(6.71) The Athenians, however, did not go to the temple at all, but collecting their dead, and laying them on a pyre, they passed the night where they were. On the following day they gave back the Syracusan dead under a flag of truce, and gathered from the pyre the bones of their own dead. There had fallen of the Syracusans and of their allies about two hundred and sixty; of the Athenians and their allies not more than fifty. The Athenians then taking with them the spoils of their enemies, sailed back to Catana. Winter had now set in, and they thought that before they could do anything more at Syracuse they must send for horsemen from Athens, and collect others from their Sicilian allies; without them they would be at the mercy of the Syracusan cavalry. They also wanted to obtain both in Sicily and from Athens a supply of money, and to gain over some of the Sicilian cities. These would be more willing to listen to them after their victory. They had likewise to provide supplies, and to make the other requisite preparations for attacking Syracuse in the spring. (6.72) Accordingly they sailed away to Naxos and Catana, intending to winter.
The Syracusans, after burying their dead; called an assembly. Hermocrates the son of Hermon, a man of first-rate ability, of distinguished bravery, and also of great military experience, came forward and encouraged them. He told them not to be disheartened at the result of the battle; for their resolution had not been defeated;68 but they had suffered from want of discipline. Yet they had proved less unequal than might have been expected; and they should remember that they had been contending against the most experienced soldiers of Hellas; they were unskilled workmen, and the Athenians masters in their craft.69 Another great source of weakness had been the number of generals (there were fifteen of them); the division of authority had produced disorganisation and disorder among the troops. If they had a few experienced generals, and during the winter got their hoplites into order, providing arms for those who had none, and so raising the number of their forces to the utmost, while at the same time they insisted on strict drill and discipline, they would have a good chance of victory; for they had courage already, and only wanted steadiness in action. Both qualities would improve together; they would learn steadiness in the school of danger, and their natural courage would be reinforced by the confidence which skill inspires. The generals whom they elected should be few in number and should be entrusted with full power, the people taking a solemn oath to them that they would be allowed to command according to their own judgment. The secrets of the army would then be better kept, and everything would be done in a more orderly and straightforward manner.
(6.73) The Syracusans listened to him, and voted all that he desired. They chose three generals and no more; Hermocrates himself, Heraclides the son of Lysimachus, and Sicanus the son of Execestus. They also sent ambassadors to Corinth and to Lacedaemon requesting aid as allies, and urged the Lacedaemonians to make war openly and decidedly against the Athenians on their behalf; thus they would either draw them off from Sicily, or at any rate prevent them from sending reinforcements to the army which was there already.
(6.74) No sooner had the Athenians returned in the fleet to Catana than they sailed to Messenè, expecting that the city would be betrayed to them. But they were disappointed. For Alcibiades, when he was recalled and gave up his command, foreseeing that he would be an exile, communicated to the Syracusan party at Messenè the plot of which he was cognisant.70 They at once put to death the persons whom he indicated; and on the appearance of the Athenians the same party, rising and arming, prevented their admission. The Athenians remained there about thirteen days, but the weather was bad, their provisions failed, and they had no success. So they went to Naxos, and having surrounded their camp with a palisade, proposed to pass the winter there. They also despatched a trireme to Athens for money and cavalry, which were to arrive at the beginning of spring.
(6.75) The Syracusans employed the winter in various defensive works. Close to the city they built a wall, which took in the shrine of Apollo Temenites and extended all along that side of Syracuse which looks towards Epipolae; they thus enlarged the area of the city, and increased the difficulty of investing it in case of defeat. They fortified and garrisoned Megara, and also raised a fort at the Olympieum,71 besides fixing stockades at all the landing-places along the shore. They knew that the Athenians were wintering at Naxos, and so, marching out with their whole army to Catana, they ravaged the country and burnt the huts and the camp of the Athenians; they then returned home. They heard that the Athenians were sending an embassy to gain over the Camarinaeans on the strength of their former alliance, which had been made under Laches,72 and they despatched a counter embassy of their own. They suspected that the Camarinaeans had not been over-zealous in sending their contingent to the first battle, and would not be willing to assist them any longer now that the Athenians had gained a victory; old feelings of friendship would revive, and they would be induced to join them. Accordingly Hermocrates came with an embassy to Camarina, and Euphemus with another embassy from the Athenians. An assembly of the Camarinaeans was held, at which Hermocrates, hoping to raise a prejudice against the Athenians, spoke as follows: