Dionysius, the tyrant
of the Syracusans, summoning aid from the Greeks of Italy and his other allies, led forth his
army; and he also enlisted the larger part of the Syracusans of military age and enrolled the
mercenaries in the army.
He had in all, as some record, fifty
thousand soldiers, but according to Timaeus, thirty thousand infantry, a thousand cavalry, and
fifty decked vessels. With a force of such size he set out to the aid of the Geloans, and when
he drew near the city, he pitched camp by the sea.
intent was not to divide his army but to use the same base for the fighting by land as well as
by sea; and with his light armed troops he engaged the enemy and did not allow them to forage
over the countryside, while with his cavalry and ships he attempted to deprive the
Carthaginians of the supplies which they got from the territory of which they were masters.
Now for twenty days they were inactive, doing nothing worthy
of mention. But after this Dionysius divided his infantry into three groups, and one division,
which he formed of the Sicilian Greeks, he ordered to advance against the entrenched camp of
their adversaries with the city on their left flank; the second division, which he formed of
allies, he commanded to drive along the shore with the city on their right; and he himself with
the contingent of mercenaries advanced through the city against the place where the
Carthaginian engines of war were stationed.
And to the cavalry
he gave orders that, as soon as they saw the infantry advancing, they should cross the river
and overrun the plain, and if they should see their comrades winning, they should join in the
fighting, but in case they were losing, they should receive any who were in distress; and to
the troops on the ships his orders were, so soon as the Italian Greeks made their attack, to
sail against the camp of the enemy.