Philopoemen, however, was a man of unusual astuteness and experience in leading troops and choosing positions, and not only in war-times but in peace as well he had trained his mind particularly in these arts.
When he was travelling anywhere and had reached a pass difficult to get through, viewing the character of the ground from every angle, when he was travelling alone, he would consider with himself, when he had companions, he would ask them, if the enemy had shown himself at that point, what plan should be adopted if he attacked from the front, what if on this or that flank, what if from the rear;
it was possible to meet him while drawn up in regular array, it was possible to do so in a less orderly formation suited only to the march.
What ground he himself would occupy he would try to determine, by reflecting or by asking questions, or how many troops or what kind of [p. 81]
weapons —for this was of the greatest importance —1
he would use;
where he would put the trains, where the baggage, where the unarmed mass, with how strong guards, and of what sort, he would protect them, and whether it would be better to continue by the way he had intended to go or to return the way he had come;
what place too he would choose for his camp, how much space he would enclose in the fortifications, where there was a suitable water-supply and where were supplies of forage and wood; where, when he moved his camp the next day, would be his safest route, and what would be his order of march.
With such concerns and thoughts he had from boyhood filled his mind, so that now no new subject of consideration faced him at such a crisis.2
And at this time he first of all formed his column, then he sent the Cretan auxiliaries and the cavalry whom they call the Tarentini,3
each leading two horses with him, to the van, and ordering the cavalry to follow he seized a cliff above a stream whence they could get water;
then he threw an armed guard around all the baggage and the assembled throng of camp followers and fortified the camp as the nature of the ground required; it was difficult to pitch tents on the rough and uneven ground. The enemy was about five hundred paces away.
Both sides, using light-armed guards, drew water from the same stream, but before a regular battle had begun, which is the usual occurrence when camps are close together, the night fell. It was clear that on the next day they must fight at the stream in defence of the watering-parties.
At night, in a valley out of sight of the [p. 83]
enemy, he placed as large a force of caetrati
place could conceal.