The Syracusans now thought the stockades and
stonework of their counter-wall sufficiently far advanced; and as the Athenians, afraid of being divided and so fighting at a
disadvantage, and intent upon their own wall, did not come out to interrupt
them, they left one tribe to guard the new work and went back into the city.Meanwhile the Athenians destroyed their pipes of drinking-water carried
underground into the city; and watching until the rest of the Syracusans were in their tents at
midday, and some even gone away into the city, and those in the stockade
keeping but indifferent guard, appointed three hundred picked men of their
own, and some men picked from the light troops and armed for the purpose, to
run suddenly as fast as they could to the counterwork, while the rest of the
army advanced in two divisions, the one with one of the generals to the city
in case of a sortie, the other with the other general to the stockade by the
The three hundred attacked and took the stockade, abandoned by its
garrison, who took refuge in the outworks round the statue of Apollo
Temenites.Here the pursuers burst in with them, and after getting in were beaten out
by the Syracusans, and some few of the Argives and Athenians slain;
after which the whole army retired, and having demolished the counterwork
and pulled up the stockade, carried away the stakes to their own lines, and
set up a trophy.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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