On the next day the Athenians and their allies prepared to give battle. Their order was as1
follows:—The Argives and Mantineans formed the right wing, the Athenians held the centre; on the left wing were the remaining allies. Half of their army which formed the van was ranged eight deep. The other half was drawn up likewise eight deep close to their sleeping-places, in a hollow oblong. The latter were told to watch the engagement, and to move up to the support of any part of the line which might be distressed. In the midst of the reserve thus disposed were placed the baggage-bearers.
The Syracusans drew up their heavy-armed sixteen deep; the army consisted of the whole Syracusan people and their allies, chiefly the Selinuntians, who were in the city; they had also two hundred horsemen from Gela, and twenty, with about fifty archers, from Camarina. The cavalry, numbering in all twelve hundred, were placed upon the right wing, and beside them the javelin-men. The Athenians determined to begin the attack.
Just before the battle Nicias went up and down, and addressed the following words to all and each of the various peoples who composed the army:—