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Meanwhile the Athenians, recovering from the confusion into which they had been at first thrown by the sudden approach of Gylippus and the Syracusans, formed in order of battle. Gylippus halted at a short distance off and sent on a herald to tell them that if they would evacuate Sicily with bag and baggage within five days' time, he was willing to make a truce accordingly. [2] The Athenians treated this proposition with contempt, and dismissed the herald without an answer. After this both sides began to prepare for action. [3] Gylippus, observing that the Syracusans were in disorder and did not easily fall into line, drew off his troops more into the open ground, while Nicias did not lead on the Athenians but lay still by his own wall. When Gylippus saw that they did not come on, he led off his army to the citadel of the quarter of Apollo Temenites, and passed the night there. [4] On the following day he led out the main body of his army, and drawing them up in order of battle before the walls of the Athenians to prevent their going to the relief of any other quarter, despatched a strong force against Fort Labdalum and took it, and put all whom he found in it to the sword, the place not being within sight of the Athenians. [5] On the same day an Athenian galley that lay moored off the harbor was captured by the Syracusans.

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