The next day the Athenians began building the
wall to the north of the Circle, at the same time collecting stone and
timber, which they kept laying down towards Trogilus along the shortest line
for their works from the great harbour to the sea;
while the Syracusans, guided by their generals, and above all by
Hermocrates, instead of risking any more general engagements, determined to
build a counterwork in the direction in which the Athenians were going to
carry their wall.If this could be completed in time the enemy's lines would be cut; and meanwhile, if he were to attempt to interrupt them by an attack, they
would send a part of their forces against him, and would secure the
approaches beforehand with their stockade, while the Athenians would have to
leave off working with their whole force in order to attend to them.
They accordingly sallied forth and began to build, starting from their
city, running a cross wall below the Athenian Circle, cutting down the
olives and erecting wooden towers.
As the Athenian fleet had not yet sailed round into the great harbour, the
Syracusans still commanded the sea-coast, and the Athenians brought their
provisions by land from Thapsus.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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