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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 473: The shock of the Syracusans Bahasa Indonesia

After they arranged everything, Phacipessas was still worried, “Milord, in case it still rains in the next few days…”

“You can be at ease as I had specially asked several veteran fishermen who have lived here for decades, and they all agreed that it would be sunny from tomorrow. As you can see, the rain today is much less!” Dionysius looked at the crowd and motivated them, “Everyone, you must seize these two days to build enough siege weapons! Phacipessas, your task is a bit important as you have to build at least five solid walkways to prevent the siege towers from getting stuck due to the muddy ground on the north gate of Crotone. Can you do it?!”

“Commander, it wouldn’t be a problem at all as long as you assigned me enough manpower!” Phacipessas promised.

“Very well!” Dionysius looked at them confidently and said, “Everyone, we will attack Crotone again in two days! After this battle, we will celebrate it at the Temple of Apollo in Crotone, so don’t let me down!”

The strategoi all swore at the same time, “Apollo as our witness, we will definitely break through the city of Crotone!”

With the warm atmosphere in the tent, Dionysius became affected by it and smiled as he said to Phidias, who had remained silent, “Does Sparta have no punishment for Davos who dared to make himself king?”

It is known that before the Peloponnesian War, Sparta was once called “liberators” for overthrowing one tyrannical government after another in Greece and even in the islands of the Aegean sea, such as the descendants of the tyrant Peisistratus in Athens, the Aleuadae family in Thessaly, and so on. Hence the Greeks used to think that Sparta was extremely hostile to dictatorship.

Phidias glanced at Dionysius and thought, ‘You only see Davos, why don’t you look at yourself first?!’

Phidias naturally couldn’t answer him with this, but he still replied coldly, “Isn’t Syracuse enough to punish them?” which made Dionysius laugh.

Just then, an attendant hurriedly entered the tent and whispered something to Dionysius.

The smile on Dionysius froze as his face immediately turned unsightly. With a roar, he kicked over the table beside him, grabbed the attendant with one hand and shouted angrily, “Where is Leptines?! Where is that damned bastard?!! Tell him to come here and see me!!!”

Dionysius’ anger shook the attendant as he tremblingly said, “Milord…Lord Leptines…is wounded and is…receiving treatment in his tent…”

“Tell that coward to come over here right now! And even if he died, bring his body to me!!” Dionysius roared angrily.

“Ye…yes…” The attendant ran out of the tent in haste.

The tent turned silent as only Dionysius’ rapid breathing and the sound of him pacing back and forth remained.

“Could it be that the fleet suffered a setback?” Finally, someone asked the question they all wanted to ask.

Dionysius glared at the one who spoke and saw that it was Phidias. After all, only this Spartan dared to speak when Dionysius was angry.

Dionysius looked at him, sat back in his chair and breathed heavily, “It’s not only just a setback but a massive defeat!”

‘Massive defeat?!’ Everyone in the tent was surprised.

“Milord, could it be that the…Carthaginians have joined the war?” Phacipessas asked with caution.

Everyone’s heart tightened. After all, only the Carthaginians in the western Mediterranean could rival the strength of the Syracusan navy. So if Carthage joins the war, Syracuse in Sicily may be in some danger!

Facing the gazes of more than a dozen pairs of slightly panicking eyes, Dionysius felt more difficult in breathing, “Don’t overthink about it as Carthage did not join the war. It was the Theonian fleet…who defeated our navy alone, causing us to lose more than two-thirds of our more than 300 ships…including nearly 200 triremes…”

‘WHAT?!!!’ An explosion seemed to happen on the tent as everyone couldn’t believe the fact that the Syracusan navy would lose so severely against the far weaker Theonian fleet.

After several years since the last naval battle against Carthage, Syracuse constructed and accumulated nearly 500 warships, including more than 300 triremes. This time, except for a few dozen ships left to guard the port of Syracuse and stationing several dozens of ships in Messina to block Rhegium and control the Strait of Messina, all of them went with the expedition and were led by Leptines himself to participate in this naval battle. In the end, they were defeated by Theonia, who did not even have a single warship a few years ago! This is simply…

“Stop making noises!” Dionysius, who was already agitated, became more upsets by the noises among the officers, “We would know what happened in this naval battle once Leptines comes!”

As soon as he uttered this, silence returned to the tent once again. Only this time, everyone became restless and annoyed.

At Dionysius’ order, Leptines quickly came. He stumbled into the tent, fell on his knees with a plod and said in a trembling voice, “Mi…milord, I…I have sinned!”

Dionysius saw Leptines looking miserable with his head and arms wrapped in linen dyed red with his blood. A trace of dissatisfaction arose in his heart, and he was immediately overwhelmed by anger, “You came just in time. Everyone really wants to know how you lost even with more than 300 ships!”

Dionysius’ grim voice contained endless hatred, causing Leptines to shiver several times.

Seeing his frightened appearance, Dionysius became even angrier. He grabbed the iron thing that the guard just picked up and threw it at Leptines’ forehead. Although his head immediately bled, Leptines did not dare to scream.

“Speak!” Dionysius pointed at him and roared.

“Yes! Yes!…” Leptines quickly responded repeatedly.

The officers who were originally angry at him now felt pity while Phidias remained composed. The Spartans grew up by getting beaten up with a stick by their instructors if they were disobedient, failed to pass the training test, and got beaten up even more if they lost in a battle…the Spartans were hard on their own citizens and even harder on the helots and allied soldiers. This caning violence had often made other city-states reluctant to come near Sparta, and the Spartans have long been accustomed to it. Hence Phidias even felt that such a strategos who caused significant damage to the city-state should be hung and beaten to death.

As he trembled, Leptines briefly described the entire naval battle.

After hearing this, Dionysius became sullen as he was lost in his thought, “Are you saying that…the Theonians have installed wooden bridges on their ships, which could hook any approaching ships, and then won by relying on their soldiers to board and fight?”

“Ye…yes. This wooden bridge of theirs is flexible enough to turn in all directions, making it impossible for our ships to attack their rear.” Leptines hurriedly explained.

“Since you already know that our tactics aren’t working, why haven’t you retreated in time?!!” Dionysius angrily cursed.

This made Leptines unable to reply.

“He was trying to capture that new king of Theonia and end this war.” Phidias let out a sigh, “Davos had guessed your idea in advance, so he used himself as bait to lure your ships to attack recklessly, allowing them to capture a large number of your ships and led to your crushing defeat…Davos is really a remarkable commander!”

Dionysius stared at Phidias, who didn’t give a care.

Phacipessas then noticed an issue in Leptines’ report and asked urgently, “Navarch Leptines, after listening to what you have said, then those warships the Theonians had captured shouldn’t have that much damage. Then, wouldn’t they be able to use them against us?!”

Everyone’s expression changed.

“Uh…this…” Leptines didn’t know how to respond.

“Hmph! Theonia will need more sailors if they want to expand their fleet!” Dionysius’ words reminded everyone: ‘That’s right, the hundreds of Syracusan triremes they captured would need at least 30,000 to 40,000 sailors to restore their combat strength.’ From what they know, Theonia has already invested their young and strong adults into expanding the army and navy to cope with the many war fronts. Hence they shouldn’t be able to get that huge amount of manpower. And not everyone can immediately become a qualified sailor as it requires a long training time, especially getting together experienced helmsman!

Everyone then breathed a sigh of relief.

“Leptines, your defeat has caused great trouble for our army!” Dionysius then asked him in a cold voice, “I ask you now if the Theonian fleet were to come attacking, do you have the confidence to lead the remaining ship to turn defeat into victory?”

Everyone immediately turned their attention to Leptines, making him more nervous and afraid. He subconsciously touched the bandage wrapped around his head, where he cut himself with a short sword to gain a bit of sympathy from his brother.

“Speak quickly!” Dionysius shouted in anger, which frightened Leptines to reply quickly, “If…if I could lead the Theonian fleet to the deep sea, I have the confidence…to defeat them as they move around slowly. As they have erected such a large wooden bridge on their foremast, it would easily cause their ship to be heavy on the bow and light on the stern, not only…not only are they slow and inflexible, but they are more likely to capsize when encountering powerful winds and waves. But…if we fight them near the coast-” Leptines cautiously looked at Dionysius, then he immediately lowered his head as he lowered his tone and said, “If we resist their attack head-on, I fear that our fleet…would lose…” At the end of his sentence, his voice completely weakened.

Dionysius was no longer as furious as he had at the start. After thinking about it, he had to admit that these novel naval tactics of Theonia that had caused great trouble to Syracuse would give anyone else who was in command of a fleet and was unfamiliar with it a massive loss.


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