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But the Lacedaemonians, when they heard the oracle given to the Messenians, were in despair, both they and their kings, and for the future shrank from offering battle.

But five years after the escape of Lyciscus from Ithome, the victims being auspicious, the Lacedaemonians marched against Ithome. The Cretans were no longer with them. The allies of the Messenians also were late, for the Spartans had now incurred the suspicion of others of the Peloponnesians, especially of the Arcadians and Argives. The Argives intended to come without the knowledge of the Lacedaemonians, and by private enterprise rather than by public declaration. The expedition was openly proclaimed among the Arcadians, but they did not arrive either. For the Messenians were induced by the credit placed in the oracle to face the risk without allies.

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