previous next

Nor did the men whose position was on the decks fail to maintain the zeal which brooked no failure; but some, while still at a considerable distance from the enemy, kept up a stream of arrows and soon the space was full of missiles, while others, each time that they drew near, would hurl their javelins, some doing their best to strike the defending marines and others the enemy pilots themselves; and whenever the ships would come close together, they would not only fight with their spears but at the moment of contact would also leap over on the enemy's triremes and carry on the contest with their swords. [2] And since at each reverse the victors would raise the war-cry and the others would rush to aid with shouting, a mingled din prevailed over the entire area of the battle.

For a long time the battle was equally balanced because of the very high rivalry with which both sides were inspired; but later on Alcibiades unexpectedly appeared from Samos with twenty ships, sailing by mere chance to the Hellespont. [3] While these ships were still at a distance, each side, hoping that reinforcement had come for themselves, was elated in its hopes and fought on with far greater courage; but when the fleet was now near and for the Lacedaemonians no signal was to be seen, but for the Athenians Alcibiades ran up a purple flag from his own ship, which was the signal they had agreed upon, the Lacedaemonians in dismay turned in flight and the Athenians, elated by the advantage they now possessed, pressed eagerly upon the ships trying to escape. [4] And they speedily captured ten ships, but then a storm and violent winds arose, as a result of which they were greatly hindered in the pursuit; for because of the high waves the boats would not respond to the tillers, and the attempts at ramming proved fruitless, since the ships were receding when struck. [5] In the end the Lacedaemonians, gaining the shore, fled to the land army of Pharnabazus, and the Athenians at first essayed to drag the ships from the shore and put up a desperate battle, but when they were checked in their attempts by the Persian forces they sailed off to Sestus. [6] For Pharnabazus, wishing to build a defence for himself before the Lacedaemonians against the charges they were bringing against him, put up all the more vigorous fight against the Athenians; while at the same time, with respect to his sending the three hundred triremes to Phoenicia,1 he explained to them that he had done so on receiving information that the king of the Arabians and the king of the Egyptians had designs upon Phoenicia.

1 Cp. chap. 37.4 f.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1989)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Phoenicia (2)
Hellespont (Turkey) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (8 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: