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When the Syracusans heard that the Athenian armaments were at the Strait,1 they appointed three generals with supreme power, Hermocrates, Sicanus, and Heracleides, who enrolled soldiers and dispatched ambassadors to the cities of Sicily, urging them to do their share in the cause of their common liberty; for the Athenians, they pointed out, while beginning the war, as they alleged, upon the Syracusans, were in fact intent upon subduing the entire island. [2] Now the Acragantini and Naxians declared that they would ally themselves with the Athenians; the Camarinaeans and Messenians gave assurances that they would maintain the peace, while postponing a reply to the request for an alliance; but the Himeraeans, Selinuntians, Geloans, and Catanaeans promised that they would fight at the side of the Syracusans. The cities of the Siceli, while tending to be favourably inclined toward the Syracusans, nevertheless remained neutral, awaiting the outcome. [3]

After the Aegestaeans had refused to give more than thirty talents,2 the Athenian generals, having remonstrated with them, put out to sea from Rhegium with their force and sailed to Naxos in Sicily. They were kindly received by the inhabitants of this city and sailed on from there to Catane. [4] Although the Catanaeans would not receive the soldiers into the city, they allowed the generals to enter and summoned an assembly of the citizens, and the Athenian generals presented their proposal for an alliance. [5] But while Alcibiades was addressing the assembly, some of the soldiers burst open a postern-gate and broke into the city. It was by this cause that the Catanaeans were forced to join in the war against the Syracusans.

1 Of Messina.

2 Cp. Book 12.83.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (9):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CAMARI´NA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CA´TANA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GELA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HI´MERA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MESSA´NA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), METAPONTUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NAXOS
    • Smith's Bio, Heracleides
    • Smith's Bio, Hermo'crates
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