Welcome
   Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Authors
Works by Thucydides
Pages of History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VI



Previous | Next
                  

History of The Peloponnesian War - Book VI   


a whole may best prepare to repel the invaders. Even if there be no
need, there is no harm in the state being furnished with horses and
arms and all other insignia of war; and we will undertake to see to
and order this, and to send round to the cities to reconnoitre and
do all else that may appear desirable. Part of this we have seen to
already, and whatever we discover shall be laid before you." After
these words from the general, the Syracusans departed from the
assembly.
In the meantime the Athenians with all their allies had now
arrived at Corcyra. Here the generals began by again reviewing the
armament, and made arrangements as to the order in which they were
to anchor and encamp, and dividing the whole fleet into three
divisions, allotted one to each of their number, to avoid sailing
all together and being thus embarrassed for water, harbourage, or
provisions at the stations which they might touch at, and at the
same time to be generally better ordered and easier to handle, by each
squadron having its own commander. Next they sent on three ships to
Italy and Sicily to find out which of the cities would receive them,
with instructions to meet them on the way and let them know before
they put in to land.
After this the Athenians weighed from Corcyra, and proceeded to
cross to Sicily with an armament now consisting of one hundred and
thirty-four galleys in all (besides two Rhodian fifty-oars), of
which one hundred were Athenian vessels- sixty men-of-war, and forty
troopships- and the remainder from Chios and the other allies; five
thousand and one hundred heavy infantry in all, that is to say,
fifteen hundred Athenian citizens from the rolls at Athens and seven
hundred Thetes shipped as marines, and the rest allied troops, some of
them Athenian subjects, and besides these five hundred Argives, and
two hundred and fifty Mantineans serving for hire; four hundred and
eighty archers in all, eighty of whom were Cretans, seven hundred
slingers from Rhodes, one hundred and twenty light-armed exiles from
Megara, and one horse-transport carrying thirty horses.
Such was the strength of the first armament that sailed over for the
war. The supplies for this force were carried by thirty ships of
burden laden with corn, which conveyed the bakers, stone-masons, and
carpenters, and the tools for raising fortifications, accompanied by
one hundred boats, like the former pressed into the service, besides
many other boats and ships of burden which followed the armament
voluntarily for purposes of trade; all of which now left Corcyra and
struck across the Ionian Sea together. The whole force making land
at the Iapygian promontory and Tarentum, with more or less good
fortune, coasted along the shores of Italy, the cities shutting
their markets and gates against them, and according them nothing but
water and liberty to anchor, and Tarentum and Locri not even that,
until they arrived at Rhegium, the extreme point of Italy. Here at
length they reunited, and not gaining admission within the walls
pitched a camp outside the city in the precinct of Artemis, where a
market was also provided for them, and drew their ships on shore and
kept quiet. Meanwhile they opened negotiations with the Rhegians,
and called upon them as Chalcidians to assist their Leontine
kinsmen; to which the Rhegians replied that they would not side with
either party, but should await the decision of the rest of the
Italiots, and do as they did. Upon this the Athenians now began to
consider what would be the best action to take in the affairs of
Sicily, and meanwhile waited for the ships sent on to come back from
Egesta, in order to know whether there was really there the money
mentioned by the messengers at Athens.
In the meantime came in from all quarters to the Syracusans, as well
as from their own officers sent to reconnoitre, the positive tidings
that the fleet was at Rhegium; upon which they laid aside their
incredulity and threw themselves heart and soul into the work of
preparation. Guards or envoys, as the case might be, were sent round
to the Sicels, garrisons put into the posts of the Peripoli in the

Previous | Next
Site Search