When the fleet was ready, Gylippus led out
the whole army by night; his plan being to assault in person the forts of Plemmyrium by land, while
thirty-five Syracusan galleys sailed according to appointment against the
enemy from the great harbor, and the forty-five remaining came round from
the lesser harbor, where they had their arsenal, in order to effect a
junction with those inside and simultaneously to attack Plemmyrium, and thus
to distract the Athenians by assaulting them on two sides at once.
The Athenians quickly manned sixty ships, and with twenty-five of these
engaged the thirty-five of the Syracusans in the great harbor, sending the
rest to meet those sailing round from the arsenal; and an action now ensued directly in front of the mouth of the great
harbor, maintained with equal tenacity on both sides; the one wishing to force the passage, the other to prevent them.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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