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In Greece Dorieus the Rhodian, the admiral of the triremes from Italy, after he had quelled the tumult in Rhodes,1 set sail for the Hellespont, being eager to join Mindarus; for the latter was lying at Abydus and collecting from every quarter the ships of the Peloponnesian alliance. [2] And when Dorieus was already in the neighbourhood of Sigeium in the Troad, the Athenians who were at Sestus, learning that he was sailing along the coast, put out against him with their ships, seventy-four in all. [3] Dorieus held to his course for a time in ignorance of what was happening; but when he observed the great strength of the fleet he was alarmed, and seeing no other way to save his force he put in at Dardanus. [4] Here he disembarked his soldiers and took over the troops who were guarding the city, and then he speedily got in a vast supply of missiles and stationed his soldiers both on the fore-parts of the ships and in advantageous positions on the land. [5] The Athenians, sailing in at full speed, set to work hauling the ships away from the shore, and they were wearing down the enemy, having crowded them on every side by their superior numbers. [6] When Mindarus, the Peloponnesian admiral, learned of the situation, he speedily put out from Abydus with his entire fleet and sailed to the Dardanian Promontory2 with eighty-four ships to the aid of the fleet of Dorieus; and the land army of Pharnabazus was also there, supporting the Lacedaemonians. [7]

When the fleets came near one another, both sides drew up the triremes for battle; Mindarus, who had ninety-seven ships, stationed the Syracusans on his left wing, while he himself took command of the right; as for the Athenians, Thrasybulus led the right wing and Thrasyllus the other. [8] After the forces had made ready in this fashion, their commanders raised the signal for battle and the trumpeters at a single word of command began to sound the attack; and since the rowers showed no lack of eagerness and the pilots managed their helms with skill, the contest which ensued was an amazing spectacle. [9] For whenever the triremes would drive forward to ram, at that moment the pilots, at just the critical instant, would turn their ships so effectively that the blows were made ram on. [10] As for the marines, whenever they would see their own ships borne along with their sides to the triremes of the enemy, they would be terror-stricken, despairing of their lives; but whenever the pilots, employing the skill of practice, would frustrate the attack, they would in turn be overjoyed and elated in their hopes.

1 Cp. chap. 38.5; Thuc. 8.44.

2 Some ten miles inside the Hellespont on the Asian side.

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