The Athenians, though at first disconcerted by the sudden advance of Gylippus and the1
Syracusans, drew up their forces in order of battle. He halted as he approached, and sent a herald to them offering a truce if they were willing to quit Sicily within five days taking what belonged to them.
But they despised his offer, and sent away the herald without an answer. Whereupon both armies set themselves in order of battle.
Gylippus, seeing that the Syracusans were in confusion, and could with difficulty form, led back his troops to the more open ground. Nicias did not follow, but lay still, close to his own wall. When Gylippus observed that the Athenians remained where they were, he led away his army to the height called Temenites; there they passed the night.
On the following day he stationed the greater part of his troops in front of the Athenian wall that the enemy might not despatch a force to any other point, and then sent a detachment against the fort of Labdalum, which was out of sight of the Athenian lines. He took the place, and killed every one whom he found in it.
On the same day an Athenian trireme which was keeping watch over the mouth of the harbour was taken by the Syracusans.