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Hellenica by Xenophon

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Flushed with this achievement the Arcadians began marching on the
cities of the Acroreia,[11] which, with the exception of Thraustus,
they captured, and so reached Olympia. There they made an entrenched
camp on the hill of Kronos, established a garrison, and held control
over the Olympian hill-country. Margana also, by help of a party
inside who gave it up, next fell into their hands.

[11] The mountainous district of Elis on the borders of Arcadia, in
which the rivers Peneius and Ladon take their rise; see "Dict. of
Anct. Geog." s.v.; above, III. ii. 30, IV. ii. 16. Thraustus was
one of the four chief townships of the district. For Margana, see
above, III. ii. 25, 30, IV. ii. 16, VI. v. 2.

These successive advantages gained by their opponents reacted on the
Eleians, and threw them altogether into despair. Meanwhile the
Arcadians were steadily advancing upon their capital.[12] At length
they arrived, and penetrated into the market-place. Here, however, the
cavalry and the rest of the Eleians made a stand, drove the enemy out
with some loss, and set up a trophy.

[12] I.e. Elis.

It should be mentioned that the city of Elis had previously been in a
state of disruption. The party of Charopus, Thrasonidas and Argeius
were for converting the state into a democracy; the party of Eualcas,
Hippias, and Stratolas[13] were for oligarchy. When the Arcadians,
backed by a large force, appeared as allies of those who favoured a
democratic constitution, the party of Charopus were at once
emboldened; and, having obtained the promise of assistance from the
Arcadians, they seized the acropolis. The Knights and the Three
Hundred did not hesitate, but at once marched up and dislodged them;
with the result that about four hundred citizens, with Argeius and
Charopus, were banished. Not long afterwards these exiles, with the
help of some Arcadians, seized and occupied Pylus;[14] where many of
the commons withdrew from the capital to join them, attracted not only
by the beauty of the position, but by the great power of the
Arcadians, in alliance with them.

[13] See below, VII. iv. 31; Busolt, op. cit. p. 175.

[14] Pylus, a town in "hollow" Elis, upon the mountain road from Elis
to Olympia, at the place where the Ladon flows into the Peneius
(Paus. VI. xxii. 5), near the modern village of Agrapidokhori.--
Baedeker, "Greece," p. 320. See Busolt, p. 179.

There was subsequently another invasion of the territory of the
Eleians on the part of the Arcadians, who were influenced by the
representations of the exiles that the city would come over to them.
But the attempt proved abortive. The Achaeans, who had now become
friends with the Eleians, kept firm guard on the capital, so that the
Arcadians had to retire without further exploit than that of ravaging
the country. Immediately, however, on marching out of Eleian territory
they were informed that the men of Pellene were in Elis; whereupon
they executed a marvellously long night march and seized the Pellenian
township of Olurus[15] (the Pellenians at the date in question having
already reverted to their old alliance with Lacedaemon). And now the
men of Pellene, in their turn getting wind of what had happened at
Olurus, made their way round as best they could, and got into their
own city of Pellene; after which there was nothing for it but to carry
on war with the Arcadians in Olurus and the whole body of their own
commons; and in spite of their small numbers they did not cease till
they had reduced Olurus by siege.

[15] This fortress (placed by Leake at modern Xylokastro) lay at the
entrance of the gorge of the Sys, leading from the Aigialos or
coast-land into the territory of Pellene, which itself lay about
sixty stades from the sea at modern Zougra. For the part played by
Pellene as one of the twelve Achaean states at this period, see

B.C. 365.[16] The Arcadians were presently engaged on another campaign
against Elis. While they were encamped between Cyllene[17] and the
capital the Eleians attacked them, but the Arcadians made a stand and
won the battle. Andromachus, the Eleian cavalry general, who was
regarded as responsible for the engagement, made an end of himself;
and the rest withdrew into the city. This battle cost the life also of
another there present--the Spartan Socleides; since, it will be
understood, the Lacedaemonians had by this time become allies of the
Eleians. Consequently the Eleians, being sore pressed on their own
territory, sent an embassy and begged the Lacedaemonians to organise
an expedition against the Arcadians. They were persuaded that in this
way they would best arrest the progress of the Arcadians, who would
thus be placed between the two foes. In accordance with this
suggestion Archidamus marched out with a body of the city troops and
seized Cromnus.[18] Here he left a garrison--three out of the twelve
regiments[19]--and so withdrew homewards. The Arcadians had just ended
their Eleian campaign, and, without disbanding their levies, hastened
to the rescue, surrounded Cromnus with a double line of trenches, and
having so secured their position, proceeded to lay seige to those
inside the place. The city of Lacedaemon, annoyed at the siege of
their citizens, sent out an army, again under Archidamus, who, when he
had come, set about ravaging Arcadia to the best of his power, as also
the Sciritid, and did all he could to draw off, if possible, the
besieging army. The Arcadians, for all that, were not one whit the
more to be stirred: they seemed callous to all his proceedings.

[16] See Grote, "H. G." x. 429 foll.; al. B.C. 364.

[17] The port town of Elis.

[18] Cromnus, a township near Megalopolis. See Callisthenes, ap.
Athen. 10, p. 452 A. See Schneider's note ad loc.

[19] Lit. "lochi." See Arnold's note to Thuc. v. 68; below, VII. v.

Presently espying a certain rising ground, across which the Arcadians
had drawn their outer line of circumvallation, Archidamus proposed to
himself to take it. If he were once in command of that knoll, the
besiegers at its foot would be forced to retire. Accordingly he set
about leading a body of troops round to the point in question, and
during this movement the light infantry in advance of Archidamus,
advancing at the double, caught sight of the Arcadian Eparitoi[20]
outside the stockade and attacked them, while the cavalry made an
attempt to enforce their attack simultaneously. The Arcadians did not
swerve: in compact order they waited impassively. The Lacedaemonians
charged a second time: a second time they swerved not, but on the
contrary began advancing. Then, as the hoarse roar and shouting
deepened, Archidamus himself advanced in support of his troops. To do
so he turned aside along the carriage-road leading to Cromnus, and
moved onward in column two abreast,[21] which was his natural order.
When they came into close proximity to one another--Archidamus's
troops in column, seeing they were marching along a road; the
Arcadians in compact order with shields interlinked--at this
conjuncture the Lacedaemonians were not able to hold out for any
length of time against the numbers of the Arcadians. Before long
Archidamus had received a wound which pierced through his thigh,
whilst death was busy with those who fought in front of him,
Polyaenidas and Chilon, who was wedded to the sister of Archidamus,
included. The whole of these, numbering no less than thirty, perished
in this action. Presently, falling back along the road, they emerged
into the open ground, and now with a sense of relief the
Lacedaemonians got themselves into battle order, facing the foe. The
Arcadians, without altering their position, stood in compact line, and
though falling short in actual numbers, were in far better heart--the
moral result of an attack on a retreating enemy and the severe loss
inflicted on him. The Lacedaemonians, on the other hand, were sorely
down-hearted: Archidamus lay wounded before their eyes; in their ears
rang the names of those who had died, the fallen being not only brave
men, but, one may say, the flower of Spartan chivalry. The two armies
were now close together, when one of the older men lifted up his voice
and cried: "Why need we fight, sirs? Why not rather make truce and
part friends?" Joyously the words fell on the ears of either host, and
they made a truce. The Lacedaemonians picked up their dead and
retired; the Arcadians withdrew to the point where their advance
originally began, and set up a trophy of victory.

[20] So the troops of the Arcadian Federation were named. Diodorus
(xv. 62) calls them "the select troops," {tous kaloumenous

[21] See above, III. i. 22.

Now, as the Arcadians lay at Cromnus, the Eleians from the capital,
advancing in the first instance upon Pylus, fell in with the men of
that place, who had been beaten back from Thalamae.[22] Galloping
along the road, the cavalry of the Eleians, when they caught sight of
them, did not hesitate, but dashed at them at once, and put some to
the sword, while others of them fled for safety to a rising knoll. Ere
long the Eleian infantry arrived, and succeeded in dislodging this
remnant on the hillock also; some they slew, and others, nearly two
hundred in number, they took alive, all of whom where either sold, if
foreigners, or, if Eleian exiles, put to death. After this the Eleians
captured the men of Pylus and the place itself, as no one came to
their rescue, and recovered the Marganians.

[22] A strong fortress in an unfrequented situation, defended by
narrow passes (Leake, "Morea," ii. 204); it lay probably in the
rocky recesses of Mount Scollis (modern Santameri), on the
frontier of Achaea, near the modern village of Santameri. See
Polyb. iv. 75. See Busolt, op. cit. p. 179.

The Lacedaemonians presently made a second attempt on Cromnus by a
night attack, got possession of the part of the palisading facing the
Argives, and at once began summoning their besieged fellow-citizens to
come out. Out accordingly came all who happened to be within easy
distance, and who took time by the forelock. The rest were not quick
enough; a strong Arcadian reinforcement cut them off, and they
remained shut up inside, and were eventually taken prisoners and
distributed. One portion of them fell to the lot of the Argives, one
to the Thebans,[23] one to the Arcadians, and one to the Messenians.
The whole number taken, whether true-born Spartans or Perioeci,
amounted to more than one hundred.

[23] "The Thebans must have been soldiers in garrison at Tegea,
Megalopolis, or Messene."--Grote, "H. G." x. 433.

B.C. 364. And now that the Arcadians had leisure on the side of
Cromnus, they were again able to occupy themselves with the Eleians,
and to keep Olympia still more strongly garrisoned. In anticipation of
the approaching Olympic year,[24] they began preparations to celebrate
the Olympian games in conjunction with the men of Pisa, who claim to
be the original presidents of the Temple.[25] Now, when the month of
the Olympic Festival--and not the month only, but the very days,
during which the solemn assembly is wont to meet, were come, the
Eleians, in pursuance of preparations and invitations to the Achaeans,
of which they made no secret, at length proceeded to march along the
road to Olympia. The Arcadians had never imagined that they would
really attack them; and they were themselves just now engaged with the
men of Pisa in carrying out the details of the solemn assembly. They
had already completed the chariot-race, and the foot-race of the
pentathlon.[26] The competitors entitled to enter for the wrestling
match had left the racecourse, and were getting through their bouts in
the space between the racecourse and the great altar.

[24] I.e. "Ol. 104. 1" (July B.C. 364).

[25] For this claim on the part of the Pisatans (as the old
inhabitants), see above, III. ii. 31; Paus. VI. xxii. 2; Diod. xv.
78; Busolt, op. cit. p. 154.

[26] As to the pentathlon, see above, IV. vii. 5. Whether the
preceding {ippodromia} was, at this date, a horse or chariot race,
or both, I am unable to say.

It must be understood that the Eleians under arms were already close
at hand within the sacred enclosure.[27] The Arcadians, without
advancing farther to meet them, drew up their troops on the river
Cladaus, which flows past the Altis and discharges itself into the
Alpheus. Their allies, consisting of two hundred Argive hoplites and
about four hundred Athenian cavalry, were there to support them.
Presently the Eleians formed into line on the opposite side of the
stream, and, having sacrificed, at once began advancing. Though
heretofore in matters of war despised by Arcadians and Argives, by
Achaeans and Athenians alike, still on this day they led the van of
the allied force like the bravest of the brave. Coming into collision
with the Arcadians first, they at once put them to flight, and next
receiving the attack of the Argive supports, mastered these also. Then
having pursued them into the space between the senate-house, the
temple of Hestia, and the theatre thereto adjoining, they still kept
up the fighting as fiercely as ever, pushing the retreating foe
towards the great altar. But now being exposed to missiles from the
porticoes and the senate-house and the great temple,[28] while
battling with their opponents on the level, some of the Eleians were
slain, and amongst others the commander of the Three Hundred himself,
Stratolas. At this state of the proceedings they retired to their

[27] "The {temenos} must here be distinguished from the Altis, as
meaning the entire breadth of consecrated ground at Olympia, of
which the Altis formed a smaller interior portion enclosed with a
wall. The Eleians entered into a {temenos} before they crossed the
river Kladeus, which flowed through the {temenos}, but alongside
the Altis. The tomb of Oenomaus, which was doubtless included in
the {temenos}, was on the right bank of the Kladeus (Paus. VI.
xxi. 3); while the Altis was on the left bank of the river."--
Grote, "H. G." x. 438, note 1. For the position of the Altis
(Paus. V. x. 1) and several of the buildings here mentioned, and
the topography of Olympia in general, see Baedeker's "Greece," p.
322 foll.; and Dorpfeld's Plan ("Olympia und Umgegend," Berlin,
1882), there reproduced.

[28] Or, "from the porticoes of the senate-house and the great

The Arcadians and those with them were so terrified at the thought of
the coming day that they gave themselves neither respite nor repose
that night, but fell to chopping up the carefully-compacted booths and
constructing them into palisades; so that when the Eleians did again
advance the next day and saw the strength of the barriers and the
number mounted on the temples, they withdrew to their city. They had
proved themselves to be warriors of such mettle as a god indeed by the
breath of his spirit may raise up and bring to perfection in a single
day, but into which it were impossible for mortal men to convert a
coward even in a lifetime.

B.C. 363. The employment of the sacred treasures of the temple by the
Arcadian magistrates[29] as a means of maintaining the Eparitoi[30]
aroused protest. The Mantineans were the first to pass a resolution
forbidding such use of the sacred property. They set the example
themselves of providing the necessary quota for the Troop in question
from their state exchequer, and this sum they sent to the federal
government. The latter, affirming that the Mantineans were undermining
the Arcadian league, retaliated by citing their leading statesmen to
appear before the assembly of Ten Thousand; and on their refusal to
obey the summons, passed sentence upon them, and sent the Eparitoi to
apprehend them as convicted persons. The Mantineans, however, closed
their gates, and would not admit the Troop within their walls. Their
example was speedily followed: others among the Ten Thousand began to
protest against the enormity of so applying the sacred treasures; it
was doubly wrong to leave as a perpetual heirloom to their children
the imputation of a crime so heinous against the gods. But no sooner
was a resolution passed in the general assembly[31] forbidding the use
of the sacred moneys for profane purposes than those (members of the
league) who could not have afforded to serve as Eparitoi without pay
began speedily to melt away; while those of more independent means,
with mutual encouragement, began to enrol themselves in the ranks of
the Eparitoi--the feeling being that they ought not to be a mere tool
in the hands of the corps, but rather that the corps itself should be
their instrument. Those members of the government who had manipulated
the sacred money soon saw that when they came to render an account of
their stewardship, in all likelihood they would lose their heads. They
therefore sent an embassy to Thebes, with instructions to the Theban
authorities warning them that, if they did not open a campaign, the
Arcadians would in all probability again veer round to Lacedaemon.

[29] See above, VII. i. 24. "Were these magistrates, or merely popular
leaders?"--Freeman, "Hist. Fed. Gov." p. 203, note 3.

[30] Or, "Select Troop." See above.

[31] "The common formula for a Greek confederation, {to koinon ton
'Arkadon}, is used as an equivalent of {oi mupioi}" (here and
below, SS. 35, 38)--Freeman, op. cit. 202, note 4.

The Thebans, therefore, began making preparations for opening a
campaign, but the party who consulted the best interests of
Peloponnese[32] persuaded the general assembly of the Arcadians to
send an embassy and tell the Thebans not to advance with an army into
Arcadia, unless they sent for them; and whilst this was the language
they addressed to Thebes, they reasoned among themselves that they
could dispense with war altogether. The presidency over the temple of
Zeus, they were persuaded, they might easily dispense with; indeed, it
would at once be a more upright and a holier proceeding on their parts
to give it back, and with such conduct the god, they thought, might be
better pleased. As these were also the views and wishes of the
Eleians, both parties agreed to make peace, and a truce was

[32] See below, VII. v. 1, {oi kedouenoi tes Peloponnesou}. I regard
these phrases as self-laudatory political catchwords.

B.C. 362. The oaths were ratified; and amongst those who swore to them
were included not only the parties immediately concerned, but the men
of Tegea, and the Theban general himself, who was inside Tegea with
three hundred heavy infantry of the Boeotians. Under these
circumstances the Arcadians in Tegea remained behind feasting and
keeping holy day, with outpouring of libations and songs of victory,
to celebrate the establishment of peace. Here was an opportunity for
the Theban and those of the government who regarded the forthcoming
inquiry with apprehension. Aided by the Boeotians and those of the
Eparitoi who shared their sentiments, they first closed the gates of
the fortress of Tegea, and then set about sending to the various
quarters to apprehend those of the better class. But, inasmuch as
there were Arcadians present from all the cities, and there was a
general desire for peace, those apprehended must needs be many. So
much so, that the prison-house was eventually full to overflowing, and
the town-hall was full also. Besides the number lodged in prison, a
number had escaped by leaping down the walls, and there were others
who were suffered to pass through the gates (a laxity easily
explained, since no one, excepting those who were anticipating their
own downfall, cherished any wrathful feeling against anybody). But
what was a source of still graver perplexity to the Theban commander
and those acting with him--of the Mantineans, the very people whom
they had set their hearts on catching, they had got but very few.
Nearly all of them, owing to the proximity of their city, had, in
fact, betaken themselves home. Now, when day came and the Mantineans
learned what had happened, they immediately sent and forewarned the
other Arcadian states to be ready in arms, and to guard the passes;
and they set the example themselves by so doing. They sent at the same
time to Tegea and demanded the release of all Mantineans there
detained. With regard to the rest of the Arcadians they further
claimed that no one should be imprisoned or put to death without
trial. If any one had any accusation to bring against any, than by the
mouth of their messengers there present they gave notice that the
state of Mantinea was ready to offer bail, "Verily and indeed to
produce before the general assembly of the Arcadians all who might be
summoned into court." The Theban accordingly, on hearing this, was at
a loss what to make of the affair, and released his prisoners. Next
day, summoning a congress of all the Arcadians who chose to come, he
explained, with some show of apology, that he had been altogether
deceived; he had heard, he said, that "the Lacedaemonians were under
arms on the frontier, and that some of the Arcadians were about to
betray Tegea into their hands." His auditors acquitted him for the
moment, albeit they knew that as touching themselves he was lying.
They sent, however, an embassy to Thebes and there accused him as
deserving of death. Epaminondas (who was at that time the general at
the head of the war department) is reported to have maintained that
the Theban commander had acted far more rightly when he seized than
when he let go the prisoners. "Thanks to you," he argued, "we have
been brought into a state of war, and then you, without our advice or
opinion asked, make peace on your own account; would it not be
reasonable to retort upon you the charge of treason in such conduct?
Anyhow, be assured," he added, "we shall bring an army into Arcadia,
and along with those who share our views carry on the war which we
have undertaken."


B.C. 362. This answer was duly reported to the general assembly of the
Arcadians, and throughout the several states of the league.
Consequently the Mantineans, along with those of the Arcadians who had
the interests of Peloponnesus at heart, as also the Eleians and the
Achaeans, came to the conclusion that the policy of the Thebans was
plain. They wished Peloponnesus to be reduced to such an extremity of
weakness that it might fall an easy prey into their hands who were
minded to enslave it. "Why else," they asked, "should they wish us to
fight, except that we may tear each other to pieces, and both sides be
driven to look to them for support? or why, when we tell them that we
have no need of them at present, do they insist on preparing for a
foreign campaign? Is it not plain that these preparations are for an
expedition which will do us some mischief?"

In this mood they sent to Athens,[1] calling on the Athenians for
military aid. Ambassadors also went to Lacedaemon on behalf of the
Eparitoi, summoning the Lacedaemonians, if they wished to give a
helping hand, to put a stop to the proceedings of any power
approaching to enslave Peloponnesus. As regards the headship, they
came to an arrangement at once, on the principle that each of the
allied states should exercise the generalship within its own

[1] For a treaty of alliance between Athens, the Arkadians, Achaeans,
Eleians, and Phliasians, immediately before Mantinea, B.C. 362,
{epi Molonos arkhontos}, see Hicks, 94; Kohler, "C. I. A." ii. p.
405. It is preserved on a stele ("broken at bottom; but the top is
surmounted by a relief representing Zeus enthroned, with a
thunderbolt; a female figure [= the {Summakhia}?] approaches
lifting her veil, while Athena stands by") now standing among the
sculptures from the Asklepieion on the Acropolis at Athens. See
Milchhofer, p. 47, no. 7, "Die Museum," Athens, 1881. For the
date, see Demosth. "c. Polycl." 1207.

While these matters were in progress, Epaminondas was prosecuting his
march at the head of all the Boeotians, with the Euboeans, and a large
body of Thessalians, furnished both by Alexander[2] and by his
opponents. The Phocians were not represented. Their special agreement
only required them to render assistance in case of an attack on
Thebes; to assist in a hostile expedition against others was not in
the bond. Epaminondas, however, reflected that inside Peloponnesus
itself they might count upon the Argives and the Messenians, with that
section of the Arcadians which shared their views. These latter were
the men of Tegea and Megalopolis, of Asea and Pallantium, with any
townships which owing to their small size or their position in the
midst of these larger cities were forced to follow their lead.

[2] For Alexander of Pherae, see above, VI. iv. 34. In B.C. 363 the
Thebans had sent an army under Pelopidas into Thessaly to assist
their allies among the Thessalians with the Phthiot Achaeans and
the Magnetes against Alexander. At Kynos Kephelae Alexander was
defeated, but Pelopidas was slain (see Grote, "H. G." x. 420
foll.). "His death, as it brought grief, so likewise it produced
advantage to the allies; for the Thebans, as soon as they heard of
his fall, delayed not their revenge, but presently sent seven
thousand foot and seven hundred horse, under the command of
Malcitas and Diogiton. And they, finding Alexander weak and
without forces, compelled him to restore the cities he had taken,
to withdraw his garrisons from the Magnesians and Achaeans of
Phthiotos and swear to assist the Thebans against whatsoever
enemies they should require."--Plut. "Pelop." 35 (Clough, ii.

Epaminondas advanced with rapid strides; but on reaching Nemea he
slackened speed, hoping to catch the Athenians as they passed, and
reflecting on the magnitude of such an achievement, whether in
stimulating the courage of his own allies, or in plunging his foes
into despondency; since, to state the matter concisely, any blow to
Athens would be a gain to Thebes. But during his pause at Nemea those
who shared the opposite policy had time to converge on Mantinea.
Presently the news reached Epaminondas that the Athenians had
abandoned the idea of marching by land, and were preparing to bring
their supports to Arcadia by sea through Lacedaemon. This being so, he
abandoned his base of Nemea and pushed on to Tegea.

That the strategy of the Theban general was fortunate I will not
pretend to assert, but in the particular combination of prudence and
daring which stamps these exploits, I look upon him as consummate. In
the first place, I cannot but admire the sagacity which led him to
form his camp within the walls of Tegea, where he was in greater
security that he would have been if entrenched outside, and where his
future movements were more completely concealed from the enemy. Again,
the means to collect material and furnish himself with other
necessaries were readier to his hand inside the city; while, thirdly,
he was able to keep an eye on the movements of his opponents marching
outside, and to watch their successful dispositions as well as their
mistakes. More than this: in spite of his sense of superiority to his
antagonists, over and over again, when he saw them gaining some
advantage in position, he refused to be drawn out to attack them. It
was only when he saw plainly that no city was going to give him its
adhesion, and that time was slipping by, that he made up his mind that
a blow must be struck, failing which, he had nothing to expect save a
vast ingloriousness, in place of his former fame.[3] He had
ascertained that his antagonists held a strong position round
Mantinea, and that they had sent to fetch Agesilaus and the whole
Lacedaemonian army. He was further aware that Agesilaus had commenced
his advance and was already at Pellene.[4] Accordingly he passed the
word of command[5] to his troops to take their evening meal, put
himself at their head and advanced straight upon Sparta. Had it not
been for the arrival (by some providential chance) of a Cretan, who
brought the news to Agesilaus of the enemy's advance, he would have
captured the city of Sparta like a nest of young birds absolutely
bereft of its natural defenders. As it was, Agesilaus, being
forewarned, had time to return to the city before the Thebans came,
and here the Spartans made distribution of their scanty force and
maintained watch and ward, albeit few enough in numbers, since the
whole of their cavalry were away in Arcadia, and so was their foreign
brigade, and so were three out of their twelve regiments.[6]

[3] Or, "dull obscurity in place of renown."

[4] Pellene (or Pellana), a town of Laconia on the Eurotas, and on the
road from Sparta to Arcadia; in fact the frontier fortress on the
Eurotas, as Sellasia on the Oenus; "Dict. of Anct. Geog." s.v.;
see Paus. iii. 20, S. 2; Strab. viii. 386; Polyb. iv. 81, xvi. 37;
Plut. "Agis," 8; Leake, "Morea," iii. 14 foll.

[5] Cf. "Hipparch." iv. 9.

[6] Lit. "lochi." See above, VII. iv. 20; "Pol. Lac." xi. 4.

Arrived within the city of Sparta,[7] Epaminondas abstained from
gaining an entry at a point where his troops would have to fight on
level ground and under attack from the houses above; where also their
large numbers would give them no superiority over the small numbers of
the foemen. But, singling out a position which he conceived would give
him the advantage, he occupied it and began his advance against the
city upon a downward instead of an upward incline.

[7] Grote ("H. G." x. 455) says: "Though he crossed the Eurotas and
actually entered into the city of Sparta," as the words {epei de
egeneto en te polei ton Spartiaton} certainly seem to me to imply.
Others interpret "in the close neighbourhood of."

With regard to what subsequently took place, two possible explanations
suggest themselves: either it was miraculous, or it may be maintained
that there is no resisting the fury of desperation. Archidamus,
advancing at the head of but a hundred men, and crossing the one thing
which might have been expected to form an obstacle to the enemy,[8]
began marching uphill against his antagonists. At this crisis these
fire-breathing warriors, these victorious heroes of Leuctra,[9] with
their superiority at every point, aided, moreover, by the advantage of
their position, did not withstand the attack of Archidamus and those
with him, but swerved in flight.

[8] Or, "to serve as his defence"; or, "the one obstacle to his
progress," i.e. Archidamus's. It was a miraculous thing that the
Thebans did not stop him.

[9] See Mahaffy, "Hist. Gk. Lit." vol. ii. p. 268, 1st ed. See above,
"Hell." VI. iv. 24; Diod. xv. 39, 56.

The vanguard of Epaminondas's troops were cut down; when, however,
flushed with the glory of their victory, the citizens followed up
their pursuit beyond the right point, they in turn were cut down--so
plainly was the demarking line of victory drawn by the finger of God.
So then Archidamus set up a trophy to note the limit of his success,
and gave back those who had there fallen of the enemy under a truce.
Epaminondas, on his side, reflecting that the Arcadians must already
be hastening to the relief of Lacedaemon, and being unwilling to
engage them in conjunction with the whole of the Lacedaemonian force,
especially now that the star of Sparta's fortune shone, whilst theirs
had suffered some eclipse, turned and marched back the way he came
with all speed possible into Tegea. There he gave his heavy infantry
pause and refreshment, but his cavalry he sent on to Mantinea; he
begged them to "have courage and hold on," instructing them that in
all likelihood they would find the flocks and herds of the Mantineans
and the entire population itself outside their walls, especially as it
was the moment for carrying the corn. So they set off.

The Athenian cavalry, started from Eleusis, had made their evening
meal at the Isthmus, and passing through Cleonae, as chance befell,
had arrived at Mantinea and had encamped within the walls in the
houses. As soon as the enemy were seen galloping up with evidently
hostile intent, the Mantineans fell to praying the Athenian knights to
lend them all the succour they could, and they showed them all their
cattle outside, and all their labourers, and among them were many
children and graybeards who were free-born citizens. The Athenians
were touched by this appeal, and, though they had not yet broken fast,
neither the men themselves nor their horses, went out eagerly to the
rescue. And here we must needs pause to admire the valour of these men
also. The enemy whom they had to cope with far outnumbered them, as
was plain to see, and the former misadventure of the cavalry in
Corinth was not forgotten.[10] But none of these things entered into
their calculations now--nor yet the fact that they were on the point
of engaging Thebans and Thessalians, the finest cavalry in the world
by all repute. The only thing they thought of was the shame and the
dishonour, if, being there, they did not lend a helping hand to their
allies. In this mood, so soon as they caught sight of the enemy, they
fell with a crash upon him in passionate longing to recover the old
ancestral glory. Nor did they fight in vain--the blows they struck
enabled the Mantineans to recover all their property outside, but
among those who dealt them died some brave heroes;[11] brave heroes
also, it is evident, were those whom they slew, since on either side
the weapons wielded were not so short but that they could lunge at one
another with effect. The dead bodies of their own men they refused to
abandon; and there were some of the enemy's slain whom they restored
to him under a flag of truce.

[10] Or, "and in Corinth an untoward incident had been experienced by
the cavalry." See Grote, "H. G." x. 458, note 2. Possibly in
reference to "Hell." VI. v. 51, 52.

[11] Probably Xenophon's own son Gryllus was among them.

The thoughts now working in the mind of Epaminondas were such as
these: that within a few days he would be forced to retire, as the
period of the campaign was drawing to a close; if it ended in his
leaving in the lurch those allies whom he came out to assist, they
would be besieged by their antagonists. What a blow would that be to
his own fair fame, already somewhat tarnished! Had he not been
defeated in Lacedaemon, with a large body of heavy infantry, by a
handful of men? defeated again at Mantinea, in the cavalry engagement,
and himself the main cause finally of a coalition between five great
powers--that is to say, the Lacedaemonians, the Arcadians, the
Achaeans, the Eleians, and the Athenians? On all grounds it seemed to
him impossible to steal past without a battle. And the more so as he
computed the alternatives of victory or death. If the former were his
fortune, it would resolve all his perplexities; if death, his end
would be noble. How glorious a thing to die in the endeavour to leave
behind him, as his last legacy to his fatherland, the empire of
Peloponnesus! That such thoughts should pass through his brain strikes
me as by no means wonderful, as these are thoughts distinctive to all
men of high ambition. Far more wonderful to my mind was the pitch of
perfection to which he had brought his army. There was no labour which
his troops would shrink from, either by night or by day; there was no
danger they would flinch from; and, with the scantiest provisions,
their discipline never failed them.

And so, when he gave his last orders to them to prepare for impending
battle, they obeyed with alacrity. He gave the word; the cavalry fell
to whitening their helmets, the heavy infantry of the Arcadians began
inscribing their clubs as the crest on their shields,[12] as though
they were Thebans, and all were engaged in sharpening their lances and
swords and polishing their heavy shields. When the preparations were
complete and he had led them out, his next movement is worthy of
attention. First, as was natural, he paid heed to their formation, and
in so doing seemed to give clear evidence that he intended battle; but
no sooner was the army drawn up in the formation which he preferred,
than he advanced, not by the shortest route to meet the enemy, but
towards the westward-lying mountains which face Tegea, and by this
movement created in the enemy an expectation that he would not do
battle on that day. In keeping with this expectation, as soon as he
arrived at the mountain-region, he extended his phalanx in long line
and piled arms under the high cliffs; and to all appearance he was
there encamping. The effect of this manouvre on the enemy in general
was to relax the prepared bent of their souls for battle, and to
weaken their tactical arrangements. Presently, however, wheeling his
regiments (which were marching in column) to the front, with the
effect of strengthening the beak-like[13] attack which he proposed to
lead himself, at the same instant he gave the order, "Shoulder arms,
forward," and led the way, the troops following.

[12] Grote ("H. G." x. 463) has another interpretation.

[13] Or, "the wedge-like attack of his own division"; see Grote, "H.
G." x. 469 foll. I do not, however, think that the attacking
column was actually wedge-shaped like the "acies cuneata" of the
Romans. It was the unusual depth of the column which gave it the
force of an ironclad's ram. Cf. "Cyrop." II. iv. for {eis

When the enemy saw them so unexpectedly approaching, not one of them
was able to maintain tranquility: some began running to their
divisions, some fell into line, some might be seen bitting and
bridling their horses, some donning their cuirasses, and one and all
were like men about to receive rather than to inflict a blow. He, the
while, with steady impetus pushed forward his armament, like a ship-
of-war prow forward. Wherever he brought his solid wedge to bear, he
meant to cleave through the opposing mass, and crumble his adversary's
host to pieces. With this design he prepared to throw the brunt of the
fighting on the strongest half of his army, while he kept the weaker
portion of it in the background, knowing certainly that if worsted it
would only cause discouragement to his own division and add force to
the foe. The cavalry on the side of his opponents were disposed like
an ordinary phalanx of heavy infantry, regular in depth and
unsupported by foot-soldiers interspersed among the horses.[14]
Epaminondas again differed in strengthening the attacking point of his
cavalry, besides which he interspersed footmen between their lines in
the belief that, when he had once cut through the cavalry, he would
have wrested victory from the antagonist along his whole line; so hard
is it to find troops who will care to keep their own ground when once
they see any of their own side flying. Lastly, to prevent any attempt
on the part of the Athenians, who were on the enemy's left wing, to
bring up their reliefs in support of the portion next them, he posted
bodies of cavalry and heavy infantry on certain hillocks in front of
them, intending to create in their minds an apprehension that, in case
they offered such assistance, they would be attacked on their own rear
by these detachments. Such was the plan of encounter which he formed
and executed; nor was he cheated in his hopes. He had so much the
mastery at his point of attack that he caused the whole of the enemy's
troops to take flight.

[14] See Rustow and Kochly, p. 176; and for the {amippoi}
Harpocration, s.v.; Pollus, i. 131; "Hipparch." v. 13; Thuc. v.
58; Herod. vii. 158; Caes. "B. G." i. 48; "B. Civ." iii. 84.

But after he himself had fallen, the rest of the Thebans were not able
any longer to turn their victory rightly to account. Though the main
battle line of their opponents had given way, not a single man
afterwards did the victorious hoplites slay, not an inch forward did
they advance from the ground on which the collision took place. Though
the cavalry had fled before them, there was no pursuit; not a man,
horseman or hoplite, did the conquering cavalry cut down; but, like
men who have suffered a defeat, as if panic-stricken[15] they slipped
back through the ranks of the fleeing foemen. Only the footmen
fighting amongst the cavalry and the light infantry, who had together
shared in the victory of the cavalry, found their way round to the
left wing as masters of the field, but it cost them dear; here they
encountered the Athenians, and most of them were cut down.

[15] Or, "they timorously slipped back."

The effective result of these achievements was the very opposite of
that which the world at large anticipated. Here, where well-nigh the
whole of Hellas was met together in one field, and the combatants
stood rank against rank confronted, there was no one doubted that, in
the event of battle, the conquerors would this day rule; and that
those who lost would be their subjects. But God so ordered it that
both belligerents alike set up trophies as claiming victory, and
neither interfered with the other in the act. Both parties alike gave
back their enemy's dead under a truce, and in right of victory; both
alike, in symbol of defeat, under a truce took back their dead. And
though both claimed to have won the day, neither could show that he
had thereby gained any accession of territory, or state, or empire, or
was better situated than before the battle. Uncertainty and confusion,
indeed, had gained ground, being tenfold greater throughout the length
and breadth of Hellas after the battle than before.

At this point I lay aside my pen: the sequel of the story may haply
commend itself[16] to another.

[16] Or, "win the attention of some other writer."

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