At first, indeed, when these men heard that their expedition was directed against Dionysius and Sicily, they were full of consternation and denounced the enterprise, declaring that Dion, in a mad frenzy of anger, or in despair, was plunging into desperate undertakings; they were also enraged at their own leaders and recruiting officers for not having told them at the very outset about the war.
But when Dion addressed them, setting forth in detail the unsound condition of the tyranny, and declaring that he was taking them, not as soldiers, but as commanders of the Syracusans and the rest of the Sicilians, who had long been ready for a revolt; and when, after Dion, Alcimenes, who was an Achaean of the highest birth and reputation and a member of time expedition, had argued with them, they were persuaded.
It was now midsummer,1
the Etesian winds2
prevailed at sea, and the moon was at the full. Dion had prepared a magnificent sacrifice to Apollo, and marched in solemn procession to the temple with his soldiers, who were arrayed in full armour. After the sacrifice, he gave them a banquet in the stadium of the Zacynthians, where, as they reclined on their couches,
they wondered at the splendour of the gold and silver beakers, and of the tables, for it passed the limits set by a private man's fortune; they reasoned, too, that a man who was already past his prime and was master of such great affluence, would not engage in hazardous enterprises unless he had solid hopes of success, and friends over there who offered him unbounded resources.