Now the Athenians were engaged in gathering ships. But
Mindarus, the Lacedaemonian admiral, setting out by night with his entire fleet, made in haste
for the Hellespont
and arrived on the second day at
When the Athenians learned that
the fleet had sailed by them, they did not wait for all the triremes of their allies, but after
only three had been added to their number they set out in pursuit of the Lacedaemonians.
When they arrived at Sigeium, they found the fleet already
departed, but three ships left behind they at once captured; after this they put in at
preparations for the sea-battle.
The Lacedaemonians, seeing
the enemy rehearsing for the battle, did likewise, spending five days in proving their ships
and exercising their rowers; then they drew up the fleet for the battle, its strength being
eighty-eight ships. Now the Lacedaemonians stationed their ships on the Asian side of the
channel, while the Athenians lined up against them on the European side, being fewer in number
but of superior training.
The Lacedaemonians put on their
right wing the Syracusans, whose leader was Hermocrates, and the Peloponnesians themselves
formed the whole left wing with Mindarus in command. For the Athenians Thrasyllus was stationed
on the right wing and Thrasybulus on the left. At the outset both sides strove stubbornly for
position in order that they might not have the current against them.
Consequently they kept sailing around each other for a long time, endeavouring to block
off the straits and struggling for an advantageous position; for the battle took place between
and it so happened that the current was of no little hindrance where
the strait was narrow. However, the pilots of the Athenian fleet, being far superior in
experience, contributed greatly to the victory.