Dating sicily

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In 416, however, a second Sicilian conflict provided the invitation Athens had sought in 422.The city of Segesta—an Athenian ally in the 420s—went to war against Selinus and, after losing an initial battle, sent to Athens for help.

By the time that fleet reached Sicily in late summer, Athens's Sicilian allies had grown weary of stalemated warfare, and agreed to negotiate with Syracuse and its allies.The assembly eventually approved an expedition composed of sixty triremes, without hoplite accompaniment, commanded by Nicias, Alcibiades, and Lamachus.Thucydides reports that Nicias had been appointed against his preference, but offers no further detail regarding that debate.In order to win the Athenians' support, the Segestaeans claimed that they were capable of funding much of the cost of sending a fleet, offering 60 talents of uncoined silver up front, and tricking Athenian ambassadors into believing that the city was more prosperous than it actually was, by making sure that the ambassadors saw all their golden and other valuable objects in a way as if these were just part of what they had.At Athens, the Segestan ambassadors presented their case for intervention to the assembly, where debate over the proposal quickly divided along traditional factional lines.

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