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53. Gylippus, observing the discomfiture of the enemy, who were being defeated and driven to land1 beyond their own palisade and the lines of their camp, hastened with a part of his army to the causeway which ran along the harbour, intending to kill all who landed, and to assist the Syracusans in capturing the ships, which could be more easily towed away if the shore was in the hands of their friends. [2] The Tyrrhenians, who guarded this part of the Athenian lines, seeing Gylippus and his forces advance in disorder, rushed out, and attacking the foremost put them to flight, and drove them into the marsh called Lysimelea. [3] But soon the Syracusans and their allies came up in greater numbers. The

Athenians in fear for their ships advanced to the support of the Tyrrhenians, and joined in the engagement; the Syracusans were overcome and pursued, and a few of their heavyarmed slain. Most of the Athenian ships were saved and brought back to the Athenian station. Still the Syracusans and their allies took eighteen, and killed the whole of their crews. [4] Then, hoping to burn the remainder of the fleet, they procured an old merchant-vessel, which they filled with faggots and brands; these they lighted, and as the wind blew right upon the enemy they let the ship go. The Athenians, alarmed for the safety of their fleet, contrived means by which they extinguished their flames, and succeeded in keeping the fireship at a distance. Thus the danger was averted.

1 The defeat is partially compensated by an advantage which the Tyrrhenians and Athenians gain over Gylippus near the marsh. A Syracusan fireship fails.

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