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49. The standards were now raised on both sides, and the two fleets met and fought. The decks1 of both were crowded with heavy infantry, with archers and with javelin-men; for their naval arrangements were still of the old clumsy sort. [2] The engagement was obstinate, but more courage than skill was displayed, and it had almost the appearance of a battle by land. [3] When two ships once charged one another it was hardly possible to part company, for the throng of vessels was dense, and the hopes of victory lay chiefly in the heavy-armed, who maintained a steady fight upon the decks, the ships meanwhile remaining motionless. There were no attempts to break the enemy's line. Brute force and rage made up for the want of tactics. [4] Everywhere the battle was a scene of tumult and confusion. At any point where they saw the Corcyraeans distressed, the Athenians appeared and kept the enemy in check; but the generals, who were afraid of disobeying their instructions, would not begin the attack themselves. [5] The Corinthians suffered most on their right wing. For2 the Corcyraeans with twenty ships routed them, drove them in disorder to the shore, and sailed right up to their encampment; there landing, they plundered and burnt the deserted tents. [6] So in this part of the battle the Corinthians and their allies were worsted, and the Corcyraeans prevailed. But the left wing of the Corinthians, where their own ships were stationed, had greatly the advantage, because the Corcyraeans, whose numbers were originally inferior, had now twenty vessels detached in the pursuit. [7] When the Athenians saw3 the distress of the Corcyraeans, they began to assist them more openly. At first they had abstained from actual collision, but when the Corcyraeans fled outright and the Corinthians pressed them hard, then every man fell to work; all distinctions were forgotten;— the time had arrived when Corinthian and Athenian were driven to attack one another.

1 Character of the engagement.

2 Partial success of the Corcyraeans on the left wing and their complete defeat on the right.

3 The Athenians share in the engagement.

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