and being there joined by most of the exiled
commons carried on war from the fortifications.
The Athenians hearing this, sent Phaeax to see if they could not by some
means so convince their allies there and the rest of the Sicilians of the
ambitious designs of Syracuse, as to induce them to form a general coalition
against her, and thus save the commons of Leontini.
Arrived in Sicily, Phaeax succeeded at Camarina and Agrigentum, but meeting
with a repulse at Gela did not go on to the rest, as he saw that he should
not succeed with them, but returned through the country of the Sicels to
Catana, and after visiting Bricinniae as he passed, and encouraging its
inhabitants, sailed back to Athens.
e altar to Apollo Archegetes, which now
stands outside the town, and upon which the deputies for the games sacrifice
before sailing from Sicily.
Syracuse was founded the year afterwards by Archias, one of the Heraclids
from Corinth, who began by driving out the Sicels from the island upon which
the inner city now stands, though it is no longer surrounded by water: in
process of time the outer town also was taken within the walls and became
Meanwhile Thucles and the Chalcidians set out from Naxos in the fifth year
after the foundation of Syracuse, and drove out the Sicels by arms and
founded Leontini and afterwards Catana; the Catanians themselves choosing Evarchus as their founder.
From all that I hear we are going against cities that are great and not
subject to one another, or in need of change, so as to be glad to pass from
enforced servitude to an easier condition, or in the least likely to accept
our rule in exchange for freedom; and, to take only the Hellenic towns, they are very numerous for one
Besides Naxos and Catana, which I expect to join us from their connection
with Leontini, there are seven others armed at all points just like our own
power, particularly Selinus and Syracuse, the chief objects of our
These are full of heavy infantry, archers, and darters, have galleys in
abundance and crowds to man them; they have also money, partly in the hands of private persons, pa
out of the whole fleet and coasted along to Naxos, leaving the rest of the
armament behind them at Rhegium with one of their number.
Received by the Naxians, they then coasted on to Catana, and being refused
admittance by the inhabitants, there being a Syracusan party in the town,
went on to the river Terias.
Here they bivouacked, and the next day sailed in sthem,
therefore, as were in Syracuse should leave it without fear and join their
friends and benefactors the Athenians.
After making this proclamation and reconnoitring the city and the harbours,
and the features of the country which they would have to make their base of
operations in the war, they sailed back to Catana.
d to received the armament, but invited the generals to come in and
say what they desired; and while Alcibiades was speaking and the citizens were intent on the
assembly, the soldiers broke down an ill-walled-up postern-gate without
being observed, and getting inside the town, flocked into the marketplace.
The Syracusan party in the town no sooner saw the army inside than they
became frightened and withdrew, not being at all numerous; while the rest voted for an alliance with the Athenians and invited them to
fetch the rest of their forces from Rhegium.
After this the Athenians sailed to Rhegium, and put off, this time with all
the armament, for Catana, and fell to work at their camp immediately upon
d also that the
Syracusans were manning a fleet.
The Athenians accordingly sailed along shore with all their armament, first
to Syracuse, where they found no fleet manning, and so always along the
coast to Camarina, where they brought to at the beach, and sent a herald to
the people, who, however, refused to receive them, saying that their oaths
bound them to receive the Athenians only with a single vessel, unless they
themselves sent for more.
Disappointed here, the Athenians now sailed back again, and after landing
and plundering on Syracusan territory and losing some stragglers from their
light infantry through the coming up of the Syracusan horse, so got back to
llenic city in that
part of the island, and being refused admission resumed their voyage.
On their way they took Hyccara, a petty Sicanian seaport, nevertheless at
war with Egesta, and making slaves of the inhabitants gave up the town to
the Egestaeans, some of whose horse had joined them; after which the army proceeded through the territory of the Sicels until it
reached Catana, while the fleet sailed along the coast with the slaves on
Meanwhile Nicias sailed straight from Hyccara along the coast and went to
Egesta, and after transacting his other business and receiving thirty
talents, rejoined the forces.
They now sold their slaves for the sum of one hundred and twenty talents,
and sailed round to their Sicel allies
at first feared and expected, every day that passed did something to revive
their courage; and when they saw them sailing far away from them on the other side of
Sicily, and going to Hybla only to fail in their attempts to storm it, they
thought less of them than ever, and called upon their generals, as the
multitude is apt to do in its moments of confidence, to lead them to Catana,
since the enemy would not come to them.
Parties also of the Syracusan horse employed in reconnoitring constantly
rode up to the Athenian armament, and among other insults asked them whether
they had not really come to settle with the Syracusans in a foreign country
rather than to resettle the Leontines in their own.
could do them no hurt worth speaking of, some Syracusan exiles with the army
having told them of the spot near the Olympieum, which they afterwards
In pursuance of their idea, the generals imagined the following stratagem.
They sent to Syracuse a man devoted to them, and by the Syracusan generals
thought to be no less in their interest; he was a native of Catana, and said he came from persons in that place,
whose names the Syracusan generals were acquainted with, and whom they knew
to be among the members of their party still left in the city.
He told them that the Athenians passed the night in the town, at some
distance from their arms, and that if the Syracusans would name a day and
come with all their people at daybreak to att
The generals of the Syracusans, who did not
want confidence, and who had intended even without this to march on Catana,
believed the man without any sufficient inquiry, fixed at once a day upon
which they would be there, and dismisse march out in mass.
Their preparations completed, and the time fixed for their arrival being at
hand, they set out for Catana, and passed the night upon the river
Symaethus, in the Leontine territory.
Meanwhile the Athenians no sooner kneding opposite the Olympieum
ready to seize their camping ground, and the Syracusan horse having ridden
up first to Catana and found that all the armament had put to sea, turned
back and told the infantry, and then all turned back together, and went to