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in the city, of which it formed a fifth part, but was thinly inhabited. A fourth division had been added before, called NEAPOLIS, that is, the new city, which covered Tyche.
a The river Anapis ran at almost half a league distance from the city. The space between them was a large and beautiful plain, terminated by two fens, the one called Syraco, whence the city was named, and the other Lysimelia. This river emptied itself into the great harbour. Near its mouth, southward, was a kind of castle called Olympia, from the temple of Jupiter Olympius standing there, and in which were great riches. It was 500 paces from the city.
Syracuse had two harbours, very near one another, and separated only by the isle, viz. the great harbour, and the small one, called otherwise Laccus. According to theb description which the Roman orator gives of them, both were surrounded with the buildings of the city.
The great harbour was a little above c 5,000 paces, or two leagues in circumference. It had a gulf called Dascon. The entrance of this port was but 500 paces wide. It was formed on one side, by the point of the island Ortygia ; and on the other, by the little island and cape of Plemmyrium, which was commanded by a fort or castle of the same name.
Above Achradina was a third port, called the harbour of *Trogilus.
machus is killed in a Battle. The City is reduced to the
EIGHTEENTH YEAR OF THE WAR. d At the end of the summer, news was brought Nicias that the Syracusans, having resumed courage, intended to march against him. Already their cavalry advanced with an air of insolence to insult him even in his camp ; and asked with a loud laugh, whether he was come into Sicily to settle in Catana. These severe reproaches roused him a little, so that he resolved to sail for Syracuse. The enterprise was bold and dangerous. Nicias could not, without running the utmost hazard, attempt to land in presence of an enemy who waited for him with the greatest resolution ; and would not fail to charge him, the instant he should offer to make a dea Plut in Dionys, vit. p. 970.
6 Portus habet prope in ædificatione aspectuque urbis inclusos, Cic. Verr. 6. n. 117
c. According to Strabo, it is 80 stadia in circumference, which is twice its real extent; A plain prooi that this passage of Strabo is corrupt. Cluver. p 167.
d Thucyd. I. vi, p. 453–461. Plut. in Nic. p. 533, 534. Diad. do xiii. p. 187, 138.
scent. Nor was it safer for him to march his troops by land, because as he had no cavalry, that of the Syracusans, which was very numerous, upon the first advice they should have of his march, would fall upon him, and overpower him by the superiority of forces.
To extricate himself from this perplexity, and enable himself to seize without opposition upon an advantageous post, which a Syracusan exile had discovered to him, Nicias had recourse to stratagem. He caused a false piece of information to be given to the enemy, viz. that by means of a conspiracy, which was to take effect on a certain day, they might seize on his camp, and possess themselves of all the arms and baggage. The Syracusans, on this promise, marched towards Catana, and pitched their camp near Leontium, The moment the Athenians had advice of this, they embarked with all their troops and ammunition ; and in the evening steered for Syracuse. They arrived by daybreak in the great harbour ; landed near Olympia, in the place which had been pointed out to them, and there fortified themselves. The enemy finding themselves shamefully overreached, returned immediately to Syracuse ; and, in the greatest rage, drew up in battle-array, some days after, before the walls of the city. Nicias marched out of the trenches, and a battle was fought. Victory was a long time doubtful, but a very heavy shower of rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning, coming unexpectedly, the Syracusans, who were unexperienced, the greatest part of them having never carried arms before, were frighted at the tempest, whilst their enemies laughed at it, as the mere effect of the season ; and regarded nothing but the enemy, who were much more to be dreaded than the storm. The Syracusans, after making a long and vigorous resistance, were forced to give way. The Athenians could not pursue them far, because their horse, which was still in a body, and had not been defeated, covered their retreat. The Syracusans retreated in good order into the city, after having thrown a body of troops into the temple of Olympia to prevent its being plundered.
This temple stood pretty near the camp of the Athenians, who were very desirous of taking it, because it abounded with gold and silver offerings, which the piety of kings and pations had consecrated. Nicias having delayed sending troops to seize it, lost the opportunity, and gave the Syracusans time to throw into it, as was before observed, a detachment for its defence. It was thought he did this on purpose, and out of reverence to the gods; because, had the soldiers. plundered this temple, the public would net have reaped any benefit by it, and himself alone would have been accused of the sacrilege.
After the battle, the Athenians, who were not yet in a condition to attack Syracuse, retired with their fleet to Naxos and Catana, to winter there, with design to return in the beginning of the next spring, and lay siege to the city. For this they wanted money, provisions, and particularly horse, of which they were absolutely destitute. The Athenians depended upon obtaining part of these succours from the people of Sicily, who they supposed would join them, the instant they should hear of their victory ; and at the same time they sent an express to Athens, to solicit the like aid. They also addressed the Carthaginians for their alliance ; and sent deputies to some cities of Italy, situated on the coast of the Tuscan sea, which had promised to assist them.
The Syracusans were far from desponding. Hermocrates, who, of all their leaders, was most distinguished for his valour, his judgment, and experience, represented to them, in order to raise their hopes, that they had not been wanting in courage, but in conduct; that the enemies, though very brave, owed their victory to their good fortune rather than to their merit ; that the having a multitude of leaders, (they were 15 in number) from which confusion and disobedience are inseparable, had done them prejudice ; that it would be absolutely necessary for them to choose experienced generals, to keep the rest in their duty, and exercise their forces continually during the winter season. This advice being followed, Hermocrates and two more were elected generals ; after which they sent deputies to Corinth and Lacedæmon to renew the alliance, and at the same time to engage them to make a diversion, in order to oblige, it possible, the Athenians to recall their troops out of Sicily, or at least to prevent their sending a reinforcement thither. The fortifying of Syracuse was the chief object of their care. Accordingly they took into the city, by a wall, all the tract of land towards Epipolæ, from the northern extremity of Tyche, descending westward towards the quarter of the city called afterwards Neapolis, in order to remove the enemy to a greater distance, and to give them more trouble in making their contravallation, by obliging them to give a larger extent to it. This part, in all probability, had been neglected, because it seemed to be sufficiently defended by its rugged and steep situation. They also garrisoned Megara and Olympia, and drove stakes into all those parts of the sea-shore, where the enemy might easily make a descent. Hearing afterwards that the Athenians were at Naxos, they went and burnt the camp of Catana, and retired, after laying waste the adjacent country,
a The ambassadors of Syracuse being arrived among the Corinthians, asked succour of them as having been their founders, which was immediately granted ; and at the same time they sent an embassy to the Lacedæmonians, to invite them to declare in their favour. Alcibiades enforced their demand with all his credit and eloquence, to which his resentment against Athens added new vigour. He advised and exhorted the Lacedæmonians to appoint Gylippus their general, and send him into Sicily ; and at the same time to invade the Athenians, in order to make a powerful diversion. In the third place, he induced them to fortify Decelia in At. tica, which quite completed the ruin of the city of Athens, it not being able ever to recover that blow : for by this fort, the Lacedæmonians made themselves masters of the country, by which the Athenians were deprived of their silver mines of Laurium, and of the revenues of their lands; nor could they be succoured by their neighbours, Decelia becoming the asylum of all the malcontents and partisans of Sparta.
b Nicias had received some succours from Athens. These consisted of 250 troopers, who the Athenians supposed would be furnished with horses in Sicily, (the troops bringing only the furniture) and of 30 horse-archers, with 300 talents, that is, 300,000 French crowns C. Nicias now began to prepare for action. He was accused of often letting slip opportunities, by his losing time in deliberating, arguing, and concerting measures ; however, when once he entered upon action, he was as bold and vigorous in execution, as he before had been slow and timorous in undertaking, as he showed on the present occasion.
The Syracusans hearing that the Athenians had received a reinforcement of cavalry, and would soon march and lay siege to their city ; and knowing they could not possibly approach it, or make a contravallation, unless they should possess themselves of the heights of Epipolæ, which commanded Syracuse, they resolved to guard the avenue to it, which was the only pass by which the enemy could get up to it, every other part being rugged and inaccessible. Marching therefore down into the meadow, bordered by the river Anapis, and reviewing their troops there, they appointed 700 foot, under the command of Diomilus, to guard that important post ; and commanded them to repair to it, at the first signal which should be given for that purpose. But Nicias conducted his design with so much prudence, expedition, and secrecy, that they had not time to do this. He sailed from Catana with all his fleet, without the enemy's having the least suspicion of his design. Being arrived at the port of Trogilus near Leontium, which is but a quarter of a league (six or seven furlongs) from Epipolæ, he put his land-forces on shore, after which he retired with his feet to Thapsus, a small peninsula of Syracuse, the entrance to which he shut up with a staccado.
a Thucyd. l. vi. p. 471-482. Plut. in Alcib. p. 203. In Nie p 534, 535. Doid. 1 xjji. p. 138. b A. M. 3590, Apt. J, C, 414.
c About 1.67,000 sterbrie. VOL. IIf.
The land-forces marched with the utmost expedition to seize on Epipolæ, by the pass of Euryelus, before the enemy, who were in the plains of Anapis at above a league's distance, had the least notice of their arrival. At the first news of this, the 700 soldiers, under the command of Diomilus, advanced forward in confusion, but were easily defeated and 300 of them, with their leader, left dead in the field. The Athenians, after setting up a trophy, built a fort in Labdalon, on the summit of Epipolæ, in order to secure their baggage and most valuable effects in it, whenever they should be forced to fight, or work at the contravallation.
Soon after, the inhabitants of Egesta sent the Athenians 300 horse, to which some of their Sicilian allies added 100 inore, which with the 250 sent before by the Athenians, and who had furnished themselves with horses in Sicily, made a body of 650 horse.
The plan laid down by Nicias, for taking Syracuse, was, to surround all the city on the land-side with a strong contravallation, in order to cut off all communication with the place from without; in hopes, no doubt, that his fleet would afterwards enable him to prevent the Syracusans from receiving any succours or provisions by sea.
Having left a garrison in Labdalon, he came down from the hill, advanced towards the northern extremity of Tyche, and halting there, he employed the whole army in throwing up a line of contravallation, to shut up the city northward from Tyche as far as Trogilus, situate on the sea-side. This work was carried on with such a rapidity, as terrified the Syracusans. They thought it absolutely necessary to prevent the carrying on of this work, and accordingly made some sallies and attacks, but always with disadvantage, and even their cavalry was routed. The day after the action, the contrayallation (northward) was continued by part of the army, during which the rest carried stones and other materials towards Trogilus, in order to finish it.
The besieged, by the advice of Hermocrates, thought it advisable not to venture a second battle with the Athenians; and only endeavoured to put a stop to their works, or at least to render them useless, by running a line to cut that carried on by the Athenians. They imagined, that in case they should be suffered to complete their wall, it would be impossible for the Athenians to make any farther progress in thett