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For although the Peloponnesians had the advantage in the number of their ships and the valour of their marines, the skill of the Athenian pilots rendered the superiority of their opponents of no effect. For whenever the Peloponnesians, with their ships in a body, would charge swiftly forward to ram, the pilots would manoeuvre their own ships so skilfully that their opponents were unable to strike them at any other spot but could only meet them bows on, ram against ram. [2] Consequently Mindarus, seeing that the force of the rams was proving ineffective, gave orders for his ships to come to grips in small groups, or one at a time. But not by this manoeuvre either, as it turned out, was the skill of the Athenian pilots rendered ineffective; on the contrary, cleverly avoiding the on-coming rams of the ships, they struck them on the side and damaged many. [3] And such a spirit of rivalry pervaded both forces that they would not confine the struggle to ramming tactics, but tangling ship with ship fought it out with the marines. Although they were hindered by the strength of the current from achieving great success, they continued the struggle for a considerable time, neither side being able to gain the victory. [4] While the fighting was thus equally balanced, there appeared beyond a cape twenty-five ships which had been dispatched to the Athenians from their allies. The Peloponnesians thereupon in alarm turned in flight toward Abydus, the Athenians clinging to them and pursuing them the more vigorously. [5]

Such was the end of the battle; and the Athenians captured eight ships of the Chians, five of the Corinthians, two of the Ambraciotes, and one each of the Syracusans, Pellenians, and Leucadians, while they themselves lost five ships, all of them, as it happened, having been sunk. [6] After this Thrasybulus set up a trophy on the cape where stands the memorial of Hecabe1 and sent messengers to Athens to carry word of the victory, and himself made his way to Cyzicus with the entire fleet. For before the sea-battle this city had revolted to Pharnabazus, the general of Darius, and to Clearchus, the Lacedaemonian commander. Finding the city unfortified the Athenians easily achieved their end, and after exacting money of the Cyziceni they sailed off to Sestus.

1 Also called "Hecabe's Monument" and "Bitch's Monument" (Strabo 7.55; the Cynossema of the Romans, modern Cape Volpo), because one account states that Hecabe (Hecuba) was metamorphosed into a bitch (cp. Eur. Hec. 1273).

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • T. G. Tucker, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 8, 8.106
    • T. G. Tucker, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 8, 8.107
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Euripides, Hecuba, 1273
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