While they were thus disputing, the news
arrived that the Illyrians had actually betrayed Perdiccas and had joined
Arrhabaeus; and the fear inspired by their warlike character made both parties now
think it best to retreat.However, owing to the dispute, nothing had been settled as to when they
should start; and night coming on, the Macedonians and the barbarian crowd took fright in
a moment in one of those mysterious panics to which great armies are liable; and persuaded that an army many times more numerous than that which had
really arrived was advancing and all but upon them, suddenly broke and fled
in the direction of home, and thus compelled Perdiccas, who at first did not
perceive what had occurred, to depart without seeing Brasidas, the two
armies being encamped at a considerable distance from each other.
At daybreak Brasidas, perceiving that the Macedonians had gone on, and that
the Illyrians and Arrhabaeus were on the point of attacking him, formed his
heavy infantry into a square, with the light troops in the center, and
himself also prepared to retreat.
Posting his youngest soldiers to dash out wherever the enemy should attack
them, he himself with three hundred picked men in the rear intended to face
about during the retreat and beat off the most forward of their assailants.
Meanwhile, before the enemy approached, he sought to sustain the courage of
his soldiers with the following hasty exhortation:—
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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