The generals now held a council of war. Nicias was of opinion that they should sail with1
the whole fleet against Selinus, which was their main errand: if the Egestaeans provided pay for all their forces, they would shape their course accordingly; if not, they would demand maintenance for sixty ships, the number which the Egestaeans had requested2
and remain on the spot until they had brought the Selinuntians to terms either by force or by negotiation. They would then pass along the coast before the eyes of the other cities and display the visible power of Athens, while they proved at the same time her zeal in the cause of her friends and allies; after this they would return home, unless a speedy way of relieving the Leontines or obtaining support from some of the other cities should unexpectedly present itself. But they should not throw away their own resources and imperil the safety of Athens.