GYLIPPUS and Pythen, after refitting their ships at Tarentum, coasted along to the Epizephyrian1
Locri. They now learned the truth, that Syracuse was not as yet completely invested, but that an army might still enter by way of Epipolae. So they considered whether they should steer their course to the left or to the right of Sicily. They might attempt to throw themselves into Syracuse by sea, but the risk would be great; or they might go first to Himera, and gathering a force of the Himeraeans, and of any others whom they could induce to join them, make their way by land.
They determined to sail to Himera, especially as the straits were unguarded. Nicias, when he heard that they were at Locri, although he had despised them at first, now sent out four Athenian ships to intercept them; but these had not as yet arrived at Rhegium, and came too late.
So they sailed through the strait and, touching by the way at Rhegium and Messenè, reached Himera. They persuaded the Himeraeans to make common cause with them, and not only to join in the expedition themselves, but to supply arms to all their unarmed sailors, for they had beached their ships at Himera.
They then sent to the Selinuntians and told them to come and meet them with their whole army at an appointed place. The Geloans and certain of the Sicels also promised to send them a small force; the latter with the more alacrity because Archonides, a Sicel king in these parts who was a powerful man and friendly to the Athenians, had recently died, and because Gylippus seemed to have come from Lacedaemon with hearty good-will.
And so, taking with him about seven hundred of his own sailors and marines for whom he had obtained arms, about a thousand Himeraean infantry, heavy and light-armed included, and a hundred Himeraean horsemen, some light-armed troops and cavalry from Selinus, a few more from Gela, and of the Sicels about a thousand in all, Gylippus marched towards Syracuse.