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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.
From that point forward, however, as the Athenians ceded the initiative to their newly energized opponents, the tide of the conflict shifted.
At the Congress of Gela, the Sicilian cities made peace on the basis of "Sicily for the Sicilians", and the Athenian fleet left for home.
In 415, Athens and Sparta had been formally at peace since 421, when the Peace of Nicias had brought the Archidamian War to a close.
(Syracuse, like Sparta and its Peloponnesian allies, was a Dorian city, while most of Athens's allies on the island were Ionian.
That expedition, operating from a base at Rhegium, remained in the area for several years, fighting alongside Athens's local allies against the Syracusans and their allies, without achieving any dramatic successes.