In compliance with this advice a messenger
was sent and the market got ready, upon which the Syracusans suddenly backed
water and withdrew to the town, and at once landed and took their dinner
upon the spot;
while the Athenians, supposing that they had returned to the town because
they felt they were beaten, disembarked at their leisure and set about
getting their dinners and about their other occupations, under the idea that
they had done with fighting for that day.
Suddenly the Syracusans manned their ships and again sailed against them; and the Athenians, in great confusion and most of them fasting, got on
board, and with great difficulty put out to meet them.
For some time both parties remained on the defensive without engaging,
until the Athenians at last resolved not to let themselves be worn out by
waiting where they were, but to attack without delay, and giving a cheer,
went into action.
The Syracusans received them, and charging prow to prow as they had
intended, stove in a great part of the Athenian foreships by the strength of
their beaks; the darters on the decks also did great damage to the Athenians, but still
greater damage was done by the Syracusans who went about in small boats, ran
in upon the oars of the Athenian galleys, and sailed against their sides,
and discharged from thence their darts upon the sailors.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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