm to us for fear of the Syracusians), then you may think yourselves secure. Let us therefore send before to them, and bid them meet us1 , and bring us forth some supplies of victual. In sum, soldiers, let me tell you it is necessary that you be valiant; for there is no place near, where being cowards you can possibly be saved: whereas if you escape through the enemies at this time, you may every one2 see again whatsoever anywhere he most desires; and the Athenians may re–erect the great power of their city, how low soever fallen. For the men, not the walls nor the empty galleys, are the city.”
The Athenians march, and theyear xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. Syracusians assault them always as they go.4th September.5th September.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. 6th September.7th September.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
78. Nicias, as he used this hortative, went withal about the army, and where he saw any man straggle and not march in his rank, he brought him about and set him in his place. Demonsthenes having spoken to the same or like purpose, did as much to those soldiers under him. And they marched forward, those with Nicias in a square battalion, and then those with Demosthenes in the rear3 . And the men of arms received those that carried the baggage, and the other multitude, within them. When they were come to the ford of the river Anapus, they there found certain of the Syracusians and their confederates embattled against them on the bank: but these they put to flight, and having won the passage marched forward. But the Syracusian horsemen lay still upon them, and their light–armed plied them with their darts, in the flank. This day the Athenians marched forty furlongs, and lodged that night at the foot of a certain hill. The next day, as soon as it was light, they marched forwards about twenty furlongs; and descending into a certain champaign ground, encamped there, with intent both to get victual at the houses, (for the place was inhabited), and to carry water with them thence: for before them in the way they were to pass, for many furlongs together there was but little to be had. But the Syracusians in the meantime got before them, and cut off1 their passage with a wall. This was at a steep hill, on either side whereof was the channel of a torrent with steep and rocky banks: and it is called Acræum Lepas2 . The next day the Athenians went on: and the horsemen and darters of the Syracusians and their confederates, being a great number of both, pressed them so with their horses and darts, that the Athenians after long fight were compelled to retire again into the same camp; but now with less victual than before, because the horsemen would suffer them no more to straggle abroad. 79. In the morning betimes they dislodged, and put themselves on their march again, and forced their way to the hill1 which the enemy had fortified; where they found before them the Syracusian foot embattled in great length above the fortification [on the hill’s side]: for the place itself was but narrow. The Athenians coming up assaulted the wall: but the shot of the enemy, who were many, and the steepness of the hill, (for they could easily cast home from above), making them unable to take it, they retired again and rested. There happened withal some claps of thunder and a shower of rain, as usually falleth out at this time of the year, being now near autumn: which further disheartened the Athenians, who thought that also this did tend to their destruction. Whilst they lay still, Gylippus and the Syracusians sent part of their army to raise a wall at their backs, in the way they had come: but this the Athenians hindered, by sending against them part of theirs. After this, the Athenians retiring with their whole army into a more champaign ground2 , lodged there that night: and the next day went forward again. And the Syracusians with their darts, from every part round about, wounded many of them; and when the Athenians charged, they retired, and when they retired, the Syracusians charged; and that especially upon the hindmost, that by putting to flight a few they might terrify the whole army. And for a good while the Athenians in this manner withstood them: and afterwards, being gotten five or six furlongs forward, they rested in the plain: and the Syracusians went from them to their own camp.
Nicias and Demosthenes rise in the night, and march a contrary way: Nicias foremost, and in order; but Demosthenes in the rear, slower and more in disorder.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4. 8th September.
80. This night it was concluded by Nicias and Demosthenes, seeing the miserable estate of their army, and the want already of all necessaries, and that many of their men in many assaults of the enemy were wounded, to lead away the army as far as they possibly could1 : not the way they purposed before, but toward the sea; which was the contrary way to that which the Syracusians guarded. Now this whole journey of the army lay not towards Catana, but towards the other side of Sicily, Camarina and Gela, and the cities, as well Grecian as barbarian, that way. When they had made many fires accordingly, they marched in the night: and (as usually it falleth out in all armies, and most of all in the greatest, to be subject to affright and terror, especially marching by night and in hostile ground, and the enemy near) were in confusion2 . The army of Nicias leading the way, kept together and got far afore; but that of Demosthenes, which was the greater half, was both severed from the rest and marched more disorderly. Nevertheless, by the morning betimes they got to the sea–side, and entering into the Helorine way they went on towards the river Cacyparis, to the end when they came thither to march upwards along the river’s side through the heart of the country. For they hoped that this way the Siculi, to whom they had sent, would meet them. When they came to the river, here also they found a certain guard of the Syracusians stopping their passage with a wall and with piles. When they had quickly forced this guard, they passed the river, and again marched on to another river, called Erineus: for that was the way which the guides directed them1 .
Demosthenes overtaken by the enemy, resisteth as long as he can, and is taken.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.Demosthenes yieldeth.
81. In the meantime the Syracusians and their confederates, as soon as day appeared, and that they knew the Athenians were gone, most of them accusing Gylippus as if he had let them go with his consent, followed them with speed the same way, which they easily understood they were gone; and about dinner time overtook them. When they were come up to those with Demosthenes, who were the hindmost, and had marched more slowly and disorderly than the other part had done, as having been put into disorder in the night, they fell upon them and fought. And the Syracusian horsemen hemmed them in and forced them up into a narrow compass, the more easily now1 , because they were divided from the rest. Now the army of Nicias was gone by this time one hundred and fifty furlongs2 further on. For he led away the faster, because he thought not that3 their safety consisted in staying and fighting voluntarily; but rather in a speedy retreat, and then only fighting when they could not choose. But Demosthenes was both in greater and more continual toil, in respect that he marched in the rear, and consequently was pressed by the enemy4 : and seeing the Syracusians pursuing him, he went not on, but put his men in order to fight, till by his stay he was encompassed, and reduced, he and the Athenians with him, into great disorder. For being shut up5 within a place enclosed round with a wall, and which on either side had a way [open] amongst abundance of olive trees; they were charged from all sides at once with the enemy’s shot. For the Syracusians assaulted them in this kind, and not in close battle, upon very good reason. For to hazard battle against men desperate, was not so much for theirs, as for the Athenians’ advantage. Besides, after so manifest successes, they spared themselves somewhat; because they were loth to wear themselves out6 before the end of the business; and thought by this kind of fight to subdue and take them alive. 82. Whereupon, after they had plied the Athenians and their confederates all day long from every side with shot, and saw that with their wounds and other annoyance they were already tired: Gylippus and the Syracusians and their confederates first made proclamation, that if any of the islanders would come over to them, they should be at liberty. And the men of some few cities went over. And by and by after, they made agreement with all the rest that were with Demosthenes; that they should deliver up their arms, and none of them be put to death, neither violently, nor by bonds, nor by want of the necessities of life. And they all yielded, to the number of six thousand men: and the silver they had, they laid it all down, casting it into the hollow of targets; and filled with the same four targets. And these men they carried presently into the city.
9th September.The offer of Nicias to redeem his army not accepted.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.10th September.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.10th September.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
Nicias, and those that were with him, attained the same day to the river Erineus; which passing, he caused his army to sit down upon a certain ground more elevate than the rest. 83. Where the Syracusians the next day overtook and told him, that those with Demosthenes had yielded themselves; and willed him to do the like. But he, not believing it, took truce for a horseman to enquire the truth. Upon return of the horseman, and word that they had yielded, he sent a herald to Gylippus and the Syracusians: saying, that he was content to compound on the part of the Athenians, to repay whatsoever money the Syracusians had laid out, so that his army might be suffered to depart; and that till payment of the money were made, he would deliver them hostages, Athenians, every hostage rated as a talent. But Gylippus and the Syracusians refusing the condition, charged them; and having hemmed them in, plied them with shot, as they had done the other army, from every side till evening. This part of the army was also pinched with the want both of victual and other1 necessaries. Nevertheless observing the quiet of the night, they were about to march. But no sooner took they their arms up, than the Syracusians perceiving it gave the alarm. Whereupon the Athenians finding themselves discovered, sat down again: all but three hundred, who breaking by force through the guards, marched as far as they could that night2 . 84. And Nicias, when it was day, led his army forward; the Syracusians and their confederates still pressing them in the same manner, shooting and darting at them from every side. The Athenians hasted to get the river Asinarus; not only because they were urged on every side by the assault of the many horsemen and other multitude, and thought to be more at ease when they were over the river, but out of weariness also and desire to drink. When they were come unto the river, they rushed in without any order, every man striving who should first get over. But the pressing of the enemy, made the passage now more difficult3 . For being forced to take the river in heaps, they fell upon and trampled one another under their feet; and falling amongst the spears and utensils of the army, some perished presently; and others catching hold one of another1 , were carried away together down the stream. And [not only] the Syracusians standing along the farther bank, being a steep one, killed the Athenians with their shot from above, as they were many of them greedily drinking, and troubling one another in the hollow of the river: but the Peloponnesians came also down and slew them with their swords, and those especially that were in the river2 . And suddenly the water was corrupted: nevertheless they drunk it, foul as it was with blood and mire; and many also fought for it. 85. In the end, when many dead lay heaped in the river, and the army was utterly defeated, part at the river, and part (if any gat away) by the horsemen; Nicias yielded himself unto Gylippus, (having more confidence in him than in the Syracusians): to be for his own person at the discretion of him and the Lacedæmonians, and3 no further slaughter to be made of the soldiers. Gylippus from thenceforth commanded to take prisoners. So the residue, except such as were hidden from them, (which were many), they carried alive into the city. They sent also to pursue the three hundred which brake through their guards in the night; and took them. That which was left together of this army to the public, was not much1 ; but they that were conveyed away by stealth were very many: and all Sicily was filled with them, because they were not taken, as those with Demosthenes were, by composition. Besides, a great part [of these] were slain; for the slaughter [at this time] was exceeding great, none greater in all the Sicilian war2 . They were also not a few that died in those other assaults in their march. Nevertheless many also escaped, some then presently, and some by running away after servitude; the rendezvous of whom was Catana.
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
86. The Syracusians and their confederates being come together, returned with their prisoners, all they could get, and with the spoil, into the city. As for all other the prisoners of the Athenians and their confederates, they put them into the quarries3 , as the safest custody. But Nicias and Demosthenes they killed, against Gylippus his will. For Gylippus thought the victory would be very honourable, if, over and above all his other success, he could carry home both the generals of the enemy to Lacedæmon. And it fell out that one of them, Demosthenes, was their greatest enemy, for the things he had done in the island and at Pylus; and the other, upon the same occasion, their greatest friend. For Nicias had earnestly laboured to have those prisoners which were taken in the island, to be set at liberty; by persuading the Athenians to the peace. For which cause the Lacedæmonians were inclined to love him: and it was principally in confidence of that, that he rendered himself to Gylippus. But certain Syracusians, as it is reported, some of them for fear (because they had been tampering with him) lest being put to the torture he might bring them into trouble, whereas now they were well enough; and others, especially the Corinthians, fearing he might get away by corruption of one or other, being wealthy, and work them some mischief afresh, having persuaded their confederates to the same, killed him. For these, or for causes near unto these, was he put to death: being the man that, of all the Grecians of my time, had least deserved to be brought to so great a degree of misery1 .
year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.year xix. A. C. 413. Ol. 91. 4.
87. As for those in the quarries, the Syracusians handled them at first but ungently. For in this hollow place2 , first the sun and suffocating air (being without roof) annoyed them one way: and on the other side, the nights coming upon that heat, autumnal and cold, put them, by reason of the alteration, into strange diseases: especially doing all things, for want of room, in one and the same place; and the carcasses of such as died of their wounds, or change1 [of air] or other like accident, lying together there on heaps. Also the smell was intolerable: besides that they were afflicted with hunger and thirst. For for eight months together, they allowed no more but to every man a cotyle2 of water by the day, and two cotyles of corn. And whatsoever misery is probable that men in such a place may suffer, they suffered. Some seventy days they lived thus thronged. Afterwards, retaining the Athenians, and such Sicilians and Italians as were of the army with them, they sold the rest. How many were taken in all, it is hard to say exactly: but they were seven thousand at the fewest. And this was the greatest action that happened in all this war, or at all, that we have heard of amongst the Grecians3 : being to the victors most glorious, and most calamitous to the vanquished. For being wholly overcome in every kind, and receiving small loss in nothing, their army, and fleet, and all [that ever they had], perished (as they use to say) with an universal destruction1 . Few of many returned home. And thus passed the business concerning Sicily.
[1 ][These Locrians, who take their name from the promontory Epizephyrium, were for the most part descendants of the Ozolian and Opuntian Locrians: but Syracusans contributed largely to the foundation of their city; besides which the Spartans are said to have colonized Locri in the first Messenian war. It may therefore be considered as a Doric state: its constitution was oligarchical, and in this state as well as Opus are found the hundred families, which by virtue of their nobility enjoyed a large share of the government: their dialect moreover was Doric. They were governed by the laws given to them by Zaleucus about 650 A. C.: the earliest written code which existed in Greece. See Muel. iii. 11.]
[1 ][“And certain of the Sikeli”.]
[1 ][“For they understood that he was already near”.]
[1 ][“And he chanced to come at the critical moment, at which the Athenians had already finished a double wall reaching to the great harbour, of seven or eight stadia: save” &c.]
[2 ][That is, the rock which separated Tycha and Neapolis.]
[1 ][πρὸς τὸ ἐγκάρ̧σιον: “towards the cross wall of the Syracusans”. that is, so as to meet the former cross wall, which had been taken by the Athenians, vi. 100. Göl.—“towards the cross wall of the Athenians”: that is, their wall of circumvallation, which ran across this new wall. Thirl.—“in a cross direction”: that is, across the Athenian wall. Arn.]
[2 ][“Retreated hastily”.]
[3 ]The lesser haven, [Laccius].
[1 ][“And his fighting galleys”.]
[2 ][“At Polichne near the Olympieium”. Goeller.]
[3 ][“Using the stones which the Athenians had before laid there for themselves: and kept the Syracusans and their allies continually drawn out and in battle array in advance of the wall. And the Athenians, on the other side, &c.”]
[1 ][“The wall which was now drawing near to theirs”.]
[2 ][“And proceeding, would make it all one to the Athenians whether they fought and conquered, or whether they fought not”: that is, victory would no longer be of any use to them. Goell.]
[1 ][“Helped the Syracusans to build up to the cross wall”: that is, the wall of the Athenians, which crossed the Syracusan wall. In the last chapter, the Syracusans are said to have already brought their wall beyond the Athenian wall: which Goeller explains, by supposing that in their haste they built the extremity at the Athenian line first, and the Corinthians now helped them to fill up the interval.]
[1 ][Bekker &c., μνήμης: “of memory”. Goell. Arn. vulgo, γνώμης.]
[1 ][There were three different secretaries. The secretary of the Prytaneium, who was chosen by lot, and changed with each Prytaneia: he had charge of the votes and proceedings of the council. Another was elected by the council, to take charge of the laws. The third, the one here meant, was chosen by the people, and read documents, when necessary, to the assembly and the council. Herm. § 127.]
[2 ][“In other messages”. In his last edition Bekker has included in brackets the word πολλαῖς. Goeller observes that the Athenians had not yet been twelve months in Sicily; and the passage being four months (see vi. 21), Nicias could scarcely in that time have sent many messages.—Consistently with ch. 8, the word ἐπιστολαῖς must be taken in the sense of oral despatches. Thirl.]
[3 ][“We now sit still: (for we cannot have the use of our whole army &c.): and they have built” &c.]
[1 ][“And let none think it so great a matter that they should attack us even by sea. For though” &c.]
[2 ][“Are now leaky”.]
[3 ][διαψῦξαι: naves subductas siccare. Hemsterh. ad Lucian. Cont.]
[4 ][“Keep us in continual expectation of an assault. And they are manifestly practising themselves; and it is in their own choice” &c.]
[1 ][θεράποντες. “ministri nautarum”: sic θεράποντες militum sunt, iv. 16. Goeller.]
[2 ]These were they which Nicias, upon the taking of Hyccara, made sale of himself. [See vi. 62.]
[1 ][“Nor get supplies for the ships from any place, (which the enemy &c.), but our stock in hand and our daily consumption are limited to what we brought with us”. Arn.]
[2 ][“Consideration: for I &c.”]
[1 ][Haack. Popp. Thirl. Arn. “120”.—Goell. Bekk. “20”.]
[1 ][“In ships of burthen”.]
[2 ][“The first breach of the peace was in them” (the Athenians).]
[3 ][“Rather from their own side”.]
[1 ][For this expedition, see vi. 105.]
[2 ][“Very early indeed”.]
[1 ][“About 120 stadia”.]
[2 ][νεοδαμωδῶν: see v. 34, note.]
[1 ][“Thirty galleys”.]
[2 ][“With order to go also to Argos, and summon on shipboard, according to the league, the hoplitæ of the Argives”.]
[3 ][“As many of the islanders as they could get from all sides, and from the rest of their allies, their subjects, getting whatsoever they might have of use for the war”.]
[1 ][“They (the Syracusans) too, may in like manner strike the same fear into them”.]
[2 ][He marched out of the city by Epipolæ, descended into the plain in the rear of the Athenian lines, crossed the Anapus, and came upon Plemmyrium along the table–land extending from the sea to the fort and temple of Olympieium. Arn.]
[1 ][“From the dock–yard”.]
[2 ][“And the men in the firsttaken fort, so many at least as escaped to certain boats and merchant–ships, with some difficulty reached the camp: for the Syracusans at this time having the best of the fight with the ships in the great haven, they were chased by one nimble galley”.—“The camp”, that is, the camp which the Athenians had in the double–wall from the crag of Temenites to the sea, where, as appears in chap 11, was stationed a part of their army. And to keep up the communication between Plemmyrium and the double–wall, they still kept a naval camp in the bay (μυχῷ) of the great haven near Dascon: for that all their ships did not remove to Plemmyrium, appears from eh. 4 and 53. To that naval camp first of all, therefore, betook themselves the fugitives from Plemmyrium; and thence to the double–wall. Goell.]
[1 ][“Their old (νεωσοίκων) docks under cover”: wherein ships were built or repaired. νεώρ̧ιον (ch. 22) the “dock–yard”: ἐπίνειον, a “town having a dock–yard”. See ii. 84, i. 30, and the scholiast. Goell.]
[1 ][μυριοϕόρον: “of the burthen of ten thousand talents”; or, according to those who use the form μυριαμϕόρον, of ten thousand amphoræ: the burthen of ships being reckoned in both talents and amphoræ.]
[2 ][“Dragged them up”.]
[3 ][“The covered docks”.]
[4 ][“So that it was dangerous to sail near them, lest not seeing them one should be stranded as on a rock”.]
[5 ][That is to say, in Sicily.]
[1 ][“To where is the temple of Apollo, opposite to Cythera of Laconia”. Cythera was also the name of a town in Cyprus.]
[1 ][“Of the Thracian sword–men of the Dian race”. See ii. 96.]
[2 ][“With garrisons that infested the country by turns”.]
[1 ][“And the city was obliged to bring from abroad all things alike: and instead of a city &c. For the Athenians were harrassed both summer and winter, with watching on the battlements” &c.]
[1 ][The exhaustion of her allies, brought about by the extraordinary war–taxes imposed over and above the standing tribute, obliged Athens at this time to commute all their taxes into one of a twentieth of all imports and exports. Herm. § 166.—This continued to be paid to the end of the war. Goell.]
[2 ][“And in the evening going over” &c.]
[3 ][“At day–break he cometh to the city, being no great one”. Bekk. &c., οὐ μεγαλῃ: vulgo οὐ deest.]
[1 ][“Other no small disorder”.]
[2 ][Popp. Goell. Arn.: ἔξω τοξεύματος, “out of bow–shot”: vulgo et Bekk.: ἔξω ζεύγματος, “beyond the bridge over the Euripus”. — The corrupt (the latter) reading maintained its hold on the MSS. the more easily, that in the time of the lower empire there was a bridge over the Euripus, which was naturally called ζεῦγμα. But it is absurd to suppose that the Athenians would have made Eubœa accessible by land, when it was so important to her to keep it under the protection of her navy. Arnold.—“For in the rest of the retreat” &c. Their loss was greatest in getting aboard: not great in the rest of the retreat, because they behaved therein not amiss.]
[1 ][μέρος τι: “a considerable part of the whole”. Goell. Arn.]
[2 ][“To Corcyra”. Bekker &c. ἐπὶ: vulgo, ἐκ.]
[3 ][“Arriving at”.]
[1 ][“He met with Eurymedon returning from Sicily; who had at the time before–mentioned in winter taken the supply of money to the army, and had been sent back: who told him &c.” He was despatched to Sicily at the winter solstice (see ch. 16): his arrival in Sicily is not noticed. Goeller says it was now the end of June: which gives six months for the voyage to Sicily and back]
[2 ][“And were about to fight”.]
[3 ][They send away ten galleys “with Conon: and go themselves about completing the assembling of their army”. The galleys at Naupactus were originally 20: see ch. 17.]
[1 ][Selinus and Himera are particulary meant, whose route lay along the southern coast. Arn.]
[2 ][“Sent them a navy to the number of five ships”.]
[3 ][“Almost all Sicily”.]
[1 ][“Having their army from Corcyra and the continent now ready, crossed the Ionian sea with &c.”—Iapygia embraced the southeastern part of Italy, according to the more ancient writers, from Metapontum, or including that city, from the Siris to mount Garganus, or as the Greeks called it, mount Drion; which seems to have been the southern limit of Ombrica in their early geography. This extensive country is said by the Greeks to have been inhabited by three distinct tribes, the Messapians, the Peucetians, and the Daunians: by the first, on the peninsula to the east of Tarentum; by the Peucetians, to the north of them along the coast from Brundusium to Barium; between which and mount Garganus lay the Daunians. The name Iapygia is the same with Apulia: the Latin termination icus in Appicus, which is the same as Apulus, being contracted in Oscan into ix; thus making Apix. No good Roman writer would ever say Iapygia instead of Apulia: nor any good Greek writer the reverse. Niebuhr.]
[2 ][Metapontum was founded by a body of Achæans, at the invitation of Sybaris: herself also of Achæan origin and mistress of the country afterwards called Lucania, and the founder of Posidonia (Pæstum) and Laos. By the industrious cultivation of her highly fertile territory Metapontum afterwards attained to extraordinary wealth. She became united with Sybaris and Croton and their four colonies in a league similar to the Achæan league. The extraordinary city Sybaris, which has received opprobrium probably altogether unmerited, at all events much exaggerated, was in 510 A.C. utterly destroyed by Croton: the first irremediable wound sustained by Magna Græcia, followed by a bloody revolution in which Croton wore herself out.—The Messapians, who had extended their dominion far into Œnotria, had become before the present time the object of jealousy and alarm to the neighbouring tribes: and the Peucetians and Daunians, leagued with the Tarentines, had destroyed their power. They were still the enemies of the Tarentines, and as such therefore the friends of the Athenians. Niebuhr. See also Muell. ii. 3.]
[1 ][“About the same time the Peloponnesians in the twenty–five galleys, who to cover the passage to Sicily of the transports were lying opposite to the galleys in Naupactus, having made ready for action and manned some additional galleys, so as they were &c.”]
[2 ][That is, the Achaians; who had now all sided with Sparta. Arn.]
[1 ][“Were struck and stove in on the bows by the heads of the Corithian galleys, which had their epotides made stouter for this very object”. The epotides, literally earcaps, were two beams projecting from the bows for holding the beak.]
[2 ][“Thought they had the better, if they had not &c.; and the Athenians thought &c.”]
[1 ][The Crotoniatæ, according to Herodotus (viii. 47), were by race Achæans: but Mueller observes that the colony must have been established under the authority of Sparta; Apollo and Hercules, the Doric god and hero, being both worshipped there with especial honour, and the early constitution being also Doric. Croton was the soil whereon Pythagoras made the experiment of his real aristocracy. The single galley sent by this state to assist the Greeks at the battle of Salamis, was the sole instance of support given to their cause by any state beyond the limits of Greece: Herod. ibid.—Thurii was a scion of Sybaris, also an Achæan colony and contemporaneous with Croton (A.C. 710). About sixty years after the overthrow and destruction of their city by Croton, the descendants of the exiled Sybarites succeeded in again forming a settlement on its site: but in a few years were again forced to fly by the jealousy of Croton. The exiles now applied for help to Sparta and Athens: and by the latter state were favourably received. Under the usual guidance of an oracle, the new city, called Thurii from a fountain which rose there, was built with geometrical regularity near the former site of Sybaris. Amongst the new settlers were Herodotus the historian, and Lysias the orator. The Sybarite exiles, however, not being content to live on terms of equality with the new settlers, dissensions arose, in which the former are said to have been exterminated. The remaining Thurians then invited adventurers to join them from Greece on terms of perfect equality. In imitation of the Athenians, they divided themselves into ten tribes, named after the different nations of which the colony was composed. Of these, four represented Athens, Ionia, Eubœa, and the islands; three Peloponnessus; and three the north of Greece. See Thirl. ch. xviii.]
[1 ][“And placed in the bows thick epotides, supported by beams running along them to the sides of the galley, six cubits long both within and without”: that is, six cubits within the galley, and six without.]
[1 ][περίπλουν, διέκπλουν: see i. 49, note.]
[2 ][“If driven back, could make no anacrousis save to the land”:—“that, namely, opposite their own camp”. The Syracusans were in possession of all the rest of the shore of the harbour: and the short distance of the line of battle from the shore would not admit of performing the anacrousis (see i. 49, note) with proper effect.]
[3 ][“Wherein to execute the anacrousis”.]
[1 ][“The Syracusans having thus adapted their plans to their present knowledge and power”. What in ordinary cases would be bad seamanship, was well suited to the case of the Syracusans. Arnold, Goeller.]
[2 ][“Against so much of it as fronted the city”.]
[3 ][“And straight hereupon”.]
[1 ][“Such as had any damage: and moored ships of burthen without the piles &c.” It appears that there were several of these ships.]
[2 ][“Two plethra”: see vi. 102, n.]
[3 ][“The same manner of attack”.]
[1 ][πρύμναν κρουσάμενοι: “retreating”. ἀνακρούσασθαι, to row astern in order to charge again; πρύμναν κρούσασθαι, in order to retreat.]
[2 ][Vulgo, ἠμύνοντο: Bekk. om.]
[1 ][Through the port–holes, which were large enough to admit at least a man’s head: see Herod. v. 33.]
[2 ][“From the beams”. These beams seem to have been of considerable size, and the whole engine powerful enough to break clean through any galley on which the dolphin fell. — The ships were moored, not abreast, but one after another in two files. Goell.]
[3 ][“With the foreign ships”.]
[1 ][“The cross wall of the Syracusans”. Bekker &c., παρατειχίσματος: vulgo, ἀποτειχίσματος. Thucydides carefully distinguishes the former word, by which he always means the cross wall of the Syracusans, from the latter, which he applies to the Athenian wall of circumvallation. See Lucian. de Conscr. Hist. c. 38. Goell.]
[1 ][“Advancing”. At Euryelus they were already at the summit of the heights.—The fortification taken was apparently on the very crest of the slope, on or near the spot which the Athenians had formerly fortified at Labdalum. Arn.]
[2 ][“One of the Syracusans, one of the other Sicilians”, &c. The three camps appear to have been formed immediately under the walls of the city. The six hundred Syracusans were probably stationed higher on the slope, perhaps at the point where the cross wall terminated. Arn. Goell.]
[3 ][ἐς τὸ πρ̧όσθεν: that is, they marched on without staying to take the cross wall.—ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης, “in their first course”, is unexplained.]
[1 ][“And desiring”.]
[2 ][“Could any one have known” &c.: apte ad hunc locum. Goeller, Arnold.]
[3 ][“Others, not worsted”.]
[4 ][“For all before them, the flight having taken place, was already in confusion, and it was hard &c.”]
[1 ][“When they were once thrown into confusion, falling” &c.—The pæan varied according to the tribe. All Dorians, as Spartans, Argives, Corinthians, and Syracusans, had the same. Muell. ii. 6.]
[1 ][That is to say, at Euryelus: see ch. 2.]
[2 ][“To bring over the city, and induce it to send succours”. ὑπάγεσθαι is well explained by Reiske, “perducere veluti vitulum ostensa fronde”. Arn. Goell.]
[3 ][“To the rest of Sicily”. Bekker &c., ἐς τὴν ἄλλην Σικελίαν: vulgo, ἐς Σ.]
[2 ][“Demosthenes therefore was of opinion &c: but, as he was minded even when the attempt was hazarded at Epipolæ, so, since it had failed, he gave his vote for losing no time in going off, whilst the sea” &c.]
[3 ][“Was unwilling in terms to confess their weakness”.]
[1 ][“For they would wear them out by want of money; especially being now, with their present fleet, more decidedly masters at sea”.]
[2 ][“Cry out that their affairs were desperate”.]
[3 ][“That he at any rate”.]
[4 ][ἰδίᾳ: “in his own person”.]
[1 ][ἐν περιπολίοις: see vi. 45, n.]
[2 ][“They were badly off now, and in course of time would not know how to get on”.]
[3 ][“And as soon as ever they fail in the pay of any part of their forces, be it never so inconsiderable, their affairs are ruined”.]
[4 ][“In saying this, Nicias’ reliance was upon his knowing” &c. It is manifest from the last chapter, that he did not disclose his intrigues with the party in Syracuse.]
[5 ][Nicias relied on his knowing &c: “and was encouraged, as on the former occasion, by his confidence in the fleet”. Goell. Duker says of this passage, “hæc mihi ænigmata sunt”.]
[6 ][“They must rise and go” &c.]
[1 ][“Whence with their landmen they might overrun much of the country and subsist themselves, whilst they weakened their enemies by wasting their territory”. Bekker &c., θρέψονται: vulgo, τρέψονται.]
[2 ][“The confidence”.]
[3 ][“The party that was for friendship with the Syracusans had been driven out”. Goell. Arn.]
[1 ][A people to the west of Barca, and to the north of the Auschisæ. Herod. iv. 171.]
[2 ][“Their own affairs”.]
[3 ][That is to say, he did not wish a council of war to be held, at which the taxiarchs and trierarchs would be present, and the question decided by open voting. And the generals being αὐτοκράτορες, (having absolute authority), might act on their own responsibility. Arn.]
[4 ][“Looking upon it as ominous, called” &c. Pericles, who had gained from Anaxagoras some more correct notions of the heavenly bodies than were common in his time, had ventured on the occasion of the expedition about Peloponnesus in 430 (ii. 56) to disregard an eclipse of the sun: and explained its real cause, by showing that the same effect was produced by a cloak held up between the sun and the eyes of the bystanders. But the nature of an eclipse of the moon was still less generally understood. Unfortunately the astronomer Meton did not accompany the expedition, having, it is said, feigned madness to avoid it: and one of the most intelligent among the soothsayers, Stilbides, was lately dead. Still, if none of the rest could have been found to declare, as appears to have been the opinion of Philochorus, one learned on those questions (Plut. Nicias), that for a retreating army the veiling of one of the celestial luminaries was an auspicious sign, three days’ delay was commonly held sufficient. But the soothsayers of Nicias enjoined that the retreat should be deferred for three times nine days, that is, till the next full moon. See Thirl. ch. 26. There is some difference of opinion whether “three”, or “three times nine days” is the proper reading: founded mainly upon a passage of Diodorus.]
[1 ][“And after essaying themselves”. Bekker &c., ἀνεπειρῶντο: some MSS., ἀνεπαύοντο.]
[1 ][“And putting to flight the rest, beat them back” &c.]
[2 ][“And this day, the Syracusans retreated. But the next day they came out with their galleys seventy–six in number; and at the same time marched against the fortifications with their infantry. And the Athenians set forth” &c.]
[3 ][“To the causeway”.—χηλὴ is here not an artificial mole, but one of the prominencies forming and embracing the bay near Dascon. Goell.—After following the citywall for some way, till it turned off in an inland direction, the χηλὴ then continued along the edge of the harbour: forming a sort of narrow causeway between the sea on one side, and the marshy ground on the other. And the ground being thus narrow, the Syracusans, as soon as they were beaten, were naturally driven off the causeway into the marshy ground on their right–hand, called the marsh of Lysimeleia. Arn.]
[1 ][“But the Tyrseni, who &c, made head: and charging the first they met, forced &c”.]
[2 ][“Some few”. Bekker &c., οὐ πολλοὺς: vulgo, om. οὐ.]
[3 ][“Even their fleet”.]
[1 ][“Were utterly out of heart, and great was their dismay: but far greater still their repenting of the voyage”.]
[2 ][See vi. 36, note.]
[3 ][“Might no longer” &c.]
[4 ][“Should be straightway one part freed”.]
[1 ][“Having opened the way to the greatest part of it themselves. For the greatest number” &c. προκόψαντες, a metaphor taken from cutting a way before one through a forest. Arn. Goell.]
[2 ][“For so many as follows, on both sides, against Sicily and for it, those with the Athenians to help win, and those with the Syracusans to help save it, came to the war at Syracuse, not siding with each other according to justice or kindred, but rather as profit” &c.]
[3 ][Lemnos and Imbros (Herod. v. 26) were in the reign of Darius at the close of the sixth century A.C. still occupied by the Pelasgians who migrated thither from Attica (see vi. 88, note). Lemnos was colonized with Athenians by Miltiades some years before the battle of Marathon (Herod. vi. 140): and Imbros may have been colonized by him in his flight from the Chersonese to Athens (ibid. 41).]
[1 ][“And moreover the Hestiæans, dwelling in Hestiæa in Eubœa: all of the same language” &c.—For the Æginetæ, see ii. 27: and for the Hestiæans, see i. 114.]
[2 ][See iv. 54, note. Herodotus (viii. 46) reckons the Styrians amongst the Dryopes.]
[3 ][“Yet at any rate as Ionians against Dorians they still followed”. Popp. Goell. Arn. Ἴωνές γε: vulgo et Bekk. τε.]
[4 ][See iii. 2, note.]
[5 ][καταντικρὺ: “being outright Bœotians”: not like the Methymnæans, descended from a common stock, but actual Bœotians themselves. Arn. But see iii. 61, note.]
[1 ][For Rhodes, see iii. 104, note: Cythera, iv. 53, 54.]
[2 ][“As they pretended”.
[3 ][See iv. 66–74.]
[4 ][“Each man’s present particular interest”. Bekker &c., ὠϕελίας: vulgo deest. Valla has “utilitatis”.]
[1 ][“Were also mercenary”.]
[2 ][“That the Cretans, who &c., unwillingly for their hire, came not with, but against their colony”. Bekker &c., ἄκοντας: Valla, ultro.—“And some of the Acarnanians, for love of gain but more for love of Demosthenes” &c.]
[3 ][“Of Italiots the Thurians and Metapontians, as having been overtaken in such necessities at that time, necessities belonging to seditious times, went with them”. Necessities such, as to force them to fly their country and join the Athenians. Arn. Goell.]
[4 ][“Of the Sikeli”. Bekker &c., σικελῶν: vulgo, σικελιωτῶν.]
[1 ][“The Sikeli alone, all” &c.]
[2 ][“Sent them a Spartan general, but the rest neodamodes and helots: (now neodamode is equivalent to freeman): then aided” &c. See Neodamodes, v. 34, note.]
[3 ][Sicyon was reduced by Sparta in 418: see v. 81.]
[1 ][“And their allies”. Bekker &c.]
[2 ][ταξίαρχοι: see iv. 4, note. It seems to be the opinion of Schœmann, as cited by Goeller, that the taxiarch of the tribe commanded the hoplitæ of his tribe in the field.]
[3 ][“No greater than they needs must for their baggage and their sick, near” &c. By the “camp above”, is meant the upper extremity of the Athenian lines, where they extended to the κρ̧ημνός, the cliff of Epipolæ, and were most distant from the sea–shore. The Athenians were now, as observed by Nicias, more like a besieged than a besieging army: the enemy having a free communication with the surrounding country by means of Epipolæ, whilst their cavalry, with a safe retreat at Olympieium, could act on the rear of the Athenian lines, and prevent them from getting provisions. Arn. Goell.]
[1 ][“And such a purpose”: of gaining the victory, not by skill, but by the landsmen on board. Arnold, Goeller.]
[2 ][“And first of all exhorted”. Bekker &c., τε: vulgo, τότε.]
[1 ][“And we ought not to be discouraged”.]
[2 ][“We have also devised what was called for to fit our ships to encounter the thick epotides of the enemy, which did most &c.”.]
[1 ][“If the marines do” &c.]
[2 ][“In us”. Bekker &c.]
[3 ][“And to bear in mind that pleasure, how worthy it is to be preserved, that being taken” &c. This is addressed to the metœci, who formed a large part of the seamen of the Athenian navy. Of these the ἰσοτελεῖς stood nearly on the footing of Athenian citizens (see ii. 31, note). But that they received more protection from injury than the citizens, or were in any respect better off, seems to be considered as an exaggeration. They had not in fact the full rights of citizens.]
[1 ][Undergone “what you have”.]
[1 ][“Of having overcome the strongest and being therefore” &c.]
[2 ]ἀκόντισται χερσαῖοι. Such as being upon land could use their darts, but not tottering upon the water.
[3 ][“Sitting still”: that is, motionless as they will be. Goell. Arn.]
[4 ]That is, according to the motion of the galley, not steadily as upon land.
[5 ][“And very easy to injure with the devices adopted by us”: that is, the thick epotides &c.]
[1 ][“Most lawful against enemies, to justify, as vengeance taken upon a future aggressor, the satiating of the mind’s desire, but also that we shall have the opportunity of avenging ourselves on our enemy, said to be the sweetest” &c. Goell.]
[2 ]The name of subject.
[1 ][“But that it were an honourable struggle, to effect, as is likely we shall, what we intend, to be revenged &c. And those are the rarest of hazards, wherein” &c.]
[2 ][ἐκπεπληγμένος: terrified.]
[3 ][“Their country, the most free in the word, and the uncontrolled power in it of all men” &c.:—“not caring though they seem to utter things stale, although on all occasions the same” &c. Goell.]
[1 ][“Putting forth of their own station”.—The words, “and to the passage” &c., are considered by Poppo and Goeller to be an interpolation: it not appearing that there was any such passage, and the word διέκπλουν, in Thucydides, always meaning some naval evolution.]
[2 ][“Of the mouth of the harbour”.]
[1 ][ὁπότε, “whenever”.]
[2 ][“Also the marines, when &c., did their best that the service on deck might not be behind the rest of the skill displayed”.]
[3 ][“The (ἐμβολαὶ) charges on the enemy’s side, owing to there being no room for anacrousis or diecplous, were few: whilst the (προσβολαὶ) running aboard of each other, as one galley might chance to fall foul of another in flight or attack, were far more frequent”. See i. 49, note.]
[4 ][ἐπ’ αὐτὴν: “against it”.]
[1 ][“Of what their keleustæ said. For loud was the exhorting, and loud the shouting on both sides amongst the keleustæ”. See ii. 84, n.]
[2 ][“Which they had with no small labour made themselves masters of”. Bekk. Goell. Arn., οὐ δι’ὀλίγου πόνου: vulgo, om. πόνου.]
[1 ][“During this doubtful conflict on the water, the army on the shore of both sides had also their struggle and contention of mind”.]
[2 ][“And were thereby” &c. Considered to be a corrupt passage.]
[3 ][“Moving their bodies in their extreme fear in sympathy with their thoughts, passed their time as ill as the worst of them”. Arn.]
[1 ][“All that were not taken on the water, reaching the shore escaped to the camp”.]
[2 ][“The same impulse”.]
[4 ][“By the loss &c., lost also” &c.]
[1 ][That is, how to retreat by land. “But Demosthenes” &c.]
[2 ][As Dorians, the Syracusans worshipped the Dorian hero Hercules.]
[1 ][“They would most of them be drinking in the feast: and that they might expect to persuade them to any thing rather than at this time to take up arms &c.”]
[2 ][“And having so said, they went their way: and the Athenians reported what they had heard to their generals; who suspecting no fraud, upon this report abode that night”.]
[1 ][“And the rest at their leisure and without opposition they towed away wheresoever each had drifted, and hauled” &c.]
[2 ][“Not on one account only”.]
[3 ][“That were left behind, both wounded and sick, were to the living far more grievous than the dead”.]
[1 ][“Departing comrades”.]
[2 ][“And in this straight”.]
[3 ][“And besides their grief there was a general dissatisfaction with themselves: for they seemed” &c.—“of a city expugned, and that no small one. For the whole number that marched” &c.]
[4 ][“Who before this, but now in greatest numbers, ran over” &c. It must be borne in mind, that the Greek soldier did not, like the Roman, carry his own provisions.]
[5 ][“The rest of their ignominy”:—“especially considering from what splendour and glory” &c.]
[1 ][“Omens”. Goell.]
[1 ][“And surveying yourselves, your men of arms how good, and in your ranks how many you are, despair not too much, but consider that wheresoever you please to sit down” &c.]
[2 ][“By winning it, he will thereby gain both country and walls”.]
[1 ][“They have been sent to and told to meet us”. Bekker &c., προπέπεμπται: vulgo, προπέμπετε.]
[2 ][“The rest of you shall see again &c., and you, Athenians, shall re–erect &c.”]
[3 ][“And they marched arranged in a hollow oblong, the division of Nicias leading the way, and that of Demosthenes following”. Bekker &c., πρῶτον μὲν ἡγούμενον: vulgo desunt.]
[1 ][“And were cutting off”: that is, during this halt of the Athenians.]
[2 ][λέπας, according to Goeller, signifies rupes: “the top of the rock”.—It must be remembered, that the object of the Athenians was to penetrate far enough into the interior to reach the country of the Sikeli. This they attempted in the first instance to effect, by ascending one of the valleys which fall into that of the Anapus: but being unable to force their passage in this direction, they fell back upon the coast, intending to follow the coast–road through the low country near the sea till they should arrive at another valley, when they would again turn inland, and make a second attempt to penetrate to their friends the Sikeli. Arn.]
[1 ][“And sought to force and win the hill” &c. Goell.—“embattled in great depth above” &c.]
[2 ][“More towards the plain”.]
[1 ][“The miserable estate &c., both from the want &c. and from many being wounded, to leave burning all the fires they could and lead away the army as far &c.”—It being now manifest that to reach the Sikelian country by the valley from Syracuse, was utterly hopeless, the generals resolved to change the line of retreat, and to penetrate into the interior by the valley of the Cacyparis, terminating on the sea–coast about six or seven miles to the southward of the Anapus. To effect this they proposed to gain a march upon the enemy by setting out at night, and falling back towards the sea till they came into the road from Syracuse to Helorus: and then to follow this road in a direction parallel to the coast, till they reached the Cacyparis, when they would turn again to the right and once more move towards the interior. Arnold.]
[2 ][“A panic seized them”.]
[1 ][Finding the enemy already on the Cacyparis, they were afraid of finding the valley stopped at the upper end; and therefore marched on to the next, that of the Erineus: their guides informing them that by ascending this they might gain the interior; and here, as they hoped, might anticipate the enemy. Arnold.]
[1 ][“Indeed”. Bekker &c., δὴ: one MS. ἢδη.]
[2 ][“As much as fifty stadia”. Bekker &c, καὶ πεντήκοντα: vulgo, ἑκατὸν κ. π.]
[3 ][“That in their present condition their safety &c.”]
[4 ][“And was the first to sustain the enemy: and at this time, knowing the Syracusans were pursuing him, he was more taken up with ordering his men for battle than in marching on, till &c.”]
[5 ][“Being driven back in confusion”. Arn.]
[6 ][“To be taken off”.]
[1 ]Vulgo, ἄλλων: Bekk. &c. om.]
[2 ][“Went off in the night as they could”.]
[3 ][“They rush in, observing order no longer; and every man striving to get over first, and the enemy lying upon them, made the passage now difficult”.]
[1 ][“And entangled (in the baggage) sank down”. Goell. Arn. It is said a little below, that the men fought with each other for the water: a fact inconsistent with the stream being strong enough to “carry them away”.]
[2 ][And the Syracusans &c. killed the Athenians, as they were drinking, “and confusedly crowded together in the hollow of the river: and the Peloponnesians especially went down and slew them in the river. And the water was quickly spoiled: nevertheless &c.”—Here, as in other instances, the Syracusans showed no inclination to come to close quarters with the Athenians: but were better pleased to see that done by the Peloponnesian troops, whilst they themselves plied them with missiles from a distance. Arn.]
[3 ][“But no further slaughter &c. And after this Gylippus” &c.]
[1 ][“The portion of the army that was collected together in a body, was not much: but they that” &c.]
[2 ][Hobbes has adapted his language to the words “Sicilian war”. The comparison is undoubtedly weak: and some desire to read “Grecian war”.]
[3 ][Lautumias Syracusanas omnes audistis, plerique nostis. Opus est ingens, magnificum regum ac tyrannorum. Totum est ex saxo in mirandam altitudinem depresso, et multorum operis penitus exciso, ideoque, quamquam ἀστέγαστον, nihil tam clausum ad exitus, nihil tam septum undique, nihil tam tutum ad custodias nec fieri nec cogitari potest. In has lautumias, si qui publice custodiendi sunt, etiam ex ceteris oppidis Siciliæ deduci imperantur. Cic. ii. Verr. 5, cited by Goell.—In retaliation of this treatment of the Athenians, the Syracusans taken by Thrasyllus at the battle of Ephesus, were put into the quarries of Munychia. But the prisoners contrived to dig their way out through the rock: and escaped to Megara, where they occasioned the revolt of Nisæa, which Athens did not again recover.]
[1 ][“Deserved, for his study of every lawful virtue, to be brought &c.”]
[2 ][“For in a hollow, and many in small space, first the sun &c.”]
[1 ][“Or the change”: of temperature above–mentioned.]
[2 ][See iv. 16, note.]
[3 ][“Or, as appears to me, the greatest even of the Hellenic actions known by report”.—We have a description by Livy of a moment, two centuries later than the present time, when Syracuse, not as now exulting over a defeated besieging army, was on the point, after standing a three years’ siege, of tasting the treatment of a city taken by assault. “Marcellus, ut mœnia ingressus, ex superioribus locis urbem, omnium ferme illa tempestate pulcherrimam, subjectam oculis vidit, illachrymasse dicitur, partim guadio tantæ perpetratæ rei, partim vetusta gloria urbis. Atheniensium classes demersæ, et duo ingentes exercitus cum duobus clarissimis ducibus deleti, occurrebant; et tot bella cum Carthaginiensibus tanto cum discrimine gesta; tot tam opulenti tyranni regesque ......... Ea quum universa occurrerent animo, subiretque cogitatio, jam illa momento horæ arsura omnia, et ad cineres reditura: priusquam signa Achradinam admoveret, præmittit Syracusanos, ut alloquio leni perlicerent hostes ad dedendam urbem.” xxv. 24.—For the present, as at Athens the ναυτικὸς ὄχλος, the authors of the victory of Salamis, and thence of the Athenian ἡγεμονία and dominion of the sea, established an unlimited and irresistible democracy, so did it happen here. But less than ten years’ experience of their own incapacity for the task of government, drove them to make trial of dictators: an experiment which at last ended in the tyranny of Dionysius: another example to be added to those of Theagenes of Megara (iv. 66, note) and Peisistratus of Athens, of the people becoming the dupe of confidence placed in a demagogue for his merit of ἀπέχθεια ἡ πρὸς τοὺς πλουσίους, hatred of the rich. See Arist. v. 4, 5.]
[1 ][The loss is computed by Isocrates at 40,000 soldiers, and 240 triremes: by Boeckh, at 65,000 soldiers. The narrative of Thucydides shows a loss of 209 triremes. Goeller.]