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[4] When the Syracusans hurried back from Catana and drew up in order of battle before their own city, Nicias led his Athenians swiftly against them and carried the day. He did not slay many of the enemy, it is true, for their horsemen prevented his pursuit; he had to content himself with cutting to pieces and destroying the bridges over the river, and thus gave Hermocrates occasion to say, as he sought to encourage the Syracusans, that Nicias was ridiculous in maneuvering so as not to give battle, as though it was not for battle that he had crossed the seas.

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