77.After this the Peloponnesians, seeing their engines availed not and thinking it hard to take the city by any present violence, prepared themselves to besiege it.But first they thought fit to attempt it by fire, being no great city, and when the wind should rise, if they could, to burn it;
for there was no way they did not think on to have gained it without expense and long siege.
Having therefore brought faggots, they cast them from the mount into the space between it and their new wall, which by so many hands was quickly filled, and then into as much of the rest of the city as at that distance they could reach and, throwing amongst them fire, together with brimstone and pitch, kindled the wood and raised such a flame, as the like was never seen before made by the hand of man.
For as for the woods in the mountains, the trees have indeed taken fire;but it hath been by mutual attrition and have flamed out of their own accord.
But this fire was a great one, and the Plataeans that had escaped other mischiefs wanted little of being consumed by this.For near the wall they could not get by a great way;and if the wind had been with it (as the enemy hoped it might), they could never have escaped.
It is also reported that there fell much rain then with great thunder and that the flame was extinguished and the danger ceased by that.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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