The Syracusans heard that the Athenians had received their cavalry, and that they1
would soon be upon them. They considered that, unless the Athenians gained possession of Epipolae (which was a steep place looking down upon Syracuse), the city could not easily be invested, even if they were defeated in battle; they therefore determined to guard the paths leading to the summit that the enemy might not get up by stealth.
At all other points the place was secure, as it lies high and slopes right down to the city, from the interior of which it can all be seen; the Syracusans call it Epipolae (or the plateau!, because it is above the level of the adjacent country.
Hermocrates and his colleagues had now entered upon their command. The whole people went out at break of day to the meadow skirting the river Anapus, and proceeded to hold a review of their forces. A selection was at once made of six hundred hoplites, who were appointed to guard Epipolae, and to run in a body to any point at which they were needed. They were commanded by Diomilus, an Andrian exile.