IN the following summer, about the time when the corn comes into ear, ten Syracusan and ten1
Locrian ships took possession of Messenè in Sicily, whither they had gone2
by the invitation of the inhabitants. And so Messenè revolted from the Athenians.
The Syracusans took part in this affair chiefly because they saw that Messenè was the key to Sicily. They were afraid that the Athenians would one day establish themselves there and come and attack them with a larger force. The Locrians took part because the Rhegians were their-enemies, and they wanted to crush them by sea as well as by land.
They had already invaded the territory of Rhegium with their whole army, in order to hinder the Rhegians from assisting the Messenians; they were also partly instigated by certain Rhegian exiles who had taken refuge with them. For the Rhegians had been for a long time torn by revolution, and in their present condition could not resist the Locrians, who for this very reason were the more disposed to attack them.
After wasting the country, the Locrians withdrew their land forces; but the ships remained to protect Messenè. Another fleet which the allies were manning was intended to lie in the harbour of Messenè, and to carry on the war from thence.