The admiral Callicratidas, having assembled his whole force,
encouraged them with the appropriate words and concluded his speech as follows. "So eager am I
myself to enter battle for my country that, although the seer declares that the victims
foretell victory for you but death for me, I am none the less ready to die. Accordingly,
knowing that after the death of commanders forces are thrown into confusion, I designate at
this time as admiral to succeed me, in case I meet with some mishap, Clearchus, a man who has
proved himself in deeds of war."
By these words Callicratidas
led not a few to emulate his valour and to become more eager for the battle. The
Lacedaemonians, exhorting one another, entered their ships, and the Athenians, after hearing
the exhortations of their generals summoning them to the struggle, manned the triremes in haste
and all took their positions.
Thrasyllus commanded the right
wing and also Pericles, the son of the Pericles who, by reason of his influence, had been
dubbed "The Olympian"; and he associated with himself on the right wing also Theramenes, giving
him a command. At the time Theramenes was on the campaign as a private citizen, although
formerly he had often been in command of armaments. The rest of the generals he stationed along
the entire line, and the Arginusae Islands, as they are called, he enclosed by his battle
order, since he wished to extend his ships as far as possible.
Callicratidas put out to sea holding himself the right flank, and the left he entrusted to
the Boeotians, who were commanded by Thrasondas the Theban. And since he was unable to make his
line equal to that of the enemy by reason of the large space occupied by the islands, he
divided his force, and forming two fleets fought two battles separately, one on each wing.
Consequently he aroused great amazement in the spectators on
many sides, since there were four fleets engaged and the ships that had been gathered into one
place did not lack many of being three hundred. For this is the greatest sea-battle on record
of Greeks against Greeks.