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25. After this the Syracusians sent out twelve galleys under the command of Agatharchus, a Syracusian. Of which one carried ambassadors into Peloponnesus to declare what hope they had now of their business and to instigate them to a sharper war in Attica. The other eleven went into Italy, upon intelligence of certain vessels laden with commodities coming to the Athenian army, which also they met with and destroyed most of them; [2] and the timber, which for building of galleys the Athenians had ready framed, they burned in the territory of Caulonia. After this they went to Locri; [3] and riding here, there came unto them one of the ships that carried the men of arms of the Thespians, whom the Syracusians took aboard and went homeward by the coast. [4] The Athenians that watched for them with twenty galleys at Megara took one of them and the men that were in her, but could not take the rest, so that they escaped through to Syracuse. [5] There was also a light skirmish in the haven of Syracuse, about the piles which the Syracusians had driven down before their old harbour, to the end that the galleys might ride within and the Athenians not annoy them by assault. The Athenians, having brought to the place a ship of huge greatness, fortified with wooden turrets and covered against fire, caused certain men with [little] boats to go and fasten cords unto the piles, and so broke them up with craning. [6] Some also the divers did cut up with saws. In the meantime the Syracusians from the harbour and they from the great ship shot at each other, till in the end the greatest part of the piles were by the Athenians gotten up. But the greatest difficulty was to get up those piles which lay hidden. [7] For some of them they had so driven in as that they came not above the water, so that he that should come near was in danger to be thrown upon them as upon a rock. But these also, for reward, the divers went down and sawed asunder. But the Syracusians continually drave down other in their stead. [8] Other devices they had against each other, as was not unlikely between armies so near opposed; and many light skirmishes passed, and attempts of all kinds were put in execution. [9] The Syracusians moreover sent ambassadors, some Corinthians, some Ambraciotes, and some Lacedaemonians, unto the cities about them to let them know that they had won Plemmyrium and that in the battle by sea they were not overcome by the strength of the enemy, but by their own disorder; and also to show what hope they were in in other respects, and to entreat their aid both of sea and land forces; forsomuch as the Athenians expecting another army, if they would send aid before it came whereby to overthrow that which they had now there, the war would be at an end. Thus stood the affairs of Sicily.

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load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant)
load focus Greek (1942)
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