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46. When he had made these preparations and had prayed to the gods, and was seen leading his forces through the city against the enemy, shouts of joy and loud battle-cries mingled with prayers and supplications were raised by the Syracusans, who called Dion their saviour and god, and his mercenaries their brethren and fellow citizens. [2] And no one was so fond of self or fond of life in that emergency as not to show himself more anxious about Dion alone than about all the rest, as he marched at their head to meet the danger, through blood and fire and the mass of dead bodies lying in the streets.

It was true, indeed, that the enemy presented a formidable appearance, for they had become altogether savage, and had drawn themselves up along the demolished siege-wall, which made the approach to them difficult and hard to force; but the peril from the fire disturbed the mercenaries of Dion more, and made their progress arduous. [3] For they were surrounded on all sides by glowing flames which were spreading among the houses; they trod upon blazing ruins and ran at the risk of their lives under falling fragments of great size; they made their way through clouds of dust and smoke; and yet they tried to keep together and not break their ranks. Moreover, when they joined battle with the enemy, only a few on each side could fight at close quarters, so narrow and uneven was the place; but the Syracusans encouraged them with eager shouts, and Nypsius and his men were overpowered. [4] Most of them fled back into the acropolis, which was near, and so saved themselves; but those who were left outside and scattered hither and thither, were pursued and slain by the mercenaries. No immediate enjoyment of their victory, however, and none of the glad congratulations befitting so great an achievement were possible for the Syracusans in that emergency; they turned their attention to their burning houses, and only by toiling all night did they succeed in putting out the fire.

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