By chance, at this time, one thousand foot with one hundred horse came to Elaea from Achaia, Diophanes being commander of all these forces; whom, on their landing, persons, sent by Eumenes to meet them, conducted by night to Pergamus.
Veterans they all were, well skilled in war; and their commander was a disciple of Philopœmen, [p. 1676]
the most consummate general among the Greeks in that age. They set apart two days to give rest to the men and horses, and, at the same time, to view the posts of the enemy, and to learn at what places, and what times, they advanced and retired.
The king's troops generally approached to the foot of the hill on which the town stands; so that the plundering in the rear was unimpeded, as not a man ever sallied out, even to throw darts from a distance, against their guards.
After that they were once driven in, and with fear confined themselves within the walls, a contempt for them arises among the king's troops, and consequently negligence.
The greater number did not keep their horses either saddled or bridled; while few remained under arms, and in the ranks; the rest, slipping away, had scattered themselves every where over the entire plain, some diverting themselves with youthful sports and amusements, others eating in the shade, and some even stretched on the ground asleep.
Diophanes, having observed all these particulars from the lofty city of Pergamus, ordered his men to take arms, and to be ready at a particular gate. He himself went to Attalus, and told him that he intended to attack the outposts of the enemy.
Attalus giving his consent with reluctance, as he saw that one hundred horse must fight against six hundred, one thousand foot against four thousand, Diophanes then marched out of the gate, and took post at a small distance from the enemy's guard, waiting his opportunity.
Both the people in Pergamus thought that it was madness rather than daring, and the enemy, after observing his party for a short time, as soon as they saw no movement among them, did not change their usual negligence, ridiculing moreover the smallness of their number.
Diophanes for a long time kept his men quiet, as if they had been brought out merely for the purpose of looking about them; but as soon as he perceived that the enemy had quitted their ranks, ordering the
infantry to follow as fast as they could, he himself, with his own troop, led the way at the head of the cavalry, and pushing on, with all possible speed, made a sudden charge on the enemy's party, while a shout was raised by every horseman and footman at once.
Not only were the men so attacked terrified, but the horses also; and when they broke their collars, they caused great confusion and tumult throughout.
A few of the horses, indeed, stood unaffrighted; but even these [p. 1677]
the troopers could not easily saddle, or bridle, or mount; for the Achaeans struck much greater terror than would be supposed from so small a party of horse.
But now the infantry, in due order and preparation, assailed the enemy, dispersed through their own negligence, and almost half asleep; and slaughter and flight ensued in every part of the plain.
Diophanes pursued the runaways as far as he could with safety, and then returned into garrison, after acquiring very great honour for the Achaean nation; for not only the men, but also the women, had been spectators from the walls of Pergamus.