42.In the meantime Demosthenes and Eurymedon arrived with the Athenian supply, being about seventy-three galleys, and men of arms, of their own and of their confederates, about five thousand, besides darters, as well barbarians as Greeks, not a few, and slingers and archers, and all other provision sufficient.
For the present it not a little daunted the Syracusians and their confederates to see no end of their danger, and that, notwithstanding the fortifying in Deceleia, another army should come now equal and like unto their former, and that their power should be so great in every kind.And on the other side, it was a kind of strengthening after weakness to the Athenian army that was there before.
Demosthenes, when he saw how things stood, and thinking it unfit to loiter and fall into Nicias' case-for Nicias, who was formidable at his first coming, when he set not presently upon Syracuse but wintered at Catana, both grew into contempt and was prevented also by the coming of Gylippus thither with an army out of Peloponnesus;the which, if Nicias had gone against Syracuse at first, had never been so much as sent for;for supposing themselves to have been strong enough alone, they had at once both found themselves too weak and the city been enclosed with a wall;whereby, though they had sent for it, it could not have helped them as it didDemosthenes, I say, considering this, and that he also even at the present and the same day was most terrible to the enemy, intended with all speed to make use of this present terribleness of the army.
And having observed that the cross wall of the Syracusians, wherewith they hindered the Athenians from enclosing the city, was but single, and that if they could be masters of the ascent to Epipolae and again of the camp there, the same might easily be taken (for none would have stood against them), hasted to put it to trial, and thought it his shortest way to the dispatching of the war.
For either he should have success, he thought, and so win Syracuse, or he would lead away the army and no longer without purpose consume both the Athenians there with him and the whole state.
The Athenians therefore went out and first wasted the territory of the Syracusians about the river Anapus, and were the stronger, as at first, both by sea and land.For the Syracusians durst neither way go out against them, but only with their horsemen and darters from Olympieium.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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