A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon to 403 B.C

By George Grote; J. M. Mitchell et al. | Go to book overview

29 [LIX]

FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE SIEGE OF SYRACUSE BY NIKIAS DOWN TO THE SECOND ATHENIAN EXPEDITION UNDER DEMOSTHENES AND THE RESUMPTION OF THE GENERAL WAR

THE Athenian troops at Katana were put in motion in the early spring, even before the arrival of the reinforcements from Athens, and sailed to Megara. Having in vain attacked the Syracusan garrison, they re-embarked, landed again for similar purposes at the mouth of the river Terias, and then, after an insignificant skirmish, returned to Katana. An expedition into the interior of the island procured for them the alliance of the Sikel town of Kentoripa; and the cavalry being now arrived from Athens, they prepared for operations against Syracuse. Nikias had received from Athens 250 horsemen fully equipped, for whom horses were to be procured in Sicily 1 - 30 horse-bowmen and 300 talents in money. He was not long in furnishing them with horses from Egesta and Katana, from which cities he also received some farther cavalry - so that he was presently able to muster 650 cavalry in all.

Syracuse consisted at this time of two parts, an inner and an outer city. The former was comprised in the island of Ortygia, the original settlement founded by Archias, within which the modern city is at this moment included: the latter or outer city, afterwards known by the name of Achradina, occupied the high ground of the peninsula north of Ortygia, but does not seem to have joined the inner city, or to have been comprised in the same fortification. This outer city was defended, on the north and east, by the sea, with rocks presenting great difficulties of landing - and by a sea-wall; so that on these sides it

1 Horses were so largely bred in Sicily, that they even found their way into Attica and Central Greece - Sophoklês, Œd. Kolon., 312 -

-759-

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