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84. The Athenians ranged their ships in a single line and sailed round and round the Peloponnesian1 fleet, which they drove into a narrower and narrower space, almost touching as they passed, and leading the crews to suppose that they were on the point of charging. [2] But they had been warned by Phormio not to begin until he gave the signal, for he was hoping that the enemy's ships, not having the steadiness of an army on land, would soon fall into disorder and run foul of one another; they would be embarrassed by the small craft, and if the usual morning breeze, for which he continued waiting as he sailed round them, came down from the gulf, they would not be able to keep still for a moment. He could attack whenever he pleased, because his ships were better sailers; [3] and he knew that this would be the right time. When the breeze began to blow, the ships, which were by this time crowded into a narrow space and were distressed at once by the force of the wind and by the small craft which were knocking up against them, fell into confusion; ship dashed against ship, and they kept pushing one another away with long poles; there were cries of 'keep off' and noisy abuse, so that nothing could be heard either of the word of command or of the coxswains' giving the time; and the difficulty which unpractised rowers had in clearing the water in a heavy sea made the vessels disobedient to the helm. At that moment Phormio gave the signal; the Athenians, falling upon the enemy, began by sinking one of the admirals' vessels, and then wherever they went made havoc of them; [4] at last such was the disorder that no one any longer thought of resisting, but the whole fleet fled away to Patrae and Dymè in Achaea. The Athenians pursued them, captured twelve ships, and taking on board most of their crews, sailed away to Molycrium. [5] They set up a trophy on Rhium, and having there dedicated a ship to Poseidon, retired to Naupactus. The Peloponnesians likewise, with the remainder of their fleet, proceeded quickly along the coast from Dymè and Patrae to Cyllenè, where the Eleans have their docks. Cnemus with the ships from Leucas, which should have been joined by these, arrived after the battle of Stratus at Cyllenè.

1 The Athenians sail round and round till the morning wind rises and throws the enemy's vessels into confusion, when they make their attack and in a complete victory.

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