Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

LCL 110: 182-183

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I. Τοῦ δ᾿ αὐτοῦ χειμῶνος Ἀθηναῖοι ἐβούλοντο αὖθις μείζονι παρασκευῇ τῆς μετὰ Λάχητος καὶ Εὐρυμέδοντος ἐπὶ Σικελίαν πλεύσαντες καταστρέψασθαι, εἰ δύναιντο, ἄπειροι οἱ πολλοὶ ὄντες τοῦ μεγέθους τῆς νήσου καὶ τῶν ἐνοικούντων τοῦ πλήθους καὶ Ἑλλήνων καὶ βαρβάρων, καὶ ὅτι οὐ πολλῷ τινι ὑποδεέστερον πόλεμον ἀνῃροῦντο ἢ τὸν πρὸς Πελοποννησίους. Σικελίας γὰρ περίπλους 2μέν ἐστιν ὁλκάδι οὐ πολλῷ τινι ἔλασσον ἢ ὀκτὼ ἡμερῶν, καὶ τοσαύτη οὖσα ἐν εἰκοσισταδίῳ1 μάλιστα μέτρῳ2 τῆς θαλάσσης διείργεται τὸ μὴ ἤπειρος, εἶναι.3

II. Ὠικίσθη δὲ ὧδε τὸ ἀρχαῖον καὶ τοσάδε ἔθνη ἔσχε τὰ ξύμπαντα. παλαίτατοι μὲν λέγονται ἐν μέρει τινὶ τῆς χώρας Κύκλωπες καὶ Λαιστρυγόνες οἰκῆσαι, ὧν ἐγὼ οὔτε γένος ἔχω εἰπεῖν οὔτε ὁπόθεν ἐσῆλθον ἢ ὅποι ἀπεχώρησαν· ἀρκείτω δὲ ὡς ποιηταῖς τε εἴρηται καὶ ὡς ἕκαστός πῃ 2γιγνώσκει περὶ αὐτῶν. Σικανοὶ δὲ μετ᾿ αὐτοὺς


Book VI

Book VI

I. During the same winter the Athenians wished to416 b.c. sail again to Sicily with a larger armament than that conducted by Laches and Eurymedon,1 and subdue it, if they could, most of them being ignorant of the great size of the island and of the large number of its inhabitants, Hellenic as well as Barbarian, and that they were undertaking a war not very much inferior to that against the Peloponnesians. For the voyage round Sicily, for a merchantman, is one of not much less than eight days; and although it is so large only a distance of about twenty stadia of the sea divides the island from the mainland.

II. Sicily was settled originally in the following manner, and the whole number of the nations that occupied it were these. Most ancient of all those who are reported to have settled in any part of the island were the Cyclopes and Laestrygonians, as to whom, however, I am able to tell neither their stock nor whence they came nor whither they went; let it suffice as the story has been told by the poets,2 and as each man has formed his opinion about them. The Sicanians appear to have been the first to settle

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.thucydides-history_peloponnesian_war.1919