Demosthenes, seeing that the Lacedaemonians were about to attack him both by sea and by1
land, made his own preparations. He drew up on shore under the fort the three triremes remaining2
to him out of the five which had not gone on to Corcyra, and protected them by a stockade; their crews he armed with shields, but of a poor sort, most of them made of wickerwork. In an uninhabited country there was no possibility of procuring arms, and these were only obtained from a thirty-oared privateer and a light boat belonging to some Messenians who had just arrived. Of these Messenians about forty were hoplites, whom Demosthenes used with the others.
He placed the greater part of his forces, armed and unarmed, upon the side of the place which looks towards the mainland and was stronger and better fortified; these he ordered, if they should be attacked, to repel the land forces, while he himself selected out of the whole body of his troops sixty hoplites and a few archers, and marched out of the fort to the sea-shore at the point where the Lacedaemonians seemed most likely to attempt a landing. The spot which he chose lay towards the open sea, and was rocky and dangerous; but he thought that the enemy would be attracted thither and would be sure to make a dash at that point because the fortifications were weaker.
For the Athenians, not expecting to be defeated at sea, had left the wall just there less strong, while if the enemy could once force a landing, the place would easily be taken.
Accordingly, marching down to the very edge of the sea, he there posted his hoplites; he was determined to keep the enemy off if he could, and in this spirit he addressed his men:—