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The generals in Sicily sailed on with the armament of the Athenians to Aegesta and captured Hyccara, a small town of the Siceli, from the booty of which they realized one hundred talents; and after receiving thirty talents in addition from the Aegestaeans they continued their voyage to Catane. [2] And wishing to seize, without risk to themselves, the position1 on the Great Harbour of the Syracusans, they sent a man of Catane, who was loyal to themselves and was also trusted by the Syracusan generals, with instructions to say to the Syracusan commanders that a group of Catanaeans had banded together and were ready to seize unawares a large number of Athenians, who made it their practice to pass the night in the city away from their arms, and set fire to the ships in the harbour; and he was to ask the generals that, in order to effect this, they should appear at the place with troops so that they might not fail in their design. [3] When the Catanaean went to the commanders of the Syracusans and told them what we have stated, the generals, believing his story, decided on the night on which they would lead out their troops and sent the man back to Catane. [4]

Now on the appointed night the Syracusans brought the army to Catane, whereupon the Athenians, sailing down into the Great Harbour of the Syracusans in dead silence, not only became masters of the Olympieum but also, after seizing the entire area about it, constructed a camp. [5] The generals of the Syracusans, however, when they learned of the deceit which had been practised on them, returned speedily and assaulted the Athenian camp. When the enemy came out to meet them, there ensued a battle, in which the Athenians slew four hundred of their opponents and compelled the Syracusans to take to flight. [6] But the Athenian generals, seeing that the enemy were superior in cavalry and wishing to improve their equipment for the siege of the city, sailed back to Catane. And they dispatched men to Athens and addressed letters to the people in which they asked them to send cavalry and funds; for they believed that the siege would be a long affair; and the Athenians voted to send three hundred talents and a contingent of cavalry to Sicily. [7]

While these events were taking place, Diagoras, who was dubbed "the Atheist,"2 was accused of impiety and, fearing the people, fled from Attica; and the Athenians announced a reward of a talent of silver to the man who should slay Diagoras. [8]

In Italy the Romans went to war with the Aequi and reduced Labici by siege.3

These, then, were the events of this year.

1 This was near the Olympieum (Thuc. 6.64.2). The reader is referred to the map at the back of the book, which is based on the account of Thucydides.

2 He is said to have been a dithyrambic poet of Melos who was apparently accused of making blasphemous remarks about Athenian divinities (cp. Lys. 6.17 ff.).

3 Cp. Livy 4.47.

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hide References (9 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (6):
    • Harper's, Eleusinia
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ELEUSINIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CA´TANA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HY´CCARA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SEGESTA
    • Smith's Bio, Dia'goras
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Lysias, Against Andocides, 17
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.64.2
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 4, 47
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