The Syracusans, who up to this time had been afraid of the reinforcements of Demosthenes,1
had now gained a brilliant success by sea as well as by land; the Athenians were in utter despair. Great was their surprise at the result, and still greater their regret that they had ever come.
The Sicilian were the only cities which they had ever encountered similar in character to their own2
, having the same democratic institutions and strong in ships, cavalry, and population, They were not able by holding out the prospect of a change of government to introduce an element of discord among them which might have gained them over3
, nor could they master them4
decided superiority of force. They had failed at almost every point, and were already in great straits, when the defeat at sea, which they could not have thought possible, reduced their fortunes to a still lower ebb.