When the Syracusans learned
from some deserters why the departure had been deferred, they manned all their triremes,
seventy-four in number, and leading out their ground forces attacked the enemy both by land and
The Athenians, having manned eighty-six triremes,
assigned to Eurymedon, the general, the command of the right wing, opposite to which was
stationed the general of the Syracusans, Agatharchus; on the other wing Euthydemus had been
stationed and opposite to him was Sicanus commanding the Syracusans; and in command of the
centre of the line were Menander for the Athenians and Pythes the Corinthian for the
Although the Athenian line was the longer since
they were engaging with a superior number of triremes, yet the very factor which they thought
would work to their advantage was not the least in their undoing. For Eurymedon endeavoured to
outflank the opposing wing; but when he had become detached from his line, the Syracusans
turned to face him and he was cut off and forced into a bay called Dascon which was held by the
Being hemmed in as he was into a narrow place, he
was forced to run ashore, where some man gave him a mortal wound and he lost his life, and
seven of his ships were destroyed in this place.
had now spread throughout both fleets, and when the word was passed along that the general had
been slain and some ships lost, at first only those ships gave way which were nearest to those
which had been destroyed, but later, as the Syracusans pressed forward and pushed the fight
boldly because of the success they had won, the whole Athenian force was overpowered and
compelled to turn in flight.
And since the pursuit turned
toward the shallow part of the harbour, not a few triremes ran aground in the shoals. When this
took place, Sicanus, the Syracusan general, straightway filling a merchant ship with faggots
and pine-wood and pitch, set fire to the ships which were wallowing in the shoals.
But although they were put on fire, the Athenians not only quickly
extinguished the flames but, finding no other means of safety, also vigorously fought off from
their ships the men who were rushing against them; and the land forces ran to their aid along
the beach on which the ships had run ashore.
And since they
all withstood the attack with vigour, on land the Syracusans were turned back, but at sea they
won the decision and sailed back to the city. The losses of the Syracusans were few, but of the
Athenians not less than two thousand men and eighteen triremes.