In front of the wall lies a deep trench, into which several passages descend, as at the nearly contemporary fort of Euryelus above Syracuse (q.v.).
They did not, however, occupy Euryelus, at the western extremity of the high ground of Epipolae, and this omission allowed the Athenians to obtain possession of the whole plateau, and to begin the investment of the city.
He left a gap to the north of the circular fort which formed the centre of the Athenian lines, the point where Epipolae slopes down to the sea, and he omitted to occupy Euryelus.
The second act of the drama may be said to open with the irretrievable blunder of Nicias in letting the Spartan Gylippus first land in Sicily, and then march at the head of a small army, partly levied on the spot, across the island, and enter Syracuse by way of Epipolae, past Euryelus.
The assault was made by night by way of Euryelus under the uncertain light of the moon, and this circumstance turned what was very nearly a successful surprise into a ruinous defeat.
Profiting by the experience gained during the Athenian siege, he included in his new lines the whole plateau of Epipolae, with a strong fortress at Euryelus, its apex on the west; the total length of the outer lines (excluding the fortifications of the island) has been calculated at about 12 m.
The strong fortress of Euryelus held out for a time, but, being now isolated, it soon had to surrender.
Here the wall gained the top of the cliffs which mark the southern edge of the plateau of Epipolae, which from this point onwards it followed as far as Euryelus.
Earlier writers make this the site of Labdalum, and put Euryelus farther west; but Labdalum must be sought somewhat farther east, near the northern edge of the plateau, in a point not visible from the Athenian central fort (KUKXos) with a view over Megara - not therefore in the commanding position of Dionysius's fort, with an uninterrupted view on all sides.
It is, indeed, recorded by Diodorus that Dionysius built the north wall from Euryelus to the Hexapylon in twenty days for a length of 2 3 - 4 m., employing 60,000 peasants and 6000 yoke of oxen for the transport of the blocks.
Meanwhile Syracuse, all but lost, had driven back Hamilcar, and had taken him prisoner in an unsuccessful attack on Euryelus, and slain him when he came again with the help of the Syracusan exile Deinocrates.
That this point is to be identified with Euryelus is now generally admitted (see Lupus, 125-127; Freeman, iii.
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