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  • Sicily described.
  • -- The causes and pretences of the Sicilian war, with the consultation and preparation for the same. -- Alcibiades, one of the generals of the army, accused of defacing the images of Mercury, is suffered for that present to depart with the army. -- The Athenian army cometh to Rhegium; thence to Catana. -- From thence Alcibiades is sent for home to make answer to his accusations, and by the way escaping, goeth to Lacedaemon.

    -- Nicias encampeth near Syracuse, and having overcome the army of the Syracusians in battle, returneth to Catana. -- The Syracusians procure aids amongst the rest of the Sicilians. -- Alcibiades instigateth and instructeth the Lacedaemonians against his country. -- Nicias returneth from Catana to Syracuse, and encamping in Epipolae, besiegeth the city and beginneth to enclose them with a double wall, which was almost brought to perfection in the beginning of the eighteenth year of this war.

1. The same winter the Athenians, with greater forces than they had before sent out with Laches and Eurymedon, resolved to go again into Sicily, and, if they could, wholly to subdue it, being for the most part ignorant both of the greatness of the island, and of the multitude of people, as well Greeks as barbarians, that inhabited the same, and that they undertook a war not much less than the war against the Peloponnesians. [2] For the compass of Sicily is little less than eight days' sail for a ship; and though so great, is yet divided with no more than twenty furlongs, sea measure, from the continent.

2. It was inhabited in old time thus, and these were the nations that held it: The most ancient inhabitants in a part thereof are said to have been the Cyclopes and Laestrigones, of whose stock and whence they came or to what place they removed I have nothing to say. Let that suffice which the poets have spoken and which every particular man hath learned of them. [2] After them, the first that appear to have dwelt therein are the Sicanians, as they say themselves, nay, before the other, as being the natural breed of the island. But the truth is, they were Iberians, and driven away by the Ligyans from the banks of Sicanus, a river on which they were seated in Iberia. And the island from them came to be called Sicania, which was before Trinacria. And these [two] inhabit yet in the western parts of Sicily. [3] After the taking of Illium, certain Trojans, escaping the hands of the Grecians, landed with small boats in Sicily; and having planted themselves on the borders of the Sicanians, both the nations in one were called Elymi; and their cities were Eryx and Egesta. Hard by these came and dwelled also certain Phoceans, who, coming from Troy, were by tempest carried first into Africa and thence into Sicily. [4] But the Siculi passed out of Italy (for there they inhabited), flying from the Opici, having, as is most likely and as it is reported, observed the strait, and with a fore wind gotten over in boats which they made suddenly on the occasion, or perhaps by some other means.

There is at this day a people in Italy called Siculi. And Italy itself got that name after the same manner from a king of Arcadia called Italus. [5] Of these a great army crossing into Sicily overthrew the Sicanians in battle and drave them into the south and west parts of the same; and instead of Sicania, caused the island to be called Sicilia; and held and inhabited the best of the land for near three hundred years after their going over, and before any of the Grecians came thither. And till now they possess the midland and north parts of the island. [6]

Also the Phoenicians inhabited the coast of Sicily on all sides, having taken possession of certain promontories and little islands adjacent, for trade's sake with the Sicilians. But after that many Grecians were come in by sea, the Phoenicians abandoned most of their former habitations, and uniting themselves, dwelt in Motya and Soloeis and Panormus, upon the borders of the Elymi, as relying upon their league with the Elymi, and because also from thence lay the shortest cut over unto Carthage. These were the barbarians, and thus they inhabited Sicily.

3. Now for Grecians, first a colony of Chalcideans, under Thucles, their conductor, going from Euboea, built Naxos and the altar of Apollo Archegetes, now standing without the city, upon which the ambassadors employed to the oracles, as often as they launch from Sicily, are accustomed to offer their first sacrifice. [2] The next year Archias, a man of the Herculean family, carried a colony from Corinth and became founder of Syracuse, where first he drave the Siculi out of that island in which the inner part of the city now standeth, not now environed wholly with the sea as it was then. [3] And in process of time, when the city also that is without was taken in with a wall, it became a populous city. In the fifth year after the building of Syracuse, Thucles and the Chalcideans, going from Naxos, built Leontium, expelling thence the Siculi, and after that Catana; but they that went to Catana chose Euarchus for their founder.

4. About the same time in Sicily arrived also Lamis, with a colony from Megara, and first built a certain town called Trotilus, upon the river Pantacius, where for a while after he governed the estate of his colony in common with the Chalcideans of Leontium. But afterwards, when he was by them thrust out, and had builded Thapsus, he died; and the rest going from Thapsus, under the conduct of Hyblon, a king of the Siculi, built Megara, called Megara-Hyblaea. [2] And after they had there inhabited two hundred and forty-five years, they were by Gelon, a tyrant of Syracuse, put out both of the city and territory. But before they were driven thence, namely one hundred years after they had built it, they sent out Pammilus and built the city of Selinus. This Pammilus came to them from Megara, their own metropolitan city, and so together with them founded Selinus. [3] Gela was built in the forty-fifth year after Syracuse, by Antiphemus, that brought a colony out of Rhodes, and by Entymus, that did the like out of Crete, jointly. This city was named after the name of the river Gela; and the place where now the city standeth, and which at first they walled in, was called Lindii. [4] And the laws which they established were the Doric. About one hundred and eight years after their own foundation, they of Gela built the city of Acragante, calling the city after the name of the river; and for their conductors chose Aristonous and Pystilus, and gave unto them the laws of Gela. [5] Zancle was first built by pirates that came from Cume, a Chalcidean city in Opicia; but afterwards there came a multitude, and helped to people it, out of Chalcis and the rest of Euboea; and their conductors were Perieres and Crataemenes, one of Cume, the other of Chalcis. And the name of the city was at first Zancle, so named by the Sicilians because it hath the form of a sickle, and the Sicilians call a sickle zanclon. But these inhabitants were afterwards chased thence by the Samians and other people of Ionia that in their flight from the Medes fell upon Sicily. [6] After this, Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium, drave out the Samians, and peopling the city with a mixed people of them and his own, instead of Zancle called the place by the name of his own country from whence he was anciently descended, Messana.

5. After Zancle was built Himera, by Eucleides, Simus, and Sacon, the most of which colony were Chalcideans; but there were also amongst them certain outlaws of Syracuse, the vanquished part of a sedition, called the Myletidae. Their language grew to a mean between the Chalcidean and Doric; but the laws of the Chalcidean prevailed. [2] Acrae and Casmenae were built by the Syracusians, Acrae twenty years after Syracuse, and Casmenae almost twenty after Acrae. [3] Camarina was at first built by the Syracusians, very near the hundred and thirty-fifth year of their own city, Dascon and Menecolus being the conductors. But the Camarinaeans having been by the Syracusians driven from their seat by war for revolt, Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela, in process of time, taking of the Syracusians that territory for ransom of certain Syracusian prisoners, became their founder, and placed them in Camarina again. After this again, having been driven thence by Gelon, they were planted the third time in the same city.

6. These were the nations, Greeks and barbarians, that inhabited Sicily. And though it were thus great, yet the Athenians longed very much to send an army against it, out of a desire to bring it all under their subjection, which was the true motive, but as having withal this fair pretext of aiding their kindred and new confederates. [2] But principally they were instigated to it by the ambassadors of Egesta, who were at Athens and earnestly pressed them thereto. For bordering on the territory of the Selinuntians, they had begun a war about certain things concerning marriage and about a piece of ground that lay doubtfully between them. And the Selinuntians, having leagued themselves with the Syracusians, infested them with war both by sea and by land. Insomuch as the Egestaeans, putting the Athenians in mind of their former league with the Leontines made by Laches, prayed them to send a fleet thither in their aid, alleging, amongst many other things, this as principal: that if the Syracusians, who had driven the Leontines from their seat, should pass without revenge taken on them, and so proceed, by consuming the rest of the allies of the Athenians there, to get the whole power of Sicily into their hands, it would be dangerous lest hereafter some time or other, being Dorians, they should with great forces aid the Dorians for affinity, and being a colony of the Peloponnesians join with the Peloponnesians that sent them out, to pull down the Athenian empire; that it were wisdom, therefore, with those confederates they yet retain, to make head against the Syracusians; and the rather, because for the defraying of the war the Egestaeans would furnish money sufficient of themselves. [3] Which things when the Athenians had often heard in their assemblies from the mouths of the Egestaean ambassadors and of their advocates and patrons, they decreed to send ambassadors to Egesta to see, first, whether there were in their treasury and temples so much wealth as they said there was, and to bring word in what terms the war stood between that city and the Selinuntians. And ambassadors were sent into Sicily accordingly.

7. The same winter the Lacedaemonians and their confederates, all but the Corinthians, having drawn out their forces into the territory of the Argives, wasted a small part of their fields and carried away certain cart-loads of their corn. Thence they went to Orneae, and having placed there the Argive outlaws, left with them a few others of the rest of the army; and then making a composition for a certain time, that they of Orneae and those Argives should not wrong each other, they carried their army home. [2] But the Athenians arriving not long after with thirty galleys and six hundred men of arms, the people of Argos came also forth with their whole power, and joining with them, sat down betimes in the morning before Orneae. But when at night the army went somewhat far off to lodge, they within fled out; and the Argives, the next day perceiving it, pulled Orneae to the ground and went home. [3] And so also did the Athenians not long after with their galleys. Also the Athenians transported certain horsemen by sea, part of their own and part Macedonian fugitives that lived with them, into Methone and ravaged the territory of Perdiccas. [4] And the Lacedaemonians sent unto the Chalcideans upon Thrace, who held peace with the Athenians from ten days to ten days, appointing them to aid Perdiccas. But they refused. And so ended the winter, and the sixteenth year of this war written by Thucydides.

8. The next summer, early in the spring, the Athenian ambassadors returned from Sicily, and the ambassadors of Egesta with them, and brought in silver uncoined sixty talents, for a month's pay of sixty galleys, which they would entreat the Athenians to send thither. [2] And the Athenians, having called an assembly and heard both from the Egestaean and their own ambassadors, amongst other persuasive but untrue allegations, touching their money, how they had great store ready both in their treasury and temples, decreed the sending of sixty galleys into Sicily, and Alcibiades, the son of Cleinias, Nicias, the son of Niceratus, and Lamachus, the son of Xenophanes, for commanders with authority absolute; the which were to aid the people of Egesta against the Selinuntians, and withal, if they had time to spare, to plant the Leontines anew in their city, and to order all other the affairs of Sicily as they should think most for the profit of the Athenians. [3] Five days after this the people assembled again to consult of the means how most speedily to put this armada in readiness and to decree such things as the generals should further require for the expedition. [4] But Nicias, having heard that himself was chosen for one of the generals, and conceiving that the state had not well resolved, but affected the conquest of all Sicily, a great matter, upon small and superficial pretences, stood forth, desiring to have altered this the Athenians' purpose, and spake as followeth:

9. "Though this assembly was called to deliberate of our preparation and of the manner how to set forth our fleet for Sicily, yet to me it seemeth that we ought rather once again to consult whether it be not better not to send it at all than, upon a short deliberation in so weighty an affair and upon the credit of strangers, to draw upon ourselves an impertinent war. [2] For my own part, I have honour by it; and for the danger of my person, I esteem it the least of all men (not but that I think him a good member of the commonwealth that hath regard also to his own person and estate; for such a man especially will desire the public to prosper for his own sake): but as I have never spoken heretofore, so nor now will I speak anything that is against my conscience, for gaining to myself a pre-eminence of honour: but that only which I apprehend for the best. [3] And although I am sure that if I go about to persuade you to preserve what you already hold, and not to hazard things certain for uncertain and future, my words will be too weak to prevail against your humour; yet this I must needs let you know, that neither your haste is seasonable nor your desires easy to be achieved.

10. "For I say that going thither you leave many enemies here behind you, and more you endeavour to draw hither. [2] You perhaps think that the league will be firm that you have made with the Lacedaemonians; which, though as long as you stir not, may continue a league in name (for so some have made it of their own side ), yet if any considerable forces of ours chance to miscarry, our enemies will soon renew the war, as having made the peace constrained by calamities, and upon terms of more dishonour and necessity than ourselves; besides, in the league itself we have many things controverted. And some there be that refuse utterly to accept it, and they none of the weakest; [3] whereof some are now in open war against us, and others, because the Lacedaemonians stir not, maintain only a truce with us from ten to ten days, and so are contented yet to hold their hands. [4] But, peradventure, when they shall hear that our power is distracted, which is the thing we now hasten to do, they will be glad to join in the war with the Sicilians against us, the confederacy of whom they would heretofore have valued above many other. [5] It behoveth us therefore to consider of these things and not to run into new dangers when the state of our own city hangeth unsettled, nor seek a new dominion before we assure that which we already have. For the Chalcideans of Thrace, after so many years' revolt, are yet unreduced; and from others in divers parts of the continent we have but doubtful obedience. But the Egestaeans, being forsooth our confederates and wronged, they in all haste must be aided; though to right us on those by whom we have a long time ourselves been wronged, that we defer.

11. "And yet if we should reduce the Chalcideans into subjection, we could easily also keep them so; but the Sicilians, though we vanquish them, yet being many and far off, we should have much ado to hold them in obedience. Now it were madness to invade such, whom conquering you cannot keep, and failing, should lose the means for ever after to attempt the same again. [2] As for the Sicilians, it seemeth unto me, at least as things now stand, that they shall be of less danger to us if they fall under the dominion of the Syracusians than they are now; and yet this is it that the Egestaeans would most affright us with. [3] For now the states of Sicily, in several, may perhaps be induced, in favour of the Lacedaemonians, to take part against us; whereas then, being reduced into one, it is not likely they would hazard with us state against state. For by the same means that they, joining with the Peloponnesians, may pull down our dominion, by the same it would be likely that the Peloponnesians would subvert theirs. [4] The Grecians there will fear us most if we go not at all; next, if we but show our forces and come quickly away. But if any misfortune befall us, they will presently despise us and join with the Grecians here to invade us. For we all know that those things are most admired which are farthest off, and which least come to give proof of the opinion conceived of them. [5] And this, Athenians, is your own case with the Lacedaemonians and their confederates, whom because beyond your hope you have overcome in those things for which at first you feared them, you now in contempt of them turn your arms upon Sicily. [6] But we ought not to be puffed up upon the misfortunes of our enemies, but to be confident then only when we have mastered their designs. Nor ought we to think that the Lacedaemonians set their minds on anything else but how they may yet for the late disgrace repair their reputation, if they can, by our overthrow, and the rather because they have so much and so long laboured to win an opinion in the world of their valour. [7] The question with us therefore, if we be well advised, will not be of the Egestaeans in Sicily, but how we may speedily defend our city against the insidiation of them that favour the oligarchy.

12. "We must remember also that we have had now some short recreation from a late great plague and great war, and thereby are improved both in men and money, which it is most meet that we should spend here upon ourselves and not upon those outlaws which seek for aid, seeing it maketh for them to tell us a specious lie; who, contributing only words whilst their friends bear all the danger, if they speed well, shall be disobliged of thanks, if ill, undo their friends for company. [2] Now if there be any man here that for ends of his own, as being glad to be general, especially being yet too young to have charge in chief, shall advise the expedition to the end he may have admiration for his expense upon horses and help from his place to defray that expense, suffer him not to purchase his private honour and splendour with the danger of the public fortune. Believe rather that such men, though they rob the public, do nevertheless consume also their private wealth. Besides, the matter itself is full of great difficulties, such as it is not fit for a young man to consult of, much less hastily to take in hand.

13. "And I, seeing those now sit by and abet the same man, am fearful of them; and I do on the other side exhort the elder sort (if any of them sit near those other) not to be ashamed to deliver their minds freely, as fearing that if they gave their voice against the war they should be esteemed cowards, nor to doat (as they do) upon things absent, knowing that by passion the fewest actions and by reason the most do prosper; but rather for the benefit of their country, which is now cast into greater danger than ever before, to hold up their hands on the other side and decree that the Sicilians, within the limits they now enjoy, not misliked by you, and with liberty to sail by the shore in the Ionian gulf, and in the main of the Sicilian sea, shall possess their own and compound their differences between themselves. [2] And for the Egestaeans, to answer them in particular thus: that as without the Athenians they had begun the war against the Selinuntians, so they should without them likewise end it; and that we shall no more hereafter, as we have used to do, make such men our confederates, as when they do injury, we must maintain it, and when we require their assistance, cannot have it.

14. And you, the president, if you think it your office to take care of the commonwealth and desire to be a good member of the same, put these things once more to the question, and let the Athenians speak to it again. Think (if you be afraid to infringe the orders of the assembly) that before so many witnesses it will not be made a crime, but that you shall be rather thought a physician of your country, that hath swallowed down evil counsel. And he truly dischargeth the duty of a president who laboureth to do his country the most good, or at least will not willingly do it hurt.

15. Thus spake Nicias. But the most of the Athenians that spake after him were of opinion that the voyage ought to proceed, the decree already made not to be reversed; yet some there were that said to the contrary. [2] But the expedition was most of all pressed by Alcibiades, the son of Cleinias, both out of desire he had to cross Nicias, with whom he was likewise at odds in other points of state, and also for that he had glanced at him invidiously in his oration, but principally for that he affected to have charge, hoping that himself should be the man to subdue both Sicily and Carthage to the state of Athens, and withal, if it succeeded, to increase his own private wealth and glory. [3] For being in great estimation with the citizens, his desires were more vast than for the proportion of his estate, both in maintaining of horses and other his expenses, was meet; [4] which proved afterwards none of the least causes of the subversion of the Athenian commonwealth. For most men fearing him, both for his excess in things that concerned his person and form of life and for the greatness of his spirit in every particular action he undertook, as one that aspired to the tyranny, they became his enemy. And although for the public he excellently managed the war, yet every man, privately displeased with his course of life, gave the charge of the wars to others, and thereby not long after overthrew the state. [5] Alcibiades at this time stood forth and spake to this effect:

16. "Men of Athens, it both belongeth unto me more than to any other to have this charge; and withal I think myself (for I must needs begin with this, as having been touched by Nicias) to be worthy of the same. For those things for which I am so much spoken of do indeed purchase glory to my progenitors and myself; [2] but to the commonwealth they confer both glory and profit. For the Grecians have thought our city a mighty one, even above the truth, by reason of my brave appearance at the Olympic games, whereas before they thought easily to have warred it down. For I brought thither seven chariots and not only won the first, second, and fourth prize, but carried also in all other things a magnificence worthy the honour of the victory. And in such things as these, as there is honour to be supposed according to the law, so is there also a power conceived upon sight of the thing done. [3] As for my expenses in the city upon setting forth of shows, or whatsoever else is remarkable in me, though naturally it procure envy in other citizens, yet to strangers this also is an argument of our greatness. Now, it is no unprofitable course of life when a man shall at his private cost not only benefit himself but also the commonwealth. [4] Nor doth he that beareth himself high upon his own worth and refuseth to make himself fellow with the rest wrong the rest; for if he were in distress, he should not find any man that would share with him in his calamity. Therefore, as we are not so much as saluted when we be in misery, so let them likewise be content to be contemned of us when we flourish; [5] or if they require equality, let them also give it. I know that such men, or any man else that excelleth in the glory of anything whatsoever, shall as long as he liveth be envied, principally of his equals, and then also of others amongst whom he converseth; but with posterity they shall have kindred claimed of them, though there be none; and his country will boast of him, not as of a stranger or one that had been a man of lewd life, but as their own citizen and one that had achieved worthy and laudable acts. [6] This being the thing I aim at and for which I am renowned, consider now whether I administer the public the worse for it or not. For having reconciled unto you the most potent states of Peloponnesus without much either danger or cost, I compelled the Lacedaemonians to stake all that ever they had upon the fortune of one day of Mantineia.

17. And this hath my youth and madness, supposed to have been very madness, with familiar and fit words wrought upon the power of the Peloponnesians, and shewing reason for my passion, made my madness now no longer to be feared. But as long as I flourish with it, and Nicias is esteemed fortunate, make you use of both our services. And abrogate not your decree touching the voyage into Sicily, as though the power were great you are to encounter withal. [2] For the number wherewith their cities are populous is but of promiscuous nations, easily shifting and easily admitting new comers, and consequently not sufficiently armed, any of them, for the defence of their bodies, nor furnished, as the custom of the place appointeth, to fight for their country. [3] But what any of them thinks he may get by fair speech or snatch from the public by sedition, that only he looks after, with purpose, if he fail, to run the country. And it is not likely that such a rabble should either with one consent give ear to what is told them or unite themselves for the administration of their affairs in common; [4] but if they hear of fair offers, they will one after one be easily induced to come in, especially if there be seditions amongst them, as we hear there are. [5] And the truth is, there are neither so many men of arms as they boast of, nor doth it appear that there are so many Grecians there in all as the several cities have every one reckoned for their own number. Nay, even Greece hath much belied itself, and was scarce sufficiently armed in all this war past. [6] So that the business there, for all that I can by fame understand, is even as I have told you, and will yet be easier. For we shall have many of the barbarians, upon hatred of the Syracusians, to take our parts against them there; and if we consider the case aright, there will be nothing to hinder us at home. [7] For our ancestors, having the same enemies which they say we leave behind us now in our voyage to Sicily, and the Persian besides, did nevertheless erect the empire we now have by our only odds of strength at sea. [8] And the hope of the Peloponnesians against us was never less than now it is, though their power were also as great as ever; for they would be able to invade our land, though we went not into Sicily; and by sea they can do us no harm though we go, for we shall leave a navy sufficient to oppose theirs behind us.

18. "What therefore can we allege with any probability for our backwardness; or what can we pretend unto our confederates for denying them assistance? Whom we ought to defend, were it but because we have sworn it to them, without objecting that they have not reciprocally aided us. For we took them not into league that they should come hither with their aids, but that by troubling our enemies there they might hinder them from coming hither against us. [2] And the way whereby we, and whosoever else hath dominion hath gotten it, hath ever been the cheerful succouring of their associates that required it, whether they were Greeks or barbarians. For if we should all sit still, or stand to make choice which were fit to be assisted and which not, we should have little under our government of the estates of other men, but rather hazard our own. [3] For when one is grown mightier than the rest, men use not only to defend themselves against him when he shall invade, but to anticipate him, that he invade not at all. Nor is it in our power to be our own carvers how much we will have subject to us; but considering the case we are in, it is as necessary for us to seek to subdue those that are not under our dominion, as to keep so those that are; lest if others be not subject to us, we fall in danger of being subjected unto them. [4] Nor are we to weigh quietness in the same balance that others do, unless also the institution of this state were like unto that of other states. Let us rather make reckoning by enterprising abroad to increase our power at home, and proceed on our voyage that we may cast down the haughty conceit of the Peloponnesians and show them the contempt and slight account we make of our present ease by undertaking this our expedition into Sicily. [5] Whereby, either conquering those states we shall become masters of all Greece, or weaken the Syracusians, to the benefit of ourselves and our confederates. And for our security to stay, if any city shall come to our side, or to come away if otherwise, our galleys will afford it. [6] For in that we shall be at our own liberty, though all the Sicilians together were against it.

Let not the speech of Nicias, tending only to laziness and to the stirring of debate between the young men and the old, avert you from it; but with the same decency wherewith your ancestors, consulting young and old together, have brought our dominion to the present height, endeavour you likewise to enlarge the same. And think not that youth or age, one without the other, is of any effect, but that the simplest, the middle sort, and the exactest judgments tempered together is it that doth the greatest good; and that a state as well as any other thing will, if it rest, wear out of itself, and all men's knowledge decay; whereas by the exercise of war experience will continually increase, and the city will get a habit of resisting the enemy, not with words, but action. [7] In sum, this is my opinion: that a state accustomed to be active, if it once grow idle, will quickly be subjected by the change; and that they of all men are most surely planted that with most unity observe the present laws and customs, though not always of the best.

19. Thus spake Alcibiades. The Athenians, when they had heard him, together with the Egestaeans and Leontine outlaws, who being then present entreated, and objecting to them their oath, begged their help in form of suppliants, were far more earnestly bent upon the journey than they were before. [2] But Nicias, when he saw he could not alter their resolution with his oration, but thought he might perhaps put them from it by the greatness of the provision, if he should require it with the most, stood forth again and said in this manner.

20. "Men of Athens, forasmuch as I see you violently bent on this expedition, such effect may it take as is desired. Nevertheless I shall now deliver my opinion upon the matter as it yet standeth. [2] As far as we understand by report, we set out against great cities, not subject one to another, nor needing innovation, whereby they should be glad, out of hard servitude, to admit of easier masters, nor such as are likely to prefer our government before their own liberty; but many (as for one island), and those Greek cities. [3] For besides Naxos and Catana (which too I hope will join with us for their affinity with the Leontines), there are other seven, furnished in all respects after the manner of our own army, and especially those two against which we bend our forces most, Selinus and Syracuse. [4] For there are in them many men of arms, many archers, many darters, besides many galleys and a multitude of men to man them. They have also store of money, both amongst private men and in their temples. This have the Selinuntians. The Syracusians have a tribute beside, coming in from some of the barbarians. But that wherein they exceed us most is this: that they abound in horses, and have corn of their own, not fetched in from other places.

21. "Against such a power we shall therefore need not a fleet only, and with it a small army, but there must great forces go along of land soldiers, if we mean to do anything worthy of our design and not to be kept by their many horsemen from landing; especially if the cities there, terrified by us, should now hold all together, and none but the Egestaeans prove our friends and furnish us with a cavalry to resist them. [2] And it would be a shame either to come back with a repulse or to send for a new supply afterwards, as if we had not wisely considered our enterprise at first. Therefore we must go sufficiently provided from hence, as knowing that we go far from home and are to make war in a place of disadvantage, and not as when we went as confederates to aid some of our subjects here at home, where we had easy bringing in of necessaries to the camp from the territories of friends. But we go far off, and into a country of none but strangers, and from whence in winter there can hardly come a messenger unto us in so little as four months.

22. "Wherefore I am of opinion that we ought to take with us many men of arms of our own, of our confederates, and of our subjects; and also out of Peloponnesus as many as we can get, either for love or money; and also many archers and slingers, whereby to resist their cavalry; and much spare shipping, for the more easy bringing in of provision. Also our corn, I mean wheat and barley parched, we must carry with us from hence in ships; and bakers from the mills, hired and made to work by turns, that the army, if it chance to be weatherbound, may not be in want of victual. For being so great, it will not be for every city to receive it. And so for all things else, we must as much as we can provide them ourselves and not rely on others. Above all, we must take hence as much money as we can; for as for that which is said to be ready at Egesta, think it ready in words, but not in deeds.

23. For although we go thither with an army not only equal unto theirs, but also (excepting their men of arms for battle) in everything exceeding it, yet so shall we scarce be able both to overcome them and withal to preserve our own. [2] We must also make account that we go to inhabit some city in that foreign and hostile country, and either the first day we come thither to be presently masters of the field, or failing, be assured to find all in hostility against us. [3] Which fearing, and knowing that the business requires much good advice and more good fortune (which is a hard matter, being we are but men), I would so set forth as to commit myself to fortune as little as I may and take with me an army that in likelihood should be secure. [4] And this I conceive to be both the surest course for the city in general and the safest for us that go the voyage. If any man be of a contrary opinion, I resign him my place.

24. Thus spake Nicias, imagining that either the Athenians would, upon the multitude of the things required, abandon the enterprise; or if he were forced to go, he might go with the more security. [2] But the Athenians gave not over the desire they had of the voyage for the difficulty of the preparation, but were the more inflamed thereby to have it proceed; and the contrary fell out of that which he before expected. For they approved his counsel and thought now there would be no danger at all. [3] And every one alike fell in love with the enterprise: the old men, upon hope to subdue the place they went to, or that at least so great a power could not miscarry; and the young men, upon desire to see a foreign country and to gaze, making little doubt but to return with safety. As for the common sort and the soldiers, they made account to gain by it not only their wages for the time, but also so to amplify the state in power as that their stipend should endure forever. [4] So that through the vehement desire thereunto of the most, they also that liked it not, for fear if they held up their hands against it to be thought evil-affected to the state, were content to let it pass.

25. And in the end a certain Athenian stood up and, calling upon Nicias, said he ought not to shift off nor delay the business any longer, but to declare there before them all what forces he would have the Athenians to decree him. [2] To which unwillingly he answered and said he would consider of it first with his fellow-commanders. Nevertheless, for so much as he could judge upon the sudden, he said there would need no less than one hundred galleys, whereof for transporting of men of arms, so many of the Athenians' own as they themselves should think meet, and the rest to be sent for to their confederates; and that of men of arms in all, of their own and of their confederates, there would be requisite no less than five thousand, but rather more, if they could be gotten; and other provision proportionable. As for archers, both from hence and from Crete, and slingers, and whatsoever else should seem necessary, they would provide it themselves and take it with them.

26. When the Athenians had heard him, they presently decreed that the generals should have absolute authority, both touching the greatness of the preparation and the whole voyage, to do therein as should seem best unto them for the commonwealth. [2] And after this, they went in hand with the preparation accordingly, and both sent unto the confederates and enrolled soldiers at home. The city had by this time recovered herself from the sickness and from their continual wars, both in number of men fit for the wars, grown up after the ceasing of the plague, and in store of money gathered together by means of the peace; whereby they made their provisions with much ease. And thus were they employed in preparations for the voyage.

27. In the meantime the Mercuries of stone throughout the whole city of Athens (now there were many of these of square stone set up by the law of the place, and many in the porches of private houses and in the temples) had in one night most of them their faces pared. [2] And no man knew who had done it; and yet great rewards out of the treasury had been propounded to the discoverers, and a decree made that if any man knew of any other profanation, he might boldly declare the same, were he citizen, stranger, or bondman. [3] And they took the fact exceedingly to heart as ominous to the expedition and done withal upon conspiracy for alteration of the state and dissolution of the democracy.

28. Hereupon, certain strangers dwelling in the city and certain serving-men revealed something, not about the Mercuries, but of the paring of the statues of some other of the gods, committed formerly through wantonness and too much wine by young men; and withal, how they had in private houses acted the mysteries of their religion in mockery; amongst whom they also accused Alcibiades. [2] This they that most envied Alcibiades, because he stood in the way that they could not constantly bear chief sway with the people, making account to have the primacy if they could thrust him out, took hold of and exceedingly aggravated, exclaiming that both the mockery of the mysteries and the paring of the Mercuries tended to the deposing of the people, and that nothing therein was done without him, alleging for argument his other excess in the ordinary course of his life, not convenient in a popular estate.

29. He at that present made his apology and was there ready, if he had done any such thing, to answer it before he went the voyage (for by this time all their preparation was in readiness) and to suffer justice if he were guilty and if absolved to resume his charge, [2] protesting against all accusations to be brought against him in his absence, and pressing to be put to death then presently if he had offended, and saying that it would not be discreetly done to send away a man accused of so great crimes with the charge of such an army before his trial. [3] But his enemies, fearing lest if he came then to his trial he should have had the favour of his army and lest the people, which loved him because the Argives and some of the Mantineans served them in this war only for his sake, should have been mollified, put the matter off and hastened his going out by setting on other orators to advise that for the present he should go, and that the setting forward of the fleet should not be retarded, and that at his return he should have a day assigned him for his trial; their purpose being, upon further accusation, which they might easily contrive in his absence, to have him sent for back to make his answer. And thus it was concluded that Alcibiades should go.

30. After this, the summer being now half spent, they put to sea for Sicily. The greatest part of the confederates and the ships that carried their corn and all the lesser vessels and the rest of the provision that went along, they before appointed to meet [upon a day set] at Corcyra, thence all together to cross over the Ionian gulf to the promontory of Iapygia. But the Athenians themselves and as many of their confederates as were at Athens, upon the day appointed, betimes in the morning came down into Peiraeus and went aboard to take sea. With them came down in a manner the whole multitude of the city, as well inhabitants as strangers, the inhabitants to follow after such as belonged unto them, some their friends, some their kinsmen, and some their children, filled both with hope and lamentations; [2] hope of conquering what they went for, and lamentation as being in doubt whether ever they should see each other any more, considering what a way they were to go from their own territory; (and now when they were to leave one another to danger, they apprehended the greatness of the same more than they had done before when they decreed the expedition: nevertheless their present strength, by the abundance of everything before their eyes prepared for the journey, gave them heart again in beholding it); but the strangers and other multitude came only to see the shew, as of a worthy and incredible design.

31. For this preparation, being the first Grecian power that ever went out of Greece from one only city, was the most sumptuous and the most glorious of all that ever had been sent forth before it to that day. Nevertheless, for number of galleys and men of arms, that which went forth with Pericles to Epidaurus and that which Agnon carried with him to Potidaea was not inferior to it. For there went four thousand men of arms, three hundred horse, and one hundred galleys out of Athens itself, and out of Lesbos and Chios fifty galleys, besides many confederates that accompanied him in the voyage. [2] But they went not far and were but meanly furnished. Whereas this fleet, as being to stay long abroad, was furnished for both kinds of service, in which of them soever it should have occasion to be employed, both with shipping and land-soldiers. [3] For the shipping, it was elaborate with a great deal of cost, both of the captains of galleys and of the city. For the state allowed a drachma a day to every mariner; the empty galleys which they sent forth, being of nimble ones sixty and of such as carried their men of arms forty more, and the captains of galleys both put into them the most able servants, and besides the wages of the state, unto the [uppermost bank of oars, called the] Thranitae, and to the servants, gave somewhat of their own, and bestowed great cost otherwise every one upon his own galley, both in the badges and other rigging, each one striving to the utmost to have his galley, both in some ornament and also in swiftness, to exceed the rest. And for the land forces, they were levied with exceeding great choice, and every man endeavoured to excel his fellow in the bravery of his arms and utensils that belonged to his person. [4] Insomuch as amongst themselves it begat quarrel about precedency, but amongst other Grecians, a conceit that it was an ostentation rather of their power and riches than a preparation against an enemy. [5] For if a man enter into account of the expense, as well of the public as of private men that went the voyage, namely, of the public, what was spent already in the business, and what was to be given to the commanders to carry with them, and of private men, what every one had bestowed upon his person and every captain on his galley, besides what every one was likely, over and above his allowance from the state, to bestow on provision for so long a warfare, and what the merchant carried with him for traffic, he will find the whole sum carried out of the city to amount to a great many talents. [6] And the fleet was no less noised amongst those against whom it was to go for the strange boldness of the attempt and gloriousness of the show than it was for the excessive report of their number, for the length of the voyage, and for that it was undertaken with so vast future hopes in respect of their present power.

32. After they were all aboard, and all things laid in that they meant to carry with them, silence was commanded by the trumpet; and after the wine had been carried about to the whole army, and all, as well the generals as the soldiers, had drunk a health to the voyage, they made their prayers, such as by the law were appointed for before their taking sea, not in every galley apart, but all together, the herald pronouncing them. [2] And the company from the shore, both of the city and whosoever else wished them well, prayed with them. And when they had sung the Paean and ended the health, they put forth to sea; and having at first gone out in a long file, galley after galley, they after went a vie by Aegina. Thus hasted these to be at Corcyra, to which place also the other army of the confederates were assembling. [3]

At Syracuse they had advertisement of the voyage from divers places; nevertheless it was long ere anything would be believed. Nay, an assembly being there called, orations were made, such as follow, on both parts, as well by them that believed the report touching the Athenian army to be true as by others that affirmed the contrary. And Hermocrates the son of Hermon, as one that thought he knew the certainty, stood forth and spake to this effect:

33. "Concerning the truth of this invasion, though perhaps I shall be thought, as well as other men, to deliver a thing incredible, and though I know that such as be either the authors or relaters of matter incredible shall not only not persuade, but be also accounted fools, nevertheless, I will not fear thereof hold my tongue, as long as the commonwealth is in danger, being confident that I know the truth hereof somewhat more certainly than others do. [2] The Athenians are bent to come even against us (which you verily wonder at), and that with great forces both for the sea and land, with pretence indeed to aid their confederates the Egestaeans and replant the Leontines; but in truth they aspire to the dominion of all Sicily, and especially of this city of ours, which obtained, they make account to get the rest with ease. [3] Seeing then they will presently be upon us, advise with your present means how you may with most honour make head against them, that you may not be taken unprovided through contempt nor be careless through incredulity, and that such as believe it may not be dismayed with their audaciousness and power. [4] For they are not more able to do hurt unto us than we be unto them. Neither indeed is the greatness of their fleet without some advantage unto us; nay, it will be much the better for us in respect of the rest of the Sicilians. For being terrified by them, they will the rather league with us. And if we either vanquish or repulse them without obtaining what they came for (for I fear not at all the effecting of their purpose), verily it will be a great honour to us, and in my opinion not unlikely to come to pass. For in truth there have been few great fleets, whether of Grecians or barbarians, sent far from home that have not prospered ill. [5] Neither are these that come against us more in number than ourselves and the neighboring cities; for surely we shall all hold together upon fear. And if for want of necessaries in a strange territory they chance to miscarry, the honour of it will be left to us against whom they bend their councils, though the greatest cause of their overthrow should consist in their own errors. [6] Which was also the case of these very Athenians, who raised themselves by the misfortune of the Medes (though it happened for the most part contrary to reason); because in name they went only against the Athenians. And that the same shall now happen unto us is not without probability.

34. Let us therefore with courage put in readiness our own forces; let us send to the Siculi to confirm those we have, and to make peace and league with others; and let us send ambassadors to the rest of Sicily to show them that it is a common danger, and into Italy to get them into our league, or at least that they receive not the Athenians. [2] And in my judgment it were our best course to send also to Carthage, for even they are not without expectation of the same danger. Nay, they are in a continual fear that the Athenians will bring war upon them also, even to their city. So that upon apprehension that if they neglect us the trouble will come home to their own door, they will perhaps, either secretly or openly or some way assist us. And of all that now are, they are the best able to do it, if they please. For they have the most gold and silver, by which the wars and all things else are the best expedited. [3] Let us also send to Lacedaemon and to Corinth, praying them not only to send their succours hither with speed, but also to set on foot the war there. [4] But that which I think the best course of all, though through an habit of sitting still you will hardly be brought to it, I will nevertheless now tell you what it is. If the Sicilians all together, or if not all, yet if we and most of the rest, should draw together our whole navy, and with two months' provision go and meet the Athenians at Tarentum and the promontory of Iapygia, and let them see that they must fight for their passage over the Ionian gulf before they fight for Sicily, it would both terrify them the most and also put them into a consideration that we, as the watchmen of our country, come upon them out of an amicable territory (for we shall be received at Tarentum), whereas they themselves have a great deal of sea to pass with all their preparations and cannot keep themselves in their order for the length of the voyage; and that for us it will be an easy matter to assail them, coming up slowly as they do and thin. [5] Again, if lightening their galleys, they shall come up to us more nimbly and more close together, we shall charge upon them already wearied, or we may, if we please, retire again into Tarentum. Whereas they, if they come over but with a part of their provisions, as to fight at sea, shall be driven into want of victuals in those desert parts, and either staying be there besieged, or, attempting to go by, leave behind them the rest of their provision, and be dejected, as not assured of the cities whether they will receive them or not. [6] I am therefore of opinion that dismayed with this reckoning they will either not put over at all from Corcyra, or whilst they spend time in deliberating and in sending out to explore how many and in what place we are, the season will be lost and winter come; or deterred with our unlookedfor opposition, they will give over the voyage. And the rather for that as I hear the man of most experience amongst their commanders hath the charge against his will and would take a light occasion to return if he saw any considerable stop made by us in the way. [7] And I am very sure we should be voiced amongst them to the utmost. And as the reports are, so are men's minds; and they fear more such as they hear will begin with them than such as give out that they will no more but defend themselves, because then they think the danger equal. [8] Which would be now the case of the Athenians. For they come against us with an opinion that we will not fight, deservedly contemning us because we joined not with the Lacedaemonians to pull them down. [9] But if they should see us once bolder than they looked for, they would be terrified more with the unexpectedness than with the truth of our power itself. Be persuaded therefore, principally to dare to do this, or if not this, yet speedily to make yourselves otherwise ready for the war, and every man to remember that though to show contempt of the enemy be best in the heat of fight, yet those preparations are the surest that are made with fear and opinion of danger. As for the Athenians, they come; and I am sure are already in the way and want only that they are not now here.

35. Thus spake Hermocrates. But the people of Syracuse were at much strife amongst themselves, some contending that the Athenians would by no means come and that the reports were not true, and others that if they came they would do no more harm than they were likely again to receive. Some contemned and laughed at the matter; but some few there were that believed Hermocrates and feared the event. [2] But Athenagoras, who was chief magistrate of the people, and at that time most powerful with the commons, spake as followeth:

36. "He is either a coward or not well affected to the state, whosoever he be, that wishes the Athenians not to be so mad as coming hither to fall into our power. As for them that report such things as these and put you into fear, though I wonder not at their boldness, yet I wonder at their folly, if they think their ends not seen. [2] For they that are afraid of anything themselves will put the city into affright that they may shadow their own with the common fear. And this may the reports do at this time, not raised by chance, but framed on purpose by such as always trouble the state. [3] But if you mean to deliberate wisely, make not your reckoning by the reports of these men but by that which wise men and men of great experience, such as I hold the Athenians to be, are likely to do. [4] For it is not probable that, leaving the Peloponnesians and the war there not yet surely ended, they should willingly come hither to a new war no less the former, seeing, in my opinion, they may be glad that we invade not them, so many and so great cities as we are.

37. "And if indeed they come, as these men say they will, I think Sicily more sufficient to dispatch the war than Peloponnesus, as being in all respects better furnished, and that this our own city is much stronger than the army which they say is now coming, though it were twice as great as it is. For I know they neither bring horses with them nor can they get any here, save only a few from the Egestaeans, nor have men of arms so many as we, in that they are to bring them by sea. For it is a hard matter to come so far as this by sea, though they carried no men of arms in their galleys at all, if they carry with them all other their necessaries, which cannot be small against so great a city. [2] So that I am so far from the opinion of these others that I think the Athenians, though they had here another city as great as Syracuse, and confining on it, and should from thence make their war, yet should not be able to escape from being destroyed, every man of them, much less now, when all Sicily is their enemy. For in their camp, fenced with their galleys, they shall be cooped up and from their tents and forced munition never be able to stir far abroad without being cut off by our horsemen. In short, I think they shall never be able to get landing, so much above theirs do I value our own forces.

38. "But these things, as I said before, the Athenians, considering, I am very sure will look unto their own; [2] and our men talk here of things that neither are or ever will be, who I know have desired, not only now but ever, by such reports as these or by worse, or by their actions, to put the multitude in fear that they themselves might rule the state. And I am afraid, lest attempting it often, they may one day effect it; and for us, we are too poor-spirited either to foresee it ere it be done, or foreseeing to prevent it. [3] By this means our city is seldom quiet, but subject to sedition and contention, not so much against the enemy as within itself, and sometimes also to tyranny and usurpation. Which I will endeavour (if you will second me) so to prevent hereafter as nothing more of this kind shall befall you; [4] which must be done, first by gaining you the multitude, and then by punishing the authors of these plots, not only when I find them in the action (for it will be hard to take them so), but also for those things which they would and cannot do. For one must not only take revenge upon an enemy for what he hath already done, but strike him first for his evil purpose; for if a man strike not first, he shall first be stricken. And as for the few, I shall in somewhat reprove them, in somewhat have an eye to them, and in somewhat advise them. For this, I think, will be the best course to avert them from their bad intentions. [5] Tell me forsooth (I have asked this question often), you that are the younger sort, What would you have? Would you now bear office? The law allows it not; and the law was made because ye are not [now] sufficient for government, not to disgrace you when you shall be sufficient. But forsooth, you would not be ranked with the multitude! But what justice is it, that the same men should not have the same privileges?

39. "Some will say that the democracy is neither a well-governed nor a just state, and that the most wealthy are aptest to make the best government. But I answer first, democracy is a name of the whole, oligarchy but of a part. Next, though the rich are indeed fittest to keep the treasure, yet the wise are the best counsellors, and the multitude, upon hearing, the best judge. Now in a democracy all these, both jointly and severally, participate equal privileges. [2] But in the oligarchy they allow indeed to the multitude a participation of all dangers, but in matters of profit, they not only encroach upon the multitude, but take from them and keep the whole. Which is the thing that you the rich and the younger sort affect, but in a great city cannot possibly embrace. But yet, O ye the most unwise of all men, unless you know that what you affect is evil, and if you know not that, you are the most ignorant of all the Grecians I know; or, ye most wicked of all men, if knowing it you dare do this.

40. Yet I say, inform yourselves better or change your purpose and help to amplify the common good of the city, making account that the good amongst you shall not only have an equal but a greater share therein than the rest of the multitude; whereas if you will needs have all, you shall run the hazard of losing all. Away therefore with these rumours, as discovered and not allowed. [2] For this city, though the Athenians come, will be able to defend itself with honour. And we have generals to look to that matter. And if they come not (which I rather believe), it will not, upon the terror of your reports, make choice of you for commanders and cast itself into voluntary servitude; but taking direction of itself, it both judgeth your words virtually as facts, and will not upon words let go her present liberty, but endeavour to preserve it by not committing the same actually to your discretion.

41. Thus said Athenagoras. Then one of their generals, rising up, forbade any other to stand forth, and spake himself to the matter in hand to this effect: [2]

It is no wisdom, neither for the speakers to utter such calumnies one against another, nor for the hearers to receive them. We should rather consider, in respect of these reports, how we may in the best manner, both every one in particular and the city in general, be prepared to resist them when they come. [3] And if there be no need, yet to furnish the city with horses and arms and other habiliments of war can do us no hurt. [4] As for the care hereof and the musters, we will look to it, and will send men abroad both to the cities and for spials, and do whatsoever else is requisite. Somewhat we have done already; and what more we shall hereafter find meet, we will from time to time report unto you.

Which when the general had said, the Syracusians dissolved the assembly.

42. The Athenians were now all in Corcyra, both they and their confederates. And first the generals took a view of the whole army and put them into the order wherein they were to anchor and make their naval camp; and having divided them into three squadrons, to each squadron they assigned a captain by lot, to the end that being at sea they might not come into want of water or harbours or any other necessaries where they chanced to stay; and that they might otherwise be the more easy to be governed when every squadron had his proper commander. [2] After this they sent before them three galleys into Italy and Sicily to bring them word what cities in those parts would receive them, whom they appointed to come back and meet them that they might know whether they might be received or not before they put in.

43. This done, the Athenians with all their provisions put out from Corcyra towards Sicily, having with them in all one hundred and thirty-four galleys and two Rhodian long-boats of fifty oars a-piece. Of these, a hundred were of Athens itself, whereof sixty were expedite, the other forty for transportation of soldiers; the rest of the navy belonged to the Chians and other the confederates. Of men of arms they had in all five thousand one hundred. Of these, there were of the Athenians themselves fifteen hundred enrolled and seven hundred more [of the poorer sort, called] Thetes, hired for defence of the galleys. The rest were of their confederates, some of them being their subjects: of Argives there were five hundred; of Mantineans and mercenaries, two hundred and fifty. Their archers in all, four hundred and eighty, of which eighty were Cretans. Rhodian slingers they had seven hundred. Of lightarmed Megarean fugitives, one hundred and twenty; and in one vessel made for transportation of horses, thirty horsemen.

44. These were the forces that went over to the war at first. With these went also thirty ships carrying necessaries, wherein went also the bakers and masons and carpenters and all tools of use in fortification; and with these thirty ships went one hundred boats by constraint, and many other ships and boats that voluntarily followed the army for trade; which then passed all together from Corcyra over the Ionian gulf. [2] And the whole fleet being come to the promontory of Iapygia and to Tarentum and such other places as every one could recover, they went on by the coast of Italy, neither received of the states there into any city nor allowed any market, having only the liberty of anchorage and water (and that also at Tarentum and Locri denied them), till they were at Rhegium, where they all came together again and settled their camp in the temple of Diana (for neither there were they suffered to come in) without the city, where the Rhegians allowed them a market. [3] And when they had drawn their galleys to land, they lay still. Being here, they dealt with the Rhegians, who were Chalcideans, to aid the Leontines, Chalcideans likewise. To which was answered that they would take part with neither, but what the rest of the Italians should conclude, that also they would do. [4] So the Athenians lay still, meditating on their Sicilian business, how they might carry it the best, and withal expected the return from Egesta of the three galleys which they had sent before them, desiring to know if so much money were there or not, as was reported by their messengers at Athens.

45. The Syracusians in the meantime from divers parts and also from their spies had certain intelligence that the fleet was now at Rhegium: and therefore made their preparations with all diligence and were no longer incredulous, but sent unto the Siculi, to some cities men to keep them from revolting, to others, ambassadors, and into such places as lay upon the sea, garrisons; and examined the forces of their own city, by a view taken of the arms and horse, whether they were complete or not, and ordered all things as for a war at hand and only not already present.

46. The three galleys sent before to Egesta returned to the Athenians at Rhegium and brought word that for the rest of the money promised there was none, only there appeared thirty talents. [2] At this the generals were presently discouraged, both because this first hope was crossed, and because also the Rhegians, whom they had already begun to persuade to their league, and whom it was most likely they should have won, as being of kin to the Leontines and always heretofore favourable to the Athenian state, now refused. And though to Nicias this news from the Egestaeans was no more than he expected, yet to the other two it was extreme strange. [3] But the Egestaeans, when the first ambassadors from Athens went to see their treasure, had thus deceived them. They brought them into the temple of Venus in Eryx and showed them the holy treasure, goblets, flagons, censers, and other furniture, in no small quantity; which being but silver, appeared to the eye a great deal above their true value in money. Then they feasted such as came with them in their private houses, and at those feastings exhibited all the gold and silver vessels they could get together, either in the city of Egesta itself, or could borrow in other as well Phoenician as Grecian cities, for their own. [4] So all of them in a manner making use of the same plate, and much appearing in every of those houses, it put those which came with the ambassadors into a very great admiration, insomuch as at their return to Athens they strove who should first proclaim what wealth they had seen. [5] These men, having both been abused themselves and having abused others, when it was told that there was no such wealth in Egesta, were much taxed by the soldiers. But the generals went to counsel upon the business in hand.

47. Nicias was of this opinion: that it was best to go presently with the whole fleet to Selinus, against which they were chiefly set forth, and if the Egestaeans would furnish them with money for the whole army, then to deliberate further upon the occasion; if not, then to require maintenance for the sixty galleys set forth at their own request, and staying with them by force or composition to bring the Selinuntians and them to a peace; and thence passing along by other of those cities, to make a show of the power of the Athenian state, and of their readiness to help their friends and confederates; and so to go home, unless they could light on some quick and unthought-of means to do some good for the Leontines, or gain some of the other cities to their own league; and not to put the commonwealth in danger at her own charges.

48. Alcibiades said it would not do well to have come out from Athens with so great a power and then dishonourably without effect to go home again; but rather to send heralds to every city but Selinus and Syracuse and assay to make the Siculi revolt from the Syracusians and others to enter league with the Athenians, that they might aid them with men and victual; and first to deal with the Messanians, as being seated in the passage and most opportune place of all Sicily for coming in, and having a port and harbour sufficient for their fleet; and when they had gained those cities, and knew what help they were to have in the war, then to take in hand Syracuse and Selinus, unless these would agree with the Egestaeans and the other suffer the Leontines to be replanted.

49. But Lamachus was of opinion that it was best to go directly to Syracuse and to fight with them as soon as they could at their city whilst they were yet unfurnished and their fear at the greatest. [2] For that an army is always most terrible at first, but if it stay long ere it come in sight, men recollect their spirits and contemn it the more when they see it. Whereas if it come upon them suddenly while they expect it with fear, it would the more easily get the victory, and everything would affright them, as the sight of it (for then they would appear most for number) and the expectation of their sufferings, but especially the danger of a present battle. [3] And that it was likely that many men might be cut off in the villages without, as not believing they would come; and though they should be already gotten in, yet the army, being master of the field and sitting. down before the city, could want no money; [4] and the other Sicilians would then neglect leaguing with the Syracusians, and join with the Athenians, no longer standing off and spying who should have the better. And for a place to retire unto and anchor in, he thought Megara most fit: being desert, and not far from Syracuse neither by sea nor land.

50. Lamachus said, but came afterwards to the opinion of Alcibiades. After this, Alcibiades, with his own galley having passed over to Messana, and propounded to them a league and not prevailed, they answering that they would not let the army in but allow them only a market without the walls, returned back to Rhegium. [2] And presently the generals, having out of the whole fleet manned threescore galleys and taken provision aboard, went along the shore to Naxos, having left the rest of the army with one of the generals at Rhegium. [3] The Naxians having received them into the city, they went on by the coast to Catana. But the Catanaeans receiving them not (for there were some within that favoured the Syracusians), they entered the river of Terias; [4] and having stayed there all that night, went the next day towards Syracuse leisurely with the rest of their galleys; but ten they sent before into the great haven, [not to stay, but] to discover if they had launched any fleet there, and to proclaim from their galleys that the Athenians were come to replant the Leontines on their own, according to league and affinity, and that therefore such of the Leontines as were in Syracuse, should without fear go forth to the Athenians as to their friends and benefactors. [5] And when they had thus proclaimed, and well considered the city and the havens and the region where they were to seat themselves for the war, they returned to Catana.

51. An assembly being called at Catana, though they refused to receive the army they admitted the generals and willed them to speak their minds. And whilst Alcibiades was in his oration and the citizens at the assembly, the soldiers, having secretly pulled down a little gate which was but weakly built, entered the city and were walking up and down in the market. [2] And the Catanaeans, such as favoured the Syracusians, seeing the army within, for fear stole presently out of the town, being not many. The rest concluded the league with the Athenians and willed them to fetch in the rest of the army from Rhegium. [3] After this, the Athenians went back to Rhegium, and rising from thence, came to Catana with their whole army together.

52. Now they had news from Camarina that if they would come thither, the Camarinaeans would join with them, and that the Syracusians were manning their navy. Whereupon with the whole army they went along the coast, first to Syracuse, where not finding any navy manned, they went on to Camarina. And being come close up to the shore, they sent a herald unto them. But the Camarinaeans would not receive the army, alleging that they had taken an oath not to receive the Athenians with more than one galley unless they should have sent for more of their own accord. [2] Having lost their labour, they departed, and landed in a part of the territory of Syracuse, and had gotten some booty. But the Syracusian horsemen coming out and killing some stragglers of the light-armed, they returned again to Catana.

53. Here they find the galley called Salaminia, come thither from Athens, both for Alcibiades, who was commanded to come home to purge himself of such things as were laid to his charge by the state, and also for other soldiers that were with him, whereof some were accused for profanation of the mysteries and some also for the Mercuries. [2] For the Athenians, after the fleet was put to sea, proceeded nevertheless in the search of those that were culpable, both concerning the mysteries and the Mercuries. And making no inquiry into the persons of the informers, but through jealousy admitting of all sorts, upon the reports of evil men apprehended very good citizens and cast them into prison, choosing rather to examine the fact and find the truth by torments, than that any man, how good soever in estimation, being once accused should escape unquestioned. [3] For the people, having by fame understood that the tyranny of Peisistratus and his sons was heavy in the latter end, and withal, that neither themselves nor Harmodius, but the Lacedaemonians overthrew it, were ever fearful, and apprehended every thing suspiciously.

54. For the fact of Aristogeiton and Harmodius was undertaken upon an accident of love, which unfolding at large, I shall make appear that neither any other, nor the Athenians themselves, report any certainty either of their own tyrants or of the fact. [2] For the old Peisistratus dying in the tyranny, not Hipparchus, as the most thing, but Hippias, who was his eldest son, succeeded in the government. Now Harmodius, a man in the flower of his youth, of great beauty, was in the power of one Aristogeiton, a citizen of a middle condition that was his lover. [3] This Harmodius, having been solicited by Hipparchus, the son of Peisistratus, and not yielding, discovered the same unto Aristogeiton. He apprehending it (as lovers use) with a great deal of anguish and fearing the power of Hipparchus, lest he should take him away by force, fell presently, as much as his condition would permit, to a contriving how to pull down the tyranny. [4] In the meantime Hipparchus, having again attempted Harmodius and not prevailed, intended, though not to offer him violence, yet in secret, as if forsooth he did it not for that cause, to do him some disgrace. [5] For neither was the government otherwise heavy till then, but carried without their evil will. And to say the truth, these tyrants held virtue and wisdom in great account for a long time, and taking of the Athenians but a twentieth part of their revenues, adorned the city, managed their wars, and administered their religion worthily. [6] In other points they were governed by the laws formerly established, save that these took a care ever to prefer to the magistracy men of their own adherence. And amongst many that had the annual office of archon, Peisistratus also had it, the son of Hippias, of the same name with his grandfather, who also, when he was archon, dedicated the altar of the twelve gods in the market place and that other in the temple of Apollo Pythius. [7] And though the people of Athens, amplifying afterwards that altar which was in the market place, thereby defaced the inscription; yet that upon the altar that is in the temple of Apollo Pythius is to be seen still, though in letters somewhat obscure, in these words:

Peisistratus the son of Hippias
     Erected this to stand
l'th' Temple of Apollo Pythius,
     Witness of his command.

55. And that Hippias, being the elder brother, had the government, I can affirm, as knowing it by a more exact relation than other men; and it may be known also by this: It appears that of all the legitimate brethren, this only had children, as is both signified by the altar and also by that pillar which for a testimony of the injustice of the tyrants was erected in the Athenian citadel. In which there is no mention of any son of Thessalus or of Hipparchus, but of five sons of Hippias, which he had by Myrrhine, the daughter of Callias, the son of Hyperechidas; [2] for it is probable that the eldest was first married. And in the forepart of the pillar, his name after his father's was the first, not without reason, as being both next him in age and having also enjoyed the tyranny. [3] Nor indeed could Hippias have easily taken on him the government on a sudden, if his brother had died seized of the tyranny, and he been the same day to settle it on himself. Whereas he retained the same with abundant security, both for the customary fear in the people and diligence in the guard, and was not to seek like a younger brother, to whom the government had not continually been familiar. [4] But Hipparchus came to be named for his misfortune, and thereby grew an opinion afterwards that he was also tyrant.

56. This Harmodius therefore that denied his suit, he disgraced as he before intended. For when some had warned a sister of his, a virgin, to be present to carry a little basket in a procession, they rejected her again when she came and said that they had never warned her at all, as holding her unworthy the honour. [2] This was taken heavily by Harmodius; but Aristogeiton, for his sake, was far more exasperated than he. Whereupon, with the rest of the conspirators, he made all things ready for the execution of the design. Only they were to stay the time of the holiday called the Great Panathenaea, upon which day only such citizens as lead the procession might, without suspicion, be armed in good number. And they were to begin the fact themselves; but the rest were to help them against the halberdiers. [3] Now the conspirators, for their better security, were not many; for they hoped that such also as were not privy to it, if they saw it once undertaken, being upon this occasion armed, would assist in the recovery of their own liberty.

57. When this holiday was come, Hippias was gone out of the city into the place called Cerameicum with his guard of halberdiers, and was ordering the procession how it was to go. And Harmodius and Aristogeiton, with each of them a dagger, proceeded to the fact. [2] But when they saw one of the conspirators familiarly talking with Hippias (for Hippias was very affable to all men), they were afraid and believed that they were discovered and must presently have been apprehended. [3] They resolved therefore (if it were possible) to be revenged first upon him that had done them the wrong, and for whose sake they had undergone all this danger, and, furnished as they were, ran [furiously] into the city, and finding Hipparchus at a place called Leocorium, without all regard of themselves fell upon him, and with all the anger in the world, one upon jealousy, the other upon disgrace, struck and slew him. [4] Aristogeiton, for the present, by means of the great confluence of people, escaped through the guard, but taken afterwards, was ungently handled; but Harmodius was slain upon the place.

58. The news being brought to Hippias in the Cerameicum, he went not towards the place where the fact was committed, but presently unto those that were armed for the solemnity of the shows and were far off, that he might be with them before they heard of it; and composing his countenance [as well as he could] to dissemble the calamity, pointed to a certain place and commanded them to repair thither without their arms. [2] Which they did accordingly, expecting that he would have told them somewhat. But having commanded his guard to take those arms away, he then fell presently to picking out of such as he meant to question and whosoever else was found amongst them with a dagger. For with shields and spears to be in [the head of] the procession was of custom.

59. Thus was the enterprise first undertaken upon quarrel of love, and then upon a sudden fear followed this unadvised adventure of Harmodius and Aristogeiton. [2] And after this time the tyranny grew sorer to the Athenians than it had been before. And Hippias, standing more in fear, not only put many of the citizens to death, but also cast his eye on the states abroad to see if he might get any security from them in this alteration at home. [3] He therefore afterwards (though an Athenian and to a Lampsacen) gave his daughter Archedice unto Aeantidas, the son of Hippocles, tyrant of Lampsacus, knowing that the Lampsacens were in great favour with King Darius. And her sepulchre is yet to be seen with this inscription:

Archedice, the daughter of King Hippias,
     Who in his time
Of all the potentates of Greece was prime,
     This dust doth hide.
Daughter, wife, sister, mother unto kings she was,
     Yet free from pride.

[4] And Hippias, after he had reigned three years more in Athens, and was in the fourth deposed by the Lacedaemonians and the exiled Alcmaeonides, went under truce to Sigeium, and to Aeantidas at Lampsacus, and thence to King Darius; from whence, twenty years after in his old age, he came to Marathon with the Medan army.

60. The people of Athens bearing this in mind, and remembering all they had heard concerning them, were extremely bitter and full of jealousy towards those that had been accused of the mysteries, and thought all to have been done upon some oligarchical or tyrannical conspiracy. [2] And whilst they were passionate upon this surmise, many worthy men had already been cast in prison; and yet they were not likely so to give over, but grew daily more savage, and sought to apprehend more still. Whilst they were at this pass, a prisoner that seemed most to be guilty was persuaded by one of his fellow prisoners to accuse somebody, whether it were true or not true; (for it is but conjectural on both sides; nor was there ever, then or after, any man that could say certainly who it was that did the deed); [3] who brought him to it by telling him that though he had not done it, yet he might be sure to save his own life and should deliver the city from the present suspicion; and that he should be more certain of his own safety by a free confession than by coming to his trial if he denied it. [4] Hereupon, he accused both himself and others for the Mercuries. The people of Athens, gladly receiving the certainty (as they thought) of the fact, and having been much vexed before to think that the conspirators should never [perhaps] be discovered to their multitude, presently set at liberty the accuser and the rest with him whom he had not appeached; but for those that were accused, they appointed judges, and all they apprehended they executed; and having condemned to die such as fled, they ordained a sum of money to be given to those that should slay them. [5] And though it were all this while uncertain whether they suffered justly or unjustly, yet the rest of the city had a manifest ease for the present.

61. But touching Alcibiades, the Athenians took it extreme ill through the instigation of his enemies, the same that had opposed him before he went. And seeing it was certain, as they thought, for the Mercuries, the other crime also concerning the mysteries, whereof he had been accused, seemed a great deal the more to have been committed by him upon the same reason and conspiracy against the people. [2] For it fell out withal, whilst the city was in a tumult about this, that an army of the Lacedaemonians was come as far as the isthmus upon some design against the Boeotians. These therefore they thought were come thither not against the Boeotians, but by appointment of him, and that if they had not first apprehended the persons appeached, the city had been betrayed. And one night they watched all night long in their arms in the temple of Theseus within the city. [3] And the friends of Alcibiades in Argos were at the same time suspected of a purpose to set upon the people there; whereupon the Athenians also delivered unto the Argive people those hostages which they held of theirs in the islands to be slain. [4] And there were presumptions against Alcibiades on all sides. Insomuch, as purposing by law to put him to death, they sent, as I have said, the galley called Salaminia into Sicily both for him and the rest with him that had been accused; [5] but gave command to those that went not to apprehend him, but to bid him follow them to make his purgation, because they had a care not to give occasion of stir either amongst their own or their enemy's soldiers, but especially because they desired that the Mantineans and the Argives, who they thought followed the war by his persuasion, might not depart from the army. [6] So he and the rest accused with him in his own galley, in company of the Salaminia, left Sicily and set sail for Athens. But being at Thurii they followed no further, but left the galley and were no more to be found, fearing indeed to appear to the accusation. [7] They of the Salaminia made search for Alcibiades and those that were with him for a while, but not finding him, followed on their course for Athens. Alcibiades, now an outlaw, passed shortly after in a small boat from Thurii into Peloponnesus; and the Athenians, proceeding to judgment upon his not appearing, condemned both him and them to death.

62. After this, the Athenian generals that remained in Sicily, having divided the army into two and taken each his part by lot, went with the whole towards Selinus and Egesta with intention both to see if the Egestaeans would pay them the money and withal to get knowledge of the designs of the Selinuntians and learn the state of their controversy with the Egesteans. [2] And sailing by the coast of Sicily, having it on their left hand, on that side which lieth to the Tyrrhene gulf, they came to Himera, the only Grecian city in that part of Sicily; [3] which not receiving them, they went on, and by the way took Hyccara, a little town of the Sicanians enemy to the Egestaeans, and a sea-town; and having made the inhabitants slaves, delivered the town to the Egestaeans, whose horse-forces were there with them. Thence the Athenians with their landsmen returned through the territory of the Siculi to Catana; and the galleys went about with the captives. [4] Nicias going with the fleet presently from Hyccara to Egesta, when he had dispatched with them his other business and received thirty talents of money, returned to the army. The captives they ransomed, of which they made one hundred and twenty talents more. [5] Then they sailed about to their confederates of the Siculi, appointing them to send their forces; and with the half of their own they came before Hybla in the territory of Gela, an enemy city, but took it not. And so ended this summer.

63. The next winter the Athenians fell presently to make preparation for their journey against Syracuse; and the Syracusians, on the other side, prepared to invade the Athenians. [2] For seeing the Athenians had not presently, upon the first fear and expectation of their coming, fallen upon them, they got every day more and more heart. And because they went far from them into those other parts of Sicily, and assaulting Hybla could not take it, they contemned them more than ever, and prayed their commanders (as is the manner of the multitude when they be in courage), seeing that the Athenians came not unto them, to conduct them to Catana. [3] And the Syracusian horsemen, which were ever abroad for scouts, spurring up to the camp of the Athenians, amongst other scorns asked them whether they came not rather to dwell in the land of another than to restore the Leontines to their own.

64. The Athenian generals, having observed this and being desirous to draw forth the Syracusians' whole power as far as might be from the city, to be able in the meantime without impeachment, going thither in the night by sea, to seize on some convenient place to encamp in; for they knew they should not be able to do it so well in the face of an enemy prepared, nor if they were known to march by land, for that the Syracusian horsemen being many would greatly annoy the light-armed and other multitude, they themselves having no horsemen there; whereas thus they might possess themselves of a place where the horse could not do them any hurt at all to speak of (now the Syracusian outlaws that were with them had told them of a place near the temple Olympieium, which also they seized); I say, the Athenian generals, to bring this their purpose to effect contrived the matter thus: [2] They send a man, of whose fidelity they were well assured, and in the opinion of the Syracusian commanders no less a friend of theirs. This man was a Catanaean and said he came from Catana, from such and such, whose names they knew, and knew to be the remnant of their well-willers in that city. [3] He told them that the Athenians lay every night within the town and far from their arms; and that if with the whole power of their city, at a day appointed betimes in a morning they would come to their camp, those friends of the Syracusians would shut the Athenians in and set on fire their galleys, by which means the Syracusians, assaulting the pallisado, might easily win the camp, and that the Catanaeans that were to help them herein were many, and those he came from already prepared for it.

65. The Syracusian commanders, having been also otherwise encouraged, and having intended a preparation to go against Catana thought this messenger had not come, did so much the more unadvisedly believe the man, and straightways being agreed of the day on which they were to be there, sent him away. These commanders (for by this time the Selinuntians and some other their confederates were come in) appointed the Syracusians universally to set forwards by a day. And when all their necessaries were in readiness and the day at hand on which they were to be there, they set forwards towards Catana and encamped the night following upon the banks of the river Simaethus in the territory of the Leontines. [2] The Athenians, upon advertisement that they were set forth, rising with their whole army, both themselves and such of the Siculi and others as went with them, and going aboard their galleys and boats, in the beginning of the night set sail for Syracuse. [3] In the morning betimes the Athenians disbarked over against Olympieium to make their camp. And the Syracusian horsemen, who were at Catana before the rest, finding the camp risen, came back to the foot and told them; whereupon they went all together back to the aid of the city.

66. In the meantime, the way the Syracusians had to go being long, the Athenians had pitched their camp at leisure in a place of advantage, wherein it was their own power to begin battle when they list, and where both in and before the battle the Syracusian horsemen could least annoy them. For on one side there were walls and houses and trees and a lake that kept them off; on the other side steep rocks; [2] and having felled trees hard by and brought them to the seaside, they made a pallisado both before their galleys and towards Dascon. And on that part that was most accessible to the enemy, they made a fort with stone (the best they could find, but unwrought) and with wood, and withal pulled down the bridge of the river Anapus. [3] Whilst this was doing, there came none to empeach them from the city. The first that came against them were the Syracusian horsemen, and by and by after, all the foot together. And though at first they came up near unto the camp of the Athenians, yet after, seeing the Athenians came not out against them, they retired again, and crossing to the other side of the Helorine highway, stayed there that night.

67. The next day the Athenians and their confederates prepared to fight, and were ordered thus: The Argives and the Mantineans had the right wing, the Athenians were in the middle, and the rest of their confederates in the other wing. That half of the army which stood foremost was ordered by eight in file; the other half towards their tents, ordered likewise by eights, was cast into the form of a long square and commanded to observe diligently where the rest of the army was in distress and to make specially thither. And in the midst of these so arranged were received such as carried the weapons and tools of the army. [2]

The Syracusians arranged their men of arms, who were Syracusians of all conditions and as many of their confederates as were present, by sixteen in file (they that came to aid them, were chiefly the Selinuntians, and then the horsemen of the Geloans, about two hundred, and of the Camarinaeans, about twenty horsemen and fifty archers); the cavalry they placed in the right point of the battle, being in all no less than a thousand two hundred, and with them the darters. [3] But the Athenians intending to begin the battle, Nicias went up and down the army, from one nation to another, to whom and to all in general he spake to this effect:

68. What need I, sirs, to make a long exhortation when this battle is the thing for which we all came hither? For in my opinion, the present preparation is more able to give you encouragement than any oration how well soever made, if with a weak army. [2] For where we are together, Argives, Mantineans, Athenians, and the best of the islanders, how can we choose among so many and good confederates, but conceive great hope of the victory; especially against tag and rag, and not chosen men, as we are ourselves, and against Sicilians, who though they contemn us, cannot stand against us, their skill not being answerable to their courage? [3] It must be remembered also that we be far from our own and not near to any amicable territory but such as we shall acquire by the sword. My exhortation to you, I am certain, is contrary to that of the enemy. For they say to theirs, 'You are to fight for your country.' I say to you, You are to fight out of your country, where you must either get the victory, or not easily get away; for many horsemen will be upon us. [4] Remember therefore every man his own worth, and charge valiantly; and think the present necessity and strait we are in to be more formidable than the enemy.

69. Nicias, having thus exhorted the army, led it presently to the charge. The Syracusians expected not to have fought at that instant; and the city being near, some of them were gone away; and some for haste came in running; and though late, yet every one, as he came, put himself in where was the greatest number. For they wanted neither willingness nor courage, either in this or any other battle, being no less valiant, so far forth as they had experience, than the Athenians; but the want of this made them, even against their wills, to abate also somewhat of their courage. Nevertheless though they thought not the Athenians would have begun the battle, and were thereby constrained to fight upon a sudden, yet they resumed their arms and came presently forward to the encounter. [2]

And first, the casters of stones and slingers and archers of either side skirmished in the midst between the armies, mutually chasing each other, as amongst the light-armed was not unlikely. After this, the soothsayers brought forth their sacrifices according to the law of the place; and the trumpets instigated the men of arms to the battle. [3] And they came on to fight, the Syracusians for their country and their lives for the present, and for their liberty in the future; on the other side, the Athenians to win the country of another and make it their own and not to weaken their own by being vanquished; the Argives and other free confederates, to help the Athenians to conquer the country they came against and to return to their own with victory; and their subject confederates came also on with great courage, principally for their better safety, as desperate if they overcame not, and withal upon the by, that by helping the Athenians to subdue the country of another, their own subjection might be the easier.

70. After they were come to hand-strokes, they fought long on both sides. But in the meantime there happened some claps of thunder and flashes of lightning together with a great shower of rain; insomuch as it added to the fear of the Syracusians, that were now fighting their first battle and not familiar with the wars; whereas to the other side that had more experience, the season of the year seemed to expound that accident; [2] and their greatest fear proceeded from the so long resistance of their enemies, in that they were not all this while overcome. When the Argives first had made the left wing of the Syracusians to give ground, and after them the Athenians had also done the like to those that were arranged against them, then the rest of the Syracusian army was presently broken and put to flight. [3] But the Athenians pursued them not far, because the Syracusian horsemen, being many and unvanquished, whensoever any men of arms advanced far from the body of the army, charged upon them and still drave them in again; [4] but having followed as far as safely they might in great troops, they retired again and erected a trophy. The Syracusians, having rallied themselves in the Helorine way and recovered their order as well as they could for that time, sent a guard into Olympieium, lest the Athenians should take the treasure there, and returned with the rest of the army into the city.

71. The Athenians went not to assault the temple, but gathering together their dead, laid them upon the funeral fire, and stayed that night upon the place. The next day they gave truce to the Syracusians to take up their dead, of whom and of their confederates were slain about two hundred and sixty; and gathered up the bones of their own. Of the Athenians and their confederates there died about fifty. And thus, having rifled the bodies of their dead enemies, they returned to Catana. [2] For it was now winter; and to make war there, they thought it yet unpossible before they had sent for horsemen to Athens and levied other amongst their confederates there in Sicily, to the end they might not be altogether over-mastered in horse; and before they had also both levied money there and received more from Athens and made league with certain cities, which they hoped after this battle would the more easily hearken thereunto, and before they had likewise provided themselves of victuals and other things necessary, as intending the next spring to undertake Syracuse again.

72. With this mind they went to winter at Naxos and Catana.

The Syracusians, after they had buried their dead, called an assembly; [2] and Hermocrates, the son of Hermon, a man not otherwise second to any in wisdom, and in war both able for his experience and eminent for his valour, standing forth gave them encouragement and would not suffer them to be dismayed with that which had happened. Their courage, he said, was not overcome, though their want of order had done them hurt. [3] And yet in that they were not so far inferior as it was likely they would have been, especially being (as one may say) homebred artificers, against the most experienced in the war of all the Grecians. [4] That they had also been hurt by the number of their generals and commanders—for there were fifteen that commanded in chief—and by the many supernumerary soldiers under no command at all. Whereas if they would make but a few and skilful leaders, and prepare armour this winter for such as want it, to increase as much as might be the number of their men of arms, and compel them in other things to the exercise of discipline, in all reason they were to have the better of the enemy. For valour they had already, and to keep their order would be learnt by practice; and both of these would still grow greater: skill, by practising with danger; and their courage would grow bolder of itself, upon the confidence of skill. [5] And for their generals, they ought to choose them few and absolute, and to take an oath unto them to let them lead the army wheresoever they thought best. For by this means, both the things that require secrecy would the better be concealed and all things would be put in readiness with order and less tergiversation.

73. The Syracusians, when they had heard him, decreed all that he advised and elected three generals, him, Heracleides, the son of Lysimachus, and Sicanus, the son of Exekestus. [2] They sent also ambassadors to Corinth and Lacedaemon, as well to obtain a league with them as also to persuade the Lacedaemonians to make a hotter war against the Athenians and to declare themselves in the quarrel of the Syracusians, thereby either to withdraw them from Sicily or to make them the less able to send supply to their army which was there already.

74. The Athenian army at Catana sailed presently to Messana to receive it by treason of some within; but the plot came not to effect. For Alcibiades, when he was sent for from his charge, being resolved to fly and knowing what was to be done, discovered the same to the friends of the Syracusians in Messana, who with those of their faction slew such as were accused, and being armed upon occasion of the sedition, obtained to have the Athenians kept out. [2] And the Athenians, after thirteen days' stay, troubled with tempestuous weather, provision also failing and nothing succeeding, returned again to Naxos; and having fortified their camp with a pallisado, they wintered there, and dispatched a galley to Athens for money and horsemen to be with them early in the spring.

75. The Syracusians this winter raised a wall before their city, all the length of the side towards Epipolae, including Temenites, to the end, if they chanced to be beaten, they might not be so easily enclosed as when they were in a narrower compass. And they put a guard into Megara and another into Olympieium, and made pallisadoes on the seaside at all the places of landing. [2] And knowing that the Athenians wintered at Naxos, they marched with all the power of the city unto Catana, and after they had wasted the territory and burnt the cabins and camp where the Athenians had lodged before, returned home. [3] And having heard that the Athenians had sent ambassadors to Camarina, according to a league made before in the time of Laches, to try if they could win them to their side, they also sent ambassadors to oppose it. For they suspected that the Camarinaeans had sent those succours in the former battle with no great good will; and that now they would take part with them no longer, seeing the Athenians had the better of the day, but would rather join with the Athenians upon the former league. [4] Hermocrates, therefore, and others being come to Camarina from the Syracusians, and Euphemus and others from the Athenians, when the assembly was met, Hermocrates, desiring to increase their envy to the Athenians, spake unto them to this effect:

76. "Men of Camarina, we come not hither upon fear that the forces of the Athenians here present may affright you, but lest their speeches which they are about to make may seduce you before you have also heard what may be said by us. [2] They are come into Sicily with that pretence indeed which you hear given out, but with that intention which we all suspect; and to me they seem not to intend the replantation of the Leontines, but rather our supplantation. For surely it holdeth not in reason that they who subvert the cities yonder should come to plant any city here; nor that they should have such a care of the Leontines, because Chalcideans, for kindred's sake, when they keep in servitude the Chalcideans themselves of Euboea, of whom these here are but the colonies. [3] But they both hold the cities there and attempt those here in one and the same kind. For when the Ionians and the rest of the confederates, their own colonies, had willingly made them their leaders in the war to avenge them of the Medes, the Athenians, laying afterwards to their charge, to some the not sending of their forces, to some their war amongst themselves, and so to the rest the most colourable criminations they could get, subdued them all to their obedience. [4] And it was not for the liberty of the Grecians that these men, nor for the liberty of themselves that the Grecians made head against the Medes; but the Athenians did it to make them serve not the Medes but them, and the Grecians to change their master, as they did, not for one less wise, but for one worse wise.

77. "But in truth we come not to accuse the Athenian state, though it be obnoxious enough, before you that know sufficiently the injuries they have done, but far rather to accuse ourselves, who, though we have the examples before our eyes of the Grecians there brought into servitude for want of defending themselves, and though we see them now, with the same sophistry of replanting the Leontines and their kindred and aiding of their confederates the Egestaeans, prepare to do the like unto us, do not yet unite ourselves and with better courage make them to know that we be not Ionians nor Hellespontines nor islanders, that changing serve always the Mede or some other master, but that we are Dorians and freemen, come to dwell here in Sicily out of Peloponnesus, a free country. [2] Shall we stand still till we be taken city after city when we know that that only way we are conquerable; and when we find them wholly bent to this, that by drawing some from our alliance with their words, and causing some to wear each other out with war upon hope of their confederacy, and winning others by other fit language, they may have the power to do us hurt? But we think, though one of the same island perish, yet if he dwell far off, the danger will not come to us; and before it arrive, we count unhappy only him that suffereth before us.

78. "If any therefore be of this opinion, that it is not he but the Syracusian that is the Athenian's enemy, and thinketh it a hard matter that he should endanger himself for the territory that is mine, I would have him to consider that he is to fight not chiefly for mine, but equally for his own in mine, and with the more safety for that I am not destroyed before and he thereby destitute of my help, but stand with him in the battle. Let him also consider that the Athenians come not hither to punish the Syracusians for being enemies to you, but by pretence of me to make himself the stronger by your friendship. [2] If any man here envieth or also feareth us (for the strongest are still liable unto both), and would therefore wish that the Syracusians might be weakened to make them more modest, but not vanquished for their own safety's sake, that man hath conceived a hope beyond the power of man. For it is not reasonable that the same man should be the disposer both of his desires and of his fortune. [3] And if his aim should fail him, he might, deploring his own misery, peradventure wish to enjoy my prosperity again. But this will not be possible to him that shall abandon me and not undertake the same dangers, though not in title, yet in effect the same that I do. For though it be our power in title, yet in effect it is your own safety you defend. [4] And you men of Camarina, that are borderers and likely to have the second place of danger, you should most of all have foreseen this and not have aided us so dully. You should rather have come to us; and that which, if the Athenians had come first against Camarina, you should in your need have implored at our hands, the same you should now also have been seen equally to hearten us withal to keep us from yielding. But as yet, neither you nor any of the rest have been so forward.

79. "Perhaps, upon fear, you mean to deal evenly between us both and allege your league with the Athenians. You made no league against your friends, but against your enemies, in case any should invade you; and by it you are also tied to aid the Athenians when others wrong them; but not when, as now, they wrong their neighbour. For even the Rhegians, who are also Chalcideans, refuse to help them in replanting the Leontines, though these also be Chalcideans. [2] And then it were a hard case if they, suspecting a bad action under a fair justification, are wise without a reason; and you, upon pretence of reason, should aid your natural enemies and help them that most hate you to destroy your more natural kindred.

"But this is no justice; [3] to fight with them is justice, and not to stand in fear of their preparation. Which, if we hold together, is not terrible, but is, if contrarily (which they endeavour) we be disunited. For neither when they came against us, being none but ourselves, and had the upperhand in battle, could they yet effect their purpose; but quickly went their ways.

80. There is no reason therefore we should be afraid when we are all together, but that we should have the better will to unite ourselves in a league; and the rather because we are to have aid from Peloponnesus, who every way excel these men in military sufficiency. Nor should you think that your purpose to aid neither, as being in league with both, is either just in respect of us or safe for yourselves; [2] for it is not so just in substance as it is in the pretence. For if through want of your aid the assailed perish and the assailant become victor, what do you by your neutrality but leave the safety of the one undefended and suffer the other to do evil? Whereas it were more noble in you, by joining with the wronged and with your kindred, both to defend the common good of Sicily and keep the Athenians, as your friends, from an act of injustice. [3] To be short, we Syracusians say that to demonstrate plainly to you or to any other the thing you already know is no hard matter; but we pray you, and withal if you reject our words we protest, that whereas the Ionians, who have ever been our enemies, do take counsel against us, you, that are Dorians as well as we, betray us. [4] And if they subdue us, though it be by your counsels that they do it, yet they only shall have the honour of it; and for the prize of their victory, they will have none other but even the authors of their victory; but if the victory fall unto us, even you also, the cause of this our danger, shall undergo the penalty. [5] Consider therefore now and take your choice whether you will have the servitude without the present danger, or saving yourselves with us, both avoid the dishonour of having a master and escape our enmity, which is likely otherwise to be lasting.

81. Thus spake Hermocrates. After him Euphemus, ambassador from the Athenians, spake thus:

82. "Though our coming were to renew our former league, yet seeing we are touched by the Syracusian, it will be necessary we speak something here of the right of our dominion. [2] And the greatest testimony of this right he hath himself given, in that he said the Ionians were ever enemies to the Dorians. And it is true. For being Ionians, we have ever endeavoured to find out some means or other how best to free ourselves from subjection to the Peloponnesians, that are Dorians, more in number than we and dwelling near us. [3] After the Medan war, having gotten us a navy, we were delivered thereby from the command and leading of the Lacedaemonians, there being no cause why they should rather be leaders of us than we of them save only that they were then the stronger. And when we were made commanders of those Grecians which before lived under the king, we took upon us the government of them, because we thought that, having power in our hands to defend ourselves, we should thereby be the less subject to the Peloponnesians. And to say truth, we subjected the Ionians and islanders (whom the Syracusians say we brought into bondage being our kindred) not without just cause; [4] for they came with the Medes against ours, their mother city, and for fear of losing their wealth durst not revolt, as we did, that abandoned our very city. But as they were content to serve, so they would have imposed the same condition upon us.

83. "For these causes we took upon us our dominion over them, both as worthy of the same, in that we brought the greatest fleet and promptest courage to the service of the Grecians, whereas they, with the like promptness in favour of the Medes, did us hurt; and also as being desirous to procure ourselves a strength against the Peloponnesians. [2] And follow any other we will not, seeing we alone have pulled down the barbarian and therefore have right to command, or at least have put ourselves into danger more for the liberty of the Peloponnesians than of all the rest of Greece, and our own besides. Now to seek means for one's own preservation is a thing unblameable. And as it is for our own safety's cause that we are now here, so also we find that the same will be profitable for you. [3] Which we will make plain from those very things which they accuse, and you, as most formidable, suspect us of, being assured that such as suspect with vehement fear, though they may be won for the present with the sweetness of an oration, yet when the matter comes to performance, will then do as shall be most for their turn. [4]

"We have told you that we hold our dominion yonder upon fear; and that upon the same cause we come hither now, by the help of our friends to assure the cities here, and not to bring you into subjection but rather to keep you from it.

84. "And let no man object that we be solicitous for those that are nothing to us; for as long as you be preserved and able to make head against the Syracusians, we shall be the less annoyed by their sending of forces to the Peloponnesians. [2] And in this point you are very much unto us. For the same reason it is meet also that we replant the Leontines; not to subject them, as their kindred in Euboea, but to make them as puissant as we can, that, being near, they may from their own territory weaken the Syracusians in our behalf. [3] For as for our wars at home, we are a match for our enemies without their help; and the Chalcidean (whom having made a slave yonder, the Syracusian said, we absurdly attempt to vindicate into liberty here) is most beneficial to us there without arms, paying money only; but the Leontines, and our other friends here, are the most profitable to us when they are most in liberty.

85. "Now to a tyrant or city that reigneth, nothing can be thought absurd if profitable, nor any man a friend that may not be trusted to. Friend or enemy he must be, according to the several occasions. But here it is for our benefit not to weaken our friends, but by our friends' strength to weaken our enemies. This you must needs believe, inasmuch as yonder also we so command over our confederates as every of them may be most useful to us: [2] the Chians and Methymnaeans redeem their liberty with providing us some galleys; the most of the rest, with a tribute of money somewhat more pressing. Some again of our confederates are absolutely free, notwithstanding that they be islanders and easy to be subdued; the reason whereof is this: they are situate in places commodious about Peloponnesus. [3] It is probable, therefore, that here also we will so order our affairs as shall be most for our own turn and most according to our fear, as we told you, of the Syracusians. For they affect a dominion over you, and having by advantage of your suspicion of us drawn you to their side, will themselves by force, or (if we go home without effect) by your want of friends, have the sole command of Sicily, which, if you join with them, must of necessity come to pass. For neither will it be easy for us to bring so great forces again together, nor will the Syracusians want strength to subdue you if we be absent. Him that thinketh otherwise, the thing itself convinceth.

86. "For when you called us in to aid you at the first, the fear you pretended was only this: that if we neglected you, the Syracusians would subdue you, and we thereby should participate of the danger. [2] And it were unjust that the argument you would needs have to prevail then with us should now have no effect with yourselves, or that you should be jealous of the much strength we bring against the power of the Syracusians when much rather you should give the less ear unto them. We cannot so much as stay here without you; [3] and if becoming perfidious we should subdue these states, yet we are unable to hold them, both in respect of the length of the voyage and for want of means of guarding them, because they be great and provided after the manner of the continent. Whereas they, not lodged near you in a camp, but inhabiting near you in a city of greater power than this of ours, will be always watching their advantages against you; [4] and when an opportunity shall be offered against any of your cities, will be sure not to let it slip. This they have already made to appear, both in their proceedings against the Leontines, and also otherwise. And yet have these the face to move you against us that hinder this, and that have hitherto kept Sicily from falling into their hands. [5] But we, on the other side, invite you to a far more real safety, and pray you not to betray that safety which we both of us hold from one another at this present, but to consider that they by their own number have way to you always, though without confederates, whereas you shall seldom have so great an aid again to resist them. Which if through your jealousy you suffer to go away without effect, or if it miscarry, you will hereafter wish for the least part of the same, when their coming can no more do you good.

87. But, Camarinaeans, be neither you nor others moved with their calumnies. We have told you the very truth why we are suspected; and summarily we will tell it you again, claiming to prevail with you thereby. [2] We say we command yonder lest else we should obey, and we assert into liberty the cities here lest else we should be harmed by them; many things we have to be doing, because many things we are forced to beware of; and both now and before, we came not uncalled, but called as confederates to such of you as suffer wrong. [3] Make not yourselves judges of what we do, nor go about as censors (which were now hard to do) to divert us; but as far as this busy humour and fashion of ours may be for your own service, so far take and use it; and think not the same hurtful alike to all, but that the greatest part of the Grecians have good by it. [4] For in all places, though we be not of any side, yet both he that looketh to be wronged and he that contriveth to do the wrong, by the obviousness of the hope that the one hath of our aid and of the fear that the other hath of their own danger if we should come, are brought by necessity, the one to moderation against his will, the other into safety without his trouble. [5] Refuse not therefore the security now present, common both to us that require it, and to yourselves. But do as others use to do: come with us, and instead of defending yourselves always against the Syracusians, take your turn once and put them to their guard as they have done you.

88. Thus spake Euphemus. The Camarinaeans stood thus affected: they bare good will to the Athenians, save that they thought they meant to subjugate Sicily; and were ever at strife with the Syracusians about their borders. Yet because they were afraid that the Syracusians, that were near them, might as well get the victory as the other, they had both formerly sent them some few horse, and also now resolved for the future to help the Syracusians, but underhand and as sparingly as possible; and withal that they might no less seem to favour the Athenians than the Syracusians, especially after they had won a battle, to give for the present an equal answer unto both. [2] So after deliberation had, they answered thus: that forasmuch as they that warred were both of them their confederates, they thought it most agreeable to their oath for the present to give aid to neither. [3] And so the ambassadors of both sides went their ways.

And the Syracusians made preparations for the war by themselves.

The Athenians, being encamped at Naxos, treated with the Siculi to procure as many of them as they might to their side. [4] Of whom, such as inhabited the plain and were subject to the Syracusians for the most part held off; but they that dwelt in the most inland parts of the island, being a free people, and ever before dwelling in villages, presently agreed with the Athenians, and brought corn into the army, and some of them also money. [5] To those that held off the Athenians went with their army; and some they forced to come in and others they hindered from receiving the aids and garrisons of the Syracusians. And having brought their fleet from Naxos, where it had been all the winter till now, they lay the rest of the winter at Catana and re-erected their camp formerly burnt by the Syracusians. [6] They sent a galley also to Carthage to procure amity and what help they could from thence; and into Hetruria, because some cities there had of their own accord promised to take their parts. They sent likewise to the Siculi about them and to Egesta, appointing them to send in all the horse they could, and made ready bricks and iron and whatsoever else was necessary for a siege, and every other thing they needed, as intending to fall in hand with the war early the next spring. [7]

The ambassadors of Syracuse which were sent to Corinth and Lacedaemon, as they sailed by, endeavoured also to move the Italians to a regard of this action of the Athenians. [8] Being come to Corinth, they spake unto them and demanded aid upon the title of consanguinity. The Corinthians, having forthwith for their own part decreed cheerfully to aid them, sent also ambassadors from themselves along with these to Lacedaemon to help them to persuade the Lacedaemonians both to make a more open war against the Athenians at home and to send some forces also into Sicily. [9] At the same time that these ambassadors were at Lacedaemon from Corinth, Alcibiades was also there with his fellow fugitives, who presently upon their escape passed over from Thurii first to Cyllene, the haven of the Eleians, in a ship, and afterwards went thence to Lacedaemon, sent for by the Lacedaemonians themselves, under public security. [10] For he feared them for his doings about Mantineia. And it fell out that in the assembly of the Lacedaemonians the Corinthians, Syracusians, and Alcibiades made all of them the same request. Now the ephores and magistrates, though intending to send ambassadors to Syracuse to hinder them from compounding with the Athenians, being yet not forward to send them aid, Alcibiades stood forth and sharpened the Lacedaemonians, inciting them with words to this effect:

89. "It will be necessary that I say something first concerning mine own accusation, lest through jealousy of me you bring a prejudicate ear to the common business. [2] My ancestors having on a certain quarrel renounced the office of receiving you, I was the man that restored the same again and showed you all possible respect, both otherwise and in the matter of your loss at Pylus. Whilst I persisted in my good will to you, being to make a peace at Athens, by treating the same with my adversaries, you invested them with authority and me with disgrace. [3] For which cause, if in applying myself afterwards to the Mantineans and Argives, or in anything else I did you hurt, I did it justly; and if any man here were causelessly angry with me then when he suffered, let him be now content again when he knows the true cause of the same. Or if any man think the worse of me for inclining to the people, let him acknowledge that therein also he is offended without a cause. [4] For we have been always enemies to tyrants; and what is contrary to a tyrant is called the people; and from thence hath continued our adherence to the multitude. Besides, in a city governed by democracy, it was necessary in most things to follow the present course; nevertheless we have endeavoured to be more moderate than suiteth with the now headstrong humour of the people. [5] But others there have been, both formerly and now, that have incited the common people to worse things than I; and they are those that have also driven out me. [6] But as for us, when we had the charge of the whole, we thought it reason, by what form it was grown most great and most free and in which we received it, in the same to preserve it. For though such of us as have judgment do know well enough what the democracy is, and I no less than another (insomuch as I could inveigh against it; but of confessed madness nothing can be said that is new), yet we thought it not safe to change it when you our enemies were so near us.

90. "Thus stands the matter touching my own accusation. And concerning what we are to consult of, both you and I, if I know anything which you yourselves do not, hear it now. [2] We made this voyage into Sicily, first (if we could) to subdue the Sicilians, after them the Italians, after them, to assay the dominion of Carthage, and Carthage itself. [3] If these or most of these enterprises succeeded, then next we should have undertaken Peloponnesus, with the accession both of the Greek forces there and with many mercenary barbarians, Iberians and others of those parts, confessed to be the most warlike of the barbarians that are now. we should also have built many galleys besides these which we have already (there being plenty of timber in Italy); with the which besieging Peloponnesus round, and also taking the cities thereof with our land forces, upon such occasions as should arise from the land, some by assault and some by siege, we hoped easily to have debelled it and afterwards to have gotten the dominion of all Greece. [4] As for money and corn to facilitate some points of this, the places we should have conquered there, besides what here we should have found, would sufficiently have furnished us.

91. "Thus, from one that most exactly knoweth it, you have heard what is the design of the fleet now gone; and which the generals there, as far as they can, will also put in execution. Understand next that unless you aid them, they yonder cannot possibly hold out. [2] For the Sicilians, though inexpert, if many of them unite may well subsist; but that the Syracusians alone, with their whole power already beaten and withal kept from the use of the sea, should withstand the forces of the Athenians already there is a thing impossible. And if their city should be taken, all Sicily is had, and soon after Italy also; [3] and the danger from thence which I foretold you would not be long ere it fell upon you. Let no man therefore think that he now consulteth of Sicily only but also of Peloponnesus, unless this be done with speed. [4] Let the army you send be of such as being aboard may row and landing presently be armed; and (which I think more profitable than the army itself) send a Spartan for commander, both to train the soldiers already there and to compel unto it such as refuse. For thus will your present friends be the more encouraged, and such as be doubtful come to you with the more assurance. It were also good to make war more openly upon them here, that the Syracusians, seeing your care, may the rather hold out, and the Athenians be less able to send supply to their army. [5] You ought likewise to fortify Deceleia in the territory of Athens, a thing which the Athenians themselves most fear, and reckon for the only evil they have not yet tasted in this war. [6] And the way to hurt an enemy most is to know certainly what he most feareth and to bring the same upon him. For in reason a man therefore feareth a thing most as having the precisest knowledge of what will most hurt him. As for the commodities which yourselves shall reap and deprive the enemy of by so fortifying, letting much pass, I will sum you up the principal. Whatsoever the territory is furnished withal will come most of it unto you, partly taken and partly of its own accord. [7] The revenue of the silver mines in Laurium and whatsoever other profit they have from their land or from their courts of justice will presently be lost; and, which is worse, their confederates will be remiss in bringing in their revenue and will care little for the Athenians if they believe once that you follow the war to the utmost. That any of these things be put in act speedily and earnestly, men of Lacedaemon, it resteth only in yourselves; for I am confident, and I think I err not, that all these things are possible to be done.

92. Now I must crave this: that I be neither the worse esteemed for that, having once been thought a lover of my country, I go now amongst the greatest enemies of the same against it, nor yet mistrusted as one that speaketh with the zeal of a fugitive. [2] For though I fly from the malice of them that drave me out, I shall not, if you take my counsel, fly your profit. [3] Nor are you enemies so much, who have hurt but your enemies, as they are that have made enemies of friends. I love not my country as wronged by it, but as having lived in safety in it. [4] Nor do I think that I do herein go against any country of mine, but that I far rather seek to recover the country I have not. And he is truly a lover of his country not that refuseth to invade the country he hath wrongfully lost, but that desires so much to be in it as by any means he can he will attempt to recover it. [5] I desire you therefore, Lacedaemonians, to make use of my service in whatsoever danger or labour confidently, seeing you know, according to the common saying, if I did hurt you much when I was your enemy, I can help you much when I am your friend. And so much the more in that I know the state of Athens and but conjectured at yours. And considering you are now in deliberation upon a matter of so extreme importance, I pray you think not much to send an army both into Sicily and Attica, as well to preserve the great matters that are there with the presence of a small part of your force, as also to pull down the power of the Athenians both present and to come, and afterwards to dwell in safety yourselves, and to have the leading of all Greece, not forced, but voluntary and with their good affection.

93. Thus spake Alcibiades. And the Lacedaemonians, though before this they had a purpose of their own accord to send an army against Athens but had delayed and neglected it, yet when these particularly were delivered by him, they were a great deal the more confirmed in the same, conceiving that what they had heard was from one that evidently knew it. [2] Insomuch as they had set their minds already upon the fortifying of Deceleia and upon the sending of some succours into Sicily for the present. And having assigned Gylippus, the son of Cleandridas, unto the Syracusian ambassadors for chief commander, they willed him to consider, both with them and the Corinthians, how best for their present means and with greatest speed some help might be conveyed unto them in Sicily. [3] He thereupon appointed the Corinthians to send him two galleys presently to Asine, and to furnish the rest they meant to send, and to have them ready to sail when occasion should serve. [4] This agreed upon, they departed from Lacedaemon.

In the meantime the galley arrived at Athens which the generals sent home for money and horsemen. And the Athenians, upon hearing, decreed to send both provision and horsemen to the army. So the winter ended, and the seventeenth year of this war written by Thucydides.

94. In the very beginning of the next spring the Athenians in Sicily departed from Catana and sailed by the coast to Megara of Sicily. The inhabitants whereof, in the time of the tyrant Gelon, the Syracusians (as I mentioned before) had driven out and now possess the territory themselves. Landing here, they wasted the fields; [2] and having assaulted a certain small fortress of the Syracusians, not taking it, they went presently back, part by land and part by sea, unto the river Tereas. And landing again in the plain fields, wasted the same and burnt up their corn; and lighting on some Syracusians, not many, they slew some of them, and having set up a trophy, went all again on board their galleys. [3] Thence they returned to Catana and took in victual; then with their whole army they went to Centoripa, a small city of the Siculi, which yielding on composition, they departed, and in their way burnt up the corn of the Inessaeans and the Hyblaeans. [4] Being come again to Catana, they find there two hundred and fifty horsemen arrived from Athens, without horses, though not without the furniture, supposing to have horses there, and thirty archers on horseback, and three hundred talents of silver.

95. The same spring the Lacedaemonians led forth their army against Argos and went as far as to Cleonae; but an earthquake happening, they went home again. But the Argives invaded the territory of Thyrea, confining on their own, and took a great booty from the Lacedaemonians, which they sold for no less than twenty-five talents. [2]

Not long after, the commons of Thespiae set upon them that had the government, but not prevailing, were part apprehended and part escaped to Athens, the Athenians having also aided them.

96. The Syracusians the same summer, when they heard that the Athenians had horsemen sent to them from Athens and that they were ready now to come against them, conceiving that if the Athenians gat not Epipolae, a rocky ground and lying just against the city, they would not be able, though masters of the field, to take in the city with a wall, intended therefore, lest the enemy should come secretly up, to keep the passages by which there was access unto it with a guard. [2] For the rest of the place is to the outside high and steep, falling to the city by degrees, and on the inside wholly subject to the eye. And it is called by the Syracusians Epipolae, because it lieth above the level of the rest. [3] The Syracusians, coming out of the city with their whole power into a meadow by the side of the river Anapus betimes in the morning (for Hermocrates and his fellow-commanders had already received their charge), were there taking a view of their arms; but first they had set apart seven hundred men of arms, under the leading of Diomilus, an outlaw of Andros, both to guard Epipolae and to be ready together quickly upon any other occasion wherein there might be use of their service.

97. The Athenians the day following, having been already mustered, came from Catana with their whole forces and landed their soldiers at a place called Leon, six or seven furlongs from Epipolae, unperceived, and laid their navy at anchor under Thapsus. Thapsus is almost an island, lying out into the sea and joined to the land with a narrow isthmus, not far from Syracuse, neither by sea nor land. And the naval forces of the Athenians, having made a pallisado across the said isthmus, lay there quiet. [2] But the land soldiers marched at high speed towards Epipolae and gat up by Euryelus before the Syracusians could come to them from out of the meadow where they were mustering. [3] Nevertheless they came on, every one with what speed he could, not only Diomilus with his seven hundred, but the rest also. They had no less to go from the meadow than twenty-five furlongs before they could reach the enemy. [4] The Syracusians, therefore, coming up in this manner and thereby defeated in battle at Epipolae, withdrew themselves into the city. But Diomilus was slain, and three hundred of the rest. [5] The Athenians after this erected a trophy and delivered to the Syracusians the bodies of their dead under truce, and came down the next day to the city. But when none came out to give them battle, they retired again, and built a fort upon Labdalum, in the very brink of the precipices of Epipolae, on the side that looketh towards Megara, for a place to keep their utensils and money in when they went out either to fight or to work.

98. Not long after, there came unto them from Egesta three hundred horsemen, and from the Siculi, namely the Naxians and some others, about one hundred; and the Athenians had of their own two hundred and fifty for which they had horses, part from the Egestaeans and Catanaeans, and part they bought. So that they had together in the whole, six hundred and fifty horsemen. [2] Having put a guard into Labdalum, the Athenians went down to Syca and raised there a wall in circle very quickly, so that they struck a terror into the Syracusians with the celerity of the work. Who, therefore, coming forth, intended to have given them battle and no longer to have neglected the matter. [3] But when the armies were one set against the other, the Syracusian generals, perceiving their own to be in disarray and not easily to be embattled, led them again into the city, save only a certain part of their horsemen; which staying, kept the Athenians from carrying of stone and straggling far abroad from their camp. [4] But the Athenians with one squadron of men of arms, together with their whole number of horse, charged the horsemen of the Syracusians and put them to flight, of whom they slew a part, and erected a trophy for this battle of horse.

99. The next day the Athenians fell to work upon their wall to the north side of their circular wall, some building and some fetching stone and timber, which they still laid down toward the place called Trogilus, in the way by which the wall should come with the shortest compass from the great haven to the other sea. [2] The Syracusians, by the persuasion of their generals, and principally of Hermocrates, intended not to hazard battle with their whole power against the Athenians any more, but thought fit rather, in the way where the Athenians were to bring their wall, to raise a counterwall; which, if they could but do before the wall of the Athenians came on, it would exclude their further building; and if the Athenians should set upon them as they were doing it, they might send part of the army to defend it, and pre-occupy the accesses to it with a pallisado; [3] and if they would come with their whole army to hinder them, then must they also be forced to let their own work stand still. Therefore they came out, and beginning at their own city, drew a cross-wall beneath the circular fortifications of the Athenians, and set wooden turrets upon it, made of the olive trees which they felled in the ground belonging to the temple. [4] The Athenian navy was not yet come about into the great haven from Thapsus, but the Syracusians were masters of the places near the sea; and the Athenians brought their provision to the army from Thapsus by land.

100. The Syracusians, when they thought both their pallisado and wall sufficient, and considering that the Athenians came not to impeach them in the work, as they that feared to divide their army and to be thereby the more easy to be fought withal, and that also hasted to make an end of their own wall wherewith to encompass the city, left one squadron for a guard of their works and retired with the rest into the city. And the Athenians cut off the pipes of their conduits, by which their water to drink was conveyed under ground into the town. And having observed also that about noon the Syracusians kept within their tents, and that some of them were also gone into the city, and that such as were remaining at the pallisado kept but negligent watch, they commanded three hundred chosen men of arms, and certain other picked out and armed from amongst the unarmed, to run suddenly to that counterwall of the Syracusians. The rest of the army, divided in two, went one part with one of the generals to stop the succour which might be sent from the city, and the other with the other general to the pallsado next to the gate of the [counter-wall]. [2] The three hundred assaulted and took the pallisado, the guard whereof, forsaking it, fled within the wall into the temple ground; and with them entered also their pursuers; but after they were in were beaten out again by the Syracusians and some slain, both of the Argives and Athenians, but not many. [3] Then the whole army went back together and pulled down the wall and plucked up the pallisado, the pales whereof they carried with them to their camp and erected a trophy.

101. The next day, the Athenians, beginning at their circular wall, built onwards to that crag over the marshes, which on that part of Epipolae looketh to the great haven, and by which the way to the haven, for their wall to come through the plain and marsh, was the shortest. [2] As this was doing, the Syracusians came out again and made another pallisado, beginning at the city, through the middle of the marsh, and a ditch at the side of it, to exclude the Athenians from bringing their wall to the sea. [3] But the Athenians, when they had finished their work as far as to the crag, assaulted the pallisado and trench of the Syracusians again. And having commanded their galleys to be brought about from Thapsus into the great haven of Syracuse, about break of day went straight down into the plain, and passing through the marsh, where the ground was clay and firmest, [and partly] upon boards and planks, won both the trench and pallisado, all but a small part, betimes in the morning, and the rest not long after. [4] And here also they fought, and the victory fell to the Athenians; the Syracusians, those of the right wing, fled to the city, and they of the left, to the river. The three hundred chosen Athenians, desiring to cut off their passage, marched at high speed towards the bridge. [5] But the Syracusians, fearing to be prevented (for most of the horsemen were in this number), set upon these three hundred, and putting them to flight, drave them upon the right wing of the Athenians, and following, affrighted also the foremost guard of the wing. [6] Lamachus, seeing this, came to aid them with a few archers from the left wing of their own and with [all] the Argives, and passing over a certain ditch, having but few with him, was deserted and slain with some six or seven more. These the Syracusians hastily snatched up and carried into a place of safety beyond the river; and when they saw the rest of the Athenian army coming towards them, they departed.

102. In the meantime, they that fled at first to the city, seeing how things went, took heart again, and re-embattled themselves against the same Athenians that stood ranged against them before; and withal sent a certain portion of their army against the circular fortification of the Athenians upon Epipolae, supposing to find it without defendants and so to take it. [2] And they took and demolished the outworks ten plethers in length; but the circle itself was defended by Nicias, who chanced to be left within it for infirmity. For he commanded his servants to set fire on all the engines and whatsoever wooden matter lay before the wall: [3] knowing there was no other possible means to save themselves for want of men. And it fell out accordingly, for by reason of this fire they came no nearer, but retired. For the Athenians, having by this time beaten back the enemy below, were coming up to relieve the circle; and their galleys withal (as is before mentioned) were going about from Thapsus into the great haven. [4] Which they above perceiving, speedily made away, they and the whole army of the Syracusians, into the city, with opinion that they could no longer hinder them, with the strength they now had, from bringing their wall through unto the sea.

103. After this the Athenians erected a trophy and delivered to the Syracusians their dead under truce; and they on the other side delivered to the Athenians the body of Lamachus and of the rest slain with him. And their whole army, both land and sea forces, being now together, they began to enclose the Syracusians with a double wall from Epipolae and the rocks unto the seaside. [2] The necessaries of the army were supplied from all parts of Italy. And many of the Siculi, who before stood aloof to observe the way of fortune, took part now with the Athenians, to whom came also three penteconteri, [long boats of fifty oars apiece,] from Hetruria; [3] and divers other ways their hopes were nourished. For the Syracusians also, when there came no help from Peloponnesus, made no longer account to subsist by war; but conferred, both amongst themselves and with Nicias, of composition; for Lamachus being dead, the sole command of the army was in him. [4] And though nothing were concluded, yet many things (as was likely with men perplexed, and now more straitly besieged than before) were propounded unto Nicias, and more amongst themselves. And the present ill success had also spread some jealousy amongst them, one of another. And they discharged the generals under whose conduct this happened, as if their harm had come either from their unluckiness or from their perfidiousness, and chose Heracleides, Eucles, and Tellias in their places.

104. Whilst this passed, Gylippus of Lacedaemon and the Corinthian galleys were already at Leucas, purposing with all speed to go over into Sicily. But when terrible reports came unto them from all hands, agreeing in an untruth, that Syracuse was already quite enclosed, Gylippus had hope of Sicily no longer; but desiring to assure Italy, he and Pythen, a Corinthian, with two Laconic and two Corinthian galleys, with all speed crossed the Ionic sea to Tarentum; and the Corinthians were to man ten galleys of their own, two of Leucas, and three of Ambracia, and come after. Gylippus went first from Tarentum to Thurii, as ambassador, by his father's right, who was free of the city of Tarentum; [2] but not winning them to his side, he put out again, and sailed along the coast of Italy. Passing by the Terinaean gulf, he was put from the shore by a wind which in that quarter bloweth strongly against the north, and driven into the main sea; and after another extreme tempest brought in again into Tarentum, where he drew up such of his galleys as had been hurt by the weather and repaired them. [3] Nicias, hearing that he came, contemned the small number of his galleys, as also the Thurians had before, supposing them furnished as for piracy, and appointed no watch for them yet.

105. About the same time of this summer, the Lacedaemonians invaded the territory of Argos, they and their confederates, and wasted a great part of their land. And the Athenians aided the Argives with thirty galleys; which most apparently broke the peace between them and the Lacedaemonians. [2] For before, they went out from Pylus with the Argives and Mantineans but in the nature of freebooters, and that also not into Laconia, but other parts of Peloponnesus. Nay, when the Argives have often entreated them but only to land with their arms in Laconia, and having wasted never so little of their territory to return, they would not. But now, under the conduct of Pythodorus, Laespodius, and Demaratus, they landed in the territory of Epidaurus Limera and in Prasiae, and there and in other places wasted the country, and gave unto the Lacedaemonians a most justifiable cause to fight against the Athenians. [3] After this, the Athenians being departed from Argos with their galleys, and the Lacedaemonians gone likewise home, the Argives invaded Phliasia, and when they had wasted part of their territory, and killed some of their men, returned.

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