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After increasing their cavalry to 650 men they establish at a point called Sykê a circular fort. The Syracusans seek to prevent this, but avoid a general engagement and meet with defeat with a part of their cavalry.— 1. αὐτοῖς ἦλθον: see on 96. 2.

ἱππῆς τριακόσιοι κτἑ.: the somewhat variant numbers given by Diod. 13. 7 have no authority against Thuc.

Ἀθηναίων ὑπῆρχον: cf. 94. § 4.

ἔλαβον: i.e. with consent (not by force).

ξυνελέγησαν: i.e. from the different divisions.

ἐν τῷ Λαβδάλῳ: Vat. reads ἐπὶ τῷ Λαβδάλῳ (cf. 97. 24).—πρὸς τὴν Συκῆν: the view maintained by some, esp. Letronne, that Συκῆ is another name for Τύχη, the suburb to the westward adjoining Achradina (a suburb unknown to Thuc.), is generally rejected by recent authorities, esp. Holm (H, 387). Sykê (i.e. a place set with fig-trees; see Steph. s.v. Συκαί) is “prob. to be located in the middle of the plateau of Epipolae.” Here the Athenians built first a circular fort, which later was the starting-point for the wall of circumvallation extending northward toward Trogilus, southward to the Great Harbor. The words ἵναπερ (cf. 4. 48. 27, 74. 3) καθεζόμενοι ἐτείχισαν τὸν κύκλον διὰ τάχους prove the reference cannot be to the circumvallation, for the aor. ἐτείχισαν indicates completion, whereas this was never finished. The art. τὸν κύκλον seems to refer, from the point of view of the historian, to the wall as if known to the reader, though just then constructed. Cl. compares ἄνευ τῶν ἵππων 94. 17, and Holm (H, 387) παρὰ τὴν πυλίδα 100. 17; ἐπὶ τὴν χηλήν 7. 53. 5. Stahl and BoehmeWidmann, following Arnold, explain it as “the usual circle,” κύκλος being a part of the circumvallation, but itself the kind of fortified enclosure and central point of the whole line from which the walls to right and left usually commenced. But Steup urges that the passages cited by Cl. and Bm.-W. do not refer, as here, to something before nonexistent, and he would prefer the conjecture first suggested by Stahl, later by Gertz, ἐτειχίσαντο κύκλον (cf. for middle 1. 11. 5; 3. 105. 6; 4. 3. 8). This circular fort is mentioned also 99. 2, 14; 101. 1; 102. 5, 8, 14, and possibly 7. 2. 20. See Freeman III, 662 ff.— 10. ἐπεξελθόντες: sc. οἱ Συρακόσιοι.

μὴ περιορᾶν : sc. τὸν κύκλον οἰκοδομούμενον. Cf. 7. 6. 3.

ἤδη ἀντιπαρατασσομένων ἀλλήλοις: when they were already being drawn up against each other. The alignment of the Syracusans was not completed, because their troops on marching out had not kept ranks and hence could not readily be brought into line (hence pres. ptc. ξυντασσόμενον).

ἐκώλυον: conative. This attempt to hinder the Athenians was interrupted by (16) καὶ τῶν Ἀθηναίων . . . ἐτρέψαντο.

λιθοφορεῖν τε καὶ ἀποσκίδνασθαι : i.e. for work on the not yet finished κύκλος. λιθοφορεῖν is found only here.

μακροτέραν: comp. of μακράν (3. 13. 23, 55. 5). Cf. Xen. Anab. 7. 8. 20; Plato, Rep. 263 A. Kr. Spr. 43, 3, 9.

φυλὴ μία: (borrowed by the military from the civil classification) = τάξις. See on 3. 90. 10.

τῆς ἱππομαχίας: for const. with τροπαῖον, cf. 2. 82. 8; 4. 12. 8; 7. 41. 12, 54. 1. Kr. Spr. 47, 7, 3.

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