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The Peloponnesians were not a whit outdone by the emulation displayed by the Athenians. Advancing with their ships in mass formation and with their best soldiers lined up on the decks they made the sea-battle also a fight between infantry; for as they pressed upon their opponents' ships they boldly boarded their prows, in the belief that men who had once been defeated would not stand up to the terror of battle. [2] But the Athenians and Mitylenaeans, seeing that the single hope of safety left to them lay in their victory, were resolved to die nobly rather than leave their station. And so, since an unsurpassable emulation pervaded both forces, a great slaughter ensued, all the participants exposing their bodies, without regard of risk, to the perils of battle. [3] The soldiers on the decks were wounded by the multitude of missiles which flew at them, and some of them, who were mortally struck, fell into the sea, while some, so long as their wounds were fresh, fought on without feeling them; but very many fell victims to the stones that were hurled by the stone-carrying yardarms, since the Athenians kept up a shower of huge stones from these commanding positions. [4] The fighting had continued, none the less, for a long while and many had met death on both sides, when Callicratidas, wishing to give his soldiers a breathing-spell, sounded the recall. [5] After some time he again manned his ships and continued the struggle over a long period, and with great effort, by means of the superior number of his ships and the strength of the marines, he thrust out the Athenians. And when the Athenians fled for refuge to the harbour within the city, he sailed through the barriers and brought his ships to anchor near the city of the Mitylenaeans. [6] It may be explained that the entrance for whose control they had fought had a good harbour, which, however, lies outside the city. For the ancient city is a small island, and the later city, which was founded near it, is opposite it on the island of Lesbos; and between the two cities is a narrow strait which also adds strength to the city. [7] Callicratidas now, disembarking his troops, invested the city and launched assaults upon it from every side.

Such was the state of affairs at Mitylene. [8]

In Sicily1 the Syracusans, sending ambassadors to Carthage, not only censured them for the war but required that for the future they cease from hostilities. To them the Carthaginians gave ambiguous answers and set about assembling great armaments in Libya, since their desire was fixed on enslaving all the cities of the island; but before sending their forces across to Sicily they picked out volunteers from their citizens and the other inhabitants of Libya and founded in Sicily right at the warm (therma) springs a city which they named Therma.2

1 The narrative is resumed from the end of chap. 62.

2 It was near Himera (Cic. In Verr. 2.35); the springs are mentioned in Book 4.23.

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