Meanwhile those who had at first fled for
refuge to the city, seeing the turn affairs were taking, now rallied from
the town and formed against the Athenians in front of them, sending also a
part of their number to the Circle on Epipolae, which they hoped to take
while denuded of its defenders.
These took and destroyed the Athenian outwork of a thousand feet, the
Circle itself being saved by Nicias, who happened to have been left in it
through illness, and who now ordered the servants to set fire to the engines
and timber thrown down before the wall; want of men, as he was aware, rendering all other means of escape
This step was justified by the result, the Syracusans not coming any
further on account of the fire, but retreating.Meanwhile succors were coming up from the Athenians below, who had put to
flight the troops opposed to them; and the fleet also, according to orders, was sailing from Thapsus into the
Seeing this, the troops on the heights retired in haste, and the whole army
of the Syracusans re-entered the city, thinking that with their present
force they would no longer be able to hinder the wall reaching the sea.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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