After this they fought, and the manner of the battle was as follows. The Athenians began to1
sail in column close along the shore towards Sestos, when the Peloponnesians, observing them, likewise put to sea from Abydos.
Perceiving that a battle was imminent, the Athenians, numbering seventy-six ships, extended their line along the Chersonese from Idacus to Arrhiani, and the Peloponnesians, numbering eighty-eight ships, from Abydos to Dardanus. The Syracusans held the right wing of the Peloponnesians;
the other wing, on which were the swiftest ships, was led by Mindarus himself. Thrasyllus commanded the left wing of the Athenians, and Thrasybulus the right; the other generals had their several posts.
The Peloponnesians were eager to begin the engagement, intending, as their left wing extended beyond the right of the Athenians, to prevent them, if possible, from sailing out of the straits again, and also to thrust their centre back on the land which was near. The Athenians, seeing their intention, advanced from the land the wing on which the enemy wanted to cut them off, and succeeded in getting beyond them.
But their left wing by this time had passed the promontory of Cynossema, and the result was that the centre of their line was thinned and weakened—all the more since their numbers were inferior and the sharp projection of the shore about Cynossema hindered those who were on one side from seeing what was taking place on the other.