History of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides

Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.

Meanwhile the Corinthian fleet from Leucas made all haste to arrive; and one of their commanders, Gongylus, starting last with a single ship, was the first to reach Syracuse, a little before Gylippus.

Gongylus found the Syracusans on the point of holding an assembly to consider whether they should not put an end to the war.

This he prevented, and reassured them by telling them that more vessels were still to arrive, and that Gylippus, son of Cleandridas, had been despatched by the Lacedaemonians to take the command.

Upon this the Syracusans took courage, and immediately marched out with all their forces to meet Gylippus, who they found was now close at hand.

Meanwhile Gylippus, after taking Ietae, a fort of the Sicels, on his way, formed his army in order of battle, and so arrived at Epipolae, and ascending by Euryelus, as the Athenians had done at first, now advanced with the Syracusans against the Athenian lines.

His arrival chanced at a critical moment.

The Athenians had already finished a double wall of six or seven furlongs to the great harbor, with the exception of a small portion next to the sea, which they were still engaged upon; and in the remainder of the circle towards Trogilus on the other sea, stones had been laid ready for building for the greater part of the distance, and some points had been left half finished, while others were entirely completed.

The danger of Syracuse had indeed been great.