AT SYRACUSE, 413 B.C.
expedition, will endeavour to carry out these plans. And be sure that without your speedy interference they will all be accomplished. The Sicilian Greeks are deficient in military training; but still if they could at once be brought to combine in an organized resistance to Athens, they might even now be saved. But as for the Syracusans resisting Athens by themselves, they have already with the whole strength of their population fought a battle and been beaten; they cannot face the Athenians at sea; and it is quite impossible for them to hold out against the force of their invaders. And if this city falls into the hands of the Athenians, all Sicily is theirs, and presently Italy also: and the danger, which I warned you of from that quarter, will soon fall upon yourselves. You must therefore in Sicily fight for the safety of Peloponnesus. Send some galleys thither instantly. Put men on board who can work their own way over, and who, as soon as they land, can do duty as regular troops. But above all, let one of yourselves, let a man of Sparta go over to take the chief command, to bring into order and effective discipline the forces that are in Syracuse, and urge those, who at present hang back, to come forward and aid the Syracusans. The presence of a Spartan general at this crisis will do more to save the city, than