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21. In Sicily, about the same time of the spring, Gylippus also returned to Syracuse, bringing with him from the cities he had dealt withal as great forces as severally he could get from them. [2] And having assembled the Syracusians, he told them that they ought to man as many galleys as they could and make trial of a battle by sea; and that he hoped thereby to perform somewhat to the benefit of the war which should be worthy the danger. [3] Hermocrates also was none of the least means of getting them to undertake the Athenians with their navy, who told them that neither the Athenians had this skill by sea hereditary or from everlasting, but were more inland men than the Syracusians, and forced to become seamen by the Medes, and that to daring men, such as the Athenians are, they are most formidable that are as daring against them; for wherewith they terrify their neighbours, which is not always the advantage of power, but boldness of enterprising, with the same shall they in like manner be terrified by their enemies. [4] He knew it, he said, certainly, that the Syracusians, by their unexpected daring to encounter the Athenian navy, would get more advantage in respect of the fear it would cause than the Athenians should endamage them by their odds of skill. He bade them therefore to make trial of their navy and to be afraid no longer. [5] The Syracusians, on these persuasions of Gylippus and Hermocrates, and others if any were, became now extremely desirous to fight by sea, and presently manned their galleys.

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