Thucydides’ History, Book 6

Chapter 32

When the ships were full and all were now aboard as was intended to be taken, a silence was called for with a war-trumpet, and prayers customary for putting out to sea were performed by the cryer, not ship by ship, but for all of them together, and having mixed wine-vessels the leaders and the soldiers aboard the ships made offerings of libation for the whole army with gold and silver goblets. And the other crowd also joined in prayer, both those of the citizens on land and anyone else present who might well-disposed toward them. And after they chanted the paean of triumph and had completed the offering of libations, they set out to sea, and at first, those sailing out single file made contest until Aegina, and they pressed themselves to arrive at Corcyra, there where the other army of their allies were collected. The news was announced at Syracuse concerning an oncoming naval assault from many places, but it was disbelieved for the longest time, but during an assembly that took place, such arguments were spoken by other men, both those who believed the news about the army of the Athenians, and those who said the opposite, and Hermocrates of Hermon came forward before them, believing wisely that he understood these affairs, and he spoke and exhorted as follows.

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