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At the very moment when the admirals gave orders to sound the trumpets the whole host on each side, raising the war-cry in turn, made a tremendous shout; and all, as they enthusiastically struck the waves, vied with one another, every man being anxious to be the first to begin the battle. [2] For the majority were experienced in fighting, because the war had endured so long, and they displayed insuperable enthusiasm, since it was the choicest troops who had been gathered for the decisive contest; for all took it for granted that the conquerors in this battle would put an end to the war. [3] But Callicratidas especially, since he had heard from the seer of the end awaiting him, was eager to compass for himself a death that would be most renowned. Consequently he was the first to drive at the ship of Lysias the general, and shattering it at the first blow together with the triremes accompanying it, he sank it; and as for the other ships, some he rammed and made unseaworthy and from others he tore away the rows of oars and rendered them useless for the fighting. [4] Last of all he rammed the trireme of Pericles with a rather heavy blow and broke a great hole in the trireme; then, since the beak of his ship stuck tight in the gap and they could not withdraw it, Pericles threw an iron hand1 on the ship of Callicratidas, and when it was fastened tight, the Athenians, surrounding the ship, sprang upon, it and pouring over its crew put them all to the sword. [5] It was at this time, we are told, that Callicratidas, after fighting brilliantly and holding out for a long time, finally was worn down by numbers, as he was struck from all directions.2 As soon as the defeat of the admiral became evident, the result was that the Peloponnesians gave way in fear. [6] But although the right wing of the Peloponnesians was in flight, the Boeotians, who held the left, continued to put up a stout fight for some time; for both they and the Euboeans who were fighting by their side as well as all the other Greeks who had revolted from the Athenians feared lest the Athenians, if they should once regain their sovereignty, would exact punishment of them for their revolt. But when they saw that most of their ships had been damaged and that the main body of the victors was turning against them, they were compelled to take flight. Now of the Peloponnesians some found safety in Chios and some in Cyme.

1 A grappling-iron, first introduced in the fighting in the harbour of Syracuse (cp. Thuc. 7.62). Called the "crow" by the Romans, it was used by them with great effectiveness against the Carthaginians in 260 B.C.

2 Xenophon (Xen. Hell. 1.6.33) says that he "fell overboard into the sea and disappeared."

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