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60. The Athenians, seeing the shutting up of the haven and the rest of the enemy's designs, thought good to go to council upon it. [2] And the generals and commanders of regiments having met and considered their present want, both otherwise and in this, that they neither had provision for the present (for upon their resolution to be gone, they had sent before to Catana to forbid the sending in of any more), nor were likely to have for the future unless their navy got the upper hand, they resolved to abandon their camp above and to take in some place, no greater than needs they must, near unto their galleys, with a wall, and leaving some to keep it, to go aboard with the rest of the army, and to man every galley they had, serviceable and less serviceable; and having caused all sorts of men to go aboard and fight it out, if they gat the victory, to go to Catana; if not, to make their retreat in order of battle by land (having first set fire on their navy) the nearest way unto some amicable place, either barbarian or Grecian, that they should best be able to reach unto before the enemy. [3]

As they had concluded, so they did. For they both came down to the shore from their camp above and also manned every galley they had and compelled to go aboard every man of age of any ability whatsoever. [4] So the whole navy was manned to the number of one hundred and ten galleys, upon which they had many archers and darters, both Acarnanians and other strangers, and all things else provided according to their means and purpose. [5] And Nicias, when almost everything was ready, perceiving the soldiers to be dejected for being so far overcome by sea, contrary to their custom, and yet in respect of the scarcity of victual desirous as soon as could be to fight, called them together and encouraged them then the first time with words to this effect:

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