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23. Meanwhile the Plataeans were scaling the walls. The first party had mounted, and, killing1 the sentinels, had gained possession of the towers on either side. Their followers now began to occupy the passages, lest the enemy should come through and fall upon them. Some of them placed ladders upon the wall against the towers, and got up more men. A shower of missiles proceeding both from the upper and lower parts of the towers kept off all assailants. Meanwhile the main body of the Plataeans, who were still below, applied to the wall many ladders at once, and, pushing down the battlements, made their way over through the space between the towers. [2] As each man got to the other side he halted upon the edge of the ditch, whence they shot darts and arrows at any one who came along under the wall and attempted to impede their passage. [3] When they had all passed over, those who had occupied the towers came down, the last of them not without great difficulty, and proceeded towards the ditch. By this time the three hundred were upon them; [4] they had lights, and the Plataeans, standing on the edge of the ditch, saw them all the better out of the darkness, and shot arrows and threw darts at them where their bodies were exposed; they themselves were concealed by the darkness, while the enemy were dazed by their own lights. And so the Plataeans, down to the last man of them all, got safely over the ditch, though with great exertion and only after a hard struggle; [5] for the ice in it was not frozen hard enough to bear, but was half water, as is commonly the case when the wind is from the east and not from the north. And the snow which the east wind brought in the night had greatly swollen the water, so that they2 could scarcely accomplish the passage3 It was the violence of the storm, however, which enabled them to escape at all.

1 The Plataeans, protected by parties of men who hold the towers, first get over the wall; they then cross the ditch.

2 Taking ὑπερέχειν in the sense of 'superare': or, 'could hardly keep above the surface in crossing.'

3 Taking ὑπερέχειν in the sense of 'superare': or, 'could hardly keep above the surface in crossing.'

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load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith, 1894)
load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1909)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
load focus English (1910)
load focus Greek (1942)
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