previous next
88. Thus spoke Euphemus. Now the Camarinaeans were swayed by opposite feelings; they had1 a good will to the Athenians, tempered by a suspicion that they might be intending to enslave Sicily, whereas the Syracusans, from their proximity, were always at feud with them. But they were not so much afraid of the Athenians as of their Syracusan neighbours, who, as they thought, might win without their assistance. This was the reason why they sent them the small body of horse which took part in the first battle; and in a like spirit they now determined that for the future they would give real assistance only to the Syracusans, but to a very moderate extent. [2] For the present however, that they might seem to deal equal justice to the Athenians, especially after their recent victory, they resolved to return the same answer to both. [3] Such were the considerations which led them to reply that, as two of their allies were at war with one another, they thought that under the circumstances the best way of observing their oaths would be to assist neither. So the two embassies departed. [4] The Syracusans proceeded with their own preparations for the war, and the Athenians who2 were encamped at Naxos tried by negotiation to gain over as many of the Sicels as they could. The dwellers in the plain who were subjects of the Syracusans mostly stood aloof, but the Sicel settlements in the interior (which had always been independent) at once, with a few exceptions, joined the Athenians, and brought down food to the army; [5] in some cases money also. Against those who were recalcitrant troops were despatched by the Athenians; and some of them were forced into submission, but others were protected by the garrisons which the Syracusans sent to their aid. They then transferred their station from Naxos to Catana and, reconstructing the camp which had been burnt by the Syracusans3, passed the winter there. [6] In the hope of obtaining assistance they sent a trireme to Carthage with a proposal of friendship; likewise to Tyrrhenia, since some of the cities there were offering of themselves to join them in the war: to the various Sicel tribes4 and to the Egestaeans they issued orders that they were to send as many horse as possible. [7] They further prepared bricks, tools, and whatever else was requisite for siege operations, intending, when the spring arrived, to prosecute the war with vigour.

The envoys whom the Syracusans had sent to Corinth and Lacedaemon5 endeavoured on the6 voyage to persuade the Italian Greeks that they were equally threatened by the Athenian designs, and should take an interest in the war. [8] When they arrived at Corinth they appealed to the Corinthians for aid on the ground of relationship. The Corinthians, taking the lead of all the Hellenic states, voted that they would assist Syracuse with all possible energy. They sent with the Syracusan envoys ambassadors of their own to the Lacedaemonians, bearing a joint request that they would resume open hostilities at home, and unite with them in sending help to Sicily. [9] At Lacedaemon the Corinthian ambassadors met Alcibiades and his fellow exiles. He had sailed at once from Thurii in a trading vessel to Cyllene in Elis, and thence proceeded to Lacedaemon on the invitation of the Lacedaemonians themselves, first obtaining a safe-conduct; for he was afraid of them after his proceedings in the matter of the Mantinean league7. [10] And so it came to pass that the Corinthians, the Syracusans, and Alcibiades appeared simultaneously in the Lacedaemonian assembly, and concurred in urging the same request. The ephors and the magistrates were already intending to send envoys to the Syracusans bidding them make no terms with the Athenians, although they were not disposed to assist them actively. But now Alcibiades came forward and stimulated the energies of the Lacedaemonians in the following words:—

1 The Camarinaeans suspect the designs of the Athenians and are afraid of their Syracusan neighbours. They resolve to assist The resolve to assist, if either, the Syracusans, but topless neutrality.

2 The Athenians in the Sicel country. They remove from Naxos to Catana, send envoys to Carthage and Tyrrhenia, and prepare for the siege of Syracuse.

3 Cp. 6.75 med.

4 Cp. 6.98 init.

5 Cp. 6.73.

6 The Corinthians are the first who promise aid o the Syracusan envoys. They go with them to Sparta, where they meet Alcibiades, who had come thither under a safe conduct.

7 Cp. 5.43 ff., 61 ff.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1909)
load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
load focus English (1910)
load focus Greek (1942)
hide References (70 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: