The next day the Athenians and their allies prepared for battle, their dispositions being as follows:—Their right wing was occupied by the Argives and Mantineans, the centre by the Athenians, and the rest of the field by the other allies.
Half their army was drawn up eight deep in advance, half close to their tents in a hollow square, formed also eight deep, which had orders to look out and be ready to go to the support of the troops hardest pressed.
The camp followers were placed inside this reserve.
The Syracusans, meanwhile, formed their heavy infantry sixteen deep, consisting of the mass-levy of their own people, and such allies as had joined them, the strongest contingent being that of the Selinuntines; next to them the cavalry of the Geloans, numbering two hundred in all, with about twenty horse and fifty archers from Camarina.
The cavalry was posted on their right, full twelve hundred strong, and next to it the darters.
As the Athenians were about to begin the attack, Nicias went along the lines, and addressed these words of encouragement to the army and the nations composing it:—