Meanwhile the Syracusans and their allies in
Sicily had brought up to the squadron guarding Messina the reinforcement
which we left them preparing, and carried on the war from thence,
incited chiefly by the Locrians from hatred of the Rhegians, whose
territory they had invaded with all their forces.
The Syracusans also wished to try their fortune at sea, seeing that the
Athenians had only a few ships actually at Rhegium, and hearing that the
main fleet destined to join them was engaged in blockading the island.
A naval victory, they thought, would enable them to blockade Rhegium by sea
and land, and easily to reduce it; a success which would at once place their affairs upon a solid basis, the
promontory of Rhegium in Italy and Messina in Sicily being so near each
other that it would be impossible for the Athenians to cruise against them
and command the strait.
The strait in question consists of the sea between Rhegium and Messina, at
the point where Sicily approaches nearest to the continent, and is the
Charybdis through which the story makes Ulysses sail; and the narrowness of the passage and the strength of the current that
pours in from the vast Tyrrhenian and Sicilian mains, have rightly given it
a bad reputation.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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.