4.After this, the Syracusians and their confederates began a wall through Epipolae, from the city towards the single cross wall upwards, that the Athenians, unless they could hinder it, might be excluded from bringing their own wall any further on.
And the Athenians by this time, having made an end of their wall to the sea, were come up again;and Gylippus (for some part of the wall was but weak), rising with his army by night, went to assault it.
But the Athenians, also knowing it (for they lodged all night without the wall), went presently to relieve it;which Gylippus perceiving, again retired.And the Athenians, when they had built it higher, kept the watch in this part themselves, and divided the rest of the wall to the charge of their confederates.Also it seemed good to Nicias to fortify the place called Plemmyrium.
It is a promontory over against the city, which, shooting into the entrance of the great haven, straiteneth the mouth of the same;which fortified, he thought would facilitate the bringing in of necessaries to the army.For by this means, their galleys might ride nearer to the haven of the Syracusians, and not upon every motion of the navy of the enemies to be to come out against them, as they were before, from the bottom of the [great] haven.And he had his mind set chiefly now upon the war by sea, seeing his hopes by land diminished since the arrival of Gylippus.
Having therefore drawn his army and galleys to that place, he built about it three fortifications, wherein he placed his baggage, and where now also lay at road both his great vessels of carriage and the nimblest of his galleys.
Hereupon principally ensued the first occasion of the great loss of his sea soldiers.For having but little water, and that far to fetch, and his mariners going out also to fetch in wood, they were continually intercepted by the Syracusian horsemen, that were masters of the field.For the third part of the Syracusian cavalry were quartered in a little town called Olympieium to keep those in Plemmyrium from going abroad to spoil the country.
Nicias was advertised moreover of the coming of the rest of the Corinthian galleys, and sent out a guard of twenty galleys with order to wait for them about Locri and Rhegium and the passage there into Sicily.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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