83.The fleet from Corinth and the other allied cities on the Crisaean Gulf, which was
intended to1 support Cnemus and to prevent the Acarnanians on the sea-coast from assisting
their friends in the interior of the country, never arrived, but was compelled, almost
on the day of the battle of Stratus, to fight with Phormio and the twenty Athenian ships
which were stationed at Naupactus.
As they sailed by into the open sea, Phormio was watching them, preferring to make his
attack outside the gulf.
Now the Corinthians and their allies were not equipped for a naval engagement, but for
the conveyance of troops into Acarnania, and they never imagined that the Athenians with
twenty ships would venture to engage their own forty-seven.But, as they were coasting along the southern shore, they saw the Athenian fleet
following their movements on the northern; they then attempted to cross the sea from
Patrae in Achaea to the opposite continent in the direction of Acarnania, when they
again observed the enemy bearing down upon them from Chalcis and the mouth of the river
Evenus.They had previously endeavoured to anchor under cover of night2, but had been detected.So at last they were compelled to fight in the middle of the channel.
The ships were commanded by generals of the cities which had furnished them; the
Corinthian squadron by Machaon, Isocrates, and Agatharchidas.
The Peloponnesians arranged their ships in such a manner as to make the
largest possible circle without leaving3 space to break through, turning their prows outwards and their sterns inwards;
within the circle they placed the smaller craft which accompanied them, and five of
their swiftest ships that they might be close at hand and row out at whatever point the
enemy charged them.
The fleet of the Peloponnesians which was intended to support Cnemus is
compelled to engage by Phormio.
reading ἀφορμισάμενοι, 'they had weighed anchor
before it was light, but had been detected.'
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