The march from Catana to Syracuse was long, and in the meantime the Athenians had quietly established themselves in an1
advantageous position, where they could give battle whenever they pleased, and the Syracusan horse were least likely to harass them either before or during the engagement. On one side they were protected by walls, and houses, and trees, and a marsh; on another by a line of cliffs.
They felled the trees near, and bringing them down to the sea made a palisade to protect their ships; on the shore of Dascon too they hurriedly raised a fortification of rough stones and logs at a point where the ground was most accessible to the enemy, and broke down the bridge over the river Anapus.
No one came out from the walls to hinder them in their work. The first to appear at all were the returning cavalry; after a while the whole body of infantry came up and re-formed. They at once marched right up to the Athenian position, but the Athenians did not come out to meet them; so they retired and encamped on the other side of the Helorine road.