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70. The armies met, and for a long time the issue was doubtful. During the battle there came1 on thunder and lightning, and a deluge of rain; these added to the terror of the inexperienced who were fighting for the first time, but experienced soldiers ascribed the storm to the time of year, and were much more alarmed2 at the stubborn resistance of the enemy3. First the Argives drove back the left wing of the Syracusans; [2] next the Athenians the right wing which was opposed to them. Whereupon the rest of the army began to give way and were soon put to flight. [3] Their opponents did not pursue them far, for the Syracusan horsemen, who were numerous and had not shared in the defeat, interposed, and wherever they saw hoplites advancing from the ranks attacked and drove them back. The Athenians pursued in a body as far as they safely could, and then returned and raised a trophy. [4] The Syracusans rallied on the Helorine road, and did their best to reform after their defeat. They did not neglect to send some of their forces as a guard to the Olympieum, fearing lest the Athenians should plunder the treasures of the temple. The rest of the army returned to the city.

1 The Syracusans are defeated, but they are saved in their retreat by their cavalry.

2 Or, giving a slightly different meaning to the present: 'at the prospect of the enemy's success.'

3 Or, giving a slightly different meaning to the present: 'at the prospect of the enemy's success.'

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load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith)
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